Let’s face it: artificial intelligence is scary. After decades of dystopian science fiction novels and movies where sentient machines end up turning on humanity, we can’t help but worry as real world AI continues to improve at such a rapid rate. Sure, that danger is probably decades away if it’s even a real danger at all. But there are many more immediate concerns. Will automated robots cost us jobs? Will online face recognition destroy our privacy? Will self-driving cars mess with moral decision making?
On Friday evening, inside a small castle on the southwest coast of England, a Welsh mezzo-soprano performed a duet with a quantum computer.
The quantum computer wasn’t actually there. It was 5,300 miles away in a lab on the outskirts of Los Angeles. But this is the modern age. We don’t just have quantum computers. They can perform over the Internet.
The ornate, pinecone-shaped towers of Angkor Wat in Cambodia float above a vast temple complex of shrines, pools, houses, and a perfectly square moat. Today, only a small number of monks remain within the temple walls. The remaining structures have been reclaimed by trees whose roots wind around the stone like cellulose tentacles. Archaeologists have long wondered what life was like here when Angkor was the cosmopolitan heart of the Khmer Empire in the 12th and 13th centuries. Why did so many people abandon this place in the 15th century, never to return?
The biggest problem with smartwatches, beyond the fact no one really knows what to do with them, is their small screens. Scrolling through text or swiping a notification is particularly frustrating when your finger obscures whatever it is you’re trying to see. This is why you can’t tap out a text message, let alone play games.
Microsoft is releasing Hololens to developers in March and they should have their devices by month end. As part of the announcement they showcased some of the initial tools and games and this got me to thinking about the unusual things this device could enable. Games we’ve never thought to play before and uses that could be truly amazing. Let’s talk about some of these.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute have developed a new headlight technology that automatically and intelligently adapt to the current traffic conditions.
Nine years ago, when the first iPhone was about to debut, not many people envisioned a revolution that would fundamentally change the shape of the game industry (for good or for ill). Today, as we await the impending release of high-end consumer virtual reality headsets from the likes of Oculus, Valve, and Sony, it feels like we're at a similar crossroads.
We have been following D-Wave's claims about its quantum hardware at Ars for a number of years. Over that time, my impression has oscillated between skepticism, strong skepticism, and mild enthusiasm.
The revival of virtual reality is nearly upon us and Microsoft and Facebook have both put a great deal of resources into carving out their place in this new form of entertainment.
Facebook is heavily invested in the Oculus Rift while Microsoft has spent years developing its own version of virtual/augmented reality with its HoloLens.
Google on the other hand has had only a minor presence in VR with its budget-minded Google Cardboard. This could be set to change in 2016 as the company has appointed Clay Bavor, VP for Product Management, to focus his efforts solely on VR.
One of Windows 10 Mobile's truly distinctive and unusual features is Continuum. If you hook a phone up to a screen and, optionally, a mouse and keyboard, you can run desktop-style apps, albeit still powered by the phone. The connection to the screen and other peripherals can be wireless, using Miracast and Bluetooth, or wired, using the USB 3 Display Dock.