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Niantic makes augmented reality games like Pokémon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. These games allow players to venture around the real world and interact with superimposed characters and items. The company is now teaming up with theater group Punchdrunk to bring its technology to the stage. By adding AR to immersive drama, the two hope to create a new type of narrative experience.

Punchdrunk is the company behind Sleep No More, a retelling of Macbeth that doesn’t take a traditional approach to theater. Instead, the audience is immersed in a set featuring multiple rooms in which they can examine props, eavesdrop on actors and put the narrative pieces together for themselves. While Niantic hasn’t provided any details on how its AR technology could be integrated into this type of production, it sounds like Punchdrunk would be able to create virtual props, characters and settings that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to include in a play, either due to cost or size issues.

News Source: newsbrig.com

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Artist uses AI to create realistic-looking portraits of famous figures including Napoleon and Van Gogh

AN ARTIST has used artificial intelligence to create human-like portraits from statues and paintings of famous faces.

If you've ever wondered what the Statue of Liberty or Michelangelo's David statue would look like as real people then take a look below.

10This is the original French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte paintingCredit: Rex Features 10Here's what AI thinks it could have looked like in real lifeCredit: Bas Uterwijk

Dutch artist Bas Uterwijk used AI to create the photo-style portraits.

He focused on well-known figures including Vincent Van Gogh and Napoleon Bonaparte.

The deep learning technology enabled him to take a photo of a statue or a painting and turn it into a more human-like face.

The software uses data points to pick up on facial features and photographic qualities.

10Here's one of Van Gogh's self-portraits from 1889Credit: Getty - Contributor 10The AI Van GoghCredit: Bas Uterwijk 10The Statue of Liberty without AICredit: Getty Images - Getty 10The AI portrait of Lady LibertyCredit: Bas Uterwijk

The AI is called Artbreeder and can also create human-looking images from scratch.

10The right image is the AI version of this portrait of a Fayum Mummy, which dates back to Roman EgyptCredit: Bas Uterwijk 10Vermeer's famous Girl with a Pearl Earring paintingCredit: Getty - Contributor 10The AI 'human-like' versionCredit: Bas Uterwijk 10The AI version of Michelangelo's famous David statueCredit: Bas Uterwijk

Bas told the Daily Mail: "I try to guide the software to a credible outcome. I think of my work more as artistic interpretations than scientifically or historically accurate."

The artist added: "I work on many images at the same time, sometimes leaving them for weeks to pick them up later when I have new inspiration or have stumbled on additional source material."

So far, they've worked on 50 to 60 of the AI-generated pictures.

Bas is currently said to be working on a model that could show Anne Frank at an age she never reached.

What is artificial intelligence?

Here's what you need to know...

  • Artificial intelligence, also known as AI, is a type of computer software
  • Typically, a computer will do what you tell it to do
  • But artificial intelligence simulates the human mind, and can make its own deductions, inferences or decisions
  • A simple computer might let you set an alarm to wake you up
  • But an AI system might scan your emails, work out that you’ve got a meeting tomorrow, and then set an alarm and plan a journey for you
  • AI tech is often “trained” – which means it observes something (potentially even a human) then learns about a task over time
  • For instance, an AI system can be fed thousands of photos of human faces, then generate photos of human faces all on its own
  • Some experts have raised concerns that humans will eventually lose control of super-intelligent AI
  • But the tech world is still divided over whether or not AI tech will eventually kill us all in a Terminator-style apocalypse
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In other news, Instagram is said to be planning a 'makeover' that will see Stories take more of a central role on the app.

Facebook's Reality Labs and its Oculus virtual reality brand have been working on the thinnest' VR headset to date.

And, virtual reality "photo-realistic" girlfriends that pleasure users with a sex toy in real life are now on sale.

What are your thoughts on artificial intelligence? Let us know in the comments...

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