Good AI

  • Space Engineers: Major Overhaul of Survival, Ladders, Leaving Early Access, What’s next?
    true
    SUMMARY:SurvivalLeaving Early AccessLadders are back!New priceNeed to createWhat’s next?Xbox OneThe TeamHello, Engineers!February 28, 2019 is the day for all Space Engineers. Today, we are moving Space Engineers out of Early Access. As I mentioned in my last blog post, getting Space Engineers out of Early Access has been planned for a long time. We have worked on it basically since 2016/2017, when the game entered beta. It was our goal to release the game in the state we consider to fulfill our original vision, including all planned features and core game components. Moreover, the game includes a lot of things that were not planned at the beginning of development (solar panels, planets, rotors, pistons, wheels, and many more features).Space Engineers was one of the first Early Access games on Steam and one of the few titles to be successfully released after several years of passionate development. We keep our promises.SurvivalThe Survival overhaul has been one of our top priorities, so it was specifically planned to be released after we had other key things finished. Over the last 6 years, we have carefully executed our original vision, which hasn’t changed since. Moving step-by-step towards our vision, the Survival overhaul is one of those steps. In addition to survival, many new features have been designed to help new players to be introduced to the game and are not specifically focused on existing players.Survival overhaul is one of the biggest overhauls because until now our main priority was making sure the sandbox elements work properly. We needed to make sure that the physics are stable, multiplayer is reliable, the destruction is working, and so on. With this update, we are evolving from a sandbox experience, towards a game with many unique single and multiplayer features.We have touched almost every survival element. There are new blocks such as the Hydrogen Engine, Wind Turbine, Survival Kit, and Small Battery being introduced into the game, ragdoll mechanics are coming back, loading times of even very large wolds are now extremely reduced, and a new Progression system has been integrated into Space EngineersThere are many other game elements that were changed in this overhaul, which have a significant impact on Space Engineers. You can read about all the changes here.Out of Early AccessSpace Engineers has been in Early Access for 5+ years, and during this period we developed the game from a proof-of-concept to a feature complete space engineering sandbox. We sold more than 3 million copies and we have more than 200,000 monthly active players.We went through more than 200 updates, which include major game changes such as:planetsnew HUD and game UIskins, parachutes, wheelsmore than 200 blocksreworked and updated the character animations several timesimproved the multithreaded physics, but also physics itselfimplemented super-large worldsa lot of game optimizations during this entire periodwent through the massive updates of the game’s visuals and audiowe spent a significant amount of time on improving the multiplayer, air tightness and oxygensurvival modeprogrammable blocks, modding support, antennas, landing gears, solar panels, cargo ships, meteorites, encounters, asteroid clusters, visual scripting, realistic mode audio, in-game help, and more.You can view all the updates in chronological order here. However, I’d like to highlight the most significant updates for us:April 2013 - started full-time development on Space Engineers prototypeOctober 23, 2013 - Space Engineers was released to Early AccessNovember 2015 - we added planetsNovember 2017 - Physics Overhaul was releasedJuly 2018 - Multiplayer Overhaul was releasedFebruary 2019 - we are releasing the Survival Overhaul and the game is going out of Early AccessBecause Space Engineers development was open, you were able to see what’s happening under the hood. Contrary to other products, where you see the final product, but don’t see how the project has been developed and changed over time, and what challenges the development team had to overcome.I’d like to share our key videos that were released during the Early Access. The first one is the first ever video where we showed and teased Space Engineers.The second one is our Alphaand one of our latest videos from the Major Overhaul of Visuals, Audio, and Wheels.All who want to play the first release of Space Engineers, from 2013, can buy the Space Engineers Deluxe edition. It’s game archeology.Our mottos:“From creators to creators”&“Need to create”We always listened to our community and used a lot of this feedback to improve the game where we could. It has been a rewarding and productive cooperation, which we really enjoyed! And something that we will continue to enjoy in the future. The Space Engineers community is strong, growing, and present.During all these years, there were other things that Keen Software House has been working on. We increased the team from five to almost twenty five people, we established the team working on Medieval Engineers, we started GoodAI Research in order to build general AI, to help humanity and understand the universe, we started GoodAI Applied to better fund the research, stay closer to real-world application, and to prepare the infrastructure for general AI deployment once we have it. We accidentally started a new religion - Clang 🙂  and of course, we got many new colleagues who helped us to shape and fulfill my vision.You can imagine that there were many funny moments along the road, here is just one example:New PriceWith this update, we are also setting a new price for Space Engineers == $19.99. According to our analysis and tests, this price better suits the majority of Space Engineers fans. This change also brings all regional prices on Steam to match countries specifications and regional differences.This step will enable the Space Engineers community to grow even bigger, which is great news for everyone because Space Engineers always benefited from the huge pool of player creations, and this can only work if we have a large player-base.It is quite an unusual move to decrease the price when the game leaves Early Access, but we believe it’s a good gift to the community and will better support the future of Space Engineers.LaddersLadders are a special thing for all Space Engineers. We had them in the early builds of the game, but then removed them due to the complexity involved in having them work properly (omni-directional gravity, colliding ships, animations, you name it).However, we always knew we wanted to bring them back and the best moment to do this would be today - when the game leaves Early Access.The ladders are back, with new visuals, new animations, and new features - you can jump off the ladder, you can jump from ladder to ladder, ladders work in multiplayer, multiple players can climb on the same ladder, and much more.What Others SaySimon SickoCEO Pixel Federation“Space Engineers is a unique game. The concept of the sandbox gameplay offers endless fun. It’s great that Keen developers see their game as a service for players and they have taken care of it  for more than 5 years.”***Pavel BarakChairman of the Czech Game Developers Association“I remember the Space Engineers release back in 2013 when the game was released as a small project in Early Access. It was more of a prototype, which was very successful from the very beginning. It’s unbelievable how the game has evolved since then. In the name of Czech Game Developers Association, which maps the gaming business in Czech Republic, I can confirm that Space Engineers is one of the most successful games ever developed in the Czech Republic.”***Milos EndrleCEO Geewa“Space Engineers shows how the community, which love a particular game, can shape and move the game these days. It also shows what a developer can achieve even before the public release. I hope that Space Engineers will get millions more players on top the millions already playing it while in Early Access. Great job Keen! Congratulations!"***Jakub DvorskyFounder Amanita Design“If I wouldn’t need to take care of the company and two kids, I would spend all nights welding the spaceships in Space Engineers.”***SE player“This game is the largest sandbox ever made, with realistic physics and full modding support, and it’s still receiving consistent updates.”***XeroSpace Engineers CTG Moderator"I first saw Space Engineers at e3 in 2015, and instantly just had to have this game, There are many other games out there to fly ships around space and fight with other players, but none of them can you build your own ship, design it the way you want it to look, and explore the world how you want to explore. After 4 years and almost 5000 hours of gameplay, I can honestly say i've enjoyed every minute of it. I want to say thank you to Keen Software House for this amazing game. I can't wait to see what the near future holds for Space Engineers. "***LastStandGamers"Space Engineers has come a long way since I first installed the alpha back in 2013. Then it only featured single-player and creative mode. With each update adding more features and improving the game as a whole, I hope that Keen continues on this strong path with the future of the game."***Splitsie"To say I'm excited about this update is an understatement, especially for the PVE content that seems to be coming."***Captain Jack”Space Engineers has had an amazing development journey since its launch; with each update I’ve been impressed at what the game and its playerbase can do. I hope the future still holds many exciting adventures ahead.”***Need to CreateOur team’s motto is “Need to create” and it perfectly describes the fire that is burning inside of us.We believe that one of the strongest forces in the universe is the “need to create”. Every time we build something out of nothing, every time we give shape and organization to something that had no structure – we are creating a miracle.We need to create. We are made to create. We can’t stop creating.We derive purpose from being creative. Creating is our destiny, it is why we were put into this universe. There's nothing we can't create!What is even better is that we share this need with our community of Space Engineers who managed to create thousands of creations in the last 5 years, and pushed the boundaries what even we thought is possible beyond, and then more.What’s Next?Space Engineers is not finished. We already have a lot of plans to expand the Space Engineers franchise with new features, blocks, and scenarios. We’re going to take Space Engineers to exciting places when it comes to gameplay, immersion, and challenges!In the short term, these expansions will bring more decorative blocks, new in-game economy (trading, currency, but no MMO scale yet), new weapons, and we also plan to look at combat specific scenarios.We will continue to monitor our support site for bug reports, questions, concerns and suggested features.We are also working on an Xbox One port for Space Engineers.We are moving into the new era of Space Engineers and I’m sure that we all have many reasons to look forward to it.Thanks for reading this blog!The TeamWhile Keen Software House developed Space Engineers, we also developed our team. I am grateful to everyone who has worked on the game throughout the years, and I’m also grateful for all of the hard work our current team has done on Space Engineers, as they were fully prepared to take Space Engineers to the next level!This is something that is not as visible as shiny trailers and screenshots. The fact that we have solid, well-coordinated, intelligent and creative people at Keen Software House, helps our team to work like a well-oiled machine, and it enabled us to deliver Space Engineers. Having this team is invaluable.Thank YouWe couldn't have made it this far without the amazing support of our community! Special thanks to our dedicated CTG (Closed Testing Group), which provided us with fantastic feedback that helped us to shape the game the right way. Thank you all!Best,Marek RosaCEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comGoodAI Applied: https://www.goodai.com/goodai-appliedPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (3 million copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic.Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. He started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence.GoodAI started in January 2014 and has over 30 research scientists, engineers and consultants working across its Research and Applied teams.At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers, as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Space Engineers: Release Date for the Major Overhaul of Survival & Going out of Early Access
    true
    Hello Engineers!Our next update is almost here. I want to reflect back on the progress of it and to share some important news.I’ll start with the reflection on the public tests that we ran recently. You can find the details about the Survival update and the public tests here and here. The posts mention most of the new features, game improvements, and changes. We received fantastic feedback after these blog posts were published. I have also shared my vision and reasons for future updates, so I’m sure you’re now expecting more breaking news.We started the public tests on Thursday, January 17, 2019, and we decided to run several individual tests until we were happy with the results. The tests were scheduled every two weeks. The first test was only open for one day, but we extended the following tests to four days. The information and the feedback we received from you during those tests have been very important for the final update, as well as changes we implemented to the upcoming update. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to play the new version and who provided us with feedback.Now to the exciting news!The upcoming Major Overhaul of Survival is going live on Thursday, February 28, 2019. This is going to be a big day for Space Engineers because we are also going to move the game out of Early Access. Yes, you heard it!Getting Space Engineers out of Early Access has been planned for a long time. We have worked on it basically since 2016/2017, when the game entered beta. It was our goal to release the game in the state we consider to fulfill our original vision, including all planned features and core game components. Moreover, it includes a lot of things that were not planned at the beginning of the game’s development (solar panels, planets, rotors, pistons, wheels, and many more features).Space Engineers was one of the first Early Access games on Steam and one of the few titles  that will be successfully released after several years of passionate development. We keep our promises.The reason Space Engineers is leaving Early Access is because we have a solid foundation, which will allow us to continue releasing new features and content for the game. The future looks bright!HistorySpace Engineers has been in Early Access for 5+ years, and during this period we developed the game from a proof-of-concept to a feature complete space engineering sandbox.We went through more than 200 updates, which include major game changes such as:planetsnew HUD and game UIskins, parachutes, wheelsmore than 200 blocksreworked and updated the character animations several timesimproved the multithreaded physics, but also physics itselfimplemented super-large worldsa lot of game optimizations during this entire periodwent through the massive updates of the game’s visuals and audiowe spent a significant amount of time on improving the multiplayer, air tightness and oxygensurvival modeprogrammable blocks, modding support, antennas, landing gears, solar panels, cargo ships, meteorites, encounters, asteroid clusters, visual scripting, realistic mode audio, in-game help, and more.You can view all the updates in chronological order here.Check our very first Space Engineers video, Alpha Footage 8/2013 and one of our latest videos from the Major Overhaul of Visuals, Audio and Wheels.We sold more than 3 million copies and we have more than 200,000 monthly active players.We listened to our community, and used a lot of this feedback to improve the game where we could. It has been a rewarding and productive cooperation, which we really enjoyed! And something that we will continue to enjoy in the future. The Space Engineers community is strong, growing, and present.We expect that some people will have concerns regarding what leaving Early Access means for the future of Space Engineers - if we are now going to abandon the game. We won’t stop working on Space Engineers and we feel good about the foundation we have built. Therefore, I think the answer is clear: This is not the end. This is just the beginning!FAQQ: Will you abandon the Space Engineers? A: We have no intention of abandoning a project that we as developers and our community are extremely passionate about.Q: Will you fix bug X or Y? A: Most likely it is already fixed in the upcoming update (we fixed numerous bugs). We will continue to fix bugs even after the Major Survival Overhaul update. We will continue to monitor the support site for both bugs and feature suggestionsQ: What will come next? A: Expanding the Space Engineers franchise with new features, blocks, and scenarios. We’re going to take Space Engineers to exciting places when it comes to gameplay, immersion, and challenges!Q: Are you working on a new game already? A: Nope, we are currently focused on continuing to develop Space Engineers.Q: I am disappointed because you never implemented features I wanted for this game. It’s not the game I expected.A: While we are in the process of  completing the foundation of Space Engineers, we will be adding new content to the game in the future. It’s still very likely that we will implement some of features that you’ve requested. We are looking to the future and continuing to build on our strong foundation.Q: Are you working on an XBOX port?A: Yes, this is one of the top priorities for our team.What is the community saying?LastStandGamers"Space Engineers has come a long way since I first installed the alpha back in 2013. Then it only featured single-player and creative mode. With each update adding more features and improving the game as a whole, I hope that Keen continues on this strong path with the future of the game."Splitsie"To say I'm excited for this update is an understatement, especially for the PVE content that seems to be coming."Captain Jack”Space Engineers has had an amazing development journey since its launch; with each update I’ve been impressed at what the game and its playerbase can do. I hope the future still holds many exciting adventures ahead.”ConclusionMark your calendar for Thursday, February 28, 2019, 5PM UTC, because this day will bring many new things and surprises (not seen during the public tests). This will be a truly momentous day for the Space Engineers community.We are planning many new things for Space Engineers and we will start revealing them soon :-)Stay tuned!Thanks for reading this!Thank youWe couldn't have made it this far without the amazing support of our community! Thank you all!Best,Marek RosaCEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comGoodAI Applied: https://www.goodai.com/goodai-appliedPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (3 million copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. He started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence.GoodAI started in January 2014 and has over 30 research scientists, engineers and consultants working across its Research and Applied teams. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers, as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Medieval Engineers: Update 0.7.1 - Major Overhaul of Audio, Visuals, & Blocks
    true
    Hello, Engineers!We’re thrilled to announce that the 0.7 update has arrived and it’s filled to the brim with tons of exciting new features and enhancements! Whether you’re looking for updated block visuals, new blueprint building in survival, improvements to multiplayer or modding tools, there are plenty of fantastic new additions to experience in Medieval Engineers!We are extremely proud of the work that has gone into the design of 0.7. The models -- and many aspects of building in the game -- have been redesigned from the ground up. Today we unveil this, and leave 0.6 behind. We recognize that with such a huge change, there will still be bugs, errors, imbalances. But given that Medieval Engineers is still in Early Access, we wanted you to jump in, see how it works, and help find the things that don't work right. If it ever becomes too much, you can switch back to the stable 0.6 branch as always!WHAT HAVE WE UPDATED?Block Visuals:We have remodeled and retextured almost everything when it comes to blocks. You’ll notice that there are no longer any hard edges. We have introduced parallax shading to bring more depth to the blocks without increasing the triangle count, ensuring the performance does not degrade. Additionally, we re-added some old blocks that got lost (wall with double-window with a pillar, etc.).Updated Trees:The trees in Medieval Engineers also got a makeover. There are new pines, new spruces, and oak trees!Tree cutting has also been tweaked, so go check out those new oaks and don’t forget to yell timber when you cut them down! ;)Female Engineer:The female engineer is looking better than ever, as we’ve incorporated some of the features from the Space Engineers female engineer. Likewise, her body proportions look much more realistic.Grids:The grids in Medieval Engineers have received a lot of updates, as we overhauled the entire grid codebase, removed multiblocks, optimized adding and removing blocks (grid splits and merges) on very large grids, simplified many systems, fixed small grids not sticking to large grids, improved block placement along with structural integrity and stabilized physical constraints (ropes, catch blocks, etc.).MULTIPLAYERWe have upgraded the multiplayer behavior, especially with regards to the grids, to ensure they are sent over the network quicker, and fully connected, to prevent grid desynchronization, ropes getting cut, and other horrible scenarios that would cause clients to freak out. Serialization is now much faster in multiplayer. There is also better entity grouping to ensure grids load in together, which combined with lots of minor fixes, should significantly improve bandwidth.WHAT’S NEW?Blueprint Building to Survival:With the simple click of a button and a few swings with your trusty mallet, players can now add large buildings, such as castles to a survival world, as well as small constructions, including catapults, which are ready for action! Plus ropes and connections are now saved in blueprints. Blueprints now automatically store, and display, which mods are required, so you can always see what you may be missing when you place a blueprint. It also checks for research, shows you the resources needed to build it, and provides an easy way to check your progress. You can now work together with your friends in building your town!World ChunkingWorld chunking is a new system that unloads objects that are very far from players. By doing this, we managed to vastly accelerate world loads, particularly for really large worlds. Dedicated servers should also see a reduction in memory usage. On top of this, it removed the need for abandoned grid decay, abandoned grids are usually not loaded into the scene, and thus do not consume any performance anymore. You can go explore servers and discover all kinds of ruins and structures left behind by people!This vastly accelerates world loads, saves and unloads entities that have no players nearby, thereby reducing memory usage and performance loading. It also removes the need for abandoned grid decay; abandoned grids no longer take up any performance.WHAT HAVE WE OVERHAULED?GUI:Be sure to check out the new main menu, blueprints screen, crafting screen and medieval master screen. Every other aspect of GUI has been retouched to fit this new style for the game. It’s not only visual, every screen also had careful thought put into it about what we want to show, in order to improve the flow of user interaction.Audio:Medieval Engineers has never sounded so good! Lots of places that were missing sound now have sounds. We also improved the sound quality in many instances, and we added effects and filters, such as reverb and low-pass filters.NEW ENGINE FEATURES:Under “the hood” of Medieval Engineers, there are rendering Performance improvements and GPU particles. There are also better visuals for sunsets and sunrises, and improved logging behavior to help us catch more bugs.FOR MODDERSFor our amazing community of modders, we have a nice list of new tools for you:-Crafting system refactored to support world chunking and more, see this guide for more info:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SmAHtGy1YwGOt6XF9SOSooIimcZQnFt4aamiZA-RK5U/-ModAPI dialogs-Dynamic environment system access-Added support for underground and inside checks to environment rules-Programmable animation layers (thanks to Equinox)-Navigation mesh session component (thanks to Equinox)-Seedbags now support seeding on non-farming voxels and can plant non-farmable items.While we are working out the kinks in 0.7, it may be worth creating 0.6-based copies of your mod so servers that want to remain on 0.6 for a while longer are able to continue playing without too much disruption.OTHER NOTEWORTHY FEATURESLast, but certainly not least, we have a voxel hand that obeys landscaping stakes. This was a highly requested feature from the community to fix trouble spots when landscaping.We hope you enjoy all of these new additions to Medieval Engineers, as we know that we’ll enjoy seeing what you create with them. :)Thanks for reading!Marek RosaCEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comGoodAI Applied: https://www.goodai.com/goodai-appliedPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (3 million copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. He started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence.GoodAI started in January 2014 and has over 30 research scientists, engineers and consultants working across its Research and Applied teams. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers, as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Reflection on the First Public Test for the Major Overhaul of Survival
    true
    Hello Engineers!As we started this year with the finalization of our next major release, the Survival overhaul, we kicked off the public tests with our community. You can see my blog post about it here: Public Tests for the Major Overhaul of Survival. The first public test ran on 17th of January, 2019 and today, I’d like to reflect back on this first test.We have received over 1000 responses from you, our players during this first test. Taking into consideration that the test ran only for 24 hours, it’s great to see this high number. Our team has reviewed your feedback and made several important changes. Let me focus on the changes we introduced based upon the feedback we received during the first public test. These changes are already implemented in the new build, which is going to be available for tomorrow’s public test.We have added shared progression in the faction so it’s more user friendly and easy to understand.We have rebalanced the Hydrogen Engine and we have increased the internal hydrogen capacity.The general Progression Tree has also been improved.New Progression UI has been put into the game.The spawn system toggle for new features has been added to the world settings.We made some changes to the anti-griefing. This includes putting the rifle and 3 x magazines to all drop pods' cargos, updating the weapon shot distance (removing random distance and make better guns shoot on better range)We reintroduced the ragdoll for astronautWe reworked the Cargo / Encounter PCUs having its own pool and the setup in world settingsWe worked on the overall Survival rebalanceWe added new voxel trash removal tool for adminsWe unified functional colors for all blocks (powered, not-powered etc.)The second test is planned to start tomorrow, January 31st, 2019 at 10am (UTC). We are extending the testing window until Monday, February 4th, 10am (UTC), so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the new build and give us your feedback.The main reason for running the public tests is the feedback we’d like to get. It’s crucial for us to know if the changes we made are good and if you see them as improvements. You can provide us with feedback through an in-game survey that will be available at the end of the tests. You can also provide us with any additional suggestions you may have here:https://support.keenswh.com/spaceengineers/publictestIf you are interested in our review of 2018 and plans for 2019, you can read my recent blog post.Thank you very much for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope you’ll enjoy new features!Marek RosaCEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comGoodAI Applied: https://www.goodai.com/goodai-appliedPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (3 million copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic.  Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. He started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence. GoodAI started in January 2014 and has over 30 research scientists, engineers and consultants working across its Research and Applied teams.  At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers, as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Space Engineers: Public tests for the Major Overhaul of Survival
    true
    Hello, Engineers!Welcome to Space Engineers in 2019! A lot of new and exciting things will come to light this year.We are starting the year with the Steam Awards 2018, where Space Engineers was nominated for the Most Fun with a Machine category. Our game was chosen out of 26,000 games on Steam (according to SteamSpy), so I’d like to say a big thank you to all of our fans, for showing your appreciation.But more importantly, we are starting this year with the finalization of our next major release, the Survival overhaul. The Survival overhaul has been one of our top priorities, so it was specifically planned to be released after we had other key things finished. Over the last 6 years, we have carefully executed our original vision, which hasn’t changed. Moving step by step towards our vision, the survival overhaul is one of those steps. In addition to survival, many new features have been designed to help new players to be introduced to the game and are not specifically focused on existing players.Survival overhaul is one of the biggest overhauls because until now our main priority was making sure the sandbox elements work properly. We needed to make sure that the physics are stable, multiplayer is reliable, the destruction is working, and so on. With this update, we are evolving from sandbox towards a game. This update is a real game-changer :-)I’m happy to share that the Survival update is almost ready for release, but before it will go live, we’d like to run public tests with our community. The public tests are planned to start on the 17th of January, 2019 (which is coincidentally my 40th birthday ☺), and will continue until you, and we, are satisfied with the results. The final moment will be the official release of the Major Overhaul of Survival.We plan to run three or more public tests and we ask you to give us candid feedback about the changes we have implemented in Space Engineers. Our team has been working on this release since July last year, so there are a number of new features, adjustments, and tweaks.We have touched almost every survival element. There are new blocks such as the Hydrogen Engine, Wind Turbine, Survival Kit, and Small Battery being introduced into the game. I’m happy to say that they are ready for testing.Apart from new blocks, there are other changes I’d like to highlight. We are renaming the Blast Furnace to Basic Refinery and we are adding a new spawning system, where we tried to eliminate the death traveling, which was very often misused in Space Engineers.Spawn options will now appear for each planet in the world. New spawn ships have been made to add new challenges and players will now respawn at their last used or nearest medical room or survival kit. We will be adding a world option for those who prefer the old respawn system.We have also added a progression tree to help new players get familiar with the game. The progression tree enables blocks in G-Screen depending on which blocks are already built. This feature is designed to prevent new players from being overwhelmed by options. The essential blocks are enabled from the start, the inaccessible blocks are greyed out. The groups of blocks can be unlocked when any of the required blocks are built by a player. The progression tree is enabled only for Survival mode, the Creative mode or space master disables progression tree.We have also updated the planetary and asteroid voxel textures to look more realistic (ore veins and blending with surrounding material), together with trees and vegetation, rebalanced locations and quantity of resources (ore) and updated in-game help.One specific area I’m really happy with is the introduction of new scenarios, which will give you new goals and objectives, as well as help new players learn more about the game. There are two polished scenarios, Learning to Survive and Never Surrender, which will give you some challenging tasks and I hope you’ll enjoy playing them.Besides new scenarios, we made updates to Cargo Ships and Encounters. We are also adjusting the game advanced settings, we are improving the localization system and Steam workshop integration. Additionally, there are small updates to PCU changes, game chat, building changes, and a new voxel generation system which helps to display voxels properly and make the LOD transitions smoother.With the new scenarios being introduced to Space engineers, the game now has new goals and challenges for players to explore. These scenarios are designed to help players progress through their Space Engineers career and challenge themselves once they feel confident enough to do so. They can be used to start new games and played repeatedly to test different strategies. These scenarios are nonlinear and how you approach them is up to you or your friends!We have also improved the Visual Script tool, which has fresh new icons and many features have been made much more user-friendly. With the Visual Script tool, players can create their own scenarios, their own appealing goals, and share them on the Steam Workshop. All of our scenarios are created in the Visual script tool, so they can serve as great resources to learn from.For all of the things I’ve just mentioned, you can see, that there was really a huge amount of work done by the team. The main reason for running the public tests is the feedback we’d like to get. It’s crucial for us to know if the changes we made are good and if you see them as improvements. You can provide us with feedback through an in-game survey that will be available at the end of the tests. You can also provide us with any additional suggestions you may have here:https://support.keenswh.com/spaceengineers/generalThe Survival release is going to be another huge step for Space Engineers.If you are interested in our review of 2018 and plans for 2019, you can read my recent blog post.Thank you very much for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope you’ll enjoy new features!Marek RosaCEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comGoodAI Applied: https://www.goodai.com/goodai-applied Personal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (3 million copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. He started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence.GoodAI started in January 2014 and has over 30 research scientists, engineers and consultants working across its Research and Applied teams. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers, as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Year 2018 in review, plans for 2019
    true
    SUMMARY:People are interested in knowing what our progress was in 2018 and what our plans are for 2019 so below you can learn about:2018 for Space Engineers2018 for Medieval Engineers2018 for GoodAI Applied2018 for GoodAI ResearchPlans for 20192018 has been a very busy year for both Keen Software House and GoodAI. I have summarized some of the key achievements and developments in both companies.Space EngineersThere were several significant updates for Space Engineers during the year. Our main focus was to bring new things to the game and to make the major features even better than they were before. The biggest change in Space Engineers was the successful Major Overhaul of Multiplayer which adds a whole new level to the game.However, at the beginning of the year, we started with the different approach to how we are releasing updates. We moved from weekly updates to bigger ones, which can bring more impactful changes. I wrote about it in one of my blog posts here. Then we released the Major Overhaul of Visuals, Audio and Wheels in February and this release brought standardized visual style, updated sounds, and very needed game performance optimizations. Besides that, we also addressed a number of requests from our community.After that, we took another big bite. We decided to work on the Space Engineers multiplayer to make sure it meets your expectations. This turned out to be a very challenging task. We had to tackle various issues, but our team did a tremendous job making it happen. We ran multiple public tests for the first time in company history. Public tests helped us to discover unknown areas, limits, and problems we had to take a close look at. It also showed us what our community wants. We tried to address it and show our appreciation to them. I do not want to go into the details about this, as you can read my blog post here. Also, please check out the trailer below which was made using footage captured in-game and features 16 players in a multiplayer session. The trailer shows just what can be achieved now!Our most recent update has been a Major Overhaul of Airtightness and In-game Help. Airtightness was the top voted feature on our Space Engineers support site, so I am very happy we have made it an official feature, and the new in-game help has made it easier for new players to learn how to play our game. The Major Overhaul of Airtightness and In-game Help was the last major release we have in our plans for this year.Now I'd like to reflect back on our community and your feedback. We saw a lot of comments that we are abandoning the game and the Space Engineers project at the beginning of the year. This was caused by the fact, that we moved from short regular releases to bigger ones. And the overall impression was, that we are not working on Space Engineers. The fact is, we worked on it even more. We wanted to bring a new and multifaceted game experience to players, and I hope we did.I’m really happy to see a positive trend of complimentary reviews on our Steam store page. The recent positive reviews moved to 83% before the Steam Awards (started November 20, 2018) and then during the Steam awards it even jumped up to 94%. This fantastic feedback helped Space Engineers to be one of The Steam Awards 2018 Nominees in the Most Fun with a Machine category. Our game got this nomination out of 26,000 games on Steam (according to SteamSpy), so I’d like to say big thanks to all of you, our fans for showing your appreciation.I’m also very happy that we launched a new support site for all Keen games. This is the place where you can submit all your comments, issues and suggestions. You can also vote for other ideas or reported bugs to make it more visible, so our team can see it and work on it with preference. At the time of writing this blog post, our team was able to address all reported bugs on the page. I’m really proud of their work and the way how they are addressing the issues you’re experiencing.We have also hired a dedicated community manager, Jesse, who is doing great job reading, analyzing and answering all your comments, suggestions and feedback on all our social media sites. Jesse and other team members are also providing dedicated customer support.I’m especially happy to see that there were more than 45.000 fantastic creations submitted at our Steam workshop this year. We tried to promote many of them on our social media, but there are still many creations which we did not promote and they are just fantastic pieces of work.Space Engineers recorded 23,000 daily active users in average during the year. We were really impressed by the massive response during our public tests, but also by some fantastic events our community organized. With over 3 million copies sold since we launched in Early Access and more than 200 releases in total, I’m sure I can say that we have been through a lot together. I’m looking forward to the future of Space Engineers.Medieval Engineers2018 was also a very productive year for Medieval Engineers. Just as with Space Engineers, Medieval Engineers also switched to the major update approach. We started the year with the introduction of the log walls, and performance improvements through better handling of parallel logic. We also introduced a pretty major feature for the modding community: the ability to make mods have a list of dependencies! This has made the modding community more tight-knit as they started to work together on higher quality mods.Our next big release for Medieval Engineers was also a major game changer for the players. We introduced a new way of handling the character's stats, connecting the farming features to the gameplay more closely, and rather than punishing players who don't pay attention to stuff that is not related to engineering, we reward players who take the time to play as efficiently as possible.But most importantly, this created the framework we needed for the next major feature for the game…Our last major release for Medieval Engineers in 2018 brought a completely overhauled Combat System into the game! The combat overhaul introduced a combat system focused on player skill, which was then used to organize a very exciting Grand Melee combat tournament. On top of that, we improved the player experience by reducing the grind in the game. We vastly reduced the amount of stone mining you guys have to do to build a castle. Our metric here was that we wanted a new player to be able to build a small wooden house in their first play session, and after careful focus testing, we managed to pull this off! You can read my thoughts on the combat overhaul on my previous blog post.During 2018, and without a doubt thanks to the great work the team has been doing with the modding interfaces, we have seen the release of a couple of very popular mods. Most notably, the releases of the Water mod (by Peaceman) and the Rails mod (by Equinox), which really showcased the mod-ability of the Medieval Engineers game engine. I was very impressed to see the quality of these mods, and I’m sure all of you have seen this too! A large number of dedicated servers have