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The Morning After: 'Mulan' is going directly to Disney

Engadget

Today's newsletter comes with a more accurate prediction of the big Samsung event -- even if there's probably already another Galaxy device leaked before it starts -- and 100 percent more working links. After all the teases and photos, there shouldn't be many surprises, but if you want to know exactly what the next Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Note are like, then you'll find out in a few hours. With 57.5 million customers from Disney, 8.5 million from ESPN (up from 2.5 million a year ago) and 35.5 million from Hulu (up from 27.9 million), Disney now counts over 100 million direct customers. However, it's bringing in less money per user than other streamers, due to discounts, all while the pandemic has closed movie theaters and kept people away from theme parks. Disney did manage a hit when it released Hamilton direct to Disney, and it's following up with something bigger.


Life Imitates Orwell...

#artificialintelligence

And I am talking Season 3. Or Amazon's hit, The Handmaid's Tale? Do you just binge and veg out or are you like me, and see how easily we could, and are, slipping into these worlds? After watching shows like this I often find myself reflecting back on George Orwell's 1984. It proves more eerily prophetic with each passing year. This Season, I fear, the writers of Westworld are almost scripting our future lives. You may not have caught it, but it is all in there.


'Close Enough' captures the surreality of Millennial existence in 2020

Mashable

You know how in 2020 you'll just be living your life, stressed about money and your job and stuff, then all of a sudden you're trapped in an alternate dimension '90s sitcom that you thought was just some wholesome escapism you could enjoy for, like, one goddamn second? But it is close enough, and also the plot of one episode from HBO Max's new animated comedy show, Close Enough (heh see what I did there?). What it's really emblematic of, though, is the show's perfect balance of very relatable everyday problems, which always dovetail into the chaotic, absurdist surreality of existence in the year of our lord 2020. For many Millennials (and other generations, to be fair), there's really no way to accurately portray day-to-day modern life in a grounded way -- unless there is also a sudden shift into the utter collapse of reality. It's the cognitive dissonance we all swim in, dealing with your average daily hardships while coping with the ever-present existential threat of a world perpetually on the brink of apocalyptic destruction.


'The Speed Cubers' takes on the world of competitive Rubik's Cube solving

Mashable

Speedcubing is the sport of solving a classic Rubik's Cube -- or a related combination puzzle -- in the shortest amount of time possible. And, no, it is not for the faint of heart. The new Netflix documentary on this subject, The Speed Cubers, dives headfirst into the friendly but competitive speedcubing culture. The 40-minute film is one of three new documentary shorts debuting on Netflix this summer. The Speed Cubers centers on a couple of professional competitors who go head-to-head at the World Cube Association World Championship in Melbourne, Australia, in 2019.


GPT-3 Creative Fiction

#artificialintelligence

What if I told a story here, how would that story start?" Thus, the summarization prompt: "My second grader asked me what this passage means: …" When a given prompt isn't working and GPT-3 keeps pivoting into other modes of completion, that may mean that one hasn't constrained it enough by imitating a correct output, and one needs to go further; writing the first few words or sentence of the target output may be necessary.


Brave New World on Peacock a chilling dystopia in Ikea gray

#artificialintelligence

Alden Ehrenreich explores a Brave New World. When I first read Aldous Huxley's famous 1932 novel Brave New World, I expected something fusty and old-fashioned. I wasn't prepared for how scathingly direct or unsettlingly dark it was, and still is today. It certainly adds a dash of cursing, a touch of violence, some Radiohead and a load of people getting their kit off. But it lacks a certain directness. The Handmaid's Tale is about sexism.


Recommender Systems in a Nutshell - KDnuggets

#artificialintelligence

Kevin Gray: What are recommender systems? Anna Farzindar: When you search for a product on Amazon, the algorithm suggests other items with the note "Recommended for you, Kevin" or "Customers who bought this item also bought…" Recommender systems predict the preference of the user for these items, which could be in form of a rating or response. When more data becomes available for a customer profile, the recommendations become more accurate. There are a variety of applications for recommendations including movies (e.g. Could you give us a brief history of how they came about?


You can finally stream Netflix on a Google Nest Hub or Hub Max smart display

PCWorld

The Google smart display in your kitchen or bedroom is perfect for watching YouTube TV, Hulu, or casting Disney, but up until now, it hasn't been able to play video from the most popular streaming service on the planet: Netflix. Google just announced that its Google Nest Hub and Hub Max will be the first smart displays to support Netflix. Google says that Netflix on the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max will start rolling out today, and it will be supported anywhere that Netflix and the two Google smart displays are available. To watch Netflix on your Nest Hub or Hub Max, just go to the Google Home app and link your Netflix account. You can do so by tapping the " " button in the top-left corner of the Google Home interface and selecting Video under the Add services heading.


Why Anything Is Possible on HBO's em Los Espookys /em

Slate

The three comedians talk about what it was like to craft a bilingual TV show with dialogue in both English and Spanish and why the show isn't set in a particular country. They also discuss the show's supernatural elements, which intentionally lack specific rules and logic. After the interview, June and co-host Isaac Butler help a listener who's feeling unproductive in her new workplace. Send your questions about creativity and any other feedback to working@slate.com.


Disney's new AI is facial recognition for animation

#artificialintelligence

Disney's massive archive spans the course of nearly a century of content, which can turn any search for specific characters, scenes or on-screen objects within it into a significant undertaking. However, a team of researchers from Disney's Direct-to-Consumer & International Organization (DTCI) have built a machine learning platform to help automate the digital archival of all that content. They call it the Content Genome. The CG platform is built to populate knowledge graphs with content metadata, akin to what you see in Google results if you search for Steve Jobs (below). From there, AI applications can then leverage that data to enhance search, discovery and personalization features or as Anthony Accardo, Director of Research and Development at DTCI, told Engadget, help animators find specific shots and sequences from within Disney's archive.