Hear Joe Rogan's voice duplicated by an AI: Startup unveils system that can mimic celebrity voices

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A new startup has created an artificial intelligence system capable of mimicking voices that are unprecedentedly close to the real thing. In a video from Dessa, an AI company staffed by former employees of Google, IBM, and Microsoft, multiple audio clips demonstrate a machine-learning software that parrots the voice of popular podcaster, Joe Rogan to a degree that's almost indiscernible from the real thing. In the clips, the computer-generated Rogan muses on topics like chimpanzee's who can play hockey; it pulls off some adept tongue-twisters; and it even pontificates theories about how we're all living in a simulation, which as noted by The Verge, are some of Rogan's favorite topics. Joe Rogan is one of the most popular podcasters in the world, giving AI plenty of data to choose from when trying to mimic the host's voice In a response, even Rogan himself called the demonstration'terrifyingly accurate' reports CNET. What makes the demonstration more intriguing, or perhaps scary, according to Dessa is that software like the one demonstrated channeling Rogan could soon be commonplace.

AI is now making 'Joe Rogan' talk about his chimp hockey team


Say hello to Joe Rogan: podcaster, entertainer of problematic views, and man who believes that feeding his all chimp hockey team a diet of bone broth and elk meat will give them the power to rip your balls off. Or, at least that's what the unaware listener might believe after listening to an entirely AI-generated clip of the popular podcaster. Unlike Rogan's typical totally coherent rants, this one is a total fabrication. "The replica of Rogan's voice the team created was produced using a text-to-speech deep learning system they developed called RealTalk," explained the researchers behind the clip in a blog post, "which generates life-like speech using only text inputs." This obviously calls to mind deepfakes, the video editing tech that can convincingly edit videos to make it look like people did or said things they in fact did not.

Robots from 'Gundam' series to greet 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic athletes from space

The Japan Times

Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games announced plans Wednesday to launch robots from the "Mobile Suit Gundam" anime series into space aboard a satellite that will broadcast messages of support to athletes. In the project, conducted in collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the University of Tokyo, two 10-centimeter models depicting Gundam and Char's Zaku robots from the animation series will be sent into orbit on a 30-cm long, 10-cm wide microsatellite. The "G Satellite," with an electronic bulletin board for displaying messages, will be sent to the International Space Station aboard a supply ship next March and later launched from the ISS. After the satellite enters the Earth's orbit, it will deploy the robots and the bulletin board. The organizers of the project will then share images taken with an onboard camera, including congratulatory messages in multiple languages, with athletes through social media and other outlets.

Through AI, Sweden's Head Hockey Coach Will Somehow Be a Sports Anchor for 400 Straight Hours


But they'll have nothing on Rikard Grönborg, the head coach of Sweden's national hockey team who will log over 400 consecutive hours during the Ice Hockey World Championships in Slovakia … sort of. Using advanced 3D and voice technology, agency Perfect Fools created a virtual Grönborg to report live on YouTube 24 hours a day through the duration of the tournament. The coach spent hours in front of the camera so the virtual anchor could learn his voice and mannerisms. Additionally, 20 years of hockey data was analyzed so the fake Grönborg could make predictions for all of the tournament's games. The end product does look and sound a little robotic but in all fairness, it's an ambitious project, and the technology is still somewhat nascent.

Five creative jobs artificial intelligence can undertake


This summer, furniture company Kartell will start selling a new plastic chair designed by Philippe Starck – with some help. The system used – not, perhaps, strictly an AI – was a generative design software platform from Autodesk. Supplied with initial design goals, along with parameters such as materials, manufacturing methods and cost constraints, the software explores all the possible permutations of a solution to generate design alternatives. It tests and learns from each iteration what works and what doesn't. "As the relationship between the two matured, the system became a much stronger collaborative partner, and began to anticipate Starck's preferences and the way he likes to work," says Mark Davis, senior director of design futures at Autodesk.