been playing with different selections of mods, which means that you can always find a server with the gameplay set up how you like it. On top of that, you guys have created 12.000 blueprints on the workshop, and over one thousand collections, during this year. This is a major increase in activity over the last year, and I’m happy to see this growth.The team has been working very hard on making 0.7 a reality. Where the 0.6 updates focused on the player character, 0.7 will be focusing on the structures and machines you guys are building. As was teased in the Grand Melee combat tournament, lots of work is being done on improving the building system, and also the visual style of the blocks. We’re also going to polish the audio while we’re at it because good audio makes the game come alive and vastly improves the feeling of the game. There are also some other cool things coming, but I don’t want to spoil the surprises just yet. :-)With up to a thousand daily active players, and 400k copies sold, Medieval Engineers is clearly showing its potential. The Medieval Engineers player community is a fantastic and welcoming place for old and new players alike. We are committed to improving the player experience and we’re excited to see what the future holds for Medieval Engineers!GoodAI Applied2018 was the most successful year yet for GoodAI Applied with a significant increase in revenue and a double-digit profit margin. The team has been steadily growing and has secured 10 clients and delivered over 30 projects. At first, companies were not sure if AI could bring them benefits and that the costs of AI projects would be returned in new revenue and savings. But after initial PoCs and the successful delivery of many projects, companies are becoming more confident in using AI and want to explore new opportunities for AI in their businesses.We are making proprietary state-of-the-art technologies fully developed in-house. Our four main projects are:Good.bot chatbotGoodAI Sound — sound analysis solutionsGoodAI Visual — image and video analysis solutionsData scienceGood.botThe Applied team has successfully delivered our new chatbot Good.bot to banks and telecommunications companies allowing them to streamline their processes saving money and time. We have also provided multiple “proof of concepts” for other large-scale companies and it is being utilised by Space Engineers to provide in-game help to players.GoodAI SoundThe GoodAI Sound algorithm classifies sounds in pre-trained classes with >95% accuracy. We have already designed and implemented a cutting-edge sound analysis solution for ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab. The project has led to further collaboration between GoodAI and ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab and we were proud to have them as one of the main sponsors of the Human-Level AI Conference.GoodAI VisualGoodAI Visual analyses images to extract valuable insights form videos and pictures. We have delivered a solution for a major online diamond retailer which can classify "eye-clean" diamonds with 99% accuracy. Other implementations include:Detecting people, cars or other objects from camera recordings for smart citiesDetecting people in a building for behavior analysis, safety or security vigilanceQuality assurance for a production line in a production facilityData ScienceAs well as the three main products GoodAI Applied have been providing bespoke data analysis services for many companies. These have included:Modeling the life cycle of consumer loans for Equa BankA natural language processing (NLP) solution for a leading provider of risk management and compliance servicesPreventive maintenance in asset management for a gas utility companyOverall, I am extremely proud of the Applied team and the hard work they have been putting in, to scale up to the next level and am excited to see what new projects 2019 has to offer!GoodAI ResearchHuman-Level AI ConferenceOne of the main highlights of the year for GoodAI was organizing the Human-Level AI Conference (HLAI) here in Prague. We had a fantastic selection of over 40 speakers from across the world and it attracted more than 500 attendees. The conference combined three conferences (AGI, BICA, and NeSy) and we also organized an extra Future of AI Track aimed at a wider audience.I was pleased to see such a range of people from different backgrounds at the conference. We had leading researchers and scientists, as well as investors, and policymakers who are starting to take interest in the idea of AGI. Throughout the 4 days, I managed to speak to some amazing people and was constantly learning, my only regret is I didn’t manage to speak to even more people!You can watch my keynote from HLAI “How far are we from general AI?” as well as nearly 50 other presentations from the conference. You can also find out more about the conference in my reflections on HLAI blog post.Solving the AI RaceFrom January to May 2018 we ran the Solving the AI Race round of the General AI Challenge where we asked participants to come up with solutions to the problems associated with the AI Race where:Key stakeholders, including the developers, may ignore or underestimate safety procedures, or agreements, in favor of faster utilizationThe fruits of the technology won't be shared by the majority of people to benefit humanity, but only by a selected fewWe had a great response to the round with 194 registrations from 41 different countries and a total of 59 submissions. I was pleased to split the prize money of $15,000 between the top 6 entries and invite the finalists to Prague for the Human-Level AI Conference. It was great to meet them and hear what they had to say during the AI Race and Societal Impacts panel. You can read more about the round and also read the finalists submissions on the General AI Challenge website. Although we did not come up with a complete solution for the AI race, the round has prompted some interesting discussions, and inspired the next round of the General AI Challenge, which will launch at the end of this month, watch this space :)AI safety, ethics, and societal impactsOur team has also been involved in the issues of safety, ethics, and societal impacts of artificial intelligence. We are collaborating on the IEEE Ethically Aligned Design initiative which will be released early this year, as well as the Foresight Institute’s Artificial General Intelligence: Coordination & Great Powers report. Both projects have been a great chance to work with stakeholders all over the world. We are now active members of the AI4EU project which aims to mobilize the whole European AI ecosystem.We have also held some very interesting workshops. We held a workshop in Berlin, in collaboration with the Aspen Institute and the Estonian Embassy, called the Future with AI (report here) and we hosted Virginia and Frank Dignum in our offices in Prague for a workshop on the Governance of AI in the years to come, you can read a blog about that workshop here. We also hosted Irakli Beridze, Head of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the United Nations with whom we had some very insightful discussions.We have also continued our work on roadmapping, as well as started to explore the impacts of automation you can read two blogs on those subjects here:AI and work - a paradigm shift?Roadmapping the AI race to help ensure safe development of AGIRestructuring research teamsThis year we have also made an important change to the structure of our research teams. Our whole team is now working on one architecture which showed the most promise of gradual learning from our experimental research so far. We have aligned our goals and come up with a new set of evaluation criteria for our general AI agents, and set ourselves new milestones. We expect that our new structure will bring us closer to AGI.ConclusionIn general, the best thing was the growth I noticed in many people in our teams. People who were “almost leaders” become “leaders”. I also noticed increased aspiration for quality in our results and effectiveness of how we achieve it.Plans for 2019Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers will enter a new era. The first phase was about building a strong basis for sandbox: large-scale modifiable environment with many physical and mechanical entities. This phase is done. The upcoming phase will be about steering the games into particular directions. They will become less sandbox, more games. There are multiple directions we want to take both games: economy, warfare, stories … I can go on, so let’s keep some surprises :-)GoodAI Applied should grow its revenue, profitability, products portfolio, client portfolio, and the team. We should be entering into different kinds of AI oriented projects and gaining experience in new domains. We are making it top priority to grow at a safe rate.GoodAI Research will continue in its current roadmap, working on new milestones. If we achieve the goals we set up for ourselves, we will publish interesting results. If not, we will continue until we achieve them.Thanks for reading,Marek RosaCEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comGoodAI Applied: www.goodai.com/goodai-appliedKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (3mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic.Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. He started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence.GoodAI started in January 2014 and has over 30 research scientists, engineers and consultants working across its Research and Applied teams.At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers, as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Space Engineers: Airtightness & In-game Help
    true
    SUMMARY:5-year anniversary of Space Engineers released on Early Access!New in-game help - for better onboarding of new playersMajor overhaul of airtightness and oxygenMajor overhaul of asteroid clustersGood.bot - an AI chatbot from our sister company GoodAI AppliedRelative inertial dampenersSupport for mods bigger than 2GBMany features moved out of experimental mode -> becoming official featuresHello, Engineers!It’s time for another major update! Coincidentally, it’s also the fifth anniversary of Space Engineers being released in Early Access! A MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has supported us since we launched the game and welcome to all of the new Engineers.I’m happy to share a lot of exciting news and updates about several things we’ve been working on during the past three months. This update is much bigger than I expected and is focusing on better player experience and it’s also addressing a lot of requests we received from you, our great community! Without any further delay, here are the things we’re bringing you.New In-Game HelpSpace Engineers is a very complex game, and we understand that it can be quite difficult for new players to learn how to play it. To smooth this learning curve, we’ve worked on the new in-game help and contextual text which explain basic functionality, features and provides descriptions about blocks and tools. For example, after a new player selects a block for the first time, in-game help text will appear on the screen via Good.bot, and teach the player the basics of building. Once the player has successfully completed these basic building tasks, the in-game help text will disappear. We have designed more than 30 simple objectives. Additionally, players will be able to access in-game help in multiplayer by asking Good.bot questions through typed messages. I hope you will find it useful and easy to use, as we’re trying to make Space Engineers more enjoyable for everyone.The reason we are adding in-game help now is due to the fact we wanted to make sure that the game features are finished, fully tested and fine-tuned before we start adding in-game help for them. It also takes time to align features into our long-term vision for Space Engineers, because as you know, we change things here and there from time to time 🙂 And the in-game help was one of the steps that needed to happen once we were happy with what we have in the game.AirtightnessAirtightness has been the top voted and the most frequently discussed feature at our Space Engineers support site. With several additions, performance improvements and adjustments to this feature, we are making it an official, fully developed, tested and optimized part of the game. With that, we are of course moving it out of the experimental mode.We also introduce some small features and rebalances to complement the renewed airtightness.Your suit oxygen will now automatically refill whenever you are in oxygenated environment. This means that your suit will replenish oxygen when the player enters a pressurized environment or while dwelling on a planet with a breathable atmosphere. This was done to give more incentives to preparation, building pressurized environments and to generally let oxygen be a more significant and exciting game play element then it used to be. Asteroid ClustersAnother feature we are adding into the game are naturally generated asteroid clusters, which were part of our game roadmap! Asteroids will now spawn either as lone asteroids or together in clusters. This was done to get more varied results and create unique environments for players to explore and settle in. We are adding more than 100 types of asteroids. Fractal generated asteroids have been replaced with prefab asteroids, which go through a add / subtract merge generator to alter their shapes by creating caverns and adding debris. 51 new prefab asteroids have been added to ensure variety and many asteroids are now riddled with naturally occurring caves and tunnels.New asteroids are implemented for all new games since the release date. Old, saved games will not have this feature enabled. No more space donuts!Good.bot We’d like to welcome our new AI friend, Good.bot to Space Engineers! Good.bot will help with answering basic questions about the game, such as queries regarding blocks, tools, resources and movement in Space Engineers. We have fine-tuned Good.bot’s knowledge of the game and we will continue to improve its ability to help answer players’ questions and offer hints and tips to make them proficient Engineers. We hope that this will improve your overall experience with Space Engineers. Good.bot has been developed in our sister company GoodAI Applied --- which is also a sister company of our another sister company GoodAI 😉 --- and is currently being deployed in many banks and telco operators around the globe.Relative Inertial DampenersWe have reworked the functionality of relative inertial dampeners. Now, with the updated relative dampeners, you will keep the same speed as the speed of the moving grid you’re connected to. This helps especially in cases when you’re working on a moving ship, or an asteroid, so you don’t need to manually adjust your dampeners.Other new features to check outSupport for Mods bigger than 2GB: in cooperation with one of our very active modders, Sektan, we have changed the size of the mods which can be downloaded from the Steam Workshop. Now you can enjoy huge worlds and creations which were not possible to be downloaded before. This also opens the doors for all moders to unleash their creativity and upload crazy things currently gathering dust in their drawers 🙂 Render Optimization: our team also worked on some interesting render optimizations. The campaign performance improvements include better threading, voxel peaks optimization and the improvements of occlusion culling. We have discovered special paths in execution that can be compressed and done with less computation. This process is always incremental, basically you add optimizations on top of your existing optimizations, always trying to get more out of your hardware. We have  achieved significant performance improvements that you’ll be able to experience in the game. I’d like to mention:Incremental culling which was improved by up to +15% Occlusion culling in shadow cascades up to +25% Regression of Red Ship rendering improved by up to +60% Skip unused shadow cascades was improved by up to +270% (2,7x) i5 @ 3,2GHz, 4 cores Before After Mission 4 7,8ms 3,14ms (248%) 16 Red ships, flying 27,8ms 11,1ms (250%) 16 Red ships, inside 30,3ms 2,75ms (1100%) Moved from experimental mode:After the last major release (Major Overhaul of Multiplayer, July 2018) we have received a lot of questions and requests to move some game features from the experimental mode. I’m happy to share with you several features we’re moving from experimental mode, and they are becoming official game features. These are:LobbyRealistic soundsWorkshop worldsFOV slider being available in safe modeWhat’s next? I have already mentioned our plans in the Multiplayer overhaul blog post and I will repeat it here. With this release - we have updated the game to be more accessible for new and existing players (user intuitiveness). The next release for Space Engineers is going to focus on balancing and consolidating various game systems (how you respawn, resources, etc). We still believe there can be other things accomplished, but this is only the beginning of our work in this area.Space Engineers has been in early access for five years now; we know it’s time to get the game out. We are very close. We want to make sure that the game will be fantastic when it goes out of early access.As Space Engineers nears the completion of its first installment, we are focusing on polishing, optimizing and fixing existing features. This first installment of Space Engineers was always about bringing up the building blocks in order to lay down the structure for physical volumetric engineering in an open world and open ended setting - player sets his/her own challenges and objectives. We are basically there. The next steps that will come in future installments, will focus on other aspects of gameplay, new game modes, new challenges and objectives, as well as pushing the technology further.In the long-term, we plan to extend the game and the whole engineering genre into new pioneering directions - just like we did in October 2013 and since then. However, this is still far off and too soon to talk about it now.Feedback & Bug ReportsIf you have any questions or requests, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will do our best to solve your issues. Our Community Manager, Jesse Baule, will address all your questions and comments as quickly as possible. Feel free to use our support portal: https://support.keenswh.com/ConclusionThe same as with many our previous major releases, I am super happy with the work our team has done and super excited to share it with you all! I would like to thank everyone who stood with us patiently for all these years, who kept supporting Space Engineers, who helped with public tests, modders, YouTubers, people running their dedicated servers, people creating new content, people who helped other players to get into Space Engineers and people who believed in our team. Space Engineers is still in development. Everything in the game is subject to change.Thank you for reading and we look forward to hearing your feedback on this update. For full list of new features and improvements continue to the full update changelog. We would be also very happy if you can submit your feedback at our Space Engineers Steam store page and encourage us to do better. We welcome both positive and negative comments, as it helps us to create a better game for you!Marek RosaCEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.5mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. He started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence.GoodAI started in January 2014 and has over 30 research scientists, engineers and consultants working across its Research and Applied teams. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers, as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Reflections on the Human-Level AI Conference 2018
    true
    SUMMARYThis month GoodAI organized the Human-Level AI Conference in Prague. Over 500 people attended to see over 40 speakers. I met some great people and had some excellent discussions and would like to thank everyone involved.GoodAI team, conference chair Tarek Besold and the AI Safety panel share the stage at the end of the conference.This month over 500 people attended the Human-Level AI Conference in Prague, which was organised by the team at GoodAI. The attendees got the opportunity to see over 40 experts in the AI field covering a wide range of topics.The conference was a combination of three established conferences AGI, BICA and NeSy, as well as an extra Future of AI Track aimed at a wider audience.The range of issues discussed was extremely impressive, from detailed research on human-level AI to issues such as AI safety, societal impacts and investment.The conference truly exceeded my expectations. The quality of the keynote talks was fantastic, the media coverage (see a few examples in Czech and English below) was extremely wide and the atmosphere was very warm and welcoming. Both participants and speakers seemed to enjoy themselves very much!  Dileep George (Vicarious) delivering a keynote at HLAI 2018One of the highlights for me was welcoming the finalists of our Solving the AI Race round of the General AI Challenge to take part in the AI Race and Societal Impacts panel. You can read about some of the discussions surrounding whether to publish an evil AI in Futurism.  One of the things that made the sessions, and the conference as a whole, so interesting was the diverse group of contributors sharing their different approaches to general AI or human-level AI. We had representatives from some of the top tech companies (Microsoft, Google DeepMind, Uber AI Labs, Facebook AI Research and more), from the top global academic institutes (University of Cambridge, Harvard, John Hopkins, University of New York, UCL and more), from international organisations (United Nations, DARPA, Aspen Institute and more) and from exciting private sector organisations (ARAYA, Vicarious, SingularityNET, Zeroth.AI to name a few).It was this diversity and representation from across the world that added real value to the lively discussions. However, it was not just in the official sessions that I found such thought-provoking people. We were lucky to have a brilliant selection of volunteers helping us coordinate the conference and the participants too were extremely interesting. I had many fascinating conversations and my only regret is that I did not have time to talk more with all of our friends and participants.The Investing in AGI panelThroughout the conference I felt like I was constantly exchanging ideas and learning, from the sessions and the social activities. It was inspirational to see so many people with a genuine interest in general AI / human-level AI.AI enthusiasts enjoying Hybernia TheatreI would like to send a huge thank you out to everyone involved in this conference. I would like to thank my team at GoodAI, especially Olga Afanasjeva, Daria Hvizdalova, Will Millership, Marek Havrda, Tomas Strouhal and Lucie Krestova, who all worked tirelessly putting it together. My big thanks also belongs to Tarek Besold, the conference chair, who did an excellent job of making people feel at home. I would also like to thank the speakers who flew in from around the world, our volunteers, our sponsors, community partners and media partners, everyone at AGI, BICA and NeSy, and finally all the AI enthusiasts who visited the conference!You can now watch all keynotes and AGI sessions as well as a selection of videos from the AI Race & Societal Impacts session.Thanks for reading,Marek RosaCEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAICEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software HouseFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.5mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence. GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Medieval Engineers Update 0.6.4: Major Overhaul of Combat
    true
    SUMMARY:Major Combat OverhaulHUD and Chat Improvements New Sounds and Environmental AmbienceHello, Engineers!Medieval history has countless examples of conflict and war. For this reason, combat has always been part of my plan for Medieval Engineers. In this update, we are creating combat mechanics to make fighting more intense and exciting for players. In the future, we will polish it even further with the introduction of more decals and enticing particle effects!Improved Combat System I want to start talking about the combat system by saying there are a few core ideas that are driving our design. “Combat shouldn’t take away from engineering.” This is the primary idea that is reinforced by all of the other ideas. I see engineering as the core of our gameplay because it’s what makes engineers games different from similar games. “Combat should be easy to learn.” There shouldn’t be new controls, purposefully difficult timings, or combination moves to make fighting harder than it has to be. You should understand it well enough after only a few minutes of practice. “Combat should rely mostly on skill to win.” Winning should always be possible if you are more skilled than your opponent. “Combat should be short.” You shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time on combat if you don’t want to. The only advantages that you can bring into combat are better equipment and more health.The combat system is still based on attacking and blocking but it is enhanced to provide a greater variety of attacks and blocks. There are three zones around each character that can be attacked and defended, which creates a directional approach to combat. There are two kinds of attack: standard and charged. Charged attacks are more powerful than standard ones but they are also slower because you have to spend time charging them. You can defend two of your zones at once using a shield. This makes defense easier, but shields take damage quickly and they can block your vision of the enemy...Combat makes use of the stats system introduced in our last update. Attacking or successfully blocking will use stamina similar to how it did before, but now there is an additional adrenaline effect. When you are fighting you will hear your heart beating and your vision will narrow. This is the adrenaline effect which makes your attacks and blocks faster than usual. If you build up more adrenaline than your enemy you will be faster, but it will fade quickly if there’s a break in the fight.The part of combat that makes zones possible is target-locking. Since our goal was to keep the controls simple there is no button to lock onto a target. Equipping a weapon, attacking someone, or being attacked will cause you to go into a combat mode. In this combat mode you will be able to lock onto anyone you look at. This is a ‘soft lock’, meaning that you can break it easily by looking away or by moving out of range. While you are locked your character and camera will track the enemy and you will be able to aim attacks and blocks. You can also strafe to the left and the right and remain locked onto your target. HUD and Chat Improvements All of these combat changes touch on many other parts of the game, which we have been improving at the same time. Our barbarian AI had to be updated to use the combat system, so we took the opportunity to streamline the barbarian behavior. They now focus much more on players and less on attacking blocks. You will want to make sure that you protect your spawn points because the barbarians won’t give up.Parts of the HUD are being updated to display the new combat reticle. I want the HUD to look good and be easy to read, so we are also updating the quest and chat displays with larger text and dark backgrounds to to make them easier to read. The chat is also being upgraded with a movable and resizable window, a scrollable history, and new channels for local, house, and private messages....and more! I’m always paying attention to how the game looks and feels, which is why I wanted new combat animations and sounds. While we were making them we had to develop some new options for our animation controller and some new ways to define how sounds are used. This gave us the foundation we need so that we can add environmental-based sounds and music. This means biome-specific background sounds and even combat music!We are giving you additional features for server admins, things like a remote API to monitor your servers similar to the one in Space Engineers, chat logging and offline chat to keep up with players, and a message of the day to announce rules and events.  For modders we have updates to subparts, new definitions for biomes, and updated entity effects. The new chat channels are moddable and all of the new combat related features are available for use in your mods.List of New Features:New combat systemResources rebalanced for faster gathering and buildingHUD improvements for chat and readabilityToolbar behavior improvementsFor Modders:Updated subpart systemNew biome definition formatNew chat system with moddable channelsNew entity effectsFor Server Admins:Message of the DayChat loggingRemote API and VRage Remote ClientRead the full list of new features at http://news.medievalengineers.com/update_0_6_4/patch_0Purchase your copyNew Support CommunityWe welcome all feedback from our community and that’s why we have decided to launch a new support portal. This is where you can provide feedback and find support for all our games in one place. The portal should be a single destination for all your ideas, issues, and technical support needs. You can find it at: https://support.keenswh.com/Medieval Engineers is still in development. Everything in the game is subject to change.Marek RosaCEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.5mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic.Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence.GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Medieval Engineers Banner Contest
    true
    SUMMARY:Starting today, August 3rd, 2018 and ending on August 13th, 2018Create your custom banner and have it immortalized into the game.Hello Engineers!As preparation for our next release we’ve decided that it’s time again to kick off the next banner contest! The last time we ran this contest we were amazed by the amount of interesting banner designs we received from players, and now we want to give you guys another chance to get your own banner designs immortalized into the game!To provide some inspiration, here are the winning designs from the previous banner contest:SaturaxCZSzudrixOmEgA_StOrMThis contest is open for anyone who wants to participate, including the participants from the last time we ran the banner contest. From the submitted entries, we will select our 5 favourites, which will be added into the game with the release of Medieval Engineers 0.6.4. The winners will be announced on the the release stream.You can enter as many times as you like, but we will only pick one entry per player. An entry consists of the following documents:A screenshot of how your banner looks in the game.A background image, 512x512 PNG file.A foreground image, 512x512 PNG file.You can follow the official banner modding guide to learn how to put your banner into the game.General InfoEach player can submit as many entries as they like, but you can only win once.We will pick 5 winners from the submissions.Deadline for submissions is August 13th, 2018.Screenshot should have a minimum resolution of 1080p, but the higher the better! 4K and above would be great!The banner images should be 512x512 pixels, PNG format.Avoid using copyrighted material in your banner designs.By entering the contest, you agree to follow all rules of the contest. If you don't submit according to the rules, you can be disqualified.All entries of the contest become the property of Keen Software House. This means we have the right to use and modify your entries in our game, on social media, on our websites, etc.We reserve the right to modify, cancel, or postpone the contest for any reason.PrizesThe selected winners will have their banner included in the game.How to submit your bannersSend a zip file containing the screenshot(s), and the banner layers, to our email: press@keenswh.com with the subject “Medieval Engineers Banner Contest”.The deadline for submissions is August 13th, 2018.Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing what you create!Medieval Engineers is still in development. Everything in the game is subject to change.Marek RosaCEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.5mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic.Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence.GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Space Engineers: Major Overhaul of Multiplayer
    true
    SUMMARY:Massive overhaul of multiplayer in Space EngineersWhat were we aiming for?Public testingFemale engineer!New features (e.g. safe zones) and performance optimizationsDedicated serversNew support site for the community Q&AAfter six months, we are releasing the next major update, which is focusing on the complete overhaul of multiplayer in Space Engineers, and a number of new features and optimizations. The following multiplayer trailer was captured in-game and resembles real gameplay featuring 16 players in multiplayer session, where each of them was building and destroying in real-time, with a constant sim-speed of 1.0. This, and much more is now possible in Space Engineers.Some of you may recognize the trailer scenes from our recent KCN stream: 1st part and 2nd part.Update StreamNote: Due to the nationwide internet outages that prevented us from streaming today, here is a brief video going over the update and our thoughts behind it. We hope you are having fun with the new multiplayer!Motivation Main objective: to solve multiplayer, once and for all.This was a massive overhaul and that’s why it wasn’t possible to make this update in weekly increments.We had to redo major parts of the engine and there was a lot of experimentation - for example changing the prediction protocol on client-server and observing if it’s better for user experience or worse, and many more. Space Engineers has many systems and special care had to be taken for each of them: player character, jetpack, ship, wheeled vehicles, voxels and planets, fast moving objects, deformable entities, antenas, player standing on a moving grid, colliding grids, rotors, pistons, and many many more.We started by defining a clear measurable goal (KPI): to guarantee a 1.0 sim-speed (seamless performance) in multiplayer scenarios with 16 players100,000 PCUs per world (explained later)With this, we wanted to bring a new level of experience where you can trust our settings and recommended configuration; one which will guarantee no lag and good game performance, so you don’t need to tweak it. However, we still allow you to choose your own game settings, but we cannot guarantee the game performance to be smooth - however most of the time it is good and above our expectations.For example: our target was 16 players, but during the public tests we discovered that even 32 player servers with heavy activity ran constantly on at 1.0 sim-speed. Some people even successfully tried a 64 player FPS combat server (more fighting, less engineering).Below are some stream highlights of multiplayer testing ran by Xocliw during his recent streams.https://www.twitch.tv/videos/283868664?t=04h38m03shttps://www.twitch.tv/videos/283868664?t=05h05m05shttps://www.twitch.tv/videos/281215536?t=02h30m30shttps://www.twitch.tv/videos/281215536?t=04h41m28sAs one of the Keen Software House mottos says: ”Reality is the best game designer”, we decided to run several multiplayer public tests and we involved the Space Engineers Multiplayer Community during the development. The feedback we received was very valuable and helped us discover many areas for improvements. I’d like to thank everyone who participated and who provided feedback to us. HistorySpace Engineers is a very complex game with volumetric and destructible physics. There are infinite ways how to play it, how to build things, what blocks to use, how to integrate them, where to travel, what to do, what to destroy, and how large and complicated players can decide to make their ships. The first version of the multiplayer (January 2014) was a barebone implementation, just to make the multiplayer somehow playable. It was far from finished and we knew it. We were still adding and changing features at that time, so we were not focusing solely on the multiplayer. With today’s release however, we came back to multiplayer and we spent a significant amount of time doing it the right way. We hope that you will see the results. Looking back, I can say that multiplayer was the biggest and most challenging feature in Space Engineers. Planets, physics overhaul, visual tweaks, or any one of the hundreds of previously implemented features, don’t come even close to the scope of multiplayer.It took more than four years, constant setbacks, experimenting with different alternatives, and then just a lot of hard work deciding how to connect all the systems together, so they work in an unreliable multiplayer environment. If this doesn't prove that our team is dedicated to its goals, resilient, and never giving up, then I don't know what will :)What was the most challenging? Multiplayer netcodeGame performanceTo have a smooth multiplayer experience, we first needed to invent a multiplayer architecture that can handle heavy physical and dynamical simulations, which players in Space Engineers tend to create. At the same time, the game engine needs to stay open for further enhancements and different directions where we can push it (e.g. MMO).Changes were needed on both the server and client side, a lot of code was rewritten and many experiments were made with you, our players. Because Space Engineers is the only game of its kind (having specific scope and properties), there are no available resources and experiences (R&D papers from academia, other game studios etc.), we had to discover all solutions by ourselves. With this update we can confidently say that all major issues are solved and multiplayer is finally a fun and pleasing experience.Together with netcode design changes, there was also a big part dedicated to performance optimizations. We carefully profiled every game play session, hunted performance peaks, memory leaks and then optimized the most annoying issues and bugs. Some of them were tricky, as they only appeared in multiplayer games with a specific amount of players doing specific activities (and often in a specific order). We are proud that we solved most of them..For example, check how we tracked statisting of one EU server. You can compare the number of players playing in the game together with CPU performance and memory consumption. Note that CPU is mainly under 100% (which means simspeed = 1.0)  and memory has very low increasing tendency. The first part of memory statistics is an example of leak, which we were supposed to track and fix.On top of the development work, we paid a lot of attention to testing. When we perform any kind of test internally, we are biased to do it in a certain way. But when we opened it up to you, our players, you gave us fantastic feedback that helped to make this release great. On top of this, we cooperated with an external company which tested the game for three weeks as well. Female EngineerWith this major release we are also introducing the highly requested female engineer! Please welcome her on board and give her special attention while enjoying the game. We are adding the female engineer as a result of our cooperation and feedback from our community, as it was one of the top voted ideas at our feedback portal. You are helping us to make the game better, and this is our way of thanking you for your fantastic suggestions.Our female engineer was created from scratch, with brand new animations and movements. You can customize her with all of the skins that are currently available for the male engineer.To people who are curious about the technical aspect of adding the female engineer to the game, we needed to:Make a 3D model of her face and body (male and female anatomy are different)New set of animations, just for her. Not only because males and females move differently, but mostly because her proportions are slightly different from the male engineer’sRecord new sounds - when she collides with an obstacle, when she doesn’t have enough airImplement switching of the charactersQuality assurance - test it all! Very important!New Features This multiplayer overhaul brought many new features. There are many I can mention, but I’d like to highlight the safe-zones, reworked warnings and its UI, new player respawn system, new experimental mode, updated animations, performance optimizations for all blocks to reduce their system usage, updated server lists and dedicated server management and many more.We would like to thank all of our modders who gave us great ideas about some nice features we are introducing to the game; we really appreciate their passion and dedication to Space Engineers. My special thanks goes to rexxar, Jimmacle, and Equinox for their great ideas about the server admin tool features. You can read the technical description at our Keen website: https://www.spaceengineersgame.com/dedicated-servers.html Besides new features, we worked on many optimizations that can be grouped into the following categories:updates of the layers frequency displayingdata sending for inactive entitiespriority checkingdynamically changing frequency depending on loadbuffer fixesfixes of several inefficiencies in the multiplayerblock consumptions and its optimizationSafe ZonesThe newly introduced Safe Zone is a spatial area where specific actions can be limited. A Safe Zone is displayed as a colored transparent area and can only be defined by a server administrator, who can limit actions like shooting, welding, damage (per safe zone or globally). Entering the Safe Zone can be limited per player, character or faction. A Safe Zone behaves like an inverse gravity field (box or spherical), so everything that has access denied is being pushed away. To avoid breaking gameplay consistency, we decided that Safe Zones can only be static for now. Safe Zones were part of our game design since the beginning.PCU LimitsPCU (Performance Cost Unit) Limits are the next iteration of block limits. Its purpose is to keep server performance in a more effective way than just limiting block types. Every block has its own defined PCU value, which says how much performance impact a block has under full load (when all its systems are activated). More PCU, more performance heavy the block is. PCU can be defined per world, as a pool, which can be used for building. This pool is then split per player, per faction, or global. Limits per faction are also a new feature introduced in this build. Please note, that you can change the default PCU limits in the Experimental mode. For example: The world has 100,000 PCU pool, there are only two factions, red and blue, there cannot be more factions. So each faction has 50,000 dedicated PCUs. A player which does not belong to any faction cannot build anything. Removed or destroyed blocks PCU are returned back to the faction PCU pool. A player who wants to change the faction, needs to check that all his/her blocks PCU are within the faction limit he/she wants to join. Some examples of PCU of well known ships:Red ship: 14,714Fighter: 3,000Pilgrims Curiosity: 14,000ESS Platform: 6,500Amanda Tapping: 530,000 :)Experimental modeMany experimental, unofficial and not fully developed features are hidden under the Experimental Mode checkbox in the Game Options menu. These were the features that we added to the game throughout its early-access development, but are now not considered to be officially part of the game. However, we don’t want to remove them from the game because many players are used to them. Everything will stay the same as before in the experimental mode. New players are in safe mode with only selected features and limits. All existing players have experimental mode enabled by default. If you want to join an experimental server, or a custom game, you have to have experimental mode enabled in your game options.It’s still possible that in the future some features could move out of experimental mode if we discover a way to make them viable and performance-friendly.The experimental mode was introduced because we want to guarantee flawless gameplay, but we can only do this if we can control the boundaries. Mods, unsafe settings, or unofficial features are out of range what we can guarantee. One of the features moved to experimental mode is locally hosted multiplayer. We introduced the new netcode to it, but so far invested the majority of our resources into dedicated server multiplayer as we believe that this is the best way for playing Space Engineers with others.Some game scenarios have been temporarily affected by this change, but we will be revisiting them during the upcoming development anyway. In non-experimental mode you will not be able to see some scenarios and they won't be customizable.We are planning to improve the game and dedicated server user interface in the future to clearly mark what is and isn’t experimental mode. The current experimental mode features areAdvanced options (programmable blocks, airtightness, etc.)Local multiplayerUnsafe grid values for piston, rotorsModsQuickstartWe reintroduced the old quickstart where you started on Easy Start Space platform, in creative mode. This is just a temporary introduction to the game, before we redo the whole "get to know Space Engineers" part, before we create a proper tutorial. System requirementsWe have updated the minimum and recommended requirements to better match reality and players’ expectations. The actual requirements of Space Engineers haven’t changed in the past years - in fact, as we have been optimizing the game in past 3 years, now you can run more complex scenes on less powerful computers. However we are updating the system requirements so that new players have a better idea of performance requirements. In the past, minimum requirements were bare minimum and would not guarantee a good experience in more complex conditions and scenes. So we wanted to communicate this more clearly and give all players the correct expectations. You can still run Space Engineers on hardware bellow minimum requirements, but we cannot guarantee good performance in all cases. Dedicated serversTo make sure that we will bring the best multiplayer experience, we have decided to provide official Keen dedicated servers. With servers located around the world, we are bringing you fantastic gaming experiences. We plan to increase the number of dedicated servers which will also give us valuable data for further game improvements and changes. Official Keen dedicated servers are highlighted with a star. Later, we will consider awarding reliable community servers with this star highlight.These dedicated servers will be free of charge during the first month. Then we need to think about how we are going to fund their maintenance. This is still an open question, because the Space Engineers’ revenue model with a fixed price doesn’t support long-term recurring servers costs.Technical specification (might vary slightly in different regions):        Intel  i7-6700K       4 core / 8 thread - 4GHz /4.2GHz       32GB DDR4 2133 MHz       SoftRaid 2x480GB SSD       250 Mbps bandwidthOne physical server runs a bunch of dedicated Space Engineers servers, each one consuming approximately 3 CPU cores / 6 GB RAM.More GHz is better (during spikes when there are heavy physical calculations that can’t be easily parallelized), so we are considering even 5GHz machines.A new challenge for us is that our team and a group of selected community members will do 24x7 oversight on these servers - technical and gameplay. We will be monitoring the world nonstop and if we spot a problem, we will be ready to step in and fix it.During the public testing, we monitored how a server ran after being live for 7 days and the results were very positive. Now that the update is live, we will be looking at how servers run after being live for multiple weeks, even months!Players who want to run their own dedicated servers (as before) can still do it, and may benefit from a new server admin tool - read the technical description. New Support for CommunityWe welcome all feedback from our community, therefore we have decided to launch a new support portal, where you can find all information and support for all our games in one place. The portal should be a one stop place for all your queries, comments, tickets and questions. You can find it at: https://support.keenswh.com/As I’ve already mentioned, we ran Space Engineers multiplayer public tests for several weeks. During this time we wanted to discover and fix as many problems as possible. I’d like to share some of your feedback we received during testing: Nova DragonSmooth! Most other games have already introduced a battle royal mode, or are improving their system to tap into the reward center of the brain. But you guys... you guys are fixing stuff, and doing a dam good job!rivvionKeep up the good work no matter what people say!jetstream016YES YES YES. I never thought I'd see the day where SE had actual playable multiplayer...but my experience in the test servers has renewed my faith.  