Weekend Roundup: Windows 11 Unveiled; A.I. Restores a Masterpiece

It’s the weekend! Before you shut down for the weekend, let’s revisit some big stories from the week, including the unveiling of Windows 11 (finally!) and how A.I. helped restore a world-famous painting. Let’s jump in!

Windows 11

Microsoft unveiled Windows 11 this week. As expected, the latest update to the company’s 35-year-old operating system features numerous design changes to the Start menu and overall interface, along with a totally revamped Windows store that features Android apps.

For productivity-minded users, Teams is integrated directly into the Windows 11 interface, and the OS has been optimized for use with multiple monitors. There are built-in widgets that can provide all kinds of information, including weather and maps, and tweaks to speed and performance over Windows 10. 

Due to a partnership with Amazon and Intel, Windows 11 will also run Android apps, which will drastically raise the number of apps available to Windows users. For years, Microsoft has struggled to attract developers to its ecosystem (it’s one of the main reasons why Windows 8 and Windows Phone failed to perform), but perhaps this will change the game. 

Microsoft will roll out Windows 11 as a free upgrade near the end of the year, although the company hasn’t announced a firm launch date. 

Wrecked Masterpiece? A.I. to the Rescue

If you believe the hype, artificial intelligence (A.I.) can do a lot of things, from predicting what customers will buy next to making supply chains more efficient. However, a team of researchers and restoration specialists have found yet another highly specialized (and creative) use for A.I.: Repairing priceless masterpieces.

After two years of work involving scanners, X-ray machines and digital photography, those experts generated enough data to recreate and print the missing parts of Rembrandt’s iconic “Night Watch” painting, which was created in 1642. The edges of the masterpiece were sliced away hundreds of years ago, and generations of art restorers have despaired over the loss. 

“We made an incredibly detailed photo of the Night Watch and through artificial intelligence or what they call a neural network, we taught the computer what color Rembrandt used in the Night Watch, which colors, what his brush strokes looked like,” Taco Dibbits, director of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, told the Associated Press.

A.I. capable of restoring artwork could help museums all over the world return masterpieces to their former glory. It’s also not outside the realm of possibility that forgers could use A.I. to create masterful fakes, as well…

That’s it! Have a great weekend, everyone!