The Globe’s stars and dogs for the week

I first bought Canopy Growth Corp. shares because of that cool ticker symbol – WEED. Marketing gold, man. Then, I expanded deeper into the sector …

A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week

Tesla Inc. (Dog)

Five things we learned from Elon Musk’s soul-baring interview with The New York Times:

1. He spent his 47th birthday at a Tesla factory: “All night – no friends, nothing.”

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2. He has strong views on marijuana: “Weed is not helpful for productivity.”

3. He is willing to surrender leadership: “Is there someone who can do the job better? They can have the reins right now.”

4. He needs help to catch some z’s: “It’s often a choice of no sleep or Ambien.”

5. Soul-baring has a price: Tesla shares fell 8.94 per cent on Friday.

TSLA-Q – NASDAQ

Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (Star)

I first bought Canopy Growth Corp. shares because of that cool ticker symbol – WEED. Marketing gold, man. Then, I expanded deeper into the sector because medicinal pot was going recreational, see? Whole new market beyond glaucoma, hair loss and freckles. But when I saw this week that a gigantic U.S. company, Constellation Brands, was buying a bigger stake in Canopy, well, that just blew my mind. Hey, it means that all Canadian producers are buys, right? Right?

HMMJ-T TSX

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Barrick Gold Corp. (Dog)

Gold prices haven’t gone anywhere for years, which is really weighing on Barrick Gold’s share price. Here’s a helpful tip for the company: Move beyond commodity production and into value-added products. I know what you’re thinking: Gold-plated toilets have been done to death. But what about gold-plated office supplies? I’m talking gold staples, gold paper clips and gold thumb tacks. Are you with me? I mean, gold bars are nice and all. But you need something to do with them.

ABX-T TSX

Walmart Inc. (Star)

If Walmart’s partnership with comedian and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres goes well – she is designing a lineup of jeans, shoes and shirts, some carrying her own inspirational messages – expect the retailer to partner with other sometime-designers in its quest to offer exclusive brands. I, for one, am eager to offer my own line of T-shirts, emblazoned with my adorable observations on health: “I have water in my ear”; “My rash is spreading”; and “Well, there goes my back, again.”

WMT-N NYSE

Element Fleet Management Corp. (Star)

After stumbling more than 70 per cent between March, 2017, and March, 2018, this stock has been on a bit of run lately, punctuated by this week’s double-digit rally. Pick your reason:

a) People love yachts, especially in the summertime. While Element Fleet does not manage yachts, it does manage fleets. And a fleet is many boats, right?

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b) Investors simply love betting on underdogs that have nothing to do with marijuana or cryptocurrencies.

c) In its second-quarter results, released on Monday, profit more than doubled from last year, suggesting the company’s operations are now stabilizing after a period of decline.

EFN-T TSX

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Hyperloop Technology Market Research Key Players, Industry Overview, Supply Chain and …

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Do You Trust This Computer? documentary review: artificial intelligence is already here

This slick gloss on all the ways in which artificial intelligence is already impacting our world won’t surprise anyone who has been paying attention…

Documentarian Chris Paine, who once asked Who Killed the Electric Car?, is back with another question of genuinely societal-shaking importance: Do You Trust This Computer? This slick gloss on all the ways in which artificial intelligence is already impacting our world won’t surprise anyone who has been paying attention… but as with so many other situations of incredible importance playing out right now, not everyone is.

“We have five years,” warns Elon Musk here, before we reach the moment that futurist geeks already know as the Singularity (oddly, that word is not mentioned in the film), when our computers exceed our capabilities, perhaps even reach a form of consciousness, and AI escapes our control. This does not seem implausible, not with how quickly we’ve gotten here, with AIs operating now that are already better than us in some limited ways, as Trust runs down. AI-driven robots are doing lots of routine surgeries; Google’s AI Deep Mind is the best Go player and best poker player on the planet, and it has admin-level access to Google’s servers (Google’s search engine itself is a kind of AI), though which it learns about everything. Google, the film implies, could achieve sentience, and soon, and we should be worried.