AMAZING JOB KSH!lilbigmouthWords cannot express how excited I am for this update. OMG. Also, as much as this is showcasing the new stability (which is looking good), I love seeing the amazing creations of the community yet again. :)The Gamer DadThis game is getting more and more epic with each update. Only a few hundred hours in the game here, but I don't think I've ever loved a sandbox game more than SE.Tom Spierswait what is this?! space engineers running smoothly on MP? wow... All jokes aside great work keen! it looks like you've done a brilliant job with the MP code!Prior of the OriAbsolutely fantastic! What exactly are you doing to improve it? Improvements to the engine or something else? I am too excited! Which means something because I have had a serious love/hate relationship with this game for a looong time. Public test stream with Q&A with MarekOver the last couple of months I have been visiting the various official servers and playing with our community, even though some people didn’t believe it was me :-)Xocliw and I played the Space Engineers Public Multiplayer Test alongside some Keen developers and YouTubers on the Keen Community Network & Space Engineers YouTube channel on Friday, July 13th. We addressed a lot of questions and comments from the community. You can watch the entire stream here: 1st part and the 2nd partQuestions and AnswersQ: Why did it take four years to come up with solid and working multiplayer?A: Since we first released multiplayer in Space Engineers, we’ve considered it as a working prototype and we knew it’ll take more time to get it finalized and properly finished. With our early access game, the priorities are changing quite often. We were focusing more on new features, new blocks and gameplay and therefore the multiplayer was still in the same state. However we were listening to our community and at a certain point where features were finalized we knew it's time to focus on the multiplayer. With that, we decided to work on optimizations and many other things closely related to multiplayer. Q: You were apparently inspired by community creations and MODers’ work. Why did you take this from them?A: We are grateful that modders have implemented some popular requested multiplayer features that were missing in the core game over the years. But we always planned to implement these features ourselves, because they are part of the core and should be in the vanila game. We are very thankful to our modders for all the great discussions we’ve had over the years and we hope to keep this cooperation alive in the future. Special thanks to rexxar, Jimmacle, Equinox, and others!Q: Why can't Space Engineers support more than 16 players as other multiplayer games? For example Medieval Engineers, Fortnite, etc.A: 16 players is just our recommended setting for default multiplayer scenarios. During the public tests, many servers ran at constant sim-speed 1.0 even with 32 players doing heavy activities. Some people even successfully tried 64 player servers and were very happy.There are specific technical requirements for Space Engineers. There are usually many moving interacting objects with real-time physics in the Space Engineers. Everything has to be taken care of, detected for collisions, physical reactions integrated and synchronized over network. To be more specific: imagine a Space Engineers scene with 16 players, each one in his 6-wheeled car, driving, crashing - this equals to approximately 300 interconnected physically simulated grids synchronized from server to clients. Whereas in other multiplayer games, where the only dynamic entity are characters - and maybe bullets and explosions and stuff - thisnumber would be 16. Summary: comparing system requirements of Space Engineers with other games is not possible, there are no other games having such complex networked volumetric physics.Q: Why did this release take six months to go live? A: This overhaul was not an easy task. We went from a deep dive of technical root cause analyses to optimizations and then to thorough testing. Only for better understanding, one test cycle took three weeks and it included a couple thousands test cases. I’d like to highlight the fantastic job that both our development and testing teams did in this release. All the credit goes to them for their outstanding work.Q: Are you abandoning the game? A: Definitely no. We are just getting warmed up 🙂 We love Space Engineers, we love what we do, and we love what you keep creating. There is the same team working on the game as last year and the years before. We have hundreds of ideas what to add, and the grand-vision for the gaming universe we are creating is still unfulfilled. Miner Wars was the first step, Space Engineers is the second step. The future is long and beautiful!Q: Why can't we use mods in the default multiplayer (why we need to switch to experimental mode)?A: There is no way we can guarantee that the MOD will not degrade or halt the game. The mod responsibility is completely on the author of the MOD, and that’s why it requires more experienced players.Q: Has your game engine VRAGE reached its limits and it’s no longer possible to optimize or extend Space Engineers?A: No. Our game engine is an open system, we are constantly upgrading it, optimizing, changing the architecture, doing principal changes, changing the core inner workings. It’s not a static unmodifiable system. It’s a living organism. We have plans for even more fundamental changes for future installations of our games.One spoiler: events and calculations should be asynchronous by default, allowing a physical reality where one slowly calculating event doesn’t halt the rest. This idea is basically about granularity of entities and calculations and is similar to actor-model paradigm. We already have parallelization and event-driven parts around the place, but there’s always room for improvement.What’s next? Even though we usually do not disclose our future plans, we are going to make an exception this time. Our next major update will focus on:balancing and consolidating various game systems (how you respawn, resources, etc)making the game more accessible for new and existing players (user intuitiveness)re-do and polish default scenarios (Easy Start Space, Empty World, etc.)Space Engineers has been in early access for almost five years, we know it’s time to get the game out. We are working to get there. We do not have the date yet, but we want to make sure that the game will be fantastic when it goes out of early access.As Space Engineers nears the completion of its first installment, we are focusing on polishing, optimizing and fixing existing features. This first installment of Space Engineers was always about bringing up the building blocks, to lay down the structure for physical volumetric engineering. We are almost finished. The next steps that will come in future installments, will focus on other aspects of gameplay as well as pushing the technology further.In the long-term, we plan to extend the game and the whole engineering genre into new pioneering directions - just like we did in October 2013 and since then. However, this is still far off, too soon to talk about it now. Feedback and bug reportsIf you have any questions or requests, please do not hesitate to contact us, we will do our best to solve your problems. Our community manager, Jesse Baule will address all your questions and comments as quickly as possible. Feel free to use our newly launched support portal: https://support.keenswh.com/If you are aware of any situation during which the sim speed drops below the 1.0 level while using the recommended settings, please let us know via our new support site. ConclusionThe same as with our previous major releases, I am super happy with the work our team has done and super excited to share it with you all! Space Engineers multiplayer now behaves the way we have always envisioned: fast, robust and solid.As Space Engineers is still under development, there may be bugs (our testers spent hundreds of hours testing, but this is nothing compared to tens of thousands of hours played by our community immediately after every update). Nevertheless, we will do everything we can to fix any issue as fast as possible.By the way, most likely we will do a few hotfix updates in the days after this multiplayer update.I truly enjoyed working on this update, it took a lot of hard work and determination, the whole process consisted of over 800 tickets (work tasks) for my team and myself. It has been my main priority over the last 6 months and the whole process has been a pleasure. I would like to thank everyone who stood with us patiently for all these years, who kept supporting Space Engineers, who helped with multiplayer tests, modders, YouTubers, people running their dedicated servers, people creating new content, people who helped other players to get into Space Engineers and people who believed in our team. Space Engineers is still in development. Everything in the game is subject to change.Thank you for reading and we look forward to hearing your feedback on this update. For full list of new features and improvements continue to https://forum.keenswh.com/threads/7401427We would be also very happy if you can submit your feedback at our Space Engineers Steam store page and encourage us to do better. We welcome both positive and negative comments, as it helps us to create a better game for you!Marek RosaCEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.5mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic.Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence.GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Solving the AI Race finalists - $15,000 of prizes
    true
    SUMMARY:I have awarded $15,000 of prizes for the second round of GoodAI’s General AI Challenge, Solving the AI Race.The six top solutions out of 59 were awarded prize money. This was just the first stage where the goal was to get as diverse pool of ideas as possible. Prize winners have been invited to the Human-Level AI Conference in Prague this August to discuss their submissions.We intend to continue working on solutions to the AI Race. In the future we will focus on concrete KPI’s and testing for robustness of solutions.I am very excited to announce the prize winners of the second round of the General AI Challenge, Solving the AI Race. The round was the first qualitative round of the Challenge and followed on from the Gradual Learning round last year. In January we challenged the public to come up with solutions to the pitfalls of an AI Race, where:Key stakeholders, including the developers, may ignore or underestimate safety procedures, or agreements, in favor of faster utilizationThe fruits of the technology won’t be shared by the majority of people to benefit humanity, but only by a selected fewI was amazed with the response, in three months 194 people registered (from 41 different countries) and we had 59 submissions. The team at GoodAI read all of the submissions and created an anonymized shortlist for the judging panel, which I was part of. On the panel I was joined by: Virginia Dignum, Associate professor at TU DelftDanit Gal, Project Assistant Professor, Cyber Civilizations Research Center, Keio University Rodolfo Rosini, Partner at Zeroth.ai   Roman V. Yampolskiy, Associate Professor at University of LouisvilleIt was not an easy task to decide how the prize money of $15,000 would be split. We judged the solutions on five criteria: Impact: the potential the solution shows to maximize the chances of a positive future for humanityFeasibility: how practical it will be to implement / applyAcceptance: how likely it is that actors involved will accept the idea. E.g. in case of an actionable strategy, what is the chance actors would publicly pledge to it? In case of a framework, how easily could it be adopted?Integrity: how ethical the solution is (ideally solutions should not disadvantage any actors and take into account diversity of values) Novelty of ideas: has it been suggested before?All of the judges then responded independently (as to not influence each others judgement) and we then came together to count our scores and determine the prize winners. We split the prizes between the three “top scoring solutions” and three “runners-up”, you can see the winners and read their solutions below:Top scoring solutions ($3,000 each)Kesavan Athimoolam, Solving the Artificial Intelligence Race: Mitigating the problems associated with the AI RaceAlexey Turchin and & David Denkenberger, Classification of Global Solutions for the AI Safety ProblemEhrik L. Aldana, A Theory of International AI Coordination: Strategic implications of perceived benefits, harms,capacities, and distribution in AI developmentRunners-up ($2,000 each) David Klimek, Framework for managing risks related to emergence of AI/AGIGordon Worley, Avoiding AGI Races Through Self-RegulationMorris Stuttard & Anastasia Slabukho, The AI Engineers’ Guild: proposal for an AI risk mitigation strategyNext steps This was just the first stage where the goal was to get as diverse pool of ideas as possible and we intend to continue working on solutions to the AI Race. We are glad we got such a diverse range of ideas and opened up many points of discussion. The judges concluded that none of the submissions provided a complete robust solution to all of the possible pitfalls of a race to AI. Therefore, the next round of the Challenge is likely to focus more on concrete KPI’s and test for robustness of solutions.The prize winners have been invited to the Human-Level AI Conference in Prague this August, which is being co-organized by GoodAI, where they will be able to discuss their ideas further in an AI Race and Societal Impacts panel discussion on Friday 24 August. Everyone interested in the General AI Challenge can also benefit from a 10% discount to the Human-Level AI Conference using the discount code: Challenge-HLAI18. As the submissions really got the judges thinking, they have also been invited, by jury member Roman V. Yampolskiy, to submit their papers to a Special Issue of peer reviewed journal Big Data and Cognitive Computing journal - "Artificial Superintelligence: Coordination & Strategy". A big thank you to everyone who took part in the Challenge and to all of the judges, it has given us some serious food-for-thought. We will continue to work on creating a robust solution and urge the community to take part as well! If you would like to collaborate in any way please get in contact with us. Thanks for reading!Marek RosaCEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAICEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software HouseFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.5mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence. GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • The Results of the Space Engineers NVIDIA Ansel Contest
    true
    Hello Engineers!Today, we are excited to announce the winners of our NVIDIA Ansel Contest. I can say that you submitted fantastic creations and my team and I were impressed by the quality and the creativity of the submissions.Just as a reminder, we launched the NVIDIA Ansel Contest in five different categories and we wanted you to capture the original visual styling and feeling of Space Engineers. You definitely captured it and you even added something on top of it, which made your creations special. The winners are getting 100 in-game Engineer Skin Sets in total as prizes! The contest ran until the end of May 2018, so now it’s time to award the winners!Vanilla Epicness1st placeby GreekPsari2nd placeby IratusAvis3rd placeby JM2074th placeby Ronin the accus360 Degrees Vanilla Epicness1st placeby SmokkiSOE2nd placeby dave24113rd placeby Ronin the accus4th placeby LexEtchModding Epicness1st placeby Horizonz19932nd placeby Ronin the accus3rd placeby BruceLeedleLee4th placeby Implodedbrains360 Degrees Modding Epicness1st placeby Sektan2nd placeby SmokkiSOE3rd placeby Ronin the accus4th placeby acdnt.hexFunky / Abstract / Pop Art1st placeby ---SoASchas---2nd placeby Djupo3rd placeby BruceLeedleLee4th placeby SmokkiSOECongratulations to the winners and a big thank you to all who participated! We are surprised how varied and spectacular things were people able to create yet again.Space Engineers is still in development. Everything in the game is subject to change.Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing what you come up with using this fantastic technology!Marek RosaCEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.5mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence. GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Space Engineers NVIDIA Ansel Contest
    true
    SUMMARY:Starting today April 26, 2018 and ending on May 31, 20185 categories:Vanilla Epicness360 Degrees Vanilla EpicnessModding Epicness360 Degrees Modding EpicnessFunky/Abstract/Pop ArtWin from a prize pool of 100 Engineer Skin Sets Hello, Engineers! Now that the release of our Major Overhaul of Visuals, Audio and Wheels has been in your hands for a while now, we’ve decided that it’s time again to kick off the next contest with the new visuals as the focus. As always, we’ve been following closely the incredible things players have been up to since this update released but now is your chance to show us what you can create by harnessing the power of NVIDIA Ansel technology! You can read more about the most recent major update on my previous blog post.We are launching the NVIDIA Ansel Contest today with 5 different categories. We will be providing 100 in-game Engineer Skin Sets as prizes! On top of that, some screenshots may be added to the official loading screens or even printed on canvas and displayed in the KeenSWH offices!Pressing ALT+F2 in-game will open up the NVIDIA Ansel screen which allows you to prepare your shot, edit the styling and choose the capture type. In offline singleplayer worlds this will also pause the game while the screen is open. Please note that you will need an NVIDIA GeForce graphics card to make use of this technology.This contest will run until the end of May 2018. There will be five categories and each will have three winners. Entries must be uploaded to the recently launched Shot With GeForce website to be eligible.Across all categories, we want you to capture the original visual styling and feeling of Space Engineers. Please see my blog post for more details and advice on how to achieve this original look that we are looking for. We have been working internally to get back to this visual style, both in-game and in marketing/public presentation.General Info:Each player can submit 1 entry per categoryDeadline for submissions is May 31, 2018Across all categories, we will be looking at the composition, colors, story and uniqueness of the shot.Access NVIDIA Ansel in-game by pressing ALT+F2.Screenshots must have a minimum resolution of 1080p but the higher the better! 4K and above would be great! Remember, you can take images up to 64K using NVIDIA Ansel!Some winners may have their images added as official loading screen or printed onto canvas and used in the KeenSWH offices!By entering the contest, you agree to follow all rules of the contest. If you don't submit according to the rules, you can be disqualified.All entries of the contest become the property of Keen Software House. This means we have the right to use and modify your entries in our game, on social media, on our websites, etc.We reserve the right to modify, cancel, or postpone the contest for any reason.Prizes:Winners of each category will get to choose complete skin sets of their choice.1st Place: 10 Skin Sets2nd Place: 6 Skin Sets3rd Place: 3 Skin Sets4th Place: 1 Skin SetWhat to show?Even though each category will have different requirements, there a certain aspects that we are looking for across all entries. These include physics, engineering, destruction, deformation, pistons, rotors etc. While an entry does not need to cover all of these aspects, it should have at least one of them being showcased by your design. Space Engineers has some of the most advanced game physics in the industry. You are able to create and engineer things not possible in any other game, and this is what we always like to see!How to submit your screenshots:Log in, and upload your image to the NVIDIA Shot With GeForce site: https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/shot-with-geforce/ Once uploaded to the site above, send the link of your screenshot(s) to our email at press@keenswh.com with the subject line “NVIDIA Ansel Contest”.Please also clearly state which category your submission belongs in and include a link to your Steam profile.Deadline for submissions is May 31st, 2018EvaluationBy myself and the Space Engineers teamThe Categories:Vanilla EpicnessThis category is about creativity within the limits of the vanilla game. The only rule is to follow the guidelines of our art style guide. You could design a fleet, a planet base, or even just show some epic destruction. Blow our minds! 360 Degrees Vanilla EpicnessThe second category is identical to the first category with the exception being that the images must be taken in the 360 degrees capture type within NVIDIA Ansel. You have some extreme potential here when capturing a scene to really tell a story of what is happening in that world. The Shot With GeForce website has a built-in 360 degrees image viewer to see the format correctly. See some examples here.Modding EpicnessIn this category, you can access the full potential of the Steam Workshop and the thousands of mods that exist on the platform to use in your creations.360 Degrees Modding EpicnessJust like the vanilla version of this category, you have huge potential to tell a story with this capture method. The difference of course with this category is that you can use as many mods as you like in your scenes! See some examples here.Funky/Abstract/Pop ArtThis final category is about coming up with something very artistic! You may choose to utilize features of NVIDIA Ansel like filters and AI style transfer to help you achieve this.  Space Engineers is still in development. Everything in the game is subject to change.Thanks reading and we look forward to seeing what you come up with using this fantastic technology!Marek RosaCEO, Founder Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.5mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence. GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Space Engineers: Answering community questions: follow-up to last weeks Q&A
    true
    Following our previous blog post and livestream Q&A there has been some confusion surrounding our plans and the future of Space Engineers. Yesterday, I had an interview with Captain Jack who wanted to get to the bottom of some of the questions coming from the community. I want to answer the questions, but also I want to provide an insight into how we think and why are we doing what we do. I won’t reveal any of our surprises, but other than this, I am transparent.You can listen to the full interview on his YouTube channel and read my summary of the interview below. We discussed:New features: female engineers, ladders, etc.The future of Space EngineersHow to most effectively provide feedbackWhy do you not like to talk about your plans at Space Engineers? Do you even have any? The short answer is, yes. We have very concrete plans both in the short term and the long term, both for Space Engineers and the genre of engineering games as a whole. We are constantly  developing many different things in the background, working on new features and aspects of the game. There are two main reasons why we don’t want to talk in too much detail about our plans.1. We don’t want to ruin any surprises for our community We have been asked specifically for an explanation as to why features that the community really want are not planned. Just because we do not announce something in advance, it does not mean it is not planned. We see new features and updates as surprises for our community. For example, if you go christmas shopping for your friends and family you don’t announce beforehand to everyone what you have bought them. It is the same way in Space Engineers - and we do have some surprises in store!There are two examples of how this has worked and not worked. Solar panels: are a great example of how we listened to the community and launched them without prior announcement. Everyone loved it!Planets: I wish that we had left planets a surprise rather than announce them 6 months before the launch.2. We are a small team, so having freedom and flexibility is important for our creative process. It also means we need to carefully prioritize.  If we start working on one area, it usually means taking resources from another area, it is a delicate balance. It’s a zero sum game. Also, when we do add features to the game we want to make sure that they are perfect before we release it. We do not want to give in to pressure and release something that we are not happy with, just to get it out faster. If we announce things prematurely, then we lose flexibility of changing plans, doing things differently, or in a different order, etc, because we would be bounded by our earlier announcements. We don’t want this.Ladders: I love ladders, I was the one who originally introduced ladders into the game, I think when you see your hands climbing the ladder it makes the game more immersive and brings it to life. However, at the moment we have other priorities and we cannot do everything. We definitely want to see them in the long-term future but when we have more time to perfect them. Character customization: the core focus of Space Engineers is not on the character itself, but on what you build. However, again I would love to add character customization but we want to do it properly, not just copy/paste a feature from other games because they have it, but create something original - in true Space Engineers style.   Female Engineer: I don’t want to ruin any surprises!Aerodynamics/deadly reentry/more weapons: again these are all things we would love to see in the long term future however, they are not currently our top priorities. I hope that this has been a clear explanation as to why we do not like to give away our plans in too much detail. It is not because we are hiding anything from our community, it just allows us to give you surprises and gives us the freedom and flexibility we need to produce the game to a standard we are happy with.Can we still expect new features (and blocks) in the future? Why have you decided to move to the “finishing” phase, have you lost interest in Space Engineers? It is safe to say that my team and I have not lost interest in Space Engineers, we love the game. It is my child! There will definately be new features and new blocks in the longer term future, however at the moment we are focusing on creating a polished game with no rough edges and excellent user experience. Then we will start to experiment again but without jeopardizing this stable version.Are you already working on a new version of Space Engineers? While we have many ideas for what Space Engineers might look like in the future, we are currently not working on any other games (except Medieval Engineers of course, which has its own dedicated team). In the long term future the natural progression would be to develop another engineering based game, this could be a sequel, or an extension, of the current game. But what we do know is that we are unlikely to develop any other games in long-lasting early access.To summarize, now we are focusing on finishing the current version of Space Engineers, the game that is out there on Steam Early Access. The main goal is to polish everything that is already in the game (e.g. optimizations, multiplayer, engineering, physics, etc) and not deemed “experimental”. Once this phase is over, once the game is officially released, we will start working on a new game / new product - and we will keep this as a surprise. This will be the next evolutionary step in the engineering games genre. It’s very likely that we will be providing small updates to the current version of Space Engineers, the game that is out there on Steam Early Access - but only things that don’t break backwards compatibility, not dramatic changes, etc.This first version of Space Engineers is about building, engineering, physics. Those are core features. Everything else can be added later, in future versions. Now it’s important to get a stable version that players can enjoy for a long time, while we work on the new and experimental stuff in the background.What is the best way to report bugs or give feedback/suggestions to the Space Engineers team?     As Space Engineers is still in development it is quite normal to find bugs and we really appreciate getting reports which we can work on. However, it helps if we have precise bug reports that we can recreate, which are reported through the proper channels rather than hateful messages on social media. All that creates is drama, which can be fun for some people 😏, but it also distracts our team from their core activities of developing. Report bugs on our forums: https://forum.keenswh.com/forums/bug-reports.326950/Join on our Discord server: https://discord.gg/KeenSWHWhat are Space Engineers current priorities?Currently our priorities are multiplayer, improving the performance of the game and better simspeed. We are aiming to create a game that looks and feels like reality and that is a pleasure to play. There are already 100x more features in the game now than we had ever planned for when we started. There will always be more to do and always requests to add new features in a polished state, therefore we need to start managing expectations.  If we don't answer every question from every person, it's not because we don't care. It's only because there are many people, many questions, many opinions. We would love to answer everyone.Future Q&As - Captain Jack had a good idea of doing these community moderated Q&As in the future and we are very open to this. It’s the best way how to communicate our thoughts and plans to you. You can expect more of them.FeedbackIf you have any questions or requests, please do not hesitate to contact us, we will do our best to solve your problems.We would be also very happy if you can submit your feedback at our Space Engineers Steam store page and encourage us to do better. We welcome both positive or negative comments, it helps us to create better game for you! ConclusionThank you for reading and we look forward to hearing your feedback.Marek RosaCEO, Founder Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.5mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence. GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Space Engineers: State of Development, Open Development in Early Access, Changes to Release System, Xbox One
    true
