background preloader

Gamers beat algorithms at finding protein structures

Gamers beat algorithms at finding protein structures
Today's issue of Nature contains a paper with a rather unusual author list. Read past the standard collection of academics, and the final author credited is... an online gaming community. Scientists have turned to games for a variety of reasons, having studied virtual epidemics and tracked online communities and behavior, or simply used games to drum up excitement for the science. But this may be the first time that the gamers played an active role in producing the results, having solved problems in protein structure through the Foldit game. According to a news feature on Foldit, the project arose from an earlier distributed computing effort called Rosetta@home. This is typically an energy minimization problem. It sounds simple, but with anything more than a short chain of amino acids, there are a tremendous number of potential configurations to be sampled in 3D space, which can bring powerful computers to their knees. Starting with algorithms, ending with brains Related:  The Intelligence of GamesGames Theorize

Massive Open Lab gets volunteers to beat computers in designing RNA Citizen science, the movement to draft non-specialists into areas of scientific research, doesn't require the volunteers to put on lab coats. In at least one case, scientists turned a prickly biochemical problem into a game and found that the gamers could typically beat the best computer algorithms out there. But all that work was done on cases where we already knew the answers, which was how we were able to measure the gamers' success. Now some researchers have taken this approach one step further and created a hybrid project that mixes volunteers with lab-coated workers. 37,000 enthusiasts were given the chance to take on algorithms in designing new RNA molecules. A consortium of researchers at Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, and Seoul National University put together what they called a Massive Open Laboratory. Once the tutorial is done, volunteers can start taking part in challenges like the one shown on top. At least, energetically stable based on calculations.

A new blueprint for artificial general intelligence (stock image) Demis Hassabis, a research fellow at the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, University College London, is out to create a radical new kind of artficial brain. A former well-known UK videogame designer and programmer, he has produced a number of amazing games, including the legendary Evil Genius — which he denies selling to Microsoft, thus ruining a perfectly good joke. He also won the World Games Championships a record five times. But in 2005, he decided to move from narrow AI (used in his games) to a bigger challenge: creating artificial general intelligence (AGI). Systems-level neuroscience Hassabis will unveil the blueprint on Saturday August 14 at the Singularity Summit in San Francisco. Hassabis: discovering the brain's algorithms Those problems, he said, include: How do we acquire knowledge? “We don’t have any good machine-learning algorithms for going from perceptual information to abstract information, such as what a city is, or how tall or heavy something is.

Gamers succeed where scientists fail Public release date: 18-Sep-2011 [ Print | E-mail Share ] [ Close Window ] Contact: Leila Grayleilag@u.washington.edu 206-685-0381University of Washington Gamers have solved the structure of a retrovirus enzyme whose configuration had stumped scientists for more than a decade. After scientists repeatedly failed to piece together the structure of a protein-cutting enzyme from an AIDS-like virus, they called in the Foldit players. This class of enzymes, called retroviral proteases, has a critical role in how the AIDS virus matures and proliferates. "We wanted to see if human intuition could succeed where automated methods had failed," said Dr. Remarkably, the gamers generated models good enough for the researchers to refine and, within a few days, determine the enzyme's structure. "These features provide exciting opportunities for the design of retroviral drugs, including AIDS drugs," wrote the authors of a paper appearing Sept. 18 in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. Dr.

NASA-funded game aims to make science more appealing Last week a curious, free release popped up on Steam: Moonbase Alpha, a NASA-funded game where up to six players can team up in order to save a near-future Lunar base crippled by a meteor strike. The game is just the first release from NASA's Learning Technologies program, which aims to help raise interest in the space program through gaming. Ars spoke with Daniel Laughlin, project manager of Learning Technologies, to learn more about the game and what we can expect to see in the future. The game was codeveloped by Army Game Studio and Virtual Heroes, two of the leading developers of "serious games." And according to Laughlin, NASA's decision to move into the game space was influenced a great deal by the success of the studios' previous releases. "The project was inspired in part by America's Army," Laughlin told Ars. Though development of the game didn't start until last year, Laughlin actually began researching the prospect of using games as an educational tool back in 2004.

Arrowhead Game Studios Gauntlet: First screenshots Now at four days after the Gauntlet announcement we’re absolutely thrilled about the response we’ve received from fans as well as press. I won’t get long-winded this time but leave you with our very first released screenshots of our four heroes taking on a small horde of monsters, and a little sneak peek of an extra bad guy. We proudly bring back GAUNTLET! All the latest news heard about Arrowhead has been of our upcoming game Helldivers with Sony, but today we are thrilled to finally announce our other project together with Warner Bros. We give you GAUNTLET, our completely modernized take on the much loved classic arcade game originally made by Atari Games. Gauntlet will be completely remade but retaining many of its familiar features. We are so excited and proud to be able to revive and do our version of one of the games that inspired us to do Magicka. Also make sure to visit the Official Website Our new game: HELLDIVERS! View full post… View full post… Hello!

