“We think it’s a big risk to just ride one horse into battle. That’s why we have a whole cavalry!” – THQ Nordic’s Klemens Kreuzer on the company’s constant growth

“A new console generation will also be beneficial for PC players, too,” he adds. “Stronger hardware on the consoles means less limitation on PC games, as well. We look forward to this new generation of console hardware and believe they are already having a strong impact on the market, exciting gamers worldwide.”

For as long as I can remember, myself as well as numerous colleagues have been saying to headstrong PC gamers that the revolutions of fate in the console space impact on PC gaming as well. So I thought I’d highlight Kreuzer’s view on this.

Some will say that consoles function as the lower common denominator in hardware game developers can target. And that’s true. If you want to have access to as many consumers as possible, you have to make sure your game can run well enough in as many systems as you can juggle. But that’s just one side of the coin. The other side holds optimisation benefits. PC hardware might be getting better but developers have to stay savvy in order to take the most out of console hardware as time passes. Any tricks that come out of this drive benefit everyone, including PC gamers. Without an “anchor” for developers, one can imagine a reality where some GPUs wouldn’t be have the time to be proven a lasting investment (the likes of GeForce GTX 980 or GeForce GTX 1060 for example). I’d bet console development gives some GPUs the time to become mainstays in PC gaming. Or as close to that as the tech space can allow.

“So, in my view, the more game streaming services are out there, the more content they will need. And THQ Nordic is delivering content.”

Since content-focused subscription services are still new in gaming, it’s still very much important to remind ourselves a couple of things. When a team develops a game and releases it (just) the “old-fashioned” way, the game has to be alluring and convincing enough for gamers to buy it. When a team proposes their game for inclusion in a curated service though, things change as it’s not just gamers that shape that curation, it’s also the ones doing the curation that decide what’s missing from their service or what it may need more of (or less). In such cases developers need to pique the interest of the services curator, many times even before obsessing over what gamers may think.

In short, game developers that are used to developing for gamers, might have to start developing for a service, as the service can effectively be their customer.

MILESTONE TODAY ANNOUNCES MXGP 2020 RELEASE ON PlayStation®5

Additionally, PlayStation®5 gives the opportunity to upgrade resolution up to 4K with strong 60 FPS, increasing details and immersion for a smoother motocross experience.

I wish the emphasis in the quote was mine, but it isn’t. I think I laughed out loud upon reading the quoted text and then felt annoyed by its necessity and sorry for Milestone having to use such wording. In an age where you see claims for such and such resolution and/or frame rate, with or without RT, taking into account scaling (or not), it’s effectively impossible for anyone, the Press included, to know what such claims translate in practice, not before some proper testing is conducted with final game code. In such a reality, I understand how Milestone feels the needs to emphasise the game’s 60fps isn’t as nebulous at it might be have been proven to be in other cases. At the same time “strong 60fps” doesn’t mean “60fps at all times” so I have to wonder what might be the point of declaring how strong one’s frame rate is.

I understand Milestone’s position, yet I don’t see what anyone really gets from adding another wrinkle to the language with games are being marketed. We don’t need more half-truths and maybes. It’s numbers. Treat them accordingly. Otherwise we might as well wake up on day to learn that one’s salary is a “strong €2000” and just hope for the best when pay day comes.

AI-powered text from this program could fool the government

Weiss discovered GPT-2, a program released earlier that year by OpenAI, an AI company in San Francisco, and realized he could generate fake comments to simulate a groundswell of public opinion. “I was also shocked at how easy it was to fine tune GPT-2 to actually spit out the comments,” Weiss says. “It’s relatively concerning on a number of fronts.”

An open tool, easily used to affect public discourse. There’s a nice thought.

Politically driven misinformation has become a critical issue in American politics. Joan Donovan, research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, warns that sophisticated AI may not be needed to erode people’s sense of what’s true. “People’s emotions are frayed, and that makes them very vulnerable to convenient explanations rather than difficult truths,” Donovan says.

It’s most certainly not needed. Humanity had not problem achieving that without AI in the past. Undoubtedly. All the more reason to be careful with the impact of AI on public discourse. No need to exacerbate a pre-existing headache now, is there?

Synchronized violin players reveal uniqueness of human networks

The participating violinists donned noise-canceling headphones and began playing the same musical phrase on repeat, without looking at or listening to the other players. They could only rely on what they heard through the headphones, which were connected to a computer system. The researchers then introduced intermittent delays in signals between coupled violinists, varying the delays and the combinations of violinists. It’s called a “frustrated situation,” and most network models assume that in such a frustrated state, each node will attempt to find a middle ground between all the various inputs.

Machine…

Instead, Fridman et al. found that the players reacted by adjusting their playing, quickening or slowing their tempo to better synchronize with their fellow violinists. “Human networks behave differently than any other network we’ve ever measured,” Fridman told The Jerusalem Post. “In a state of frustration, they don’t look for a ‘middle,’ but ignore one of the inputs. This is a critical phenomenon that is changing the dynamics of the network. Human networks are able to change their inner structure in order to reach a better solution than what’s possible in existing models.”

… learning.

Intel suggests it will wait for new CEO to make critical decisions to fix manufacturing crisis

“We have to deliver better products to the PC ecosystem than any possible thing that a lifestyle company in Cupertino” makes, Gelsinger told employees Thursday. That’s a derisive, if good-natured, reference to Apple and the location of its corporate headquarters.

I hear underestimating and belittling a major antagonist has worked wonders in the past.