    SUMMARY:Open development in early access is very challenging, both for players and developersEach new feature, every fix and every optimization opens up new possibilities of what you can try in the game and where you can discover new errors, limits and problemsAnnouncing new development cycle with primary focus on major releasesThe status of Space Engineers Xbox One versionQuestions & AnswersIntroductionWhat led me to write this post?While reading comments on our social media, I often see people commenting about the way we develop our games in both positive and negative ways. We are lucky to have a very passionate community but sometimes not everyone agrees with, or understands, our development process.Our vision was always to be honest with you, our players. Because you deserve to know.Space Engineers: State of Development Q&A Stream From the very beginning  we made it very clear, that Space Engineers is in development and everything is subject to change. In general we do not speak about our future plans however, there have been a few exceptions. When we discuss our plans it has been in general terms, such as now we are focusing on polishing, fixing, user interface, and not on adding new features.Of course, the decision of being in open development / early access was made by us. Now we must continue to live with this development choice and the pros and cons that come with it.Pros: We really appreciate the feedback we are getting from our community. Without it, we wouldn't discover a lot of things and be able to move forward so quickly. One example I’d like to mention is that players are playing and experiencing the game in ways that wouldn't occur to us, or we simply would not have the time to explore the game in such use cases.Cons: On the other side, players are playing a game which we know is unfinished. Some features are not fully implemented, not everything is optimized, the game is not tested in all aspects, and so on. Players can blame us for everything, and we can’t always defend ourselves. This is because we know it takes years to finish a game and we will not be able to fulfill every requirement from our community. Also, even though we try our best to keep backwards compatibility for mods, worlds, and creations with every update, it is not always possible as we strive to improve the game and its engine. This is an unfortunate situation.Doing an open development project is very difficult. We are thankful for everyone who is, who was with, and who stayed with us during the entire process.Very experimental gameLooking at the Space Engineers today, we have three main challenges:Space Engineers is an extremely ambitious and challenging project.We are doing it in “open development” / early access so the game is always changing.The environments are of huge scale, dynamic, destructible, and feature voxel realistic physics with hundreds of interconnected systems, and full modding support.We started to work on Space Engineers five years ago. Back then, it was just an idea, there was no prototype and no rules existed for most things we do in Space Engineers (actually the only exception was StarMade which I still have a lot of respect for). We didn’t even know if it was possible or if it was a good idea to create a game with no limits to what players can build, destroy, change etc.We’ve experimented a lot while developing Space Engineers and have had a lot of fun doing so. On top of this, players are continuing to test the boundaries and capabilities of the game. We understand that not having any limitations can put extremely high demands on computing power, especially if there are situations that go beyond what we originally designed the game to do. Then we often got a fire back about an unoptimized game. Some unintended consequences, e.g. one ship in a world is ok, but what if 30 players start crazily copy-pasting their ships in creative mode, the multi-player would start choking, CPU would choke under all the physics calculations and integration of all entities, memory would run out, etc. It is important for players to understand that optimization is not simply a miracle which can solve all performance issues, but that there are limitations to what can be done in the game. Sometimes too many physics calculations can lead to lower sim speed regardless of optimization.It’s good that it’s hard because we can learn new things and show others that they are possible. At the beginning, it took us 7 months to deliver the first prototype. We decide to do “open development” in early access, which means players who purchased the game were to try the game while it’s being developed, and to get weekly updates. The following 2 years were full of new features, improvements and additions. It was quite easy to add new stuff at this stage, because the game still wasn’t overly complex and we didn’t have to polish every feature to perfection. We were working with our community and we wanted to make our players happy. Even despite our original plan, we have added many new blocks, various systems and large features (e.g. planets, solar panels, magnetic boots, parachutes, etc). We were able to have weekly updates where each update brought significant changes (new blocks, new functionality). But as the game grew and became more complex, it started to be more and more time consuming to add, polish, optimize and fix things. Since then, the rich weekly updates changed, mostly to fixes and optimizations. We focused on polishing what is already in the game. We are still in this stage and it will take some time until all is done. During the last 2 years we focused on polishing and putting it all together. Many things were not visible to players, but there was a lot of work being done in the background. Today, Space Engineers has 100x more features than we originally dreamed about, it’s much more complex, rich and polished, with more details of how things can interact. Many of the features we do are not just pure software development, but actually computer science R&D. There’s no manual for how to do it, no precedence. We must invent it. For example: large scale solar system, multiplayer with hundreds of dynamic and interacting entities where changes can occur instantly, all sorts of physics issues that can’t be pre-programmed, but the game must adapt and adjust to what players are doing, etc.This is how we do it in Keen: we start an ambitious project and then keep going on until it's finished Our current goal is to perfect this first stage of Space Engineers saga, to build a solid open-world, open-ended, physical volumetric sandbox, where players can build complex machinery in believable worlds, working flawlessly in single-player and multiplayer, with rich modding support.The last 10% takes 90% of the effort We are very happy that Space Engineers ecosystem is a living world, with over 200,000 monthly players, a growing number of creations on Steam workshop (more than 310,000 player creations and mods) and a flourishing YouTube and streamer community.Listening to our community is very important for us. We have our Keen feedback site open for anyone who’d like to share an idea or suggestion about the game.There were more than 1200 ideas already submitted so it gives us a lot of things to looks at.We have already addressed 94 ideas which we implemented into the game. We are also active on Discord and our social medial, so we gather as much feedback as possible.Why is open development in early access particularly challenging?New features, or fixes of issues always open up doors to new ways of using the game, what to build and what to do in the open world. This allows players to push the limits.For example, originally we didn't plan to have wheels in Space Engineers. We added them, because we saw that players want them for building their machines, and we were also curious what kind of things they would build with them. We didn't aim for car type wheels with suspension and other technical features. However, players started to use them in this way, especially after we introduced planets and there was gravity and a larger surface where they could drive. After we finalized the proper implementation of car/wheels physics in 2017, players started to use them more in multiplayer. These cars are more performance demanding than in other games, because Space Engineers do not distinguish if something is a car or a ship or any other machine. Space Engineers is a universal physics simulator and it has to simulate all components. And if a car is made from hundreds of blocks and a set of wheels, it all has to be simulated and propagated through multiplayer. And this takes its toll on simspeed (performance). Unless we also optimize this, it's going to run slowly.We can’t hold back every major release until all possible issues are solved, until everything is working. If we do so, you would see only the final version of the game, not intermediate updates, and Space Engineers would not be in early access (open development).If our development model wasn’t an open development (early access), there would be none of this. There wouldn’t be the game itself until it was 100% finished, QA certified and released. Space Engineers has hundreds of blocks & hundreds of mechanisms and systems.Many times our first implementation was just a quick prototype that worked in the most important cases, but didn’t cover them all. For example the antennas, rotors connected to merged grids, and many other. As we have our internal roadmap, some players may see things being implemented in different order than they expect (e.g. “why instead of fixing multiplayer you worked on visual tweaks?”). But they don’t see the details and the reasons behind it. Back to the multiplayer example, we have actually been constantly improving multiplayer for the last 3 years, but everytime we improve it, people start pushing the game in that direction more and it seems as if nothing was actually improved. It will take some time to get the multiplayer perfect. So while working on this long term project, we want to finish shorter projects that help the community in other directions (e.g. better visual, audio, wheels, intuitive interface). The direction that will help new players, or that will help to grow the game ecosystem also for oldtimers.Looking back at the last 5 years I can say that the game grew more than I expected. It may seem slow if you look at it on a monthly basis, but if you zoom out and observe how much experimental, complex and risky stuff have we made working... it's fascinating.We have been on Steam Early Access for over 4 years, and are one of the oldest games there. This shows our commitment to such a challenging project and our community. This is what Early Access is all about.TeamWhile building Space Engineers, we also built our team. There were 5 people at the beginning, now we have around 30, working on both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers. Everyone who ever built a company, or a team, knows that building the team should precede building the product. Now we feel very confident in the strong abilities of our team and I don’t think there are better programmers for making a SE-like game.I’ve worked with many developers and I wouldn't trade my team for anything else. I stayed as the CEO and creative director of both games - because I still love making games, especially with my colleagues, and I would miss it if I would go away from it. So I try to split my time between games and AI.New way of doing releasesAs Space Engineers is nearing its final release date our focus is on polishing, bug fixing and overall game quality rather than adding new game features. Therefore, we’ve decided to change our development cycle. This new development cycle is probably not the final one, but we think that it will work perfectly fine at this stage of development. We have decided to eliminate the number of weekly updates and handle them on a case by case basis, in other words, when necessary. Our main focus will be on major updates, which will bring more impactful changes to the game. This way we can focus our development and testing teams on major updates. This will give them time to do proper development and to test the entire game. The number of test cases we need to run prior to a major release is over 8000, and it requires 3 weeks of full time work of the entire QA team.Once a major update is released, we will spend few days or weeks hotfixing the most important crashes and game breakers, but we really hope there will be a minimum of those game breakers after the release.Comments from the CommunityXbox One versionTogether with Microsoft we announced that there will be an Xbox One version of Space Engineers four years ago. When players ask us these days about the progress of the Xbox version, we usually say “it is currently under development”. What I can say is, that we have a dedicated team working on this project with very good progress. We do not want to comment on the target date at this moment, but we would like to assure you, that we are working on it. Questions & AnswersQ: Does it mean that you have stopped developing the game?A: No. Quite the contrary. We are just switching from weekly updates to more long-term focused major updates. We are focussing on quality rather than quantity. If we didn’t stop the development after 5 years, why would we stop it now?Q: Why are there bugs in the game?A: What you see is an experimental game, in open development, and it’s natural that there are unfinished parts that may appear as bugs. If we did closed development, you wouldn’t see this because you would only see the final product. Q: Do you think you can improve performance of the game, better simspeed?A: Yes. It is one of our current priorities.Q: Are you still working on multiplayer?A: Yes. It is also one of our current priorities.Q: Why did it take 2 years to get rid of Clang, and is it still somewhere in the game?A: It took a lot of time because inventing a robust solution to the physics we have in Space Engineers is a hard scientific problem, especially if you consider the sheer size of our game. Things get even more complicated when you add multi-player into the mix.“Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Q: Is it true that the game is slow because you are bad programmers?A: No. Quite the contrary. The programmers at Keen Software House are some of the best in this universe. They know where to optimize and how to optimize. If something appears as not optimized, it’s only because their attention is focused on something else - more pressing issues, tasks more aligned with the development steps, etc.Q: What are you going to do after Space Engineers is finished?A: We do not usually talk about our planned features, products etc. Just in case they change. Everything is still subject to change.Q: Do you even care about Space Engineers community?A: Yes, very much! We love what you keep creating and building (and destroying). You are co-creating this amazing piece of work with us. We are in this together!ConclusionI am very satisfied with what we ALL have achieved in last 5 years. Some may feel that we could have done more, but if you look back and realize that 5 years ago there wasn’t Space Engineers, nor its ecosystem, there was no prototype, no design, no example to follow, I think we are doing well.Space Engineers is still in development. Everything in the game is subject to change. Thank you for reading and we look forward to hearing your feedback.Marek RosaCEO, Founder Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.5mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence. GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • The results of the Space Engineers Physics & Engineering Contest
    true
    Hello Engineers! The big day is here! We are ready to announce the winners of the Space Engineers Physics & Engineering Contest.  As you saw and heard during the online award ceremony on Thursday, February 15 on the Keen Software House Community Network on Twitch, which was hosted by Xocliw, we announced four category winners and many others were awarded for their great submissions. They all followed our rules to try to capture the original visual styling and feeling of the Space Engineers, moreover they all added their bit into their work. Due to the low number of submitted entries, we have decided do not award winners in two categories, “Crash Test” Recreation  and “Crash Creations” Recreation. However, the rest of the submissions were awesome. It was really difficult to choose from the total of 51 submitted creations. So with no more delay, here are the winners:Engineering Ingenuity1st place: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=12848168762nd place: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=12876975863rd place: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1285604195Physics Bending 1st place: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=12841087932nd place: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=11525881313rd place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRW4rKRCCTgVanilla Epicness1st place: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=12818868272nd place: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=12850471973rd place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrpOh3tHCfoModding Epicness1st place: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=12870604182nd place: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=12870531283rd place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R92PwYr0oRYAnd here are the prices for the best creations:Congratulations to winners and big thanks to all who participated! Space Engineers is still in development. Everything in the game is subject to change.If you have any questions or requests, please do not hesitate to contact us, we will do our best to solve your problems. We would be also very happy if you can submit your feedback at our Space Engineers Steam store page and encourage us to do better. We welcome both positive or negative comments, it helps us to create better game for you.Thank you for reading and we look forward to seeing what you can engineer and come up with!Marek RosaCEO, Founder Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.4mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence, with $10mil. GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Space Engineers: Major Overhaul of Visuals, Audio and Wheels
    true
    SUMMARY:Motivation: playing Space Engineers should feel goodWhat we did: Massive overhaul of visuals, audio, wheels, and tons of other improvementsReplay & Offline rendering (our internal tool for recording ingame videos) used for the first-timeNvidia AnselRender blog post - a guest post from Jan Hlousek, Keen Software House VRAGE Engine LeadWheels blog post - a guest post from Martin Pavlicek, Keen Software House Physics programmerBetter immersion => Happier EngineersOfficial Russian language translationWith today’s major update, 1.186.0, we are releasing a massive overhaul of visuals, audio and wheels, together with a huge number of additional improvements to the core of Space Engineers.The following video was all captured in-game, using our new replay and offline rendering tool (currently internal use only).In this trailer we wanted to illustrate major visual, audio and wheel improvements. On top of that, we felt the need to create a new story-driven video from Space Engineers. This is the trailer I wanted to create since beginning of Space Engineers idea - crash-landing of a large ship, repairing, and heading back where it started.We are encouraging all Space Engineers content creators (youtubers, streamers, modders) to start using these new visuals and to follow our original art style when creating new content, or even consider redoing past creations with these new capabilities. Why is this important for us? Space Engineers was started with a very particular vision in mind and we want to keep it. It was authentic, unique at its time and made our game stand out. People loved it.You can find the changelog listing all the new features, tweaks and improvements on our forums: https://forum.keenswh.com/threads/7399609Archived Release StreamThe stream peaked at more than 1400 viewers! MotivationSpace Engineers should feel good to play. Therefore, the major goal for this update is to enhance your experience by improving the way our game feels. Our new changes, including improved sound and visuals, make the game more realistic, more rewarding and ultimately more enjoyable.  The last major update brought an overhaul of physics. The current one brings massive improvements to visuals, the rendering engine, animations, audio (arcade and realistic), wheeled simulation, and much more.Visuals are important, they mediate the first impression. Audio is also important, it’s adding the emotions (feelings, depth) to all interactive works.Space Engineers was inspired by reality and by the “need to create”. The best way to enable both, is to try to think about how all the components in our game would work in the real world. The answer is: get as close to realism as possible, but not too much, so you don’t jeopardize the intuitive gameplay.We are aiming for not only realistic physics, but also realistic rendering and audio.Why now?We are wrapping up things and the first-minute impression is important. Polishing visuals and audio are things that you shouldn’t keep for the finish line.Moreover, there’s this “broken windows syndrome” where unfinished features signal that it’s OK that the remaining features will stay unfinished. This is not a feedback loop we want to encourage - not internally in our team, and not externally to our community.VisualsOur original visual style was particularly designed to help players grasp complex geometries of their creations. For example, a low-frequency high-resolution texturing enables players to understand the surface more intuitively than high-frequency texturing would.We always aimed for AAA visuals. Not only because they look awesome, but they also help to understand the surrounding in a more intuitive manner.When we talk about visuals, we mean specifically: the rendering engine and its configuration, art, 3D models, textures, character animations, interaction with the world, particle effects, lighting, shadows, environmental ambience and reflection, the way we build and color template ships, etc. Everything that affects what you see and how you interact with the game.Things in Space Engineers should look similar to what they would look like in the real life, if they were built with the technology of today. However, we didn’t want to just copy reality. We wanted to add something on top of it using our own artistic license, making it special and unique.Visuals have been a top priority for me and the Space Engineers team during the last months - but the work on it had already started years ago. It was a long, continuous and gradual process. For example, this picture illustrates how the visuals of armor developed over time:Left: original from Oct 2013 / Middle: later version / Right: new one from 1/2018We tried to get back to that original armor look & feel - metalness, the feeling of heavy and strong steel.The following three pictures illustrate the evolution of the basic color palette.Left: Basic armor palette (2013) / Middle: Prototypes (2017) / Right: Current look (2018)What we did:ParticlesNew GPU particle engine, so the game can render richer particle effects and a higher number of them at the same cost (before there were  only CPU particles)All transparent geometry rendering is now tweaked and aligned with the rest of the visualsAlmost 90 unique particle effectsParticle effects: explosions, thrusters, jetpack, bullet hit, crashes and collisions, damaged and destroyed blocks, meteorites, missile trail, dust from thrusters and many moreDebris after object damage and total destructionDebris after voxels cut out or missile explosionGravity and physics influences particles, e.g. bullet hit sparkles will fall down in gravity, collide with the ground, bump upSelected particle effects emit a point light (explosion, gun muzzle, bullet impact, etc)Camera shakeNow there’s a very subtle camera shake whenever there’s a collision, near explosion, crash, player shooting or using a tool, falling or landing on feet, ship acceleration, etc.It’s a very simple effect, but it adds one more layer of immersionArmorNew high-quality armor edges, small and large. This is actually very funny because the original (temporary) triangle-like armor edges have been with us for a very long time, longer then I would expect. Polished color palette - saturation and brightness. Back to original Space Engineers colors.GlassArtists designed the glass so that it looks good from both sides, renders proper dynamic reflections and subtle details inform the player that there’s glass present (absolutely translucent glass wouldn’t be visible, players would be hitting it all time)Window block, ship cockpitsDepth-buffer clipping avoidance trick for tools and weapons in first-person modeWe had this feature in DX9 version of our render, but when we switched to DX11, we didn’t implement itIt’s now back again - basically it means that near objects (tool, weapon) are rendered with closer depth and thus don’t clip with the remaining geometry.The result is that when you get close to obstacle, your tool or weapon won’t be clipping through itIt really adds depth to drilling, grinding and welding in first-person mode. It just feels so satisfying now!The best part of this story: we originally estimated it will require 2-5 days of work on our render. But because we didn’t have this much time, Petr Minarik and Jan Hlousek managed to implement it in one hour! I wouldn’t believe if I didn’t see it!Visual tweaksPoint light with proper attenuation (not so linear, correct specular contribution)Suit headlight with proper glare, dust cone, correct light settingsGlares for all major light sources - thrusters, interior lights, spot lights, sun, etcHDR - high dynamic range colors and lights, enabling higher contrast between dark and very bright light sourcesEye adaptation - when you move from dark place to a brightly lit open space locationTone mappingBloomHBAO - screen space ambient occlusion shader, adding little dark shadows to cornersNew Skybox - almost monochromatic, very simple, coming back to our original skybox but without impostor asteroids, with dust and slightly bright to make the space not look so dark (players can change the skybox through mods)Global illumination and dark in shadows/interiors now working much betterCinematic feel (can be disabled)Lens camera dirtVignetteChromatic aberration3D ModelsCockpit chairs - less rounded, more squared (fitting original art style better)“Under construction” blocks have more metallic texture, less chrome, more matt, galvanized metalOverhaul of Particles!Driller Head metal material is now more metal shiny/scratched Astronaut boots with proper stripe for magnetic effectAnd many moreGravityGravity for character is now more closer to real gravity on Earth. It may feel like the character is now falling faster, but it’s actually correct and also feels better - unlike the moon style gravity that has been in our game for the past year or two.Original Space Engineers from 2013 had similar gravity as the one present in game in this update and we liked it this wayCharacter movementJetpack has faster acceleration and faster deceleration, the movement doesn’t feel slow and unresponsive. It’s easier to navigate in closer corridors and faster to travel longer distances.Faster walk/run/sprint, closer to how it was in Space Engineers in 2013, and also how other first-person-games do it. Moving around now feels more responsive and satisfying.Character animations Polished all animations to feel more realisticCharacter fall and landing animations - now finally with bending knees :-)Landing from a jumpLanding from a fall (e.g. turn off jetpack)Holding and using tools in first-person and third-person - now the hold is stabilized and  the player feels more in controlImproved interaction between the tool and the environment (lighting, particles, sounds, timing)Tools engage faster (after key/button press), not a delayed feeling anymoreRifle shooting is now more preciseMovement cool down animation - when a character suddenly stops (because the player stopped holding the movement key), the character needs to blend from current movement animation to a stand-by pose. This transition needs to be quick, but it must look realistic. Other games usually don't have both first-person and third-person camera, so they can choose only one method to stop a moving character (fast or slow). In our games, both are possible, so we have to make a compromise - the game feels responsive in first-person mode (you don’t see your body), but movements blend nicely in third-person (you see your body).VoxelsWe reused our new voxel engine from Medieval Engineers for Space EngineersFaster loading times: Easy Start Earth about 60% faster! Instant changes/damage to voxels (e.g. explosion, voxel hand, etc): more than 400% faster!Fixed a problem when drilling to the center of planet - discovered thanks to this video from farrell1701 Grass switching when removing voxels fixedDoorsThe basic interior doors open faster and with cooler sound effectsBetter feeling opening and closing  doors :-)OtherConfigurable LOD (level of detail) distance - for screenshots and offline rendering. Turn the LOD distances to extreme values (almost infinite) in Graphics Options by setting both Model Quality and Voxel Quality to Extreme. IMPORTANT: This setting is only for offline rendering and capturing screenshots and is not recommended for regular gameplay!Bullet hit decals / bullet holes - now working on all surface with only one exception: deformed armor.Planetary visuals and voxel/asteroidThis major update focuses on general visuals - mainly in space. We touched the planetary visuals a little, but it wasn't the main objective. In other words - we really didn't focus on planetary visuals. We focused on space things.AudioThe audio in Space Engineers worked well, but after years of changes in all areas of the game, it was  time to tweak and polish it all.Space Engineers has two audio modes which can be set in world settings - arcade and realistic. Arcade mode sounds are how they would sound if this was a regular movie, or if space wasn’t a vacuum. It’s the default option.Realistic mode is how the sound works in real life. Sound waves travel only where there’s a physical connection between a sound source and a listener. The medium can be either the atmosphere or a solid object, and influences how  you hear the sound: clearly or muffled / low-passed (through vibrations). The game simulates this property. The end result is that you won’t hear an explosion of a  ship nearby if you are not standing on it. However, you will hear a muffled explosion and cracking of your ship if you are standing on its surface. This mode is very realistic and very cool. It is a must “hear” for all Gravity fans - see my older blog post.What we did:Small and large ship sounds - emphasizing feel of accelerating by adding additional soundsHUD voices reenabled (e.g. “low energy” warning)Footsteps retweeked and aligned with new speed of character movement. It also supports different ground materials (ice, rocks, metal, glass). Now you should hear and feel when you are running.Footsteps also start soonerCharacter landing/fall sounds are now more prominent, you should really feel it, this is very important for immersion and different surface materialsPolished where the sound listener object resides - before it was sometimes in camera and sometimes in the center of a ship. Now it's always in camera and the only exception is when you are piloting a large ship from cockpit - listener is in camera, but you will also hear sound of the shipNew sound when your character dies - very subtle, but giving you important feedbackMagnetic boots, on/off sound, different materials, you should really feel how they stick you to the surfaceCharacter jumping sound - emphasizing the rubbing of textile, making the jumping more satisfying :-)Ships colliding and crashing (and sliding and scratching)Small ship cockpit - enter/leave sound - now has heavier sound, feels rewarding. You just want to keep entering a leaving the shipBullet impact on rocks has the standard wild west "pew" sound as it had in all our games. Must “hear” feature!Max sound instances - reworked completely - this is when there are many sound sources close to the listener and it would negatively affect CPU performance to play them all. The game will start prioritizing sounds by distance and slowly turn of less relevant sounds. It is difficult to notice, but it helps with realism and CPUSound occlusions - if there’s an object between the sound source and the listener (you), the sound will be tuned down. This feels awesome!Distance to sound source - this is an older feature but it’s so awesome that I must  mention it: when the distance between sound and listener increases over a certain threshold, you will hear it a bit muffled and with “long distance effect” applied on it. Awesome for gunshots, explosions, etc.Jetpack sound tweakedTool sounds tweaked, better timingDecreased default music volume to 50%, so you can hear the sound effects better, but you can also raise it back to 100% if you wantWheelsIn 2013 we added a first barebone version of wheels. It was just an experiment, we didn’t know if this feature would be relevant for a space game. It proved to be quite important for our community, so we decided to implement fully fledged wheel/vehicle mechanics.“The cars we drive say a lot about us. The cars we build say even more.”Wheeled vehicles in Space Engineers should be strong, robust and endure more. They should enable effective off-road transport, be stable on most surfaces, and not slide or flip over unnecessarily. They should be stable under harsh physics conditions and stable in multiplayer.“We all have a need to race. We also have a need to create.”We are aiming for a realistic experience, but not to constrain your experimentation when building vehicles of your imagination. This is still a sandbox open-ended vehicular simulation.What we did:Changes in Terminal ScreenReduced number of wheel/suspension settings - the game takes care of the detailsTuned default settingsSimplified for easier usageModified contact point response for wheelsNo more wild voxel bounce-off and slidingNew wheel static friction simulationWheels will maintain expected path in turns, no more slidingProgressive steeringMax steering angle is automatically adjusted based on car speed at the momentNaturally reduces chance of car flippingDynamic center of mass changingCenter of mass for Wheel-Suspension connection is adjusted to further improve car behaviorReduces chance of car flippingLow friction mode for wheelsTo maintain backward compatibility for existing creationsAir shock suspensionsJumping vehicle will extend and strengthen suspensions in mid air to better absorb the shock impact upon landing and prevent damage of the chassis (example video)Unsticking via jumpWhen your off-road adventure gets you into rough terrain and your car can’t get out of it  (wheels are spinning, the car sits on its belly) - press X and the car will make a small or large jumpWheels need to be in contact with ground. The car is using the suspension springs to quickly push itself up.Acceleration / deceleration / stopping / brakingWe tweaked the vehicle mechanics and configuration so that you will have the correct experience from your vehicle accelerating and deceleratingBraking and stopping the vehicle now has the right feeling as well as being more responsive, intuitive and enjoyableMass of a vehicle influences its inertia - e.g. heavier vehicles continue moving forward with more energy than lighter ones when left unattended with no braking force applied to them.Cars feel more like real cars!Different friction on different surface materials.Fixed Multiplayer support for Wheels.Increased robustness and endurance of wheel and suspension blocks - so they don’t break after jumps.Replay & Offline renderingThis is a new internal tool for recording ingame videos. We used it to record footage for the newest update video.This tool helps us in two areas:Replay: With this tool we are able to record actions of multiple characters and ships in exactly same way as it was in Miner Wars 2081. You record the first character, then another and another, then a ship and another ship. You can then replay it all together and the final scene seems like multiplayer, or a well prepared cooperation. It is designed for our internal use for trailers for now.Offline rendering: pre-recorded sequences can now be replayed in offline non real-time mode, where physics tick and render tick go in sync, one after another. Therefore, it’s impossible to get missed frames, lags, stuttering, etc. Because the rendering is offline, you can run it in higher resolution and quality. This is how we are able to get lag-free 4K @ 60 FPS scenes, no matter how complex.It can be used for staging screenshot scenes with multiple ships and characters.Offline rendering at 4K @ 60 FPS takes its time. Let’s do some math:Our experience is that a 10 second shot at 4K @ 60 FPS takes approx 20 minutes to renderA 3 minute long video would then render for about 6 hoursYou may be asking: but doesn’t the game run 60 FPS at 4K on my supercomputer? Yes that’s true, but the rendering generates and saves thousands of 4K lossless PNG images. This takes time. Hard drives have their latency and bandwidth (even after we upgraded to high speed SSD)Just as an illustration:If the game renders 60 frames per second, a 10 second shot will generate 600 images4K images have 8,847,360 pixelsThere are 4 bytes per pixelSo each 4K image is equal to 35 MbTherefore, a 10 second shot  equals to 21 Gb of dataAnother benefit is that the game can be render on Extreme graphic quality = no LOD switching, with very rich shadows.The bad news is that this tool is for internal use only - mainly because it’s very hardcore, not user friendly at this moment and not all game features are supported it. We understand that this in the hands of our community creators would be a gold mine of great footage!Official Russian translationI am also happy to share with you, that we have added an official Russian translation of Space Engineers into the game. More than two hundred thousand Russian speaking Space Engineers players can now enjoy the game in their mother language. My big thanks goes to our community, but especially to Sergey Leonidov, our Keen Software House developer, who went through more than twenty thousand words in the game and did a proper review and correct translation. Nvidia AnselWe also worked closely with Nvidia who asked us to implement the support for their Ansel technology.From Nvidia website:NVIDIA® Ansel™ is a powerful in-game camera that lets you take professional-grade photographs of your games. Now, you can capture and share your most brilliant gaming experiences with super-resolution, 360-degree, HDR, and stereo photographs.FREE CAMERA: Freeze your game for that perfect moment and reposition the camera for just the right angle. Ansel overcomes the limitations of traditional screenshot capture, giving you the power to capture truly unique photographs.POST-PROCESS FILTERS: Adjust the look, feel, and mood of your screenshot. You can even add filters or manually adjust brightness, contrast, or other options to suit the mood.What we did:Using Ansel, players can capture screenshots in default resolution, super resolution (similar to multiplier we already have, but without limitation on GPU memory, as it captures screen in multiple small tiles, so the limit is 64k resolution), stereo screenshots, 360 degrees (up to 8k resolution), and 360 degrees stereo.Enabling Ansel by pressing Alt+F2 shortcut will pause the whole game (even particles). The player then has the ability to set the camera position / orientation / roll precisely how they want it along with other properties such as field of view (FOV).Before taking the screenshot, the player can add a filter (b&w, half-tone, retro, sepia), adjust various post-process effects (sketch, color enhancer, vignette, vibrance, contrast, brightness) or enable / disable HUD.--------The following technical post goes into great detail about the changes that were made to wheels. It was written up with diagrams and videos by Martin Pavlicek, one of our programmers here at Keen Software House who worked heavily on this iteration.Wheels  by Martin PavlicekYou've been asking us over and over again for a long time now, and today we are really proud to bring you entirely new physics for wheels. We've been working extremely hard to make driving of all wheeled designs in Space Engineers a really pleasant experience, and we hope that you'll enjoy the new driving, at least as much as we enjoyed making it.In next few paragraphs I would like to familiarize you with some of the steps we took to make the driving great again. So without further ado let's jump right on it.Static frictionOne of the main issues you may have immediately noticed when driving old wheels was the fact that they weren’t  actually steering the car at all. Even at high friction setting the wheels would slide sideways on rock solid surfaces. Keeping to the track while turning was basically nonexistent. This wasn’t really the behavior one would expect from rubber-tyred wheels, so we focused on this and made steps towards creating tires that better reflect real world behavior.When working on this issue we found out pretty soon that the reason for this unexpected behavior was missing so called “static friction.” The tires were basically not making any resistance when forced to slide sideways during turning or on steep slopes.In order to fix this issue, and make the wheels behave more naturally, we introduced a new system that will watch the state of each tire on your car and  dynamically simulate the static friction on each wheel, making your car (or any wheeled design) behave more naturally, as one would expect in real world.BeforeNowDynamic center of massThe vision of Space Engineers is to be based on reality, however sometimes we found it necessary to sacrifice elements of realism for improved gameplay. Immediately after making the cars turn by the system described above, we noticed that it's actually quite difficult to drive common designs one can find in our workshop. Blocks in SE are large and quite heavy, which ultimately makes heavy cars with a high center of mass. Combine this  with the high speed that you are usually driving in our game and you'll get a car flip in every second turn. Space Engineers player: "I drove my car only 70m/s on a flat planet surface and my car flipped over while turning. This doesn’t happen when I drive in real world. Literally unplayable."Keen support: "Sir, can you remember when was the last time you drove your 15 ton truck 250km/h on a field?”It's really boring to drive at a realistic 20m/s. and while it's perfectly physically accurate to make your car flip when driving faster than that on an uneven surface, it's not a really good user experience and we know it.For this reason we introduced another system that will dynamically adjust the center of mass of your designs for force impulses that come from wheels to the car chassis. Keep in mind that the behavior of other forces acting upon your grids, for example impacts of other objects, will remain the same. This change will take place only when wheel interaction comes into play.This will allow you to make more sharp turns in higher speeds, without risking a flip over. While the system helps, keep in mind that it's intentionally limited, so that your design still matters and the engineering aspect of the game stays preserved. The better you build your car, the more you get out of it in terms on driving properties and gaming fun. See section best practices below for more info on this topic.Adaptive steeringIt's natural for drivers in the real world to adjust the amount of steering they apply based on speed, driving surface and mass distribution of their car. If they miss-judge these, they will end up drifting their car or worse they'll flip it over.The same applies for our game, so we implemented a system that will take these properties into account and adjust the maximal steering angle based on current conditions. This will further help you avoid accidental flip overs and make your driving experience even better.Physics surface materialsAnother new feature we are introducing to Space Engineers in this update are physical material properties for voxels, like lateral and forward friction. This does not apply to wheels only but it's related to all contact with voxel surfaces. From now on you will notice that ice is much more slippery than grass, which is more slippery than a rock. Physical restitution is also a thing now, so solid rock is more bouncy than grass for example.Enjoy your ice cold lake drifting!Surface bounce-offOne might have noticed on old wheels, and it eventually came even more obvious with new wheels, that the voxel surface is actually not really flat. In physics it's represented by a triangular mesh and driving on such surface at high speeds can be quite bumpy as the wheels are hitting different surface triangles.This made the driving experience quite unpleasant at high speeds and from time to time cars started to unpredictably jump off the surface.To combat this issue, we are modifying the contact points between the wheel and the driving surface in real time to imitate a “flat surface” and smooth out the driving as a result.Impact absorption (aka AirShock)To further improve your driving experience in challenging terrain we are introducing the so called AirShock system. It is designed to automatically detect situations when you are about to land hard after a large jump and temporarily increase the impact absorption properties of suspensions, namelly suspension spring strength, dampening and height offset of wheels. The amount of energy absorbed is obviously proportional to the number of wheels that are in contact with the ground at the moment of impact, so keep that in mind while designing your cars. The more energy that is absorbed into the suspension system, the less chance that you'll strike the ground with your belly.Braking and Air frictionHigh speed driving is fun, but sometimes one also needs to slow down, or eventually stop. That's why we simply could not forgot about the braking system. We paid close attention to make braking as responsive and strong as possible, while keeping it within the boundaries of realistic expectations. With a little bit of artificial stabilization, to compensate for higher center of mass, than is usual in real world designs, the overall feeling from this part of driving felt really satisfying to us. We hope you'll feel  the same way when you try it for a first time.Hand in hand with manual braking there is also other force that is usually making cars stop in real life. It's called air friction and we are adding it for the cars in this update too.One minor issue, but huge quality of life improvement, which we solved along the way is a (parking) brake issue. Wheels will now correctly steer and suspensions will stay functional while the brake is engaged.JumpingWhen it comes to off road you never know what trouble you might encounter on your journeys, so it's better to be prepared for anything. If you get stuck in a deep bank, and can't get out using conventional methods, you'll definitely appreciate the new jumping feature. By using suspension springs as a device for vertical emergency propulsion, you'll be able to get yourself out of any trouble. And if not, well, you are engineer after all, so use your skills and engineer your way out of the trouble.Simplified terminalThere used to be huge amount of sliders and other settings in terminal for wheel suspension block which were actually used by a small percentage of players. Most of players were probably scared of that wall of sliders :)We decided to reduce the number of rarely used setting here in favor of a simpler user interface. Some of the setting are now automatically handled by the game in real-time and some of the less important ones are set to good defaults and changed only when needed.Improved multiplayer (By Sandra Lenardova)As you know, wheels in multiplayer used to bounce around a lot and never moved straight. This was mostly because wheel position corrections from the server kept putting wheels underground. Our solution was to significantly tighten position corrections for cars, while simultaneously significantly loosening corrections for wheels. In fact, wheels are not corrected from the server at all at high speeds, relying solely on wheel constraints on the client. At lower speeds, we no longer correct wheels on their suspension axis. The result is an experience comparable to driving in singleplayer. Best practicesIn this section I would like to point out a few tips that will help you get the most out of the new driving model.Low center of mass: When designing your vehicles, keep in mind that overall mass and the center of mass matters. Same as in real life, the lighter your car and lower its… Read more »
  • Launch of “Solving the AI Race” round of the General AI Challenge
    true