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Hyperloop Technology Market Analysis and Forecast to 2023 by Recent Trends, Development and …

United States Hyperloop Technology Market report provide emerging opportunities in the market and the future impact of major drivers and challenges …

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OpenAI Is Beating Humans at ‘Dota 2’ Because It’s Basically Cheating

On August 5, a team of AI bots beat professional human players in two consecutive games of Dota 2. The team, called the OpenAI Five, was …

On August 5, a team of AI bots beat professional human players in two consecutive games of Dota 2. The team, called the OpenAI Five, was developed by OpenAI, a technology non-profit sponsored by Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, among other individuals and companies.

Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena game. Teams of five square off on a large map and compete to push down three lanes, smashing the opposing team’s defensive towers and eventually destroying their base.

“It just played differently than anything else that we’ve ever seen before,” Austin Walsh, one of the Dota 2 players the AI defeated told me over the phone.. ”What they did was just something like completely different. It’s almost nonsensical in the approach.” Walsh pointed out that the bots employed weird strategies such as grouping four heroes in one lane and sacrificing another. “There was a lot of things like that—It just played differently,” he said.

When outlets wrote about the matches, many focused on the AI’s overwhelming victory. “Bots just beat human pros at ‘Dota 2’ and it wasn’t even much of a contest,” wrote BGR. “OpenAI Bots Crush the Best Human Dota 2 Players in the World,” said ExtremeTech. Does this mean that AI is already more clever than humans when it comes to playing competitive video games? Not exactly.

The OpenAI Five bots consisted of algorithms known as neural networks, which loosely mimic the brain and “learn” to complete tasks after a process of training and feedback. The research company put its Dota 2-playing AI through 180 days worth of virtual training to prepare it for the match, and it showed. However, the bots had to play within some highly specific limitations.

Read More: When AI Goes Wrong, We Won’t Be Able to Ask It Why

Dota 2 is a complicated game with more than 100 heroes. Some of them use quirky and game-changing abilities. For this exhibition, the hero pool was limited to just 18. That’s an incredible handicap because so much of Dota 2 involves a team picking the proper group composition and reacting to what its opponents pick. Reducing the number of champions from more than 100 to 18 made things much simpler for the AI.

The OpenAI Five bots also played Dota 2 by reading the game’s information directly from its application programming interface (API), which allows other programs to easily interface with Dota 2. This gives the AI instant knowledge about the game, whereas human players have to visually interpret a screen. If a human was able to do this in a competitive match against other humans, we’d probably call it cheating

In June, a (human) professional player got his entire team disqualified for using a programmable mouse. Open AI Five plays like an entire team with programmable mice and telepathy.

“The API is designed not to give the AI more information than a human would have,” Mark Riedl, an associate professor of AI and machine learning at the Georgia Tech College of Computing, told me over the phone “But what they are able to know, they know perfectly and instantaneously. They need to move to a full vision based input system. It needs to be on the same playing field as humans who must also use their eyes.”

Walsh told me that he noticed the bot’s unnatural abilities. “The bot plays with such confident knowledge,” he said. “It has the knowledge of where everyone is, it has the knowledge of exactly how much [attack power] you have. It knows exactly how much damage they can do between the three or four heroes that it has in one lane and it instantly pounces the moment that you are in the wrong position. It knows. And I’ve never played anything like that, it was just it was amazing to watch.”

Even with this AI advantage, Walsh and his team beat the bots in the third game, when the match organizers turned hero selection over to the crowd, which gave the AI a weak hero composition. Walsh thinks he and his team could eventually beat the AI in a fair right, even given the limited hero pool and other restrictions.

“Once you find a way to beat it, it’s not going to be able to self-correct,” he said. “That’s the human advantage. Once you find a weakness, you can exploit that weakness.”

Reidl said Go and Dota 2 show that AI might soon get smart enough to handle complex tasks outside of a game. “One of the big claims for [teaching AI to play games] is that games are a stepping stone to something that looks more like the complexity of the real world,” he said.

Read More: Video Games Are So Realistic That They Can Teach AI What the World Looks Like

But he cautioned that games aren’t real life. Games have rules and different forms of feedback, like points. The boundaries are clear and the AI is programmed to work within those boundaries. “Those artificial parts of the games that make them fun to humans are still being used as a crutch for AI researchers,” he said.

In other words, it’s impressive to watch a robot crush at Go or Dota 2, but it’s still just a machine running code—if you throw it a curveball, it has trouble recovering, and the real world is a barrage of curve balls.

Despite those caveats, Riedl was still excited. “It has shown that some of the things that are known to be really, really hard can be dealt with computationally.”

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