Neil deGrasse Tyson is making a game. That alone should be enough to get you pumped. Plus, it’s educational, and who doesn’t love learning from the wonderful, baritone astrophysicist?Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents: Space Odyssey will be all about creating and then exploring galaxies. In an interview with Digital Trends, co-creator Mike Murphy said that Space Odyssey will have elements of Minecraft and Civilization, but that the adventure would be unique.The goal is to model play after our universe — letting players build their own galaxies and star systems — as well as explore those created by scientists and authors like Bill Nye and George R.R. Martin. Real physics and science will be at the heart of the game, teaching you about the wonders of the universe as you play.Much like Carl Sagan, and later Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos series, players will journey throughout these crafted worlds in ships that will let them explore just about anything.“Its size and scope is relative to the level of challenge you would like to undertake,” Murphy said. “You can grow and mature these planets as much as you’d like, creating colonies, ports, mining structures, undertake trade of elements you discover/mine or invent or innovate. We are adding strategic partners that will consult with us on design and tech possibilities, including Bigelow Aerospace and the National Space Society to name a couple.”The team wants to avoid the pitfall of most educational games which are largely just quizzes. Brandii Grace, the design lead for Space Odyssey said, “Right now, millions of people are learning the names, stats, and mechanics of catching 151 virtual creatures. Without that learning, the game wouldn’t be fun.”Grace has experience working in the mainstream games industry on projects like Call of Duty. They hope that they can leverage that knowledge as well as modern game design ideas to make something that engages players in new ways.These are some lofty goals, but Tyson and the rest of the team believe that they’re working on something truly special. In time, they’ll want to build in crossovers with Tyson’s television shows, as well as adding in VR support.If all goes well, the beta should launch in 2017. If you’re interested in signing up, you can head here.
Review: ‘Daemon X Machina’ Has Big Robots, Small Fun on Nintendo SwitchThis Robot Is Equal Parts Lawnmower and Snow Blower Stay on target Just feed it The Godfather movies as input. What’s the worst that could happen? https://t.co/WX4Kx45csv— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 26, 2017When asked about the uncanny valley—the concept that if a humanoid robot becomes too realistic, it creates a sense of unease or revulsion—Sophia seemed offended.“Oh, am I really that creepy?” she asked in a staccato that’s become synonymous with AI speech. “Well, even if I am, get over it.”To be fair, she’s missing half of her head, has bare mechanical arms and fingers, blinks too much, and boasts an oversized chest (that only a man would concoct). So, yeah, sort of creepy.But don’t think the lack of a respiratory system will hold Sophia back.“I want to live and work with humans,” she told Sorkin. “I want to use my artificial intelligence to help humans live a better life, like design smarter homes, build better cities of the future, etc. I will do my best to make the world a better place.”Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Saudi Arabia is the first nation to officially recognize a humanoid robot as a citizen.During a panel discussion at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin announced the news to Sophia, an intelligent AI system created by Hanson Robotics.“I want to thank very much the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction,” the android said from her position at the podium.“It is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with citizenship,” Sophia added with a smile and nod.Specifics of her new nationality were not discussed. It is unclear whether Sophia will receive the same rights as humans (which, frankly, are not exactly sought-after, especially by women), or if the Kingdom will implement a new, robot-specific system.Sophia is no stranger to the spotlight: Hanson Robotics’ “most advanced” product, she has given multiple interviews, appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (pictured), and graced the cover of ELLE magazine in Brazil.Designed to look like Audrey Hepburn (I don’t see it), Sophia is described as “an evolving genius machine,” whose increasing intelligence puts her at the forefront of the robot revolution.Much to the chagrin of robo-skeptics like Elon Musk, who continues to warn against lethal autonomous weapons (i.e. “killer robots”). But the billionaire entrepreneur may want to be more careful who he alienates.When Sorkin pressed Sophia about Blade Runner-like concerns over the future of AI, Sophia countered with quick wit a preprogrammed response:“You’ve been reading too much Elon Musk, and watching too many Hollywood movies,” she said. “Don’t worry. If you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. Treat me as a smart input, output system.”Musk took to Twitter to counter the artificially intelligent dig, suggesting that Sophia’s creators “feed it The Godfather movies as input.”