    SUMMARY:GoodAI has launched "Solving the AI Race" round of the General AI Challenge $15,000 of prizes for solutions Round will run until May 2018 Today we have launched the "Solving the AI Race" round of the General AI Challenge, where participants have the chance to win $15,000 in prizes by sending us suggestions on how to mitigate the risks of a race to transformative AI.The round is the first non-technical round of the General AI Challenge, and asks participants to submit suggestions of how we can avoid the potential pitfalls of a race to AI where:Key stakeholders, including the developers, may ignore or underestimate safety procedures, or agreements, in favor of faster utilizationThe fruits of the technology won’t be shared by the majority of people to benefit humanity, but only by a selected fewIt is a very important step towards our goal of creating safe, beneficial general artificial intelligence.We are encouraging participants from all disciplines to take part in order to open up the discussion to a broader audience, as a truly transformative AI is likely to affect all areas of society.We have been busy building an extremely strong external advisory board who have helped us create the new round and some will help us judge the submissions. It includes representatives from Facebook, Microsoft, Future of Humanity Institute, Tencent, and other industry and academic leaders (see full list below).For this round to have the biggest impact we need to spread the word as widely as possible. So if you know anyone who might be interested in taking part please share the news with them!Thank you for reading this,Marek RosaCEO, Founder Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.4mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. He started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence, with $10mil. GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture.Challenge advisory board:Miles Brundage - Research Fellow, Future of Humanity InstituteFrank Dignum - Associate Professor, Utrecht UniversityVirginia Dignum - Associate Professor, Delft University of TechnologyAyako Fukui - Strategic Initiatives Consultant, ArayaLing Ge - Chief European Representative, TencentJosé Hernández-Orallo - Professor, Universitat Politècnica de ValènciaRyota Kanai - Founder and CEO, ArayaPavel Kordik - Researcher, Czech Technical UniversityTak Lo - Partner, Zeroth.aiAlison Lowndes - Artificial Intelligence Developer Relations, NVIDIATomas Mikolov - Research Scientist, Facebook AI ResearchJan Pospisil - Senior Technology (Technical) Evangelist, MicrosoftJan Romportl - Chief Data Scientist, O2Jan Sekerka - Partner Business Evangelism Lead, MicrosoftJulian Togelius - Professor, New York UniversityRoman Yampolskiy - Professor, University of LouisvilleIvan Zelinka - Professor, Technical University OstravaPartners: Read more »
  • Congratulations to Ben Goertzel on the success of SingularityNET
    I would like to congratulate Ben Goertzel on raising $36 million in 60 seconds for his SingularityNET project (here and here).They recently ran a public ICO which saw all available tokens sell out in a minute. It may be publicized as an “overnight success” but knowing Ben, and following his work, I know that this success is the culmination of many years of hard work and persistence.Ben has a vision, like myself, of creating AGI (general AI) and he has followed this vision for over 20 years. SingularityNET is a stepping stone towards making it a reality, by bringing together AI and blockchain to create a decentralized marketplace for AI.Regardless of what you think of the project, it is a great example of one of the key ingredients to success: persistence. Ben has shown remarkable tenacity leading this project and has shown how one person’s vision can become a reality through hard work and grit.I am wishing Ben and his team the best for the future and look forward to working with him in August 2018 at the Human Level Artificial Conference (HLAI) in Prague, which is being organized by GoodAI.Thank you for reading this,Marek RosaCEO, Founder Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.4mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence, with $10mil. GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Report from the AI Race Avoidance Workshop, Tokyo
    true
    SUMMARY: GoodAI recently organized a workshop in Tokyo on AI Race Avoidance with some of our partnersAt the workshop we focused on mitigating the main pitfalls of an AI raceI have coauthored a new blog post summarizing the outcomes of the workshopThe AI Race Avoidance round of the General AI Challenge will launch on 18 January 2018GoodAI and the AI Roadmap Institute have published a report from the AI Race Avoidance Workshop. In the post we have captured some of the main outcomes of the workshop, which was organized by GoodAI with the help of Araya, and took place in October after the AI and Society Symposium in Tokyo.During the workshop we intended to: Address the potential pitfalls of a race for transformative AI, where:Key stakeholders, including the developers, may ignore or underestimate safety procedures, or agreements, in favor of faster utilizationThe fruits of the technology might not be shared by the majority of people to benefit humanity, but only by a selected fewPlan for the next round of GoodAI’s General AI Challenge, which will launch on 18 January 2018 and focus on mitigating the risks associated with AI race  The blog post addresses seven key questions which we discussedHow can we better understand the AI race?Is the AI race really a negative thing?Who are the actors involved?What are the incentives to cooperate on AI?How will the race unfold?Why search for an AI race solution publicly?What future do we want?However, the workshop also opened up many more questions which you can find in the blog appendix. Next stepsWe are preparing the AI Race Avoidance round of the General AI Challenge to be launched on 18 January 2018 We will continue organizing workshops on AI race mitigation with participation of various international stakeholdersWe will promote cooperation amongst stakeholders across the globe to ensure safe development of AI  Thank you for reading this,Marek RosaCEO, Founder Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.4mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence, with $10mil. GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Space Engineers Physics & Engineering Contest
    true
    SUMMARY:Starting today Nov 23, 2017 and ending on Jan 31, 2018 6 categories:Engineering IngenuityPhysics Bending“Crash Test” Recreation“Community Creations” RecreationVanilla Epicness!Modding Epicness!Win Skin Sets & Space Engineers T-Shirts and HoodiesHello, Engineers! Now that the release of our Major Physics Overhaul is in the hands of the community, we’ve decided that it’s time to kick off a new contest with physics and engineering as the focus. It’s been great seeing what people have been able to achieve since this update released so now is your chance to really show everyone what you are capable of! You can read more about last week’s update on my previous blog post.For those of you who couldn't watch the Major Physics Overhaul developer livestream,here's the recording:We are launching the Physics & Engineering Contest today with a number of different categories. The prizes include in-game Skin Sets, Space Engineers T-Shirts, and Space Engineers Hoodies! On top of that, some screenshots may be added to the official loading screens or even printed on canvas and displayed in the KeenSWH offices!The Screenshot & Loading Screen Competition proved to be successful, we received more than 200 submissions and we picked 12 winners from 4 categories:This contest will run until the end of January 2018. There will be five categories and each will have three winners.Entries can be submitted in a number of different formats. Preferably, we want to see mind-blowing videos of your creations but you can also submit workshop worlds and high resolution screenshots. Across all categories, we want you to capture the original visual styling and feeling of Space Engineers. Please see my blog post for more details and advice on how to achieve this original look that we are looking for. We are working internally to get back to this visual style, both in-game and in marketing/public presentation.Because we are already in the process of switching to a new sky-box, you can use it as well before it is officially releasedGeneral InfoEach player can submit 1 entry per categoryDeadline for submissions is January 31, 2018Tasteful manipulation and enhancement of videos and screenshots through editing software like Premiere, Photoshop and gimp are allowed, as long as the source was in-game.Across all categories, we will be looking at the composition, colors, story and uniqueness of the shot.Screenshots and videos must have a minimum resolution of 1080p but the higher the better! Use the guide below to capture screenshots in a higher resolution than your monitor. 4K and above would be great!Some winners may have their images added as official loading screen or printed onto canvas and used in the KeenSWH offices!By entering the contest, you agree to follow all rules of the contest. If you don't submit according to the rules, you can be disqualified.All entries of the contest become the property of Keen Software House. This means we have the right to use and modify your entries in our game, on social media, on our websites, etc.We reserve the right to modify, cancel, or postpone the contest for any reason.PrizesWinners of each category will get to choose complete skin sets of their choice.1st Place: 3 Skin Sets & Space Engineers T-Shirt & Space Engineers Hoodie2nd Place: 3 Skin Sets & Space Engineers T-Shirt3rd Place: 3 Skin SetWhat to show?Even though each category will have different requirements, there a certain aspects that we are looking for across all entries. These include physics, engineering, destruction, deformation, pistons, rotors etc. While an entry does not need to cover all of these aspects, it should have at least one of them being showcased by your design. Space Engineers has some of the most advanced game physics in the industry. You are able to create and engineer things not possible in any other game, and this is what we want to see!Legendary ReferencesSpace Engineers - Being IndustriousSpace Engineers - Magnetic GrapplerSpace Engineers - Space Balls EverywhereSubmission format(Ordered by preference) - It’s up to you to decide which format to use!VideoWorld (Steam Workshop )ScreenshotsWe encourage users to use our F4 screenshot functionality as it gives much higher resolution screenshots.We have added a screenshot resolution multiplier settings in the in-game options to allow users to take 4K and higher screenshots on lower end systems.How to submit your creationSend the link with your creation to our email at press@keenswh.com with the subject line “Physics & Engineering Contest”. Please also clearly state which category your submission belongs in and include a link to your Steam profile.Deadline for submissions is January 31, 2018EvaluationBy myself and the Space Engineers teamThe CategoriesEngineering IngenuityShow off your engineering prowess with this category! Solve unsolvable problems… physical puzzles, unbelievable constructions ...most wild physical construction…Physics BendingFor the second category, we are interested in creations that are not possible under normal physical laws and/or under Space Engineers’ physical laws. Just how crazy can you push the limits of realism?“Crash Test” RecreationRecreate scenes of your choice from the “Crash Test” trailer from 9/2013. This category is for people who think they can recreate the legendary scenes from the initial release. The good ol’ days! They don’t necessarily have to look exactly the same as the originals but they must follow the same visual style rules or tell a similar story.“Community Creations” RecreationRecreate creations of your choice from the “Community Creations” trailer from 10/2014. This category is for people who think they can recreate the legendary creations from the initial release. The good ol’ days! They don’t necessarily have to look or function exactly the same as the originals but they must follow the same visual style rules or be capable of similar tasks.Vanilla Epicness!This category is about creativity! The only rule is to follow the guidelines of our art style guide. You could design a fleet, a planet base, or even just show some epic destruction! We’re always blown away by the creativity of our players, so show us what you can do with our vision!Modding Epicness!The 6th and final category is almost identical to one above with the difference being that you can use as many mods as you like! We want to see what you can do when harnessing the full potential of the Steam Workshop and the thousands of mods that exist on the platform.Space Engineers is still in development. Everything in the game is subject to change.If you have any questions or requests, please do not hesitate to contact us, we will do our best to solve your problems. We would be also very happy if you can submit your feedback at our Space Engineers Steam store page and encourage us to do better. We welcome both positive or negative comments, it helps us to create better game for you.Thank you for reading and we look forward to seeing what you can engineer and come up with!Marek RosaCEO, Founder Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.4mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence, with $10mil. GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers. At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture. Read more »
  • Medieval Engineers Major Update 0.6: Mechanical Blocks
    true
    SUMMARY:Mechanical blocks!New planet with unique biomes and additional resources!Research questsImprovements for animations and performance!Hello, Engineers!I have been working with the Medieval Engineers team over the last couple of months to make sure the game fulfills our original vision. This major update is one step towards this goal. It’s full of features like a new planet with new biomes to explore, new resources to mine, new tools to build faster, and mechanical blocks to enhance crafting! You get all of that along with research quests so you can discover more advanced blocks while building and improved character animations so your engineer looks good exploring the world. If you already own the game, all of this content is free! If you haven’t bought your copy yet, get it today because Medieval Engineers has never been a better value. Other improvements include faster multiplayer code, faster voxel loading, and faster particle effects! See all of this and more in this latest trailer for Medieval Engineers!Now With Mechanical Block!As the name alludes, Medieval Engineers now has Mechanical Blocks! You no longer need to mill your wheat and saw your timbers by hand. It’s possible to build machines that will do the work for you with greater speed and efficiency. You can get started with a windmill to provide power and various joints and shafts to connect things together. There is a small selection of crafting blocks available right now. Don’t worry, we are planning to continue adding new crafting blocks to expand the mechanical systems with your feedback and suggestions in mind.Now With Biomes!There is a new planet for you to explore in this update of Medieval Engineers. It comes with new terrain and seven distinct biomes! Each one has a unique mix of flora and terrain to create vistas unlike anything you’ve seen before in Medieval Engineers. You can mine precious metals alongside desert mesas, build a stone lodge in the frozen arctic, and farm amongst the hazel trees in the cratered karst landscape. Take a trip across the steppe grasslands and go lumberjacking in the coniferous forests. There’s something new to discover over every mountain!  Now With New Resources!The planetary changes don’t stop with just the scenery. There are additional resources carefully woven into the biomes by our elite team of designers. These include new ores such as tin, copper, silver, and gold that you can discover and mine. You can smelt new types of metal ingots to use or process into alloys. Tools and weapons varying in efficiency and durability based on the metals used to craft them. There is also a new clay material that you can use to craft items like pottery, roof tiles, furnaces, and ovens. With these resources the game finally has the depth and complexity you’ve been asking for, and I think you’ll love it. Now With Research Quests!The quest system has been whipped into shape by including starting conditions, failure conditions, multiple prerequisite conditions, location finding, and control over what is unlocked for you to build with. All of these have been put to use in the new research system that allows you to unlock knowledge by completing quests in the game. It is a more immersive approach that allows for a natural progression during gameplay and adds a little adventure into your engineer’s progression.   Now With Improved Animations!I recently spent some time working with the team on aesthetic improvements and quality-of-life improvements for characters. These changes should improve the general game experience, especially during early gameplay when you are running around with only the engineer trying to survive. Some of these changes include more complex and polished animations, using tools as weapons (back by popular demand), and first-person camera movement improvements. Other things, like character behavior when trying to climb a hill that is too steep and better particle effects for walking and running, have been polished.Now with better performance!Many of the changes in this update perform better than in the past. New player character code, changes to how voxels are updated, and an updated renderer are just a few of the optimizations you will find in 0.6.Player Characters (PC’s): The programmers recently spent a lot of time writing more efficient PC code and along the way they were able to streamline the multiplayer aspect of PC’s as well. The results in trials were, instead of 10-15 characters causing slowdown on a server, it’s now possible to have 30-40 characters running and jumping around at the same time! This opens up a lot of possibilities for the future of Medieval Engineers as well as the immediate benefits to servers that support larger numbers of players and bots.Voxels: We made some changes to voxels that resulted in impressive performance. You'll get into the game faster with reduced loading times and optimized rendering. Changes from mining and voxel hands are immediate.Renderer improvements in VRAGE have much more optimized GPU performance than in the past. All of the particle effects are calculated on the GPU to reduce CPU bottlenecking. Additional render options have given us greater flexibility in the graphics options. There are new extreme settings for high-end graphics cards. Low-end graphics cards will benefit from the new low settings. In testing we’ve seen between 30% and 50% increases on low settings!Modding changesThere are some great changes for modders including definition merging and definition inclusion. Definition merging makes it possible to modify or append part of a definition without changing the whole definition. This means smaller mods with less conflicts. Definition inclusion allows you to copy one definition into another. This works much like inheritance in programming and it’s not only useful on its own for modders but it’s a giant leap toward supporting mod libraries.  There is a guide on how these work on the Medieval Engineers Wiki.Character data is now saved on the character itself. Entity components that save on the character now persist between sessions, even in multiplayer. Finally, now that the old MyCharacter class is gone, characters are created by combining entity components. This makes characters much more flexible to work with for both modders and Keen programmers.NotesAs always; we are leaving the previous version, 0.5.23, as a historical branch that will be available forever. This will be your fail-safe way to play older saves that aren’t compatible with 0.6 or to update those that are.List of New Features:Mechanical blocksWindmillSawmillGristmillTransmission blockNew planet with unique biomesNew resources spread across biomesAdditional ores, voxel types, bushes and grassesPlanet improved to be more interesting to exploreVoxel optimizationsRenderer upgradeMultiplayer optimizationsQuest system upgradeResearch system upgradeImproved character animations and behaviorTools usable as weaponsNew Tools and WeaponsImproved interaction hints design For Modders:Definition merging and inclusionMyCharacter deletion and componentizationCharacter saving  Read the full list of new features at http://news.medievalengineers.com/0_6_release/update_0_6Purchase your copy at http://news.medievalengineers.com/06_prerelease/buymblogThank you for reading!Marek RosaCEO, Founder Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.4mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence, with $10mil. GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers. Read more »
  • Space Engineers: Major Physics Overhaul
    true
    SUMMARY:Massive physics overhaulPistons, rotors, landing gears and moreGrid deformations - Improved, optimized, tweaked and balancedOptimizations - Less lag, more funImproved subgrid behavior and fragilityStronger constraints for mechanical blocks so they don’t break so easilyLess Clang, more engineeringWith today’s major update, 1.185.0, we are releasing a large overhaul to the physics in Space Engineers. The update is primarily focusing on pistons, rotors, landing gears, and grid deformations.The original vision of Space Engineers was to build a game where physics behave exactly as in the real world. We wanted players to be able to transfer their intuition from the real world to the game world. Things in Space Engineers should behave exactly as one would expect them to behave in real world. There shouldn’t be things that look like they can do something but actually cannot and are there just for visual effect. We wanted to create a game where there are no limits in what players can create.Just as an illustration: in Space Engineers we have practically infinite worlds, players can seamlessly travel from planets to moons to asteroids, they can build and destroy everything that’s in the world, they can dig through the entire planet which are huge -- up to 120 km, players can build kilometer-long ships while being completely destructible. Ships and stations have their own mechanics - pistons, rotors, thrusters, gravity generator, conveyors, programmable computers and many more. On top of that, everything is destructible, deformable, recalculated in real time, different blocks have different strength, gravity and other forces push on objects, ships crashes and collisions feel like in real world. We consider these to be the core elements of Space Engineers. This has been a top priority for me and the SE team during the last year - to have these things be as robust, stable, and intuitive as possible.The game’s physics are now more stable and creations shouldn't break, explode ordo uncontrollable things under normal conditions with default settings. But if players override safe parameters (via mods or in-game sliders) and really push our engine, things may get uncontrollable. However in general, the physics will now remain stable even under much more stressful conditions than before.In other words, Space Engineers physics are now very stable and robust.What is the worst case scenario that can still happen in game?Setting max piston forces to very high values can cause clanging, as well as connecting grids with multiple constraints like a square array of connectors or a long chain of pistons.I am very proud of what my team has achieved in this major update! Honestly, I don’t think any other group has done more in the realm of real time large scale interactive physics volumetric simulations. No other game or software project is facing these kind of challenges on this scale.We are pushing the frontier and defining the limits. It's a hard and painful process, but occasionally there are days like today, where we are happy to present our latest iteration!Because Space Engineers is still under development, there may be bugs (our testers spent hundreds of hours testing, but this is nothing compared to tens of thousands of hours played by our community immediately after every update). Nevertheless, we will do everything to fix any issue as fast as possible.Disclaimer: This major update focuses on physics, not multiplayer. Although, the latter has received huge improvements as well. There are still situations in multiplayer where players can push physics to the limit and break the game. Our next focus will be these edge cases.Teaser of future physics/multiplayer improvements: This video shows the Sacrificial Offering for Almighty Lord Clang in multi-player, with 500ms simulated ping, proper predictions, no cheating.However, the game should be stable under default conditions, both in single-player and multiplayer.This is a big day for all space engineers!Space Engineers is still in development. Everything in the game is subject to change.Thank you for reading and we look forward to hearing your feedback on this update.Marek RosaCEO, Founder Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO, Founder GoodAIFor more news:Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.comMedieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.comGeneral AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.orgGoodAI: www.GoodAI.comKeen Software House: www.keenswh.comPersonal bio:Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2.4mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence, with $10mil. GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers.----------The following technical post goes into great depth about the changes that were made to Space Engineers for this update. It was written up with diagrams and videos by Martin Pavlicek, one of our programmers here at Keen Software House who worked heavily on this physics iteration.Physics Improvementsby: Martin PavlicekMotivationMore stable simulation and better user experience, while keeping the overall simulation as realistic as possible, have always been major goals of programmers in the Space Engineers team. We wanted to reduce (or rather remove) any chance of random explosions, glitching subgrids (which impact their parent grid and cause massive damage), or anything else that could upset players. During the multi-year development, Keen programmers have worked on many iterations to find a solution.Welding (aka safety locking)One solution that we tried using to resolve physics issues in general simulation was welding, also known as safety locking but it turned out to be not a sufficient solution. In theory, making one single rigid body out of multiple connected bodies may sound like a good idea, but in practice, it brings more problems than it really solves.Let's take a look on one of the main cases that welding should solve.In a following video, we can see interesting ship made out of multiple connected sub-grids. Welding should protect it from breaking up and make sure that sub grids don't disconnect at high speeds. What we get though is not really what we expected(Note: Continue reading to see “After” version)At its core, welding is a nasty trick achieved by dynamic swapping of rigid bodies at the core physics simulation level. Unfortunately, this doesn't come for free and introduces many side effects, like performance issues (Keen eye might notice simulation lag in previous video at 22s), simulation flaws like rigid bodies warping through each other when safety lock is enabled/disabled each frame...... and risk of random disconnections of landing gears, wheels, rotors or pistons every time the grid is welded/unwelded and rigid bodies are hot-swapped ...… and last but not least, ugly simulation where every rotor, piston or wheel freezes at high speeds.This led us to conclusion that welding is not the way we should or want to go and decided to remove it entirely.Max speed limitationsOne of the main issues we had to deal with in past was the bullet-through-paper-problem (this is a well-known problem with real time physics simulation).Limiting the max speed of in-game objects works pretty well for that case but problems come when sub-grids get limited more than base grid due to high angular velocity. See sketch below.This usually causes sub-grids to disconnect and clang out at high speeds, particularly in space. We solved this issue by strengthening physical constraints and unlocking the subgrids max speed. This allows them to move as fast as needed to keep up with the still limited main/base/central grid.By further strengthening and stabilizing the physical constraints that keep the sub-grids together, we achieved pretty stable simulation. To demonstrate our solution, lets take a look at the following case study. Combination of rotors, pistons, landing gears and on top of that, each attached fighter is further stressing the connections with enabled inertia dampeners. Before state and afterStronger constraintsBy further strengthening the constraints, we can push them to the limits now, without risk of piston parts flying all over the place like they usually ended up before. Before state and afterOr, when player wants, constraints can now be configured in a way so they break in predictable manner when stressed too much:Shared inertia tensorAnother issue we had to solve in this iteration were so called “Jiggling grids”. These are creations with very large inertia tensor and/or mass ratios.Unfortunately, we hit a wall here. This problem is particularly tricky for computers to correctly detect and resolve. After our experience with auto-safety locking, we decided not to opt for an auto-detection system, but rather give you, the players, full control over it. This will allow you to fine-tune your creations exactly to your needs.That’s why we introduced so called Shared inertia tensor.If we take a look at the following sketch: G1, G2, and G3 represent grids connected by physics constraints (blue and red lines), those might be for example rotors.(User can enable shared inertia tensor option on rotor connecting G1 and G2. Then, these two physical bodies will start to share certain physical properties. Purple boxes illustrate that grouping.)Now, when G3 gets some external impulse, it will start to move and/or rotate. Red constraint will need to compensate G2 for G3’s displacement to keep their intended relative positions. The question is, how much will the G2 succumb and how much will be the G3’s movement slowed down by G2’s resistance.The problem becomes more and more obvious the bigger the G1 and G3 are compared to the much smaller G2. Since the Havok constraints are solved one by one, not as an entire system as a whole, G2 will succumb to either G1 or G3 each frame, start to oscillate/jiggle between these two as the G1 and G3 will fight over G2. They’ll never move itself to actually find some common compromise and system will never converge to stable simulation/result.That’s where the shared inertia tensor comes into the play; to either equalize physical properties across all bodies when enabled on every constraint-- as shown in the example below-- or say which grid will be the master and which one should succumb.Here is in-game video with before and after. (Central body is too “light” compared to satellite wings and they’ll start to fight over it’s position.)It also helps to stabilize piston chains with “heavy endpoints”, as you can see on this example. Before, the scene didn’t even load without being immediately possessed by Clang:Now, the scene loads just fine and pistons are even able to move at low speeds without any help of shared tensor. Unfortunately, as the speed goes higher, the pistons will start to behave as a bead chain and problems described above will start to show in a big way. After enabling the shared tensor, everything just works. (Note that second piston chain is not using the shared tensor, yet still behaves naturally. No Clang present here.)And finally in gravity. (Note that they’ll bend as expected with disabled tensor sharing. It’s all about setting it up the way you want it.)Just to not render it as some kind of silver bullet solution to every problem, there are some downsides to this, like simulation inaccuracy compared physical laws, and of course, sometimes we want sub-grids to be submissive as much as possible, for example on tank tracks so they don’t “fight” the main body. That’s why it’s not enabled by default and users should use it wisely and only when need, to achieve more stable creations.PistonsIn previous iterations, pistons were pretty cheesy (when it came to any physical realism). They were also sometimes a pain to use because of their infinite strength and power to penetrate other solid obstacles.Simulating some kind of suspension or pneumatic piston is not an easy task in real time physics simulation in general. It’s even worse in a world as dynamic as those Space Engineers can offer.After some tests we decided to not dive into any kind of complicated piston implementation with strength settings and availability to be pushed back when too much pressure is applied on them. Partially because it would be too complicated and time consuming to make it work “right”, partially because it would ruin some creations that rely on pistons with “infinite force” and no pushback.Thus we decided for compromise that will solve the worst issues players currently face but it will provide the “backwards compatibility” for those who need it at the same time. That is, keyframed piston with limited impulse.Piston is natively backed by Havok fixed constraint. This is the stiffest constraint we can use now, as opposed to prismatic constraint which is intended for this scenario by Havok and may provide more accurate simulation, but its hold is quite vague under certain scenarios, especially when CoM is far from constraint pivot location.When a piston is ordered to extend/retract, the constraint is manually positioned each frame and impulse, needed to get the rigid bodies to new desired position is measured. Whenever the impulse starts to grow over certain threshold, specified by player in GUI, the piston advancement is stopped until the constraint catches up again. This usually happens when piston head starts to collide with some other obstacle. It is either light enough so it can be moved away, or it starts to stress the constraint and stops the piston. Before state And after  Phantom forcesOne of the big topics in the community are the so called phantom forces. The kind of strange behaviour when pasting a grid in space and then it starts to spin or fly away in an uncontrollable manner.After investigating the issue, and doing some internal tests, we realized that this particular behavior is hard to control in real-time.Imagine a simple case where there are two pistons connected to the same rigid platforms.As long as the length of each of these two pistons stays the same as the other one, everything will be fine. The problem comes the moment when one of them changes its length compared to others connected to same rigid body. The inner stresses/tension that will raise inside the system at that moment will result in a fairly complex simulation problem that real-time physics is not able to correctly resolve in any reasonable manner and usually results in a simulation with systems that end up with more energy than they started with in each frame. Usually spinning, flying in different directions and sometimes clanging grids.In any case, we are not able to differentiate these simulation flaws from normal simulation.So, when designing your creation, try to avoid “double-connections” like shown on the example above and whenever you encounter the so called phantom forces, double check every connection on your grid and make sure that it doesn’t “fight” with another one. That way, you should never experience these problems.Rigid body early deactivation and fixingIn order to save the precious CPU time, we decided to early detect and deactivate stationary grids more aggressively and give Havok stronger leads to not simulate these.As you can see on following profiler dump, just by not simulating stationary rigid bodies that are fixed to either voxel or another station, we can gain massive performance improvements.(click to zoom the image)Yellow: ActiveRed: Detected stationaryBlue: Force-fixed staticCoM based thrustI believe that one of the things regular players will really appreciate is CoM-corrected thrust. Before, the attached subgrids would create so called “subgrid drag” which was annoying in space…... and things-breaking in gravity.After:Sub-grid damageDamage handling caused by subgrids, for example impact damage, was adjusted in a way that it will be ignored between subgrids of the same physical group. We will trade a little bit of realism for user experience. Nice creations will no longer get destroyed by accident subgrid impact and it will allow users to make even more immersive creations.This does not apply on damage caused by ship to ship impacts. Only physically connected grids get this resistance.Displaced sub-gridsUnder high angular velocities, subgrids were displacing or entirely disconnecting due to high forces acting upon the construction. This was also fixed in this iteration. Before state AfterAlways have safety fuseWhen everything fails and the worst is about to happen from some unexpected reasons, it's always good to have safety fuse. That's why we implemented safety detach on all "mechanical connection blocks" (That means Rotors, Pistons, Wheels for now). This will protect users from experiencing all those unexpected situations, when subgrid gets insane speed when corrected after being displaced from its intended position and killing everything alive in its way and/or damaging it's own sub-grids, once and for all.Satellite in following video is example of so called "Jiggling structure". When safety detach is correctly configured, it will end up "only" with some broken blocks and some subgrids flying away, instead of possessed grid, flying out of control.Grid deformationsCrashing ship to the planet were causing split parts of the grid falling through the terrain to the center of the planet. This was happening also in collisions with other types of physical objects, although in smaller scale. The root cause was that creating or changing shape in physics also discards all the contact points, which means that for the next simulation frame grid can phase through other entities, until it regains the contact points again. Given the deformations were performed each frame, the grid was for most of the time without contact points, thus phasing through other grids. We have added reintegration step after each change of physics shape.We have also tweaked all the deformations carefully according to the original release of Space Engineers. No more ship-eating planets!MiscellaneousHere comes some examples of long occurring bugs that were solved along during the process.Piston and Merge block combo was reported by users over and over again. It was fixed and behaves correctly now."Sacrificial Offering for Almighty Lord CLANG" is one of those creations made just to stress-test Space Engineers. Some players may be angry that we fixed it (Well, mostly, phantom forces are still there) Before state AfterThere was interesting bug in pistons.Center/extending part was just broken from physics perspective. It was usually just missing or would fly away after first contact. Astronauts or even ships were able to fly through.And that’s it, for this iteration. For all those who made it this far, this is how that beautiful creature from first case study looks and behaves now, after all the improvements made in this iteration.  Graceful at all speeds, don’t you think?---Best regards,Martin Pavlicek Read more »
  • AI Race Avoidance
    Updated: please note that Round 2 of the General AI Challenge, AI Race Avoidance, will now be launched in February 2018. We have pushed the launch date back as we recently started working with some exciting new partners and will need more time to finish the specifications of the round. Find out more here: https://www.general-ai-challenge.org/ai-raceThe race for general artificial intelligence is rapidly evolving and at GoodAI we believe it is vital that the issue of safety is brought to the top of the agenda. I am very excited to announce the work of the AI Roadmap Institute, partner organization of GoodAI, which has begun interdisciplinary workshops to help visualize different scenarios of the future with general artificial intelligence. We have recently held a workshop on AI race avoidance.You can find the outcomes of it in our new blog post here: Avoiding The Precipice: Race Avoidance in the Development of Artificial General Intelligence. I have also summarised the main points below.Article Summary How can we avoid general AI research becoming a race between researchers, developers and companies, where safety gets neglected in favor of faster deployment of powerful, but unsafe general AI?How can we safeguard against bad use of general AI?AI safety research needs to be promoted beyond the boundaries of the small AI safety community and tackled interdisciplinarily.Roadmaps can be used to compare possible futures and outline mitigation strategies for negative futures.There needs to be active cooperation between safety experts and industry leaders to avoid negative scenarios.General AI Challenge This post is the beginning of something much bigger! In November 2017 we will launch Round 2 of the General AI Challenge, where participants will search for solutions to ensure that competition among stakeholders does not lead to negligence when it comes to safety.We will also be running another workshop in October after the AI and Society Symposium in Tokyo.We hope that the workshop and the next round of the Challenge will open up wider discussions to lots of different questions including: How to incentivise AGI race winner to obey original agreements and/or share AGI with others?We understand that cooperation is important in moving forward safely. However, what if other actors do not understand its importance, or refuse to cooperate? How can we guarantee a safe future if there are unknown non-cooperators?All these points are relevant to internal team dynamics as well. We need to invent robust mechanisms for cooperation between: individual team members, teams, companies, corporations and governments. Looking at the problems across different scales, the pain points are similar.What levels of transparency is optimal and how do we demonstrate transparency?How do we stop the first developers of AGI becoming a target?With regards to the AI weapons race, is a ban on autonomous weapons a good idea? What if our enemies don’t follow the ban?And moreThe Challenge will attempt to solve these problems via citizen science and help to promote the issue of safety in AI to a wider audience. So stay tuned and prepare to get involved in the new round of the General AI Challenge! Thank you for reading!Marek RosaCEO and Founder of Keen Software HouseCEO, CTO of GoodAI:-) For more news:General AI Challenge: www.general-ai-challenge.orgAI Roadmap Institute: www.roadmapinstitute.orgGoodAI: www.goodai.comSpace Engineers: www.spaceengineersgame.comMedieval Engineers: www.medievalengineers.comPersonal bio: Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence, with $10mil. GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers. Read more »
WordPress RSS Feed Retriever by Theme Mason