Alexa eavesdropped on my family's gossip, conversations about new jobs and insurance details

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A MailOnline investigation into how much personal information Alexa is recording and storing on its users has revealed the smart assistant eavesdrops on housemates' gossip, private conversations about insurance policies - and even the family dog. Amazon insists Alexa can only be activated when the allocated'wake word' is uttered - being Alexa, Computer or Echo. The tech giant - along with Apple's Siri and, until recently, Google's Assistant - says it saves every single interaction a person has with the device to improve the service - with some'unintentional' snippets also being recorded if it mistakes another noise for a'wake word'. However, evidence seen by MailOnline shows this cannot be the case, or the process is fundamentally flawed, as a host of sounds and conversations were recorded without a clear or legitimate wake word being uttered - some when there was not even a human nearby. A MailOnline investigation into these'secret' archives has revealed an eerie snippets of users' friends, families and children being recorded while they were completely unaware - and without a clear or legitimate wake word being uttered.

These horse names chosen by artificial intelligence beat the ones in the Kentucky Derby


When the folks at the Jockey Club released their list of over 42,000 registered racehorses in an effort to assist owners in "identifying an appropriate name for their Thoroughbreds," they probably had no idea that the information would be fed to a neural network that would try to put them out of a job. In the latest post for AIWeirdness, artificial intelligence savant Janelle Shane fed the Jockey Club's dataset to two of her neural networks and tasked them with devising names for racehorses. Turns out the neural networks are pretty good at the job, coming up with names like Long Range Toddy, Gunmetal Gray, Maximus Mischief, Bankit, Network Effect, and--just kidding! Those are all names of actual racehorses running in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. It just shows where the bar is set when it comes to the odd process of naming thoroughbreds.

Introduction to Multi-Armed Bandits Artificial Intelligence

Multi-armed bandits a simple but very powerful framework for algorithms that make decisions over time under uncertainty. An enormous body of work has accumulated over the years, covered in several books and surveys. This book provides a more introductory, textbook-like treatment of the subject. Each chapter tackles a particular line of work, providing a self-contained, teachable technical introduction and a review of the more advanced results. The chapters are as follows: Stochastic bandits; Lower bounds; Bayesian Bandits and Thompson Sampling; Lipschitz Bandits; Full Feedback and Adversarial Costs; Adversarial Bandits; Linear Costs and Semi-bandits; Contextual Bandits; Bandits and Zero-Sum Games; Bandits with Knapsacks; Incentivized Exploration and Connections to Mechanism Design.

The Shot That Stopped Basketball

The New Yorker

The nature of basketball is such that its most cathartic moment--when the ball goes decisively and irretrievably through the hoop--is the same every time. The ball piercing the basket is both a discrete event and a continuous waterfall of motion that, for active players, is constant throughout their careers. They shoot in practice, they shoot in the game, they shoot and shoot and shoot. The motion becomes so ingrained in their muscle memory that the gesture requires only its activation; everything else--the elevation, the aiming at the basket, the cocking of the elbow and the follow-through of the hand--is programmed. I found myself thinking about the waterfall of shots in the wake of one of the more dramatic ones in recent N.B.A. history: Damian Lillard, of the Portland Trail Blazers, hitting the game-winning, series-ending shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five.

Nike NEXT%: Marathon running shoe so good it became controversial has been improved, company says

The Independent

Two years ago, Nike unveiled what has been called the fastest shoe on the planet. It proved that claim last year, when it carried Eliud Kipchoge across the finish line at the Berlin Marathon, more quickly than ever before, not just breaking the world record but shaving a minute and 18 seconds off it all in one go. That shoe, the elite version of Nike's Zoom Vaporfly 4% Flyknit, even became controversial because it seemed to be just so good. The 4 per cent in its name referred to the extra efficiency boost it gave to its wearer – that in turn led to concern that the shoe was making its runners too fast, to an extent that almost seemed unfair. Now, Nike says it has made yet another step forward.