Escape rooms (August, 2019) alvin August 11, 2019 - 10:01am

They are called escape rooms. They sell an experience. The experience is escape, both literal and metaphorical. For around $30, you and a handful of friends/colleagues/strangers are “trapped” in some kind of space together and must collaboratively puzzle through a series of challenges to win your freedom.

The clock is ticking: You get 45 minutes, or 60, or 90, to escape, although if you fail, they let you out anyway. Usually, the game offers some kind of story to help explain why you’re solving puzzles in a room with a countdown clock.

Escape is big. There are, by the most recent unofficial count, at least 2,300 escape rooms in the United States.

~ from this story about escape rooms

AlphaZero generalized to learn more games by itself alvin December 11, 2017 - 5:01am

From this Cornell University page, Google’s AlphaZero algorithm has been generalized to learn new games given only the game rules: “In this paper, we generalise this approach into a single AlphaZero algorithm that can achieve, tabula rasa, superhuman performance in many challenging domains.