AI and Sales Trends

  • 15th Locus 2018, National Technology Fest Starting Soon
    The 15th Locus 2018, National Technology Fest is starting from 2nd Feb this year. This is an annual event that started back in 2003 by IOE, which mainly focuses to promote technical innovation… Continue Reading The post 15th Locus 2018, National Technology Fest Starting Soon appeared first on AI for Business. Read more »
  • Plant-Disease-Recognition App Presented on the Final Day of Yantra Learning 2017/18
    As part of Yantra Learning 2017/18, Nepal’s first machine learning competition, Team RARS from IOE, Pulchowk campus presented their final demo on the final day of the program. The main focus of their project, Plant-Disease-Recognition,… Continue Reading The post Plant-Disease-Recognition App Presented on the Final Day of Yantra Learning 2017/18 appeared first on AI for Business. Read more »
  • Behind the Blogs
    Fusemachines wishes you all a happy New Year. While you are gathered with your loved ones to celebrate the joys of the season, Fusemachines has yet another reason to rejoice. Our… Continue Reading The post Behind the Blogs appeared first on AI for Business. Read more »
  • Yantra Learning, First Machine Learning Competition in Nepal: Hackathon Edition
    Robotics Association of Nepal (RAN) in association with Fusemachines, Inc., Developers Session [Intel Software Nepal Representative] and Synergy Tech Software and other supporters present Yantra Learning 2017. It is a competition for IT and Engineering… Continue Reading The post Yantra Learning, First Machine Learning Competition in Nepal: Hackathon Edition appeared first on AI for Business. Read more »
  • Know Our Engineer: Ashis Parajuli
    Ashis Parajuli, against all odds, managed to find a career that he is most passionate about, i.e. AI engineer. Born in Sunsari, Itahari, he did his schooling from Bright Future Secondary School Morang… Continue Reading The post Know Our Engineer: Ashis Parajuli appeared first on AI for Business. Read more »
WordPress RSS Feed Retriever by Theme Mason

StarCraft Artificial Intelligence Tournament

WordPress RSS Feed Retriever by Theme Mason

MIT AI

WordPress RSS Feed Retriever by Theme Mason

Datum box

  • The Batch Normalization layer of Keras is broken
    UPDATE: Unfortunately my Pull-Request to Keras that changed the behaviour of the Batch Normalization layer was not accepted. You can read the details here. For those of you who are brave enough to mess with custom implementations, you can find the code in my branch. I might maintain it and merge it with the latest […] Read more »
  • 5 tips for multi-GPU training with Keras
    Deep Learning (the favourite buzzword of late 2010s along with blockchain/bitcoin and Data Science/Machine Learning) has enabled us to do some really cool stuff the last few years. Other than the advances in algorithms (which admittedly are based on ideas already known since 1990s aka “Data Mining era”), the main reasons of its success can […] Read more »
  • Ubuntu 17.10: a last minute review
    On October 19 2017, Ubuntu 17.10 will be released and as many of you know it packs lots of significant changes. I spend a week testing the Beta 2 and in this “last minute” review, I document some of the less obvious features/gotchas of Ubuntu 17.10. I also share with you my experience and provide […] Read more »
  • Datumbox Machine Learning Framework v0.8.1 released
    The Datumbox v0.8.1 has been released! Download it now from Github or Maven Central Repository. What is new? The main focus of version 0.8.1 is to resolve various bugs, update the depedencies and improve the code architecture of the framework. Here are the details: Dependencies: Updated the Maven Compiler, Nexus Staging, Surefire, SLF4J and Logback […] Read more »
  • Drilling into Spark’s ALS Recommendation algorithm
    The ALS algorithm introduced by Hu et al., is a very popular technique used in Recommender System problems, especially when we have implicit datasets (for example clicks, likes etc). It can handle large volumes of data reasonably well and we can find many good implementations in various Machine Learning frameworks. Spark includes the algorithm in […] Read more »
  • Getting the GPU usage of NVIDIA cards with the Linux dstat tool
    The dstat is an awesome little tool which allows you to get resource statistics for your Linux box. It has a modular architecture which allows you to develop additional plugins and it’s easy to use. Recently I was profiling a Deep Learning pipeline developed with Keras and Tensorflow and I needed detailed statistics about the […] Read more »
  • Datumbox Machine Learning Framework version 0.8.0 released
    Datumbox Framework v0.8.0 is out and packs several powerful features! This version brings new Preprocessing, Feature Selection and Model Selection algorithms, new powerful Storage Engines that give better control on how the Models and the Dataframes are saved/loaded, several pre-trained Machine Learning models and lots of memory & speed improvements. Download it now from Github […] Read more »
  • Datumbox Machine Learning Framework 0.7.0 Released
    I am really excited to announce that, after several months of development, the new version of Datumbox is out! The 0.7.0 version brings multi-threading support, fast disk-based training for datasets that don’t fit in memory, several algorithmic enhancements and better architecture. Download it now from Github or Maven Central Repository. What is new? The focus […] Read more »
  • Datumbox Machine Learning Framework 0.6.1 Released
    The new version of Datumbox Machine Learning Framework has been released! Download it now from Github or Maven Central Repository. What is new? The main focus of version 0.6.1 is to resolve various bugs, reduce memory consumption and improve speed. Let’s see in detail the changes of this version: Bug Fixes: A minor issue related […] Read more »
  • Datumbox Machine Learning Framework 0.6.0 Released
    The new version of Datumbox Machine Learning Framework has been released! Download it now from Github or Maven Central Repository. What is new? The main focus of version 0.6.0 is to extend the Framework to handle Large Data, improve the code architecture and the public APIs, simplify data parsing, enhance the documentation and move to […] Read more »
  • How to install and use the Datumbox Machine Learning Framework
    In this guide we are going to discuss how to install and use the Datumbox Machine Learning framework in your Java projects. Since almost all of the code is written in Java, using it is as simple as including it as dependency in your Java project. Nevertheless a couple of classes (DataEnvelopmentAnalysis and LPSolver) use […] Read more »
  • New open-source Machine Learning Framework written in Java
    I am happy to announce that the Datumbox Machine Learning Framework is now open sourced under GPL 3.0 and you can download its code from Github! What is this Framework? The Datumbox Machine Learning Framework is an open-source framework written in Java which enables the rapid development of Machine Learning models and Statistical applications. It […] Read more »
  • Clustering with Dirichlet Process Mixture Model in Java
    In the previous articles we discussed in detail the Dirichlet Process Mixture Models and how they can be used in cluster analysis. In this article we will present a Java implementation of two different DPMM models: the Dirichlet Multivariate Normal Mixture Model which can be used to cluster Gaussian data and the Dirichlet-Multinomial Mixture Model […] Read more »
  • Clustering documents and gaussian data with Dirichlet Process Mixture Models
    This article is the fifth part of the tutorial on Clustering with DPMM. In the previous posts we covered in detail the theoretical background of the method and we described its mathematical representationsmu and ways to construct it. In this post we will try to link the theory with the practice by introducing two models […] Read more »
  • The Dirichlet Process Mixture Model
    This blog post is the fourth part of the series on Clustering with Dirichlet Process Mixture Models. In previous articles we discussed the Finite Dirichlet Mixture Models and we took the limit of their model for infinite k clusters which led us to the introduction of Dirichlet Processes. As we saw, our target is to […] Read more »
  • The Dirichlet Process the Chinese Restaurant Process and other representations
    This article is the third part of the series on Clustering with Dirichlet Process Mixture Models. The previous time we defined the Finite Mixture Model based on Dirichlet Distribution and we posed questions on how we can make this particular model infinite. We briefly discussed the idea of taking the limit of the model when […] Read more »
  • Finite Mixture Model based on Dirichlet Distribution
    This blog post is the second part of an article series on Dirichlet Process mixture models. In the previous article we had an overview of several Cluster Analysis techniques and we discussed some of the problems/limitations that rise by using them. Moreover we briefly presented the Dirichlet Process Mixture Models, we talked about why they […] Read more »
  • Overview of Cluster Analysis and Dirichlet Process Mixture Models
    In the ISO research project for my MSc in Machine Learning at Imperial College London, I focused on the problem of Cluster Analysis by using Dirichlet Process Mixture Models. The DPMMs is a “fully-Bayesian” unsupervised learning technique which unlike other Cluster Analysis methods does not require us to predefine the total number of clusters within […] Read more »
  • Using Artificial Intelligence to solve the 2048 Game (JAVA code)
    By now most of you have heard/played the 2048 game by Gabriele Cirulli. It’s a simple but highly addictive board game which requires you to combine the numbers of the cells in order to reach the number 2048. As expected the difficulty of the game increases as more cells are filled with high values. Personally […] Read more »
  • Measuring the Social Media Popularity of Pages with DEA in JAVA
    In the previous article we have discussed about the Data Envelopment Analysis technique and we have seen how it can be used as an effective non-parametric ranking algorithm. In this blog post we will develop an implementation of Data Envelopment Analysis in JAVA and we will use it to evaluate the Social Media Popularity of […] Read more »
  • Data Envelopment Analysis Tutorial
    Data Envelopment Analysis, also known as DEA, is a non-parametric method for performing frontier analysis. It uses linear programming to estimate the efficiency of multiple decision-making units and it is commonly used in production, management and economics. The technique was first proposed by Charnes, Cooper and Rhodes in 1978 and since then it became a […] Read more »
  • How to build your own Facebook Sentiment Analysis Tool
    In this article we will discuss how you can build easily a simple Facebook Sentiment Analysis tool capable of classifying public posts (both from users and from pages) as positive, negative and neutral. We are going to use Facebook’s Graph API Search and the Datumbox API 1.0v. Similar to the Twitter Sentiment Analysis tool that […] Read more »
  • Developing a Naive Bayes Text Classifier in JAVA
    In previous articles we have discussed the theoretical background of Naive Bayes Text Classifier and the importance of using Feature Selection techniques in Text Classification. In this article, we are going to put everything together and build a simple implementation of the Naive Bayes text classification algorithm in JAVA. The code of the classifier is […] Read more »
  • Using Feature Selection Methods in Text Classification
    In text classification, the feature selection is the process of selecting a specific subset of the terms of the training set and using only them in the classification algorithm. The feature selection process takes place before the training of the classifier. Update: The Datumbox Machine Learning Framework is now open-source and free to download. Check […] Read more »
  • Permanent bans to duplicate account owners
    It came to our attention that more and more users try to create multiple accounts on Datumbox service in order to generate additional API calls per day, despite the fact that it is strictly forbidden by our Terms of Use. Even though that creating multiple accounts will not give additional calls to the service, this […] Read more »
  • Using Datumbox API with Ruby & Node.js and other featured Projects
    Since the introduction of Datumbox service, several software engineers and researchers used our API in order to develop innovative new applications. In the past we have featured, many developers who chose to open-source their projects and contribute their code to the community. In this article I am happy to feature the newest most interesting projects […] Read more »
  • Machine Learning Tutorial: The Multinomial Logistic Regression (Softmax Regression)
    In the previous two machine learning tutorials, we examined the Naive Bayes and the Max Entropy classifiers. In this tutorial we will discuss the Multinomial Logistic Regression also known as Softmax Regression. Implementing Multinomial Logistic Regression in a conventional programming language such as C++, PHP or JAVA can be fairly straightforward despite the fact that […] Read more »
  • Machine Learning Tutorial: The Max Entropy Text Classifier
    In this tutorial we will discuss about Maximum Entropy text classifier, also known as MaxEnt classifier. The Max Entropy classifier is a discriminative classifier commonly used in Natural Language Processing, Speech and Information Retrieval problems. Implementing Max Entropy in a standard programming language such as JAVA, C++ or PHP is non-trivial primarily due to the […] Read more »
  • Tuning the learning rate in Gradient Descent
    In most Supervised Machine Learning problems we need to define a model and estimate its parameters based on a training dataset. A popular and easy-to-use technique to calculate those parameters is to minimize model’s error with Gradient Descent. The Gradient Descent estimates the weights of the model in many iterations by minimizing a cost function […] Read more »
  • Coding Brain Neurons by using Hodgkin-Huxley model
    Understanding how the human brain works is a topic of active research and several scientists from various fields publish numerous of papers every year. Why is it important? Because knowing how our brain works will enable us to understand how we operate/think and perhaps enable us build truly intelligent machines in the future. The first […] Read more »
WordPress RSS Feed Retriever by Theme Mason

Iris AI

  • Make information useful, save the world: Iris.ai for Climate Change
    Recently, the World Economic Forum put out an article titled “12 ways the tech sector can help save the climate in 12 years,” featuring various ways that tech companies can make a dent in the growing climate crisis. One of these solutions: “Make information more useful.” We live in a world where an estimated 6,800 […] The post Make information useful, save the world: Iris.ai for Climate Change appeared first on Iris.ai - Your Science Assistant. Read more »
  • Version 4.3 Launches with PubMed Integration and Backend Improvements
    With a new year, comes a new update to Iris.ai, with some big improvements we’re sure will help you fulfill your 2019 research goals. Version 4.3 launched today and includes a number of back-end updates as well as a much-requested addition–the integration of PubMed into our searchable database of academic papers. This will add millions […] The post Version 4.3 Launches with PubMed Integration and Backend Improvements appeared first on Iris.ai - Your Science Assistant. Read more »
  • The token pre-sale of Project Aiur is here
    Researchers and students – this is for you! If we were asked to list the best things that happened to Iris.ai after we started Project Aiur, getting in contact with thousands of dedicated, curious researchers around the world would make it to the top of the list. It’s because of the spirit. That lengthy discussion […] The post The token pre-sale of Project Aiur is here appeared first on Iris.ai - Your Science Assistant. Read more »
  • A closer look at the machine
    What will the Aiur Knowledge Validation Engine do in practice? Reposted from Medium. Project Aiur’s Knowledge Validation Engine will receive an input text, either a research paper or a self-written text, and return additional knowledge ultimately connected to the input text’s scientific quality. This process will initially consist of three sequential steps: Enrichment of the input […] The post A closer look at the machine appeared first on Iris.ai - Your Science Assistant. Read more »
  • How Iris.ai and Project Aiur relate
    Summer 2017 the idea for Project Aiur was born, stemming from a frustration of being forced into a corporate B2B sales-corner by the financial bottom line-minded Venture Capitalists we were pitching to. Being an impact focused company, we realized that selling B2B SaaS to big corporates, while a great business model, would not move the […] The post How Iris.ai and Project Aiur relate appeared first on Iris.ai - Your Science Assistant. Read more »
  • Old tools, new use-cases
    On the role of taxation in the Aiur ecosystem. Reposted from Medium. There are plenty of disagreements around blockchain today. But one of the few statements that generates a really high level of consensus is that blockchains have phenomenal potential as incentive machines. At the same time, creating a new ecosystem to re-align incentives requires making […] The post Old tools, new use-cases appeared first on Iris.ai - Your Science Assistant. Read more »
  • And with that, the full Aiur Whitepaper is live!
    Crossposted on Medium It’s been a long, slow and sometimes painful process. We can no longer count the number of times heated discussions stretched over hours into the evening. One thing was figuring out that we wanted to develop a blockchain solution for scientific knowledge, where the incentive structure was rethought from scratch and an […] The post And with that, the full Aiur Whitepaper is live! appeared first on Iris.ai - Your Science Assistant. Read more »
  • The first phase of the Aiur Airdrop is a wrap!
    Thank you to all who participated and welcome to the community. 🙂 To build Project Aiur we at Iris.ai decided to distribute free tokens to researchers and students through the Aiur Airdrop campaign simply because we wanted to reward the individuals for the work they’ve already done and because we believe that a strong community […] The post The first phase of the Aiur Airdrop is a wrap! appeared first on Iris.ai - Your Science Assistant. Read more »
  • Researchers and students! Claim your tokens through Aiur Airdrop campaign
    Through Project Aiur we will distribute 10,000 AIUR tokens free of charge for students and researchers who already have, or are planning to, contribute to the world of open scientific knowledge – simply because the work that has already been done deserves to be rewarded and because we believe in building a solid foundation for […] The post Researchers and students! Claim your tokens through Aiur Airdrop campaign appeared first on Iris.ai - Your Science Assistant. Read more »
  • For Open Science, but up a different path
    On common goals, natural alliances and short-term compromises.   Reposted from Medium. Some thirty years ago Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web – and he did so, to a large extent, for society to share scientific knowledge much more freely and effectively, without artificial boundaries in between disciplines and geographies. However, we seem to […] The post For Open Science, but up a different path appeared first on Iris.ai - Your Science Assistant. Read more »
WordPress RSS Feed Retriever by Theme Mason

