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Trends With Benefits

Jul 15, 2016

Topics: Pokémon Go everywhere, Future of AR, HoloLens, New use for drones, AI Harry Potter, classic Nintendo comeback.

Pokémon Go is absolutely unavoidable, over this last week. Between people wandering into traffic, getting into accidents, getting robbed and even finding dead bodies, it seems the world has gone insane over the new mobile game. Some of the most interesting aspects are the conspiracy theorists proclaiming their thoughts. We have our own Conspiracy Dan triumphantly returning to the show, to give his ideas on what the app could "really" be doing.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, weighed in on the phenomenon, in relation to the advancement of augmented reality (AR). In particular, he claims that the HoloLens stands to benefit from the the success of the Pokémon Go App. It is definitely introducing a very basic AR to a population that may have previously had a hard time understanding the concepts of the platform. Will Pokémon Go be the product that puts new AR development on the fast track for mass consumption?

Drones are an almost must mention on this show and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) have found a new way to put them to use. There is currently a literal plague effecting prairie dogs, which are the food source for endangered black ferrets. In order to combat this, the FWS is using drones to drop peanut-smeared, vaccine-laced, M&Ms near prairie dog habitats. Truly a unique and efficient adaptation of drone technology!

A long short-term memory (LSTM) recurrent neural network was recently used to write a sci-fi movie called Sunspring, after studying hundreds of scripts. The results were then filmed and were quite....creepy. Now artificial intelligence has been used to write a new Harry Potter book, after studying the first four in the series. The results are equally unnerving, but we proceed to speculate on what this kind of technology could lead to.

Finally, Nintendo has continued their dominance of gaming news this week, by going retro. The NES Classic Edition plug-and-play system is launching in November and will retail for $60. The system is pre-loaded with classics such as the Super Mario Bros. 1 & 2, Metroid, Mega Man 2, Excitebike and many more! Which games would you like to revisit?


Today's episode features Dan Gaul, Nick Mokey, Brad Bourque and Greg Nibler.

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