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NVIDIA Recreates Pacman From Scratch Using AI to Mark 40th Anniversary

NVIDIA Recreates Pacman From Scratch Using AI to Mark 40th Anniversary

NVIDIA announced that it trained an AI to create an operational replica of the game simply from watching it being played 50,000 times.

  • AFP Relaxnews
  • Last Updated: May 26, 2020, 12:46 PM IST

After watching 50,000 episodes of Pac-Man being played, Nvidia’s AI was able to recreate a convincing replica of the game from nothing. On the 40-year anniversary of the beloved game Pac-Man, Nvidia, known for its graphic processing unit technology, announced that it has trained an AI to create an operational replica of the game simply from watching it being played 50,000 times — no human intervention required.

The artificial intelligence used to accomplish this is called NVIDIA GameGAN, a neural network model which “mimics a computer game engine by harnessing generative adversarial networks, or GANs.” These GANS use a pair of competing for neural networks which work together to create new content that looks impressively like the real deal it was designed to copy. And thus, without a game engine, GameGAN recreated Pac-Man without anyone programming it with code.

In 2019, the company used this same GAN technology to create two other apps: GauGAN and GANimal. While the former could take user doodles and convert them into photorealistic landscapes, the latter could put the expression of one animal — like that of your pet, for example — realistically onto the face of another.

As for GameGAN, Nvidia states that this tech could possibly be eventually used by game developers to “automatically generate layouts for new game levels,” or by AI experts to efficiently generate “develop simulator systems for training autonomous machines.” The AI-generated version of Pac-Man will be available for the public to play later this year.




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Mark Zuckerberg is Worried About China’s Influence on The Internet; Many Would Agree With Him

Mark Zuckerberg is Worried About China’s Influence on The Internet; Many Would Agree With Him

Zuckerberg said that the 2018 overhaul of the privacy policy in the EU also meant Facebook had to reform its approach to data privacy around the world.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 19, 2020, 9:24 AM IST

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he is worried about the influence China is having in terms of regulating the internet and fears other countries might follow a similar example. In fact, he has urged western countries to counter China’s model with a democratic approach. He says the Chinese approach is “really dangerous”. China’s censorship of content on the internet and the fact that many global tech platforms are banned in the country, including Facebook, is often referred to as ‘The Great Firewall’.

“What I worry about is, right now I think there are emerging two very different frameworks underpinned by very different sets of values,” Zuckerberg said in a livestreamed discussion with EU official Thierry Breton. This is not the first time Zuckerberg has warned about the Chinese influence and the Chinese way of regulating the internet. He said it is the responsibility of the western countries to have a clear data privacy framework in place.

Zuckerberg in fact praised the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which implemented changes for how tech companies and social media platforms including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter collect and handle user data in the EU region. He also said that the 2018 overhaul of the privacy policy in the EU also meant Facebook had to reform its approach to data privacy around the world.

In October last year, Zuckerberg had not held back in criticizing TikTok, owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance. While speaking at the Georgetown University on free speech, he had criticized TikTok for what he called “mentions of these protests are censored, even in the U.S.” referring to the censorship around the anti-China or pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. “Just to be blunt about it, I think there is a model coming out of countries like China that tend to have very different values than Western countries that are more democratic,” Zuckerberg said.

Facebook only recently got a 20-member oversight board which has the power to correct or overrule the social media platform’s content moderation policies, including instances of hate speech and misinformation, if it feels the need to do so. The board will start hearing cases later this summer.




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Facebook Not Sharing User Data with US Govt: Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

(Image: Reuters)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

(Image: Reuters)

Reports had earlier stated that the US government and CDC were tapping tech companies like Facebook for users’ location data.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: March 19, 2020, 2:24 PM IST
  • Edited by: Chhavianshika Singh

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has denied reports that the social networking giant is talking to the US government to share users’ location data from their smartphones. NBC News and The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are tapping tech companies like Facebook for users’ location data.

In a press call on Wednesday, Zuckerberg said the reports were “largely overstated”, denying that the company was in discussions to give the US government any location data reports CNET. “We’re not aware of any active conversations or asks with the US or other governments at this point asking for access to that data specifically,” Zuckerberg said.

Facebook had a Disease Prevention Map programme for almost a year, which is provided to health organisations around the world using location data from people who opt-in. “I don’t think it would make sense to share people’s data in a way where they didn’t have the opportunity to opt in to do that,” said Zuckerberg. “We’re exploring ways that aggregated anonymized location information could help in the fight against COVID-19,” the company said in a statement.

Google confirmed to CNN that it is also exploring ways to use aggregated, anonymized data to help in the coronavirus effort. Apple said it has not been a part of the location data discussions with the US government. The Trump administration is not the only country to consider technology-based tracking. Israel this week passed a proposal to track coronavirus patients on a far more detailed level, using location tools meant for counterterrorism purposes.

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5G Smartphone Sales to Hit 170-200 Million Mark in 2020, Expects MediaTek

Representative image. (Illustration: CC0 Public Domain)

Representative image. (Illustration: CC0 Public Domain)

MediaTek had initially expected 5G smartphones to sell over 200 million units, prior to the Coronavirus outbreak in China.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: February 11, 2020, 3:14 PM IST

Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company MediaTek has announced that it is reducing the projected 5G smartphone sales from over 200 million to between 170-200 million in 2020 due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis in China. China is a major market where it expects most 5G smartphones to be shipped. As per report, MediaTek predicts China will still ship around 100-120 million 5G smartphones this year, accounting for a global market share of 60 per cent, news portal GizmoChina reported on Monday.

Earlier, US based investment banking and financial service company Goldman Sachs is forecasting a hefty 200 million 5G smartphone shipments globally in the coming year. The predicted value is about 20 times more than the sales figure of 2019. According to estimates, there will be about one million new 5G base stations in China this year. This is higher than the original 600,000 prediction by Goldman Sachs.

Additionally, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi co-founder Lei Jun announced the company is planning to pump $7 billion in 5G, AI and IoT over the next five years. Last month, Chinese local research agencies suggests that 20 per cent of all mid range smartphones will support 5G, thanks to the expansion of the network in the country. An estimated five million 5G capable smartphones were sold in December 2019 alone it is expected that more than 20 per cent of the smartphones under $290 will be 5G enabled this year.

The revised shipment estimates truly highlight the impact that Coronavirus has had on all fronts. With a rising count of deaths due to the virus, major provinces in China, which heavily contribute to the manufacturing and assembly of electronics, have been put in lockdown to prevent the spreading of the virus and protect new individuals from being affected. This has led to factories being closed as well, hence taking a toll on the estimated number of devices that may be sold through the year.

(With inputs from IANS)