Singularity web

  • Sir Martin Rees on the Future: Prospects for Humanity
    Today my guest is world-renowned cosmologist and Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees. Martin has written 11 books and more than 500 scientific papers on topics ranging from the Big Bang and cosmology to technology and the future of humanity. Sir Rees has also been concerned with the threats stemming from humanity’s ever-heavier ‘footprint’ on the […] Read more »
  • The Importance of Story [Narratives and MTP’s]
    ReWriting the Human Story: How Our Story Determines Our Future an alternative thought experiment by Nikola Danaylov   Chapter 5: The Importance of Story “It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.” Patrick Rothfuss Stories […] Read more »
  • Chapter 4: The Power of the Storyteller
    ReWriting the Human Story: How Our Story Determines Our Future an alternative thought experiment by Nikola Danaylov   Chapter 4: The Power of the Storyteller “Stories constitute the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal.” Howard Gardner Before we have a story, any story, we must first have a storyteller. And that storyteller is a god, […] Read more »
  • Chapter 3: The Power of Story
    ReWriting the Human Story: How Our Story Determines Our Future an alternative thought experiment by Nikola Danaylov   Chapter 3: The Power of Story “We suffer not from the events in our lives but from our stories about them.” Epictetus The most powerful stories are stories about things that don’t exist. Because our fictive language gave birth […] Read more »
  • Media Theorist Douglas Rushkoff on Team Human
    Douglas Rushkoff has been named one of the world’s ten most influential intellectuals by MIT. He is an award-winning author, broadcaster, media theorist and documentarian who studies human autonomy in the digital age. Rushkoff is the host of the popular Team Human podcast and was among the very first guests I ever interviewed when I […] Read more »
  • Chapter 1: The Definition of Story
    ReWriting the Human Story: How Our Story Determines Our Future an alternative thought experiment by Nikola Danaylov   Chapter 1: The Definition of Story We started our thought experiment with Kenneth Burke’s definition of story as “equipment for living.” Burke offers a great start but it is Jeff DeChambeau who really brings all the essential elements together […] Read more »
  • Chapter 2: The Story of Story
    ReWriting the Human Story: How Our Story Determines Our Future an alternative thought experiment by Nikola Danaylov   Chapter 2: The Story of Story “The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” Ludwig Wittgenstein Humanity has searched for meaning since our beginning. And we find it in story. The story that we tell ourselves. […] Read more »
  • Part  I: Story
    ReWriting the Human Story: How Our Story Determines Our Future an alternative thought experiment by Nikola Danaylov   Part  I: Story “People always find it easier to be a result of the past rather than a cause of the future.” Unknown Are we just billiard balls in a predetermined cosmic game of pool? Or are we free […] Read more »
  • ReWriting the Human Story: How Our Story Determines Our Future
    It is harder and harder to make sense of life. Everything is changing, all the time, at a faster and faster pace. Our civilization is struggling to react to and keep up with exponential technology and disruptive change. Our age-old institutions, politics, economics, ethics, religion and laws, even our environment, are so fundamentally challenged, that we […] Read more »
  • Nikola Danaylov on the Dissenter: The Singularity, Futurism, and Humanity
    A few weeks ago I got interviewed by Ricardo Lopes for the Dissenter. The interview just came out and I thought I’d share it with you to enjoy or critique. Here is Ricardo’s original description: #131 Nikola Danaylov: The Singularity, Doing Futurism, and the Human Element In this episode, we talk about what is meant […] Read more »
  • On Transhumanist Manifestos and Dilemmas
    It’s been almost 10 years since I wrote the first versions of Hamlet’s Transhumanist Dilemma and A Transhumanist Manifesto. And a lot has changed. Including my point of view. I started with Hamlet. With asking a question: Will technology replace biology? At the time I felt that this was the contemporary version of Shakespeare’s original human […] Read more »
  • Douglas Rushkoff’s TED Talk: How to be “Team Human” in the digital future
    Humans are no longer valued for our creativity, says media theorist Douglas Rushkoff — in a world dominated by digital technology, we’re now just valued for our data. In a passionate talk, Rushkoff urges us to stop using technology to optimize people for the market and start using it to build a future centered on […] Read more »
  • The Economist Asks: How could veganism change the world?
    Interest in vegan food and its associated health benefits has been booming across the rich world. A global retreat from meat could have a far-reaching environmental impact. By 2050 the world’s population could approach 10 billion – and around 60% more food could be needed to feed everyone. The environmental impacts of the food system […] Read more »
  • Dr. Joseph Mercola on Health and Longevity: Take Health into Your Own Hands
    With 15 million unique visitors per month, Dr. Joseph Mercola is the founder of the largest health and wellness website on the internet. His life’s mission is to cure rather than treat disease and Dr. Mercola has not only published extensively but also treated successfully a variety of chronic health conditions with natural methods such […] Read more »
  • Joscha Bach: We need to understand the nature of AI to understand who we are
    Joscha Bach is one of those rare people whose primary motivation is unbound curiosity and inspiration. He clearly loves what he does and you can’t help but notice his radiating passion and youthful exuberance. Joscha has an impressively wide and deep knowledge in a variety of scientific, philosophical and artistic disciplines and I had to do […] Read more »
  • Dr. Michael Greger on How Not to Age
    There are two people who caused me to become vegan and switch to a whole-plant-based diet. The first is Prof. Peter Singer who put the idea in my head many years ago when I started studying ethics. The second person is Dr. Michael Greger whose books How not to Die and The How Not To […] Read more »
  • Stuart Russell on Artificial Intelligence: What if we succeed?
    Stuart Russell is a professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley as well as co-author of the most popular textbook in the field – Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. Given that it has been translated into 13 languages and is used in more than 1,300 universities in 118 countries, I can hardly think of anyone […] Read more »
  • Roman Yampolskiy on Artificial Intelligence Safety and Security
    There are those of us who philosophize and debate the finer points surrounding the dangers of artificial intelligence. And then there are those who dare go in the trenches and get their hands dirty by doing the actual work that may just end up making the difference. So if AI turns out to be like […] Read more »
  • Nikola Danaylov on the Always Another Way Podcast: The World is Transformed by Asking Questions
    A couple of weeks ago I did an interview on the Always Another Way Podcast. Now, let’s be clear that this was a different kind of interview I did here, so if you want to hear primarily my views on AI, the Singularity, transhumanism, and other advanced technologies, then, this one is not for you. […] Read more »
  • Beyond Bionics: How the Future of Prosthetics is Redefining Humanity
    Bionic technology is removing physical barriers faced by disabled people while raising profound ethical questions of what it is to be human. From DIY prosthetics realized through 3D printing technology to customized AI-driven limbs, science is at the forefront of many life-enhancing innovations.  Read more »
  • Gerd Leonhard on AI and Digital Ethics
    It’s been ten years now since I came up with my thesis that Technology is Not Enough. That ethics is a good operating system to help us debug not only our technology but also our society. And so it makes me very happy to find other travelers on the same journey, especially if they are further […] Read more »
  • “Oracle of Silicon Valley” Tim O’Reilly on WTF: Do Work That Matters
    Inc Magazine called Tim O’Reilly the “Oracle of Silicon Valley.” Wired called him “The Trend Spotter.” Others have noted that “the Internet was built on O’Reilly books.” All in all, Tim O’Reilly is as perfect of a guest for my Singularity.FM podcast as I can ever imagine. So, I hope you enjoy this interview as much […] Read more »
  • At the Heart of Intelligence: A Film by Gerd Leonhard & Telia Finland
    At the Heart of Intelligence is an emotionally compelling and well-made short film discussing artificial intelligence. It was produced in collaboration between popular futurist Gerd Leonhard and Telia Finland. The movie employes powerful visuals, fantastic music and high-quality production but not at the expense of also asking some vital questions about intelligence – in general, […] Read more »
  • Physicist Max Tegmark on Life 3.0: What We Do Makes a Difference
    Some people say that renowned MIT physicist Max Tegmark is totally bonkers and refer to him as “Mad Max”. But, to quote Lewis Carroll from Alice in Wonderland, “All the best people are.” Furthermore, I am not sure if Tegmark is “mad” but I am pretty sure he is very much “fun” because I had a total blast […] Read more »
  • Transhumanist Manifesto Inspires WIRED Article on Transhumanism
    A couple of weeks ago Joi Ito – head of the MIT Media Lab and contributor to WIRED Magazine, interviewed me about my Transhumanist Manifesto and related topics such as life-extension, immortality, cryonics, speciesim, and ethics. Some people have said that this is the best interview I have done so far: Nikola’s best interview for quite a while, IMHO. […] Read more »
  • Philosopher Peter Singer on AI, Transhumanism and Ethics
    Peter Singer is arguably the most influential living philosopher of our day. His book on Animal Liberation basically started the animal rights movement and his textbook on Practical Ethics is the standard philosophy text of first-year students. No wonder that in 2005 Time Magazine called Peter Singer one of the 100 most influential people in the world. […] Read more »
  • Nikola Danaylov on the Future Grind Podcast
    Last month Ryan O’Shea – host of the Future Grind Podcast, did what is probably the most thorough interview with me so far. I thought it might be good to repost it on Singularity.FM so that you can listen to me being interviewed for a change while also getting exposed to another fantastic futurist podcast that I recommend highly. Hope you enjoy it but, either way, do let me know. Read more »
  • Yuval Harari on Why Fascism is so Tempting and How Your Data Could Power It
    In a profound talk about technology and power, author and historian Yuval Harari explains the important difference between fascism and nationalism — and what the consolidation of our data means for the future of democracy. Appearing as a hologram live from Tel Aviv, Harari warns that the greatest danger that now faces liberal democracy is […] Read more »
  • Jonathan Taplin on Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy
    Jonathan Taplin is the Director Emeritus of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, and a former tour manager for Bob Dylan and The Band, as well as a film producer for Martin Scorsese. If that is not enough to make him a worthy guest of Singularity.FM then let me add that Jonathan is a visionary entrepreneur […] Read more »
  • Entrepreneurial Activist Joi Ito on Whiplash and the MIT Media Lab
    Joi Ito is just one of those people who simply don’t fit a mold. Any mold. He is an entrepreneur who is an activist. He is an academic without a degree. He is a leader who follows. He is a teacher who listens. And an interlocutor who wants you to disagree with him. Overall, I hate […] Read more »
  • Quid and Primer Founder Sean Gourley: If You Don’t Own the Algorithm, the Algorithm Owns You
    It was all the way back in 2013 when Sean Gourley published a blog post titled Prediction just is a parlor trick. Manipulation is much more interesting. In it he wrote: “The 2012 election will ultimately go down as the ‘prediction’ election (aka the Nate Silver election), 2016 may well be the first ‘persuasion’ election. An […] Read more »
  • Transhumanist Party Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II: Death is Wrong and Life is Right
    Transhumanism is a growing social and philosophical movement with more and more people becoming aware of and sympathetic to it. In fact, in the last couple of years, transhumanism has gone political with new transhumanist parties emerging in the UK and the United States. And, since I have already argued that technology is the future of […] Read more »
  • Magic, Manic and Monstrous: How Facebook is Programming Us
    Facebook’s original motto was to “move fast and break things.” And it has done both of those remarkably well: it has moved fast to reach more than 2 billion people; and, it has also broken major things such as democracy – be it in the case of Brexit or Trump or others. Furthermore, Facebook’s longest standing executive Chamath Palihapitiya has said that social media, in general, and Facebook, in particular, is ripping apart the fabric of how society works... Gone are the days when Facebook was pure magic. Today, it is increasingly manic and monstrous. Read more »
  • Sci-Fi Great PJ Manney on (ID)Entity and Weaponizing Narrative: Everyone has a voice. Use it!
    PJ Manney is an award-winning science fiction writer interested in transhumanism, empathy, story-telling and the future of humanity. Her latest book (ID)entity is a can’t-put-it-down action-packed mind-uploading/downloading world-crashing the-Empire-Strikes-Back of a masterpiece. The book depicts vividly the dangers of monetizing and weaponizing narrative, which is what companies such as Cambridge Analytica do. And so I thought it would be […] Read more »
  • Futurist David Wood on Transcending Politics: A Better Politics is Beckoning Us Forward
    “There’s no escape: the journey to a healthier society inevitably involves politics.” This is how well-known futurist David Wood starts his most recent book Transcending Politics: A Technoprogressive Roadmap to a Comprehensively Better Future. And so I thought I’d bring him back on Singularity.FM to share with us how exactly is it he suggests that we transcend politics. […] Read more »
  • The Third Industrial Revolution: A Radical New Sharing Economy [Documentary]
    People often ask me what is the best interview I have ever done. By now, my usual reply is that this is like asking a parent who is their favorite child. Even if most have their preferences, it is very unwise to verbalize an answer, let alone publicly, because the resulting negative impact may last […] Read more »
  • London Futurists Hangout On Air: Will science & technology save the world?
    The green revolution in agriculture has freed hundreds of millions around the world from the risk of starvation. The Internet is providing knowledge-on-tap to people as never before. Lifespans have doubled due to remarkable progress in medicine. New desalination techniques are poised to solve problems of shortage of fresh water. Our remaining resource problems can […] Read more »
  • Jaguar I-PACE EV Guns for Tesla
    Jaguar I-PACE is the company’s first all-electric car. With zero tailpipe emissions, no CO2 and no particulates, it moves humanity closer to a vision of a clean, safe and sustainable future. With their first EV, Jaguar set out with a clean sheet approach to harness new battery electric technology with an architecture engineered from the outset to […] Read more »
  • On Tech Unemployment and the Labor vs Capital Balance of Power
    Capital needs labor to operate, to create a return on investment and, ultimately, to grow. Labor needs capital for wages. Each needs the other and none can do it alone. So labor needs capital as much as capital needs labor. And, while the labor vs capital balance of power has fluctuated closer to one or […] Read more »
  • Yuval Harari at the World Economic Forum: Will the Future be Human?
    Some of you may know I’m a big fan of Prof. Yuval Harari’s and, at this point, it is fair to say that his books Sapiens and Homo Deus have had a more profound effect on me than those of Ray Kurzweil. Last week Yuval Harari made his Davos debut at the World Economic Forum […] Read more »
  • Technology is the How, not the Why or What
    Technology is the new religion, Silicon Valley is the new chosen land and entrepreneurs are the new chosen people. They promise a future that is better than we think – a techno-heaven of abundance and, naturally, immortality. And we are all believers now. But we seem to forget that technology is merely the how and never the […] Read more »
  • GoodAI launches “Solving the AI Race” round of the General AI Challenge
    General AI research and development company GoodAI has launched the latest round of their General AI Challenge, Solving the AI Race. $15,000 of prizes are available for suggestions on how to mitigate the risks associated with a race to transformative AI. The round, which is open to the general public and will run until the […] Read more »
  • On Singularity University and the Danger of Being Exponential
    Singularity University [SU] has a religious fetish for its sacred words – disrupt, innovate and, most of all, exponential. Just listen to any recent SU alumni and you can’t help it but hear disrupt here, innovate there and, most of all, exponential everywhere. This is not surprising since, even before updating its Massively Transformative Purpose [MTP] to […] Read more »
  • Is the Singularity Steering us Toward the Greatest Inequality in History?
    The basic idea of the technological singularity is simple: the rate at which technology progresses increases as time moves forward. If we believe the technological singularity is happening, then we as a species should inspect its impact on human equality. This phenomenon is pushing our human ship toward a waterfall of technological innovation. Is it also pushing […] Read more »
  • Must Watch: “Slaughterbots” Short by Stop Autonomous Weapons
    Looking like a creepy TED Talk, this sci-fi short film from Stop Autonomous Weapons looks at a possible near future of autonomous slaughterbot drones trained to kill a specific human target. It’s created by Stop Autonomous Weapons, a group dedicated to bringing pressure to update the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) to explicitly include autonomous weapons. […] Read more »
  • We’re All Truck Drivers Now: Nikola Danaylov @ DES2017
    The year rolled away so quickly and I completely forgot that in May I was a keynote speaker at the DES 2017 Conference in Madrid, Spain. Luckily, a fan dug out this video from the depths of the internet and, since she liked it very much, I thought I’d share it with you on Singularity […] Read more »
  • The Beyond: a High Concept Sci Fi Feature Trailer
    Check out this trailer for The Beyond – a high concept sci-fi feature (based loosely on the 2014 short film Project Kronos) which will be released by distributor Gravitas Ventures in the US on Jan 9th 2018. The Beyond is a science fiction film that blends the realism of ‘found footage’ with the fantastical, ‘big […] Read more »
  • Chatbots – The New Retail Banking Frontier
    Life of the modern Homo sapiens revolves around money and tech. That is why the banking industry is always the first one to adopt the latest trends. A decade ago the digital banking put an end to the three-hundred-year-old ‘tradition’ of waiting in queues. Today, we can run accounts ourselves, and use banking services without […] Read more »
  • Unexpected Futurist: Mark Twain, Tesla, and a Worldwide Visual Telephone System
    In our previous episode of Unexpected Futurist, we covered Ben Franklin’s vision of the year 2776. Since Franklin was a leading scientist and experimenter of his day, it isn’t entirely shocking that he could sense that the increasing pace of scientific discovery was going to revolutionize the world. The second episode of this series features […] Read more »
  • Blade Runner 2049: “The future of the species has finally unearthed.” [Updated]
    Thirty years after the events of the original Blade Runner, in this new version – Blade Runner 2049, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade […] Read more »
  • Unexpected Futurist: Benjamin Franklin envisions 2776 and Cryonics
    The futurist as a profession is a fairly recent development, dating back, at the earliest, to the 1940s. “The future” as a common theme in pop culture and literature, goes back only a bit further, the genre being launched by famous visionaries such as Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, and exploding in the 1900s through […] Read more »
  • Limiting Factors: Is the current economic growth model limited by the speed of light?
    Economic Growth and the speed of light may sound not to be very much related to each other. How is it possible that the growth model at the basis of the global economy is intrinsically limited by the speed of light? We all know that the current economic model is based on the expectation that […] Read more »
  • The Near Future: See How Healthcare Tech Will Transform Our Lives
    CableLabs just released a cool short film called The Near Future: A Better Place that explores how emerging technologies in healthcare will transform our daily lives. A substantial percentage of the population worldwide is over the age of 60, and it will dramatically increase in the next two decades. This really underscores the importance of […] Read more »
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy: We Can Solve The World’s Problems
    Bill Nye – the Science Guy, was the science educator to a whole generation not only in the United States but also in Canada and the rest of the English-speaking world. He was among a handful of TV celebrities who made science cool, interesting and fun. But most of all, Bill Nye inspired a generation of […] Read more »
  • Her-An Visits Nikola Danaylov and Records A Unique Interview
    The first time I met Omer Ozdemir was at my Conversations with the Future book reading when Omer drove more than 4 hours just so he can be there. So when he asked me to do an interview for the Turkish Her-An website I was very happy to do it, even if I was sick with […] Read more »
  • Jose Cordeiro on Longevity and Cryonics Summit: The World Will Be A Better Place Tomorrow
    Jose Cordeiro, MBA, Ph.D., is an amazing person with endless supplies of energy and optimism. In fact, I have never met a more involved and proactive person than Dr. Cordeiro because he is literally always traveling across the world and is directly involved in a variety of cutting-edge fields and projects from Japan and Korea, […] Read more »
  • Lawrence Krauss on Singularity.FM: Keep on Asking Questions
    Prof. Lawrence Krauss is a world-famous theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and activist against superstition whom I have dreamed of interviewing for years. So, when we finally booked the date, I feverishly spent a full week reading his last 2 books and watching 20+ hours of his past interviews and documentaries. Alas, I got the flu and didn’t […] Read more »
  • “Conversations with the Future” Book Reading
    A couple of weeks ago, during the last Transhumanist Meetup in Toronto, I did a Conversations with the Future book reading. Basically, I read my book’s foreword – the story of how I got to do what I do, as well as the book introduction – what my book is all about, and the epilogue – what people […] Read more »
  • It’s No Game: A Hilarious Short SciFi Film with David Hasselhoff
    What does a creative writer do that a computer can’t? Could an AI have drummed up Hamlet? Artificial Intelligence has come a long way in the last several years, and now the filmmakers behind “Sunspring” have returned with a new short starring David Hasselhoff. Once again, Oscar Sharp who directed the first ever all AI […] Read more »
  • Angel Investor Matthew Le Merle on How to “Build Your Fortune in the Fifth Era”
    Matthew Le Merle is co-founder of Fifth Era and managing partner of Keiretsu Capital, which is the world’s largest angel network and most active US venture investor. Most recently, Le Merle is the author of a new book titled Build Your Fortune in the Fifth Era: How to Prosper in an Age of Unprecedented Innovation. During […] Read more »
  • What if your toothbrush is smarter than you?
    What if your toothbrush is smarter than you? I know, this may sound ridiculous but let us look at the present trends, and you can judge for yourself. In the 19th century, we moved from natural to artificial power. So we took a hand-pump and turned it into an electric pump. A horse carriage and […] Read more »
  • On voluntary taxation or what could also be called “P2P taxation” or “emergent swarm taxation”
    If the state is an information structure, then the reason that it has been “computed” using representative government, is because that was a way to enforce rigid, static, computer-like processing. You can have a state without a monopoly on violence. The blockchain is exactly that. In other words, with computers, there is a new medium […] Read more »
  • Neural Symbiosis with AI: The Neural Lace Project & The World of Advanced Intelligence
    We’ve been trying to better our minds for some time. In recent years, folks have flocked to the nootropic marketplace to purchase cognitive enhancement supplements that would sharpen their focus and expand their memory recall. Now, scientists are hard at work to develop technology that would enable us to one-up AI (Artificial Intelligence). While the […] Read more »
  • InnerSpace Interviews Nikola Danaylov on Transhumanism
    Last week InnerSpace – the flagship show on the Space Channel, interviewed me and my friends David McFadzean and Agah Bahari about Transhumanism in general and “Ghost in the Shell” in particular. The segment was aired last night on InnerSpace at 6 & 11 p.m. ET with multiple repeat broadcasts on MTV Canada. During those 4 […] Read more »
  • Nikola and Amish on their April Fool’s Prank: Serious about Comedy and Comedy about the Serious
    Yesterday I did a Facebook Live session together with comedian Amish Patel where we talked about our April Fool’s Prank, got serious about comedy and did a little comedy about the serious. So, if you still haven’t seen my “interview” with “Dr. Amish Patel” on why the Universe is a Simulation and his proof for […] Read more »
  • Dr. Amish Patel: The Universe is a Simulation and I Have the Proof
    Do you fear we might live in a simulation? Well, I just had the unique privilege to interview Dr. Amish Patel, who not only argues passionately that the Universe is indeed a simulation but also shares for the very 1st time his groundbreaking proof that this is indeed the case. During our 30 min discussion […] Read more »
  • The Intelligence Explosion: A Short Sci Fi Film about AI Ethics
    The Intelligence Explosion is a hilariously witty short sci fi film about AI ethics. The film is asking questions such as: How can we prevent a robot AI from turning evil? Can we solve ethics? Can humans be a good role model for AI? I hope you enjoy The Intelligence Explosion as much as I […] Read more »
  • Why the politics of the future is technology and technology is the future of politics
    Technology drives change. And, by definition, change turns the world upside down. So it takes a perfectly good blue-blood nobleman and turns him into a pauper. It takes a king and, at best, makes him a ceremonial figurehead with no real power. It takes a shepherd and makes him a laborer, hopefully a member of […] Read more »
  • GoodAI CEO Marek Rosa on the General AI Challenge
    Marek Rosa is the founder and CEO of Keen Software, an independent video game development studio. After the success of Keen Software game titles such as Space Engineers, Marek founded and funded GoodAI with a 10 million dollar personal investment thereby finally being able to pursue his lifelong dream of building General Artificial Intelligence. Most recently […] Read more »
  • The “Hel’s Bet” Space Opera Series: Singularity Art and Propaganda
    “Work for the Singularity to max your odds of living long. Don’t bother if you’ve got a taste for dirt.”—Heloise Chin, Hel’s Bet [1] Channel Zilch and Hel’s Bet are pro-Singularity propaganda wrapped in a thrilling, funny, space opera. The books raise a huge red flag, shouting to geeks and geek moguls, “Why the heck are you […] Read more »
  • The 5 Million Dollar General AI Challenge is a Path to Human-level AI
    I realized that if I make a successful game and get rich, I can reinvest in building general AI. So I founded a game studio, Keen Software House. After overcoming the initial learning curve and conducting a few experiments, my team and I developed Space Engineers. The game became a big hit and enabled me to start GoodAI and dedicate more of my time to researching and developing general AI... Read more »
  • A Universal Basic Income is Not the Solution
    The familiar structure of work we’ve been accustomed to for around 100 years has been gradually changing over the past couple of decades. Much of this change has gone unnoticed by most of the population because companies typically don’t like to talk about replacing jobs with technology and the news media typically buries layoffs and […] Read more »
  • Tears In The Rain: A Spectacular SciFi Blade Runner Fanfilm
    Tears In The Rain is a short film set in the world of Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) as well as the motion picture Blade Runner (1982). Synopsis: In a dystopian Los Angeles future, replicants or genetically engineered humanoids are created to work forced labour on off-world colonies. The […] Read more »
  • Why the Future adds 0 and what “Conversations with the Future” is about
    This is the introduction to my bestselling book Conversations with the Future. If you like it, you can buy the book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2kcseK9 Why the Future adds 0 and what “Conversations with the Future” is about “If someone needs directions, don’t give them a globe. It’ll merely waste their time. But if someone needs to […] Read more »
  • Our Future, AI and Veganism: 6 Reasons Why I Went Vegan
    People keep asking me why I went vegan so I decided to share the top 6 reasons. Check out the list below and do let me know if you agree or disagree with me as well as your own reasons as per why you would or you wouldn’t go vegan yourself 😉 6 Reasons Why […] Read more »
  • Augmented: Short Sci-Fi Film Asks Good Questions About AR
    Augmented is a short film set in the near future, where augmented reality has become so ubiquitous that the line between the real and virtual worlds have become blurred. When a new, dangerous technology is created that can manipulate the perception of this brave new world, who will exploit it? Who will monetize it? Who […] Read more »
  • Suzanne Gildert on Kindred AI: Non-Biological Sentiences are on the Horizon
    Suzanne Gildert is a founder and CTO of Kindred AI – a company pursuing the modest vision of “building machines with human-like intelligence.” Her startup just came out of stealth mode and I am both proud and humbled to say that this is the first ever long-form interview that Suzanne has done. Kindred AI has raised […] Read more »
  • Gerd Leonhard on Technology vs Humanity: The Future Belongs to Those Who Can Hear It Coming
    Gerd Leonhard is a musician, keynote speaker and futurist with over 300 clients, 1,500 engagements and over a million people of a combined audience at venues across the world. Gerd is most recently the author of a brand new book titled Technology vs Humanity: The Coming Clash Between Man and Machine and, as someone who puts […] Read more »
  • Technology is NOT Enough!
    I am tired of hearing that science and technology will save the world. It is almost the same as saying “Jesus will save you!” It evokes the very same passive quasi-religious hope that something or someone out there will magically solve all our problems, bring abundance in our lives, help us live forever and bring […] Read more »
  • The Age of Em: Robin Hanson on Work, Love and Life When Robots Rule the Earth
    The Age of Em by Robin Hanson is the best worst book I have read in a very long while. It is the best because Robin has a very effective, efficient and eloquent writing style and a personality to match it. Thus he is able to say utterly horrendous things – like “the 3rd Reich […] Read more »
  • On Thanksgiving I’m thankful for you! What are you thankful for?
    It  is Canadian Thanksgiving long-weekend and I thought I’d take a couple of minutes to acknowledge and meditate upon some of the many things I am very thankful for. Check out the video for my short and very incomplete list. Now, what are you thankful for?  Read more »
  • “Dust” Short SciFi: Stunning Cinematography & Worthy Message
    Dust is a short SciFi fantasy film with stunning cinematography and a worthy message, inspired by classic anime and horror. It is set in a harsh and unpredictable natural environment where people have isolated themselves in an ancient city behind a massive wall. A socially marginalized tracker teams up with a black-market merchant to save […] Read more »
  • Technology is Not Enough: the Future of Humanity in an Age of AI with Nikola Danaylov
    A couple of days ago I got interviewed by Federico Pistono, who is one of the co-founders of Konoz. During our 80 min conversation we covered a variety of topics such as: my personal podcasting origin story; major takeaways from my interviews; interviewee and audience testimonials of impact stories; why technology is a magnifying mirror; […] Read more »
  • Veni Vidi Vici: Awesome Rap Music Video by Baba Brinkman
    Veni Vidi Vici is a song by the one and only scientifically peer reviewed rap artist I know of – Baba Brinkman. Baba wrote and performed this song for Threatened Species Day as a part of The Rap Guide to Wilderness. Synopsis: Scientists recently proposed designating our current geological era as the Anthropocene, signifying the indelible […] Read more »
  • The Devolution of Nikola Danaylov: Socrates In The Baboon Room
    This Thursday I did an interview for the Baboon Room podcast and here is the YouTube video of my conversation with the host Correy Cottrell. Synopsis from Correy Cottrell – the man behind the Baboon Room podcast: Before: “This is easily the biggest interview we have ever had. Socrates from the Singularity 1 on 1 podcast […] Read more »
  • UBET: A Practical Answer to Technological Unemployment
    Many people who think about the future believe that robots and artificial intelligence will take most of our jobs, while many other futurists believe the advances in technology will transform work and create a net increase in jobs. Neither of the aforementioned camps can agree on a set timeline for any of this so we […] Read more »
  • Stem cells – the future: an introduction to iPS cells [video]
    This 16 minute video, ideal for general audiences and biology students aged 16+, tells the story of one of this century’s most extraordinary scientific discoveries – induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells. Nobel prize-winning medical doctor and scientist Shinya Yamanaka describes the experiments that arose from his desire to help his spinal cord injury […] Read more »
  • The Future of Freedom
    The Technological Singularity has the potential to radically expand human freedom in ways previously thought impossible. We may be freed from limits that were once considered a simple part of the human condition, from death, to taxes. Faced with new technologies, certain intelligent forward-thinking people are proclaiming The end of free will, stating that we […] Read more »
  • Neuromorphic Chips: a Path Towards Human-level AI
    Recently we have seen a slew of popular films that deal with artificial intelligence – most notably The Imitation Game, Chappie, Ex Machina, and Her. However, despite over five decades of research into artificial intelligence, there remain many tasks which are simple for humans that computers cannot do. Given the slow progress of AI, for […] Read more »
  • Deconstructing Socrates and the Future of Singularity 1on1: Nikola Danaylov Gets Interviewed by Trevor Haldenby
    Every once-in-a-while, it is a good thing to do a headstand and look at the world from a different perspective. In podcasting terms that would mean putting Socrates in the hotseat and making me answer questions, rather than let me hide in asking them. And I could’t think of a person better qualified to do […] Read more »
  • Make or Break the Singularity 1on1: Crowdfunding Campaign is Live
       Hi, I wanted to speak to you 1on1 today. So this is not a message for everybody but just for you. Yes you – my audience, my podcast listener, my YouTube viewer, my donor and moral supporter, my fellow geek and friend. And my reason for doing what I do. I want to […] Read more »
  • The Economic Singularity
    My new book The Economic Singularity argues that in the next few decades most humans will become unemployable because machines (AI systems plus their peripherals, the robots) will be able to do anything that we can do for money cheaper, faster and better. And unlike us, their capabilities will be improving all the time. At […] Read more »
  • Kevin Kelly on The Inevitable: 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future
    Kevin Kelly has been a high profile maverick of both silicon valley and technology in general for the past 35 years. Some of his books have gained not just a best-seller status but a near-cult following in places like China. Popular personalities such as Tim Ferriss have called Kelly “the most interesting man in the world.” […] Read more »
  • Are we destined to be out-played by A.I.?
    Imagine a flying saucer lands in Time Square and an alien steps out. He’s a competitive fellow, so he arrives armed with a board game in hand – the game of Go. He walks up the first person he passes and says the classic line, “Take me to your best player.” We humans are competitive too, […] Read more »
  • Nikola Danaylov and John Rennie on TRT World News: Are we nearing the Singularity?
    Last Wednesday morning I and John Rennie participated in a very short televised debate for TRT World News titled “Are we nearing the Singularity?”. Now, I was totally green-screened, had no TV monitor to look at, my ear-piece — the only input of connecting with the host and my interlocutor kept popping out of my […] Read more »
  • Marcin Jakubowski on Open Source Ecology: From Mud Hut to Singularity in 1 Day
    Some people are just outright unreasonable: they refuse to adapt to the world and, instead, try to adapt the world to themselves. Marcin Jakubowski is one of those crazy people who has been trying to open source a civilization starter kit from the ground up. Now, as we know, most unreasonable people fail. But those […] Read more »
  • Cory Doctorow: Stupid Laws & Benevolent Dictators can Ruin the Web
    Cory Doctorow is not merely a science fiction author stuck in the realms of his own imagination. No. Cory is also an activist bent on fighting some of the David vs Goliath type of battles of our technological age. Battles we all need to fight. And that is why he often says that science fiction is […] Read more »
  • I Sync, Therefore I Am… Always
    In considering the successful Trinity test in New Mexico on July 16, 1945, Oppenheimer later remarked “We knew the world would not be the same.” Over 70 years later, we are approaching another paradigm shift of tectonic proportions, the singularity. Unlike the advent of the nuclear age, which forever altered the world, in this imminent evolution, it is we who will never be the same. Read more »
  • Venture Capitalist Albert Wenger on Basic Income and World After Capital
    Albert Wenger is a venture capitalist and partner at Union Square Ventures. He was the president of del.icio.us and oversaw the company’s sale to Yahoo eventually becoming an investor in a number of companies such as Etsy, Tumblr, and Twitter. Not only that but he is a venture capitalist who supports basic income, argues for […] Read more »
WordPress RSS Feed Retriever by Theme Mason

