TL;DR: Deep RL sucks – A Google engineer has published a long, detailed blog post explaining the current frustrations in deep reinforcement learning, and why it doesn’t live up to the hype.Teaching agents to play games like Go well enough to beat human experts like Ke Jie fuels the man versus machine narrative.All impressive RL results that achieve human or superhuman level require a massive amount of training and experience to get the machine to do something simple.For example, it took DeepMind’s AlphaZero program to master chess and Go over 68 million games of self play – no human could ever play this many games in a lifetime.But, for any setting where this isn’t true, RL faces an uphill battle, and unfortunately, most real-world settings fall under this category,” he wrote.It’s difficult to try and coax an agent into learning a specific behavior, and in many cases hard coded rules are just better.
'Game of Thrones', 'Coco' and 'War for the Planet of the Apes' won multiple gongs at the annual Visual Effects Society Awards on Tuesday.Writer and director Jon Favreau was awarded a lifetime achievement award for his work on CGI extravaganza "The Jungle Book", while Samsung took home three awards for a virtual reality-themed advert."Game of Thrones" was recognised with five awards for computer-generated environments, action scenes and characters including the frozen lake, the Wall and Daenarys' dragons.The incredibly soulful CG characters Caesar and Hèctor were among the outstanding visual effects of "War for the Planet of the Apes" and "Coco" that earned both films four prizes.Samsung was rewarded for the ad entitled "Ostrich: Do What You Can't"."Dunkirk", "Blade Runner 2049" and the opening dance number from "Guardians of The Galaxy: Vol 2" also won awards, while Weta effects wizard Joe Letteri took home a lifetime achievement award.
February has been a big month for YouTube TV.The live TV streaming service kicked off the month by bringing its app to Roku and Apple TV streaming boxes, and on February 14 a post on the YouTube blog announced not only a batch of new channels, but expanded availability.After expanding its reach to 83 cities in December, YouTube TV is now available in the top 100 markets in the United States, which accounts for more than 85 percent of U.S. households.New markets include Lexington, Kentucky; Dayton, Ohio; Honolulu;Richmond, Virginia; Mobile, Alabama; and Syracuse, New York.For a full list of areas in which YouTube TV is available, see the YouTube TV support page.Until now, one of the major drawbacks of YouTube TV has been the limited channel lineup compared to services like Sling TV, DirecTV Now, or even the relatively slim Hulu with Live TV.
When asked about the issue during a hearing in Washington on Thursday, Google's vice president of news, Richard Gingras, told members of the British Parliament, "As much as I would like to believe our algorithms will be perfect, I don't believe they ever will be."Google appears still unable to effectively police results that are offensive, and potentially dangerous—especially on a platform that two billion people rely on for information.The results were even worse.Type "black lives matter is," and Google suggests "black lives matter is a hate group."The search for "climate change is" generated a wide range of options for climate change deniers:In a statement, Google said it will remove some of the above search prompts that specifically violate its policies, though the company declined to comment on which searches it would remove.
You may remember that we recently told you that the Lexus RX would finally be available with third-row seating, and we now know how much it'll cost!That's all the excitement we can muster for the RX -- not because it's not a competent crossover SUV, but because it's been so familiar for so long that it's boring (well, at least outside of its crazy styling).That being said, the new one is still a decent buy considering what you get.The new RX450hL model sits almost at the top of the RX pile, just below the RX450h F-Sport.The L denotes "Long Wheelbase" and nets you a pair of second-row captain's chairs and a third-row bench seat.No longer are buyers forced up into Lexus' truck-like GX or LX if you want to carry seven people.
Matt and John talk with Manya Koetse, found and editor-in-chief of What’s on Weibo, about how the role of Weibo in Chinese society and its continuing relevance in public discourse.
While Apple continues to address the fallout of performance throttling on iPhones with older batteries, the company now has another issue to worry about, this time in regards to its pricey iPhone X.According to a number of comments and complaints on Apple’s official forums, some users say an unresponsive touchscreen is causing them to miss phone calls.The iPhone owners say they have tried typical tech support fixes like restarting their phones or installing the latest software updates, but it seems those methods don’t always work.And in some cases, after restarting the phone or performing a soft reset, the symptoms apparently only go away temporarily before resurfacing a short time later.Currently, there are hundreds of users who have chimed in saying they are experiencing similar problems, according to the Financial Times.Apple is reportedly investigating the issue and we’ve reached out to the company for confirmation.