Making Makers | Learning Labs Together, Kids Learning Code, Maker Kids, TIFF and Toronto Public Library, have developed comprehensive, maker curriculum for educators who work in formal and informal learning environments with the objective of increasing Toronto youth access and engagement with advanced technology and digital tools! Our workshops and activities allow youth to create something with purpose, driven by their own vision and also empower teachers to be makers. We are hosting Train the Trainer Symposiums wherein the educators can learn how to run and modify activities by doing them. Toy Hacking at Maker Kids: Wednesday, Feb 12th from 8pm to 10pm (Download the module here and the materials here) Arduino Rovers at Maker Kids: Wednesday, Feb 19th from 8pm to 10pm (Download the module here and the materials here) Introduction to HTML & CSS at Kids Learning Code: Tuesday, Feb 25th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm (Download the module here and the materials here) Register here!

Arcen Games, LLC - AI War Features "You are outgunned. You are massively outnumbered. You must win." These are your orders. Humanity has already fought its war against the machines -- and lost. AI death squads stand watch over every planet and every wormhole, the few remaining human settlements are held captive in orbiting bubbles, and the AIs have turned their attention outward, away from the galaxy, to alien threats or opportunities unknown. This inattention is our only hope: a small resistance, too insignificant even to be noticed by the AI central command, has survived. You do have a few things going in your favor. Go forth into the galaxy, steal AI technology, recapture those planets you must in order to achieve your ends, and save what remains of humanity. So What Exactly Is This Game? AI War is a one-of-a-kind strategy game that plays like an RTS but feels like a 4X. More specifically, this is a game that you can either play solo, or in 2-8 player co-op. Why Would I Want This Game? Information For Strategy Newbies

Right on queue As the queues formed down the street outside branches of Northern Rock this week, it was obvious enough to a game theorist what was going on: people had decided to hunt rabbits. Bear with me – this will make sense in a moment. Game theory is the study (by economists, mathematicians, biologists and others) of situations where what you do may affect what I choose to do, and what I do may affect what you choose to do. The theory is big on catchy stories with memorable names, but ultimately it is all about mathematical representations of interactive decisions, called “games”. The most famous game of all is the “prisoners’ dilemma”, in which two prisoners must each decide whether to plea-bargain by giving evidence against the other. But another game, the “stag hunt”, languishes in relative and undeserved obscurity. There are two rational outcomes to the stag hunt: either both hunters hunt the stag as a team, or each hunts rabbits by himself.

ECAST Network A Theory of Fun for Game Design OFFICIAL WEBSITE Two Generals' Problem Definition[edit] Positions of the armies. Armies A1 and A2 need to communicate but their messengers may be captured by army B. The thought experiment involves considering how they might go about coming to consensus. Yes, we will both attack at the agreed-upon time. Allowing that it is quite simple for the generals to come to an agreement on the time to attack (i.e. one successful message with a successful acknowledgement), the subtlety of the Two Generals' Problem is in the impossibility of designing algorithms for the generals to use to safely agree to the above statement. Illustrating the problem[edit] The first general may start by sending a message "Let us attack at 0900 on August 4." Knowing this, the second general may send a confirmation back to the first: "I received your message and will attack at 0900 on August 4." A solution might seem to be to have the first general send a second confirmation: "I received your confirmation of the planned attack at 0900 on August 4." Proof[edit]

Skynet meets the Swarm: how the Berkeley Overmind won the 2010 StarCraft AI competition We’re gathered in a conference room on the Berkeley campus, the detritus of a LAN party scattered around us. The table is covered with computers and pizza, and there’s a game of StarCraft projected on the screen. Oriol Vinyals, a PhD student in computer science, is commanding the Terran army in a life-or-death battle against the forces of the Zerg Swarm. Oriol is very good—one-time World Cyber Games competitor, number 1 in Spain, top 16 in Europe good. But his situation now is precarious: his goliath walkers are holding off the Zerg’s flying mutalisks, but they can’t be everywhere at once. Then Oriol makes a mistake. Oriol makes a desperate, last-ditch attack on the Zerg base, trying to break through before the mutalisks are reinforced, but it’s too late. There's a palpable air of celebration in the room; even Oriol is grinning. We have a glorious, ego-affirming, reverse-John Henry kind of moment, but no time to savor it. “Okay,” he says. Building a better future through Zerg rushes

Related:  Serious GamesLTLGames