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Google Is Teaching A.I. How to Travel Through Cities Like a Human

Navigating familiar areas like the streets of your childhood neighborhood is less about carrying around a map and more about remembering what’s around the corner. This comes almost naturally to humans and animals, but can a computer learn to walk the streets of New York City the same way? Google thinks so.

A team of computer scientists at the tech company’s artificial intelligence wing, DeepMind, have developed an A.I. that can travel city streets by simply exploring them on foot. The group exclusively used images from Google Street View to turn their A.I. into a bonafide city slicker by just setting it loose in picture renditions of cities like Paris, London, and NYC.

“The task of navigation can be solved by answering two questions,” Piotr Mirowski, first author of this research, tells Inverse. “Where are you? And how do you get to where you want to go? This can be a child walking in a neighborhood without a smartphone, a bird learning to fly back to its nest, or a robot. So there’s room to get inspired by real life.”

Five areas of Manhattan used in this study.

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Mirowski and his colleagues explain how they were the first to teach an A.I. to cruise through cities around the world without using map or GPS data in a paper published by the Cornell University Library. While this human-like computer vision technique still isn’t ready for real-world application, it could see uses in aiding self-driving cars navigate areas without reliable map data.

This research made use of neural networks, or artificial replicas of the human brain. These electronic craniums start off like completely clueless tourists, getting lost in bustling city streets, but soon become experts in urban travel after a few million trials.

“We train the neural network to navigate through Central Park, the West Village, Midtown, and Harlem,” says Mirowski. “It is able to memorize a map of the environment without ever seeing a map of the environment. It does this by exploring the area at random in the beginning, but then it receives a reward after getting to a destination. It’s establishing a connection with that [reward] signal and its perception.”

Our agent navigates in visually diverse environments, without having access to the map of the environment.

While Mirowski and his team have successfully trained an A.I. almost exactly like a human, there are still some kinks to be worked out. The system needs to be completely retrained every time it’s dropped into a new city, which is keeping it from seeing real-time implementation.

So once the team is able to figure out how to carry the navigational skills the computer learned in one city to other cities, this could become an extremely simple way to train smart cars, drones, and other devices.

Spotify Wrapped 2019: how to see your top tracks and global top artists

The streaming service has unveiled its annual rundown of the greatest hits.

Spotify Wrapped, the music streaming service’s annual rundown of your year in music, is back. But unlike last year’s rundown that focused on the year in review, Spotify is closing out the year with a look at both 2019 and the decade as a whole. The service also released a list of the global top tracks and artists of 2019 and the decade.

Tesla Cyberquad: specs, release date and details of all-electric ATV

The Cybertruck received a surprise addition after its unveiling.

Oh wait! We have uh…” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said toward the end of Tesla’s all-electric Cybertruck launch. “We made a, uh, we also made an ATV.”

Moments later, a Tesla representative rolled out perhaps one of the company’s most unexpected vehicles in its history. The ATV — later described as a “Cyberquad” on Tesla’s website — rolled out onto the stage, before rolling onto the back of the just-announced Cybertruck. Musk later confirmed on Twitter that the ATV would be a two-person vehicle available first as an option for the Cybertruck. Beyond those small initial details, little else is known about the company’s first foray into this type of vehicle.

You may hate Elon Musk, but the Cybertruck is good

Grimes' boyfriend just fucked up the auto industry again.

I don’t particularly like Elon Musk as a person, but in October, I bought (well, leased) one of his cars. I didn’t want to drive a gas-powered car anymore, both because fossil fuels are destroying the planet and because I am extremely lazy and tired of having to stop somewhere and put gas into my car. I ended up with a Tesla because there is literally no other car like it on the market — both in terms of how it performs in regards to range and drive, and how advanced its internal design and operation is. It is a once-in-a-lifetime, industry-defining vehicle. It really has no competition. My only problem with it, really, is that it looks too much like a regular car.

Tesla Cybertruck: 20 coolest photos and videos of the striking pickup truck

Tesla's latest electric vehicle comes with a surprising design.

Tesla’s Cybertruck is finally here. At a dazzling event at the Tesla Design Studio in Los Angeles on Thursday evening, CEO Elon Musk unveiled the vehicle he’d teased for several months prior as his personal passion project.

“You can order right now if you like,” Musk declared, before announcing a new order website.

Tesla Cybertruck pics, price: "Doesn't look like anything else," Elon Musk says

"Welcome to the cybertruck unveil!"

They hit its steel alloy body with a sledgehammer. They shot it with a 9-millimeter handgun gun. They showed off the toughness of its glass by dropping weights on it from a decent height. And they did it dressed as macho cybergoths.

This was the Tesla Cybertruck unveiling on Thursday night.