It might not come as a surprise that Keanu Reeves was 100 percent on board with the idea of standing on top of a motorcycle that would barrel down an open stretch of endless road at 45 miles per hour in the middle of the desert in Lancaster, California.When Squarespace presented the idea (which would go on to be the premise for the brand’s fifth consecutive Super Bowl ad) to Reeves, his first question wasn’t about stunt doubles, or how they’d superimpose his face.Because yes, Reeves is actually standing on top of a moving vehicle in that ad, contrary to what you might think.Sure, he’s harnessed in, but that bike is indeed moving at around 45 miles per hour, and he is indeed standing on that moving bike.Squarespace needed its production company partner, Reset, to build a custom rig for the shoot so the motorcycle could actually move on the ground.Larry passed away in 2004 after attempting the risky move.
Honda Motor Europe is set to hand its creative and strategic account to the Japanese headquartered Hakuhodo, The Drum has learned.The network is understood to have won the bulk of Honda’s advertising business in the continent over the next three years.While no formal contracts have been signed, the company has been informed of the deal.Hakuhodo, which pitched with its sole UK agency Southpaw, is thought to have fought off competition from Mcgarrybowen, Joint and Wieden+Kennedy London.However it is understood that the latter will continue to work with Honda on projects such as long-running sponsorship of Channel 4.A source close to the pitch told The Drum that Brexit-uncertainty led Honda to select a partner with a stronger European presence than the London-based Wieden+Kennedy, Mcgarrybowen and Joint.
Television technology is changing so fast these days that you can’t help but wonder if all the TV brands are deliberately trying to force you to upgrade your TV every couple of years.With this in mind, it really pays to put some effort into researching your next TV, to make sure you get the one that best suits your needs.Fans of LCD love their TVs of choice for their brightness and colour dynamism - features which serve the new high dynamic picture technology well, as well a making pictures easier to watch in bright room.They might not have the same peerless, film-friendly contrast performance, incredibly slim designs, wide viewing angles and rich colours of OLED TVs, but if that floats your boat then we have a separate guide to the best OLED TVs available elsewhere on the site.Here we’ve tried to cover a reasonable range of price points and features, in a bid to find something for everyone.Dazzlingly bright, colourful pictures you can enjoy without dimming the lights
Adults in this country will fork out $81.17 each — or a total of $15.3 billion nationwide — in connection with Sunday's Super Bowl LII, according to an annual survey released Jan. 25 by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.That's up 8.5% from the $14.1 billion spent last year.The 82% of people who said they will be buying food and beverages for the Feb. 4 game is the highest percentage ever found during the annual survey.Those aged 25-34 planned to spend the most money — $118.43 on average.The survey of 7,277 people was done in January.Super Bowl parties are considered nearly as critical to this tradition as the game, and consumers stock up on food and beverage products to celebrate the occasion each year.
We all have heard of the generous perks and benefits packages that Silicon Valley’s big-shot tech companies offer—it’s part of the glamour of working there.But China’s tech giants want to show off how they spoil their employees too.Yesterday, Jingdong Group CEO Liu Qiangdong shared photos of the brand new JD Logistics dormitory in Qingdao on his Weibo account and wrote, “A decade ago I made a promise to let the brothers live with dignity!As JD.com’s businesses turn more profitable, our bothers’ living standards should also improve.” It isn’t even that long ago when the company revealed its “white collar dormitory” at Suqian.The employee dormitories have been likened to luxury hotels rooms.Currently, the company has over 130,000 employees.
Cough up fat wad of cash – or be tagged for six months with jail hanging over you?Two bogus technical support operations have been shut down over the past two days – but the punishment dished out highlights eyebrow-raising differences between the US and UK in how they deal with these scumbags.On Monday, the US Federal Trade Commission reached a settlement with six people accused of running a technical support scam in Ohio, USA.Using a variety of shell companies, they allegedly placed pop-up adverts on websites that looked as though they came from a computer's operating system warning of a virus infection and telling the user to call a toll-free number for help.After lying about the presence of malware, the scammers then offered to sell a one-off fix or a longer-term support contract that could cost $500, it is claimed.If the victim wasn't interested, their system would sometimes be locked by the "technician" using the syskey application, who would then use this as further evidence of an infection, the regulator said.
