7 Things Dungeons & Dragons Taught Me About Storytelling

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If you write, you may be tempted to make your main characters good, strong, and pretty—not perfect, but rather unflawed. But that’s boring. If you don’t understand why, then maybe you should play Dungeons and Dragons. Writer Rob Blair Young used to cheat by lying about his dice rolls to make his characters near-perfect in D&D. But after playing with an accidental “flawed” character, he realised the best journeys aren’t about perfect characters smashing through problems, but about ordinary people who become extraordinary after rising to the challenge. Read full article here

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Societal Issues

AI Predicts Crime A Week In Advance With 90 Per Cent Accuracy

An artificial intelligence model built by Ishanu Chattopadhyay and his colleagues analysed crime data in Chicago from 2014 to 2016 and managed to predict future levels of crime down to the nearest 300 metres, a week before they actually happened. While extremely useful, this artificial intelligence has been shown to expose racial prejudice in law enforcement. Hopefully, as the study’s data and methodology have been made available for others to evaluate, these prejudices can be avoided in the next iteration. Read full article here


Automated Identification Of Chicken Distress

Did you know that chickens make distinct sounds when they’re stressed? Chicken raisers painstakingly identify these calls manually to figure out how their chickens are faring—a sort of state of the chicknation, if you will. However, those days of manual identification might be nearing an end after a group of researchers developed an AI primed to identify stressed chicken noises. Called light-VGG11, the AI seems like a promising solution for those with large flocks of chickens after it accurately identified chicken distress calls among other recorded chicken calls. Read full article here

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