Tall Tales

AI beats humans at bridge

And other stories from the stranger side of life

A game of bridge

An artificial intelligence (AI) has beaten eight world champions at bridge. The victory represents a “new milestone” for AI, said The Guardian, because in bridge players work with incomplete information and must react to the behaviour of several other players. “What we’ve seen represents a fundamentally important advance in the state of artificial intelligence systems,” said Stephen Muggleton, a professor of machine learning at Imperial College London.

Novel ‘predicted Ukraine conflict’

A fantasy novel predicted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with “surprising accuracy”, according to The Times. Mikhail Yuryev’s Third Empire: The Russia That Ought To Be, published in 2006, features a Moscow-backed uprising in eastern and southern Ukraine against a revolution instigated by the West. Russia’s leader, called Vladimir II the Restorer, absorbs the lands endorsed by a referendum in the affected parts of Ukraine. The plot line closely resembles the events of 2014, when separatists in eastern Ukraine broke away with the support of Russian troops.

Bear gets stuck inside porch

A black bear that entered a New Hampshire home got stuck inside the porch area before eventually leaving after 45 minutes. “Naughty, NAUGHTY bear!!”, Melissa Anne Kelley-Champney of Grafton posted on Facebook following the encounter. “We do NOT eat the walls and the doorknobs! Worst house guest EVER!” The bear managed to leave after she climbed out of a window and shoved the door open so that it could get out. The bear is thought to have weighed over 400 pounds.

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