Sentient AI

  • Sentient Named a Top Impact Player in Machine Learning for 2nd Quarter Straight by insideBIGDATA
    We’re proud of the work we do every day at Sentient, from helping some of the world’s biggest companies optimize their digital experiences with Ascend to our cutting-edge research work in neuroevolution and new learning methods. So, it’s always rewarding to be acknowledged for our work in the industry. insideBIGDATA, which covers Big Data for data scientists, IT and business professionals, recently named Sentient to their IMPACT 50 for Q4 2018. Itself produced by machine learning, the IMPACT 50 list names those companies that exhibit technology leadership, strength of offering, proven innovation, positivity of message, quality perception in the enterprise, and other leadership attributes in the fields of big data and machine learning. This is the second quarter in a row we’ve made the list. Glad we’re making an impact! The post Sentient Named a Top Impact Player in Machine Learning for 2nd Quarter Straight by insideBIGDATA appeared first on Sentient Technologies Holdings Limited. Read more »
  • Which CRO tool to choose–A/B, Multivariate, or AI-powered?
    true
    Getting started with conversion rate optimization (CRO) is no simple task. It involves a lot of ideation, data analysis, and website designing among other things. With a plethora of CRO methods available on the market, it can be difficult to understand not only what each method is, but what each method does. Since every company is unique, it’s important that you choose the CRO tool and methodology that fits your company’s needs. In our guide, “The Right CRO Tool for you,” we outline the three major CRO methodologies–A/B, Multivariate, and AI-Powered Testing–and explain when they are used and what their limitations are. To learn which CRO program is right for your company, click here to download our free guide. The post Which CRO tool to choose–A/B, Multivariate, or AI-powered? appeared first on Sentient Technologies Holdings Limited. Read more »
  • Getting Started with Optimization — Interview with Sam Miller, Digital Consultant at Cognifide
    true
    “Keep it simple at first and have a bit of rigor in your process. This way, you know that you are testing something significant that will drive your experience forward.” Starting a new testing program can be a daunting task for businesses that haven’t started testing yet. Sam Miller is a Digital Consultant at Cognifide, where he helps businesses get started website testing and learn how conversion rate optimization adds to their business’ value. In helping clients get started testing, Sam also helps them create organizational structures to help further increase the value of testing. To do this, he takes a deep dive into their organization to inform the way their testing program will unfold in a way that organically fits their company. To learn more about how Sam helps companies get started with optimization, listen to the podcast below. About Sam… Dr Samuel Miller is a Digital Consultant at Cognifide where he advises clients on how to deliver value from technology and digital transformations. In this role, he has worked on formulating a digital platform strategy for Diageo and is currently focused on implementing a global web analytics platform for EY. Prior to Cognifide, he worked at dunnhumby designing and building their digital recommender products for Tesco as a digital personalisation analyst. He holds a PhD in the Psychology of Language and uses this lens to help deliver insights across projects. The post Getting Started with Optimization — Interview with Sam Miller, Digital Consultant at Cognifide appeared first on Sentient Technologies Holdings Limited. Read more »
  • Website Testing: How to Get the Most Mileage from Your Existing Traffic
    true
    With the digital landscape becoming more and more competitive, businesses must go above and beyond to create the most personalized and streamlined online user experience for their customers. This is why website experimentation has become a necessity for companies to innovate and stay ahead of the competition. Digital marketers, CMOs, and product managers alike are now tasked with an onerous challenge: increase online conversions and drive revenue with their existing traffic. While difficult, this task is not impossible. With CRO tools becoming increasingly more available, marketers need not look far to find the right solution to their problems. After testing begins, however, the real struggle becomes getting the most testing mileage for your current traffic volumes. Why Traffic is so Important In order to achieve the statistical significance necessary to determine whether a new website design is better than your current design, you’ll need a lot of traffic and conversions. This issue is further exacerbated by the effect size you want to detect — for instance, if you’re testing a small change, the effect on your conversions will probably be small, perhaps a 5% increase. In order to detect an effect of this size, you’ll need more traffic to be sure that the data you achieved isn’t simply noise masquerading as a real conversion lift. Unfortunately, traffic is expensive, and the increasing cost of PPC advertising hasn’t helped. This leaves many marketers in a tricky spot, as Eric Nalbone points out in our Optimization Podcast, “eBay can hit for contacts, but I have to hit for home runs.” How Different Testing Tools Vary in Terms of Traffic Usage A/B testing Tools The most widely used CRO method is A/B testing. While you’re only splitting your traffic between two different website designs, you still need to be selective about which tests you should prioritize. If your hypothesis about what will drive conversions up is incorrect, then you won’t see an increase in conversions, and it’s back to the drawing board. In fact, only 1 out of every 7 A/B tests give significant results. Combined with the fact that you can only test one website design at a time with an A/B test, this will slow down the rate at which you can increase your conversion rate. Multivariate Tools Thankfully, there are multivariate tests that compensate for this deficiency in A/B testing. Multivariate tests allow you to test all of your ideas at once, splitting traffic among each website design, observing the conversion rate of each, and ultimately determining which website design elicits the most conversions. There is an important detail here that complicates things. When you test every single one of your ideas, you need to split your traffic among each website. The more ideas you’re testing, the less visitors per website variant, which means that the sample size of each website design can be an order of magnitude smaller than the sample size of an A/B test. In order to achieve reliable results, you need to achieve statistical significance, and that will take a while since your traffic is split hundreds or thousands of ways. While you are increasing your testing velocity by testing all of your ideas at once, you’re really trading off the speed at which you can test. This results in a sort of website testing catch-22: it seems like you either trade off testing speed or testing velocity. But advances in AI have shown us that it doesn’t need to be this way. How AI-Powered Website Testing Maximizes Insights Per Visitor Sentient Ascend is an AI-powered website testing solution that solves each of these problems. It uses principles from biological evolution to find the best website designs. You input all of your ideas into Ascend at once and Ascend will test, combine, and mutate each website variant until it finds the design that increases conversions the most. For more information about how this process works, read our white paper on Website Natural Selection. How Does Ascend Increase Testing Velocity? When performing A/B tests, you’ll end up with a backlog of ideas you want to test, but won’t be able to get to because you’re prioritizing other tests. With Ascend, you can input all of your ideas at once, and Ascend will use its evolutionary algorithms to combine and mutate them into winning website designs. This means no more waiting for your tests to reach statistical significance before testing — start testing them all at once. How is Ascend Faster Than a Multivariate Test? Ascend is faster than a multivariate test precisely because it does not need to test every single variation, rather it tests website elements in combination and then uses evolutionary algorithms to breed together and evolve the best performing candidates until they’ve reached their winning form, optimized for peak conversion rates. Better yet, during experiments, Ascend routes traffic accordingly to the better performing variants, while pruning low-performing variants automatically in real time. This ensures that you maintain as many conversions — and as much revenue — as possible while testing. So, even with demanding constraints placed on you, there is a website testing solution that allows you to get the most mileage from your existing traffic. With this in mind, you can stop your multivariate tests, unpack your A/B testing backlog, and load up all of those ideas waiting to be tested into Ascend and watch your conversions rise. Ready to save your marketing spend and get the most testing value out of your current traffic? Click here to get in touch! The post Website Testing: How to Get the Most Mileage from Your Existing Traffic appeared first on Sentient Technologies Holdings Limited. Read more »
  • Evolutionary Algorithms: the Next Big Thing in Machine Learning?
    Sentient Technologies Asks Experts from Industry and Academia to Weigh In Sentient Technologies, a world leader in artificial intelligence (AI) products based on evolutionary computation, today announced a new video collection — sentient.ai/labs/experts — that provides unique insights to the burgeoning AI community and business leaders around the world on the growing applicability of evolutionary computation, a form of AI inspired by biological evolution. Evolutionary computation is experiencing a fast growing popularity in the AI community. Just as deep learning has become so widely used among researchers at universities and companies worldwide, evolutionary algorithms have become a compelling next step towards a new, creative form of AI that can make autonomous decisions, adapt to a changing world, find non-obvious solutions to complex problems, and even assist in the creation of more advanced deep neural networks. With this in mind — could Evolution be the new Deep Learning? Sentient interviewed a select group of notable experts in the field of AI to get their thoughts. “AI has been very successful in the last few years at applying this supervised learning paradigm. A compelling next step is machine creativity, where we have machines discovering things we don’t already know. Evolution is specifically designed to do just that,” said Risto Miikkulainen, Chief Technology Officer at Sentient and Professor of Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin. Beyond discussing evolution’s role in advancing AI, the interviewees also touch on several of the deeper, AI-related topics, including adversarial dynamics, lifelong learning, novelty search, and mindless intelligence. Their insights aim to help viewers get a better understanding of what artificial intelligence is and how it will impact the world around us. Interviewees: Wolfgang Banzhaf, John R. Koza Professor in Genetic Programming, Michigan State University Josh Bongard, Associate Professor, Computer Science, University of Vermont Jeff Clune, Senior Researcher, Uber AI Labs and Harris Associate Professor, Computer Science, University of Wyoming Erik Goodman, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Michigan University; Director of BEACON Center for Evolution in Action Emma Hart, Professor of Computing, Napier University Malcolm Heywood, Professor of Computer Science, Dalhousie University Babak Hodjat, Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer, Sentient Technologies Una-May O’Reilly, Principal Research Scientist, MIT CSAIL Jordan Pollack, Professor of Computer Science, Brandeis University Esteban Real, Researcher and Software Engineer, Google AI Risto Miikkulainen, Sentient Technologies, Chief Technology Officer and Professor of Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin Marc Schoenauer, Principal Senior Researcher, INRIA Lee Spector, Professor of Computer Science, Hampshire College Ken Stanley, Senior Researcher, Uber AI Labs and Associate Professor of Computer Science at University of Central Florida Julian Togelius, Associate Professor of New York University, Kenneth De Jong, Professor of Computer Science, George Mason University Darrell Whitley, Professor and Chair, Department of Computer Science, Colorado State University The post Evolutionary Algorithms: the Next Big Thing in Machine Learning? appeared first on Sentient Technologies Holdings Limited. Read more »
  • The Best Testing Practices – Interview with Barron Ernst, Chief Product Officer of Showmax
    true
    “One of the big mistakes a lot of people make is that they forget to look at the full funnel metrics, they only look at the top-line metrics.” What are the best practices of website testing? CRO expert and CPO of ShowMax, Barron Ernst, discusses this topic and more on this edition of The Optimization Podcast. Ensuring that there is an underlying reason why you decided to test a site variation and looking at the big picture metrics — not just the metrics you’re testing — are some of the many bits of wisdom he imparts on listeners. He also has tips for new testers, including ways of avoiding “analysis paralysis,” a real phenomena in which website testers spend more time figuring out what is the best hypothesis to test than they are actually testing. For more sage advice, listen to the podcast below. About Barron… Barron is the Chief Product Officer for Showmax (A Naspers Company), which is an SVOD offering that’s bringing 10000+ hours of on-demand video to South Africa, Poland, Kenya, and Sub-saharan Africa. Since launch in 2015, Showmax is one of the top SVOD and OTT offerings in it’s core markets of Poland, South Africa, and Kenya and has brought original programming and Hollywood content. Prior to that, Barron was the Senior Director of Mobile and Growth for Naspers. Naspers (JSE: NPN) is a multinational global platform operator with principal operations in Internet services (focusing on e-commerce), pay-TV and print media, with assets spread across Eastern and Central Europe, China, Russia, Latin America, India, Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Naspers also owns minority interests in two listed, integrated social network platforms: Tencent (China) and Mail.ru (Russia). In this role, he served as a product, growth, and marketing advisor to the Naspers portfolio of companies. Barron also regularly blogs about growth and product management at barronernst.com           The post The Best Testing Practices – Interview with Barron Ernst, Chief Product Officer of Showmax appeared first on Sentient Technologies Holdings Limited. Read more »
  • Where Does Ascend Fit in Your CRO Process?
    true
    Whether you’re trying website testing out for the first time or you’re a seasoned website tester, Sentient Ascend can enhance your ability to test and jumpstart your conversion rate. It can augment your marketing stack, working more powerfully alongside your existing tools, or it can replace your current testing infrastructure entirely as a standalone solution. So where does Ascend fit in your specific marketing stack? That depends on a multitude of factors, and no two businesses are the same. Ascend Augments Pre-Existing Marketing Stacks For those firmly ingrained in the testing world, a marketing stack is like a multifaceted suite of tools, and their attitude towards these tools tends to be “the more, the merrier.” These organizations usually have a large amount of resources dedicated to testing, including in-house teams of CRO experts, designers, and developers. The process tends to be standard: using both quantitative and qualitative data, they form hypotheses about what their users actually want and how these desires stack up to website and marketing campaign performance metrics. With these hypotheses formed, designers draft prototype website designs, and developers implement these designs in their testing suite to begin testing. This is where the A/B and multivariate tests begin. Unfortunately, these processes are slow: either they test one hypothesis at a time with an A/B test, or they test them all at once with a multivariate test but wait a very long time until they obtain enough visitors and conversions for statistical significance. This is where Ascend can fit in their CRO process: Ascend can augment a company’s pre-existing testing system. Because these companies typically perform A/B tests rather than multivariate tests, they usually have a backlog of hypotheses that they want to test, but simply cannot. Ascend allows companies to test all of their backlogged hypotheses at once without the fear of losing conversions because it prunes low-performing websites in real time while focusing traffic on winning designs, which keeps conversions up while finding the best website design. Moreover, Ascend does this with a faster velocity than a traditional multivariate test since it is using AI to evolve website designs from generation to generation rather than testing every single possible variation, which translates to bigger, faster business insights. Ascend as a Standalone Solution Companies that don’t have the resources to develop a large-scale testing infrastructure are nevertheless tasked with finding ways to increase conversion rates and ultimately increase revenue. Here, Ascend can do wonders as a standalone solution to scale and automate their testing efforts. Often times these companies will default to A/B testing because they have neither the necessary traffic nor the human resources to conduct a multivariate test that would require them to test all the combinations of their ideas. Luckily, Ascend requires far fewer conversions and visitors than a traditional multivariate test to produce significant results. This allows companies to get more testing results out of their current volume of traffic without having to buy more traffic from sources like GoogleAds. Furthermore, because Ascend automates the prioritization step by redirecting traffic to the highest performing designs, the testing team can then focus on creative tasks such as ideation and creating more targeted testing hypotheses for their experiment. Ascend can revamp or entirely replace a company’s previous A/B and multivariate testing tools as a singular solution that automates the evolution of their website in real time. Ascend can help companies of all sizes scale their testing efforts without having to hire more resources, offering a cost-efficient solution to website optimization. For example, an affiliate marketing company used Ascend to perform a massively multivariate test in order to lift their conversions. Ultimately, they determined that adding a black border around the search bar and moving deals underneath the subheader resulted in an 18% conversion rate increase. All the company had to do was input their ideas into Ascend, and the rest was taken care of for them. Ascend Can Help You Get Started Testing Not all businesses have adopted a website testing, even though it can help drive conversions and revenue. Ascend can help here, too. It’s an automated testing platform, and doesn’t require as much setup as a multivariate test, so a marketing team can easily input a slew of individual ideas, which Ascend can take and combine into possible winners for them. While Ascend might seem like a big leap for a company that doesn’t test yet, it’s just what they need in order to see the true benefit of conversion rate optimization. Where Does Ascend Fit in Your CRO Process? Every company is different. While the guidelines and typical cases we elaborated on above might be the case for some companies, every company is unique. So how can Ascend augment your CRO process? As we mentioned, Ascend can supplant previously existing testing architectures in order to produce a more efficient testing solution for your marketing teams to utilize. Or Ascend can bolster your current testing process, working alongside your A/B testing platform to test your backlogged, smaller ideas in the background, and perhaps spotting a magic design that nets a large conversion lift. Ultimately, Ascend is a versatile solution that can integrate with marketing stacks of all sizes, scaling your efforts and helping you find your winning website design quickly and efficiently. The post Where Does Ascend Fit in Your CRO Process? appeared first on Sentient Technologies Holdings Limited. Read more »
  • The Philosophy of Testing – Interview with Eric Nalbone, VP of Marketing at Bellhops
    true
    “eBay can hit for contacts, but I have to hit for home runs.” Eric Nalbone, VP of Marketing at Bellhops, was recently featured on The Optimization Podcast where he discussed his philosophy behind testing. He explains why assumptions need to be made because we’ll never have good enough data to make a definitive choice, and why we should always be testing. He also discusses his methodology behind testing, from ideation to analysis. To hear more expert advice from Eric Nalbone, listen to our podcast below.   About Eric… Eric Nalbone is the VP of Marketing for Bellhops, a tech-enabled moving platform, where he’s responsible for building a high-performance growth engine & world-class moving brand.  Prior to his time at Bellhops, Eric spent time as the Head of Performance Marketing at Kabbage running digital customer acquisition activities and eBay managing a variety of marketing channels.  Eric graduated from Princeton in 2009 with a BA in Economics and lives with his wife, two dogs, and two retired thoroughbred racehorses outside Atlanta, GA. The post The Philosophy of Testing – Interview with Eric Nalbone, VP of Marketing at Bellhops appeared first on Sentient Technologies Holdings Limited. Read more »
  • How Online Retailers Can Prepare for the Holiday Season Using AI
    true
    It may still be warm and sunny out, but as retailers know, the holidays will arrive before you know it and shoppers will be looking for the best online deals. The ubiquity of marketing tools available to retailers has complicated the process of preparing for the blizzard of holiday shoppers further, with a breadth personalization, advertising, and website testing tools waiting to be utilized, offering unprecedented utility. With all of these solutions available, how do you make the most out of your marketing budget and maximize your return on investment? Advertising Reaching out to relevant segments of users used to be difficult, but with social networking platforms like Facebook increasing the capabilities of their advertising platform, it’s never been easier to laser-focus your advertising efforts to precisely the people you want to reach. 68% of American adults have a Facebook account, which lends an amazing opportunity to digital marketers to reach out to a good chunk of their shoppers. A smart tactic is to use the Facebook Pixel on your website, which is a piece of code for your website that lets you measure, optimize, and build audiences for your ad campaign. In particular, this enables you to remarket to existing customers, which is a highly underrated marketing strategy — in fact, retargeting ads are 10 times more likely to be clicked through than a general ad. Moreover, remarketing can be a lucrative strategy for the holidays, considering that retargeted customers are three times as likely to click on a your ad than people who haven’t interacted with your business before, enabling you to make the most out of your existing customer base. For more on remarketing, check out our article on Facebook remarketing. So how does AI play into advertising? As ad prices skyrocket during the holiday season, it’s important to make sure that your ads are focused on the right demographic for as long as they need to run before cycling in new ads. AI-powered tools enable you to do this automatically. For example, ReFUEL4 uses predictive algorithms to determine the optimal time to pull an ad and replace it with another one, curtailing ad fatigue. This time and money saved allows you and your team to scale your marketing efforts. Other AI-powered tools exist that allow you to maximize your ROI on Facebook and other ads by optimizing bins and segmenting to make sure that your ads are served to the relevant demographics. Personalization One of the most promising emerging technologies is personalization technology. Enabled by the preponderance of data now available at our fingertips, personalization tools use AI to segment users into groups of similar interests and present each segment with offers that they would enjoy. This technology is already being used on websites, but it can be extended to email campaigns as well as other channels. Due to the mass adoption of this technology, personalization will be a prime differentiator this holiday season. According to a study by VB Insight, 87 percent of marketers using personalization have seen a lift of at least 5 percent, and 39 percent of those marketers saw lifts of at least 20 percent. So how can you personalize the holiday shopping season for your customers? One way is to personalize offers via email — a report by Liveclicker shows that machine learning personalization delivers a 21 percent revenue increase in email offers. People are more likely to respond to offers when they are relevant to their tastes. You can go beyond personalized emails and personalize your homepage by segment: one group of users might be interested in deals on scooters, while another might be particularly interested in deals on video games. Presenting the right products to the right people can make all the difference in the world. Website Testing Holiday shopping can be very stressful for customers, and difficult to navigate websites can add undue complications to a user’s experience. To make sure that your website is the best it can be, online businesses use website testing platforms to determine whether one design entices customers to convert, or buy products, more often than the previous design. This is known as conversion rate optimization (CRO), and it’s been shown that the average ROI from CRO tools is 223%. Typically they use A/B testing solutions to determine whether their new website design is better than their pre-existing website. But there have been advances in this field, and with sufficiently large traffic and conversions, online businesses can run multivariate tests to test multiple website designs at once. Unfortunately, there lies an important issue with A/B testing: because you’re only running one test at a time, you end up with a backlog of tests you’d like to run but cannot because you’re prioritizing other tests. With multivariate testing, you encounter another tradeoff: they take a really long time to reach significant results because you’re testing every combination of website design changes. Thankfully, AI-powered evolutionary website testing has arrived, and with Sentient Ascend, you can test all of your ideas at once. It takes all the ideas you want to implement, combining and mutating them over time, all while ensuring that the majority of your traffic is routed to the best performing website variants in real time. By the end of your test, you’ll have a winning website design that was found automatically for you. Moreover, this process is faster than a multivariate test, because Ascend uses evolutionary algorithms to produce designs from high-performing parent websites rather than testing every single possible combination, which would result in a lot of under-performing designs. This means that you can not only increase your testing velocity, but also test all of your best ideas at once while maintaining high conversions, overcoming the pitfalls of both A/B and multivariate testing. Are You Ready for the Holid-AIs? Now that you are aware of these digital marketing strategies, you can position yourself well for the upcoming holiday season and deliver a truly optimized and personalized holiday shopping experience for your users. Each of these techniques on their own are powerful, and in tandem their combined effect is greater than the sum of their parts. The post How Online Retailers Can Prepare for the Holiday Season Using AI appeared first on Sentient Technologies Holdings Limited. Read more »
  • Sentient Presents “The Optimization Podcast: Experts in CRO and Website Testing”
    true
    Sentient is proud to present its new podcast series: “The Optimization Podcast: Experts in CRO and Website Testing.” In this series, we interview veteran website testers and CRO experts to demystify the art of website optimization. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds, from digital marketing teams of midsize and enterprise companies, to digital and creative agencies that serve a number of different clients, to specified conversion consultancies that have spent years optimizing website conversions. Listen to our SoundCloud and find out from the experts how best to improve your testing campaigns and increase your website conversions. The post Sentient Presents “The Optimization Podcast: Experts in CRO and Website Testing” appeared first on Sentient Technologies Holdings Limited. Read more »
WordPress RSS Feed Retriever by Theme Mason