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The most watched movies of the week: New releases and some unexpected classics

Mashable

Wondering what everyone's been watching this week? Well, spring is in the air and so is action, action, action! Every week, the popularity of movies across streaming might be determined by promotions, star power, critic raves, social media buzz, good old-fashioned word of mouth, or a new addition to a beloved franchise. While the reasons may vary, you can't argue with the numbers that streaming aggregator Reelgood collected from hundreds of streaming services in the U.S. and UK. As it has for weeks, The Batman continues to reign supreme.


The Turkish Drone That Changed the Nature of Warfare

The New Yorker

This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from. A video posted toward the end of February on the Facebook page of Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine's armed forces, showed grainy aerial footage of a Russian military convoy approaching the city of Kherson. Russia had invaded Ukraine several days earlier, and Kherson, a shipbuilding hub at the mouth of the Dnieper River, was an important strategic site. At the center of the screen, a targeting system locked onto a vehicle in the middle of the convoy; seconds later, the vehicle exploded, and a tower of burning fuel rose into the sky. The Bayraktar TB2 is a flat, gray unmanned aerial vehicle (U.A.V.), with angled wings and a rear propeller.


Artificial Intelligence and Copyright Law

#artificialintelligence

In his application, Stephen Thaler stated that the related work was created autonomously by the "creativity machine" algorithm, and it is a work created by the "work made for hire" doctrine, and that he filed the application by being the proprietor of the machine following the assignment declaration he submitted. On the other hand, Thaler requested reconsideration of this decision stating that it is unconstitutional to require a "human authorship" requirement for registration and that such a requirement is neither included in the law nor the case law. In the subsequent examination, the Office again rejected these requests, reiterating its initial assessments and stating that Thaler did not provide evidence to prove that human-provided sufficient creative contribution to the relevant work or that the human intervention had taken place. Therefore, he argued that the Office's refusal grounds were based on old views that did not address current needs. Evaluating this second request for reconsideration, the Board stated that the law protects the fruits of intellectual labour.


These little robots could help find old explosives at sea

#artificialintelligence

When it comes to clearing the ocean of explosives, the British Royal Navy is turning to robots. Announced April 12, the Ministry of Defense is awarding £32 million (about $42 million) to Dorset-based company Atlas Elektronik to give the fleet an "autonomous mine-hunting capability." Employing robots to hunt and clear the sea of naval mines should make waterways useful for military missions and safe for commercial and civilian use afterwards. "The threat posed by sea mines is constantly evolving," said Simon Bollom, CEO of the UK's Defence Equipment and Support Board, in a statement. To meet this changing threat, the Royal Navy is acquiring a total of nine robotic vehicles, equipped with synthetic aperture sonar and advanced software.


Refik Anadol is Using AI to Dream Beethoven Into a New Life in Missa solemnis 2.0

#artificialintelligence

Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music.--Attributed to Goethe But Missa solemnis 2.0, a collaboration between pioneering media artist and director Refik Anadol and The Philadelphia Orchestra (April 7, 9, 10, supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage), brings Goethe's pithy saying to stunning visual and sonic life in ways the German literary giant never could have imagined. Beethoven completed his Missa solemnis in 1823. Despite being regarded as one of his most stunning musical creations, the piece is rarely performed. The composer's partner in this century-spanning project, Refik Anadol, was born in Istanbul. In 2008, while still an undergrad there, he presented his first digital art installation.


Fans of Val Kilmer Can Hear His Voice Again Thanks to Artificial Intelligence

#artificialintelligence

Val Kilmer, the star of movies as wide-ranging as Top Gun, Batman Forever, Heat, and The Prince of Egypt, withdrew from the public eye following a throat cancer diagnosis and two tracheotomies which left his ability to express himself vocally severely impaired. He now speaks using a voice box. "Speaking, once my joy and lifeblood, has become an hourly struggle," Kilmer wrote in his 2020 memoir I'm Your Huckleberry, describing his voice as "Marlon Brando after a couple of bottles of tequila. But now, fans of the actor are able to once again hear his voice. Kilmer--who is returning to the big screen in the long-awaited sequel Top Gun: Maverick later this year--has partnered with tech company Sonantic to generate a version of his speech using artificial intelligence, based on existing footage and recordings of his voice. "We all have the capacity to be creative," Kilmer says in the video below. "We are all driven to share our deepest dreams and ideas with the world.


Why it's time to address the ethical dilemmas of artificial intelligence

#artificialintelligence

AI's perceived risk isn't only from autonomous weapon systems that countries like the US, China, Israel and Turkey produce that can track and target humans and assets without human intervention. It's equally about the deployment of AI and such technologies for mass surveillance, adverse health interventions, contentious arrests and the infringement of fundamental rights.


Neural Natural Language Generation: A Survey on Multilinguality, Multimodality, Controllability and Learning

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Developing artificial learning systems that can understand and generate natural language has been one of the long-standing goals of artificial intelligence. Recent decades have witnessed an impressive progress on both of these problems, giving rise to a new family of approaches. Especially, the advances in deep learning over the past couple of years have led to neural approaches to natural language generation (NLG). These methods combine generative language learning techniques with neural-networks based frameworks. With a wide range of applications in natural language processing, neural NLG (NNLG) is a new and fast growing field of research. In this state-of-the-art report, we investigate the recent developments and applications of NNLG in its full extent from a multidimensional view, covering critical perspectives such as multimodality, multilinguality, controllability and learning strategies. We summarize the fundamental building blocks of NNLG approaches from these aspects and provide detailed reviews of commonly used preprocessing steps and basic neural architectures. This report also focuses on the seminal applications of these NNLG models such as machine translation, description generation, automatic speech recognition, abstractive summarization, text simplification, question answering and generation, and dialogue generation. Finally, we conclude with a thorough discussion of the described frameworks by pointing out some open research directions.


Tomb Raider is back. Let Lara Croft enjoy raiding tombs again.

Washington Post - Technology News

The news came via developer Crystal Dynamics, the team that launched a well-received Tomb Raider reboot trilogy beginning in 2013. But although those games were enjoyed by millions, there was one person who didn't seem to share in the fun: Lara Croft. The reboot of Croft's character came amid a larger trend of "grounding" pop culture icons by giving them realistic motivations, and showing the gritty consequences of their adventures, a la Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins." The Crystal Dynamics team's depiction of Lara Croft was of a woman saddled with the legacy of her father, a famed but shamed explorer who was also an absent father, a new wrinkle in the father-daughter dynamic. Lara also wasn't raiding tombs by choice; instead, it seemed to be a burden and an obligation.


Hashish and pirates: How AI is cleaning up the high seas

ZDNet

On August 8th, 2021, Spanish police and customs agents intercepted the cargo ship NATALIA on suspicion of narcotics trafficking. The ship was en route from Lebanon via Iskenderun, Turkey to Lagos, Nigeria, and hidden on board was nearly 20 tons of hashish worth $470M. That may sound like the opening scene of an action flick, but it's the kind of occurrence that happens more frequently than you might expect on the high seas. Drug smuggling, illegal fishing, and piracy are constant threats. Following a number of recent piracy incidents in the Gulf of Aden, Iran, Russia, and China recently began naval and air drills seeking to counter maritime piracy.