Microsoft has bought gaming startup PlayFab, which is a platform for developers to build, launch and grow their cloud-based games.PlayFab’s platform reduces the barriers many developers face when launching cloud-based games, serving up solutions that can grow as their games do.Importantly, it doesn’t just help developers bring games to market, but also helps them engage with and retain players in the long run.To date, the platform has been behind a number of successful games, including Angry Birds Seasons and Bad Piggies.Although no details have yet been released about how the acquisition will affect the day-to-day running of PlayFab, in the official announcement on the Microsoft Blog, Kareem Choudhry, Corporate Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft, says the acquisition is part of the company’s ongoing investment to bolster Microsoft Azure and create a solid, cloud-based platform for the gaming industry.Choudhry notes that more than one billion people are playing games, and that increasingly the industry is moving its efforts to the cloud – but that while this makes sense for security and access to gamers, it isn’t all smooth sailing.
Google removed 700,000 apps from the Play Store in 2017 that had violated the store’s policies.That number was up 70 percent compared to 2016, but 99 percent of those apps were removed before anyone could install them.Of the apps removed in 2017, 250,000 of them were trying to emulate already released apps.It seems we can’t go a few days without news about malicious apps popping up in the Google Play Store.However, it appears that Google is making inroads in taking out those kinds of apps before they are downloaded to the billions of Android users.Today, the company announced that it had removed 700,000 apps from the Google Play Store in 2017 that were found to be in violation of the store’s policies.
Elon Musk has sold over $4 million worth of flamethrowers.The Boring Company is selling one flamethrower for $500 (plus tax), and Musk has been tweeting milestones as they’ve hit.Musk sold 1,000 units in the first three hours between the night of January 27th and the early hours of the 28th, according to his tweets.He sold another 2,000 during the day, with that number reaching 7,000 early this morning.At the rate they’re selling, it’s safe to assume Musk has cleared the $4 million mark (or 8,000 flamethrowers).Musk is selling a total of 20,000 flamethrowers.
The public radio producer had started a podcast as a side project in early 2017, and the exploration of her experience as a Pakistani-American immigrant had taken off faster than she’d ever imagined, making its way to the top 50 in the Society & Culture category on Apple’s Podcasts chart and attracting some big-name advertisers.When she finally got detailed data on how people listened to Beginner, would she have to rethink the way she structured her show?When Apple Podcasts announced last year that it would soon be offering podcasters more data on their listenership, some worried it would force a “reckoning”—and possibly an “ad apocalypse,” if brands decided that the fledgling new medium wasn’t worth their dollars, after all.Apple’s Podcast Analytics feature finally became available last month, and Euceph—along with podcasters everywhere—breathed a sigh of relief.Forget those worries that the podcast bubble would burst the minute anyone actually got a closer look: It seems like podcast listeners really are the hyper-engaged, super-supportive audiences that everyone hoped.On average, according to Midroll’s data, podcast listeners are making it through about 90 percent of a given episode, and relatively few are skipping through ads.
Do you remember those contests where people place their hands on a car and after some time, the last one remaining won the car?ET on Super Bowl Sunday (February 4), U.S. residents 18 and over can compete in a contest to win a 2018 Mercedes-AMG C 43 Coupe.The key feature to “Last Fan Standing” is that you can participate from anywhere.So you’re going to have to take your eyes off the big screen and focus on the little screen in your hand.Registration starts on Sunday, February 4 at 12:01 a.m.ET and ends at 6:25 p.m. (5 minutes before the game starts), and the game will run until there’s one contestant left.
With just two episodes to go, you’d be forgiven for thinking we’d have more answers than questions when it comes to what on earth is going on in ‘Hard Sun’.That, readers, is not the case.While Saturday’s (27 January) episode - the fourth of six - did tie up a number of loose ends, it’s fair to say that the hour’s worth of action presented even more questions.With Hard Sun looming and the end of the series in sight, we’re still genuinely unsure how this will pan out.(Yes: We know it’s all on iPlayer, but it’s more fun watching week-by-week, ok?).So following the latest installment, here are the right questions we’re asking...