Before it was even released, Coded Bias was positioned to become essential viewing for anyone interested in the AI ethics debate. The documentary, which was released on Netflix this week, is the kind of film that can and should be shown in countless high school classrooms, where students themselves are subjected to various AI systems in the post-pandemic age of Zoom. It's a refreshingly digestible introduction to the myriad ways algorithmic bias has infiltrated every aspect of our lives--from racist facial recognition and predictive policing systems to scoring software that decides who gets access to housing, loans, public assistance, and more.
Warner Bros. made a point of releasing all its 2021 movies on HBO Max, and the service's next big movie is an appropriate nod to the digital world. The studio has released the first trailer for Space Jam: A New Legacy, and it's more of an ode to sci-fi than you might think. The movie has LeBron James whisked into a "Matrix hell" where he has to play basketball against a supervillain-like Goon Squad to rescue his son. That involves enlisting Bugs Bunny and friends for his squad, of course, but the references go further than that. James can count on help from The Iron Giant's namesake robot, for starters.
Back in the nineties, my favorite TV show was called Tomorrow's World, a UK-based show which ran for a whopping 38 years on the BBC. It discussed the latest developments in science and technology (just look at this snippet of what the home in 2020 would look like). Back then, the future was extra exciting. Technology would make our lives infinitely easier – we'd be commuting to work in electric, automated cars, and life at home would just be one smooth series of button pushing. The height of this slightly skewed future gazing was my favorite Saturday morning space-age animated sitcom, The Jetsons, which first aired in the 1960s.
A Cinema Challenge hackathon was held from 14 to 22 November of 2020. It was dedicated to creating solutions for online theatre sweet.tv. I managed to create a prize-winning solution for challenge 2 and decided to share my methodology. The task was to predict top-5 tv-programs for each user based on his view history. TV-program was considered watched if the user watched over 80% of it and did not change the channel.
It's official: there's a brand new Nest Hub in town--and it's available for pre-order now with a release date slated for March 30. The Nest Hub (second-gen) is the first new smart display from Google's smart home brand since the 2019 release of the Nest Hub Max. Pre-order the Nest Hub (second-gen) at Best Buy for $99.99 Google claims the second-gen Nest Hub offers 50% more bass over the first-gen smart screen, and is built with a machine learning chip (1.2 TeraOPS of processing power) that helps the built-in Google Assistant learn your most common commands and respond to them faster than ever before. It also uses Google's proprietary Soli Sensing technology that allows you to use gestures to play and pause video--a huge help when you're cooking. Like the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max, the second-gen hub supports popular streaming services like Netflix, YouTube TV, and Disney so you can keep up with all of your favorite shows.
Game of Thrones, touchscreen devices, and superhero movies: those things have little in common apart from the fact that they went through a meteoric rise in the 2010s. Still, if you believe what AI experts have to say, they pale in comparison to the largest tech phenomenon of the decade: Big Data. The'old' generation of data scientists still remember the days they were telling their manager (usually, someone with no expertise in machine learning) that gathering data would take months. And, honestly, it really did. For example, in the early days of the digital era, continuously sharing data on social media was still uncommon behavior, and it would take months for companies to collect what can be collected in just days (if not hours) today.
Forget about finding weapons in Fortnite. The video game's latest season will let players make their own. Season 6 of Fortnite Chapter 2, nicknamed Primal, launched on Tuesday, introducing new features such as the option to create makeshift weapons and the introduction of wild animals. The Primal season will also add several new characters players can use, including Tomb Raider heroine Lara Croft and soccer star Neymar, Jr. Details on Neymar's arrival are coming soon, said publisher Epic Games. Following the game's Zero Crisis finale wrapping up the last season, a mysterious pulse blanketed the island, erasing advanced technology and giving the island a more primitive look, said Epic Games.
HUSH has partnered with HBO Max to launch HBO Max Orbit, an interactive digital experience designed to introduce audiences to the streamer's vast universe of content using cutting-edge emerging technology, at SXSW Online this year. The experience uses facial tracking and voice recognition technology designed by HUSH to allow audiences to explore and interact with thousands of iconic moments, characters and stories from the HBO catalog in a personalized, intuitive way. Using Machine Learning, the experience tracks how a user is moving their face and surfaces clips of HBO Max characters matching their movements in real time. "This was an incredible creative and technical opportunity for our firm and one that was supported with energy and enthusiasm by the HBO Max team," commented David Schwarz, HUSH Partner. "Strategically, we were able to lean into the fact that HBO Max's library is unparalleled in quality and scale. We latched onto an intriguing but simple question: how can we leverage design and creative technology to give audiences a magical experience of navigating the seemingly infinite world of HBO Max? It needed to be functionally intuitive and fast, but also dreamlike, extemporaneous and unexpected. The best explorers in history didn't change their world, they just found beautiful ways through it."
In news that probably won't shock you all that much, this year's Oscars reflect a year spent mostly indoors and not in movie theaters. The Academy has announced the nominees for the 2021 Oscars, and Netflix is, again, the frontrunner, grabbing 31 nominations. All those nominations won't guarantee wins, sure, but David Fincher's Mank dominated the shortlist. Its 10 nominations included Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Gary Oldman) and Best Supporting Actress (Amanda Seyfried). Amazon picked up nominations for Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm, and Hulu's The United States vs. Billie Holiday was also recognized.
John Oliver and Jimmy Fallon's shows are basically at opposite ends of the late night spectrum: One specialises in furious deep dives into the often-hidden issues eating away at the foundations of American life, and the other in celeb dance challenges and game segments that are harmless fun at best and, at worst, nugatory and overproduced insults to the intelligence of both his guests and his audience. But even Fallon shouldn't have been quite so surprised when Oliver brought a little of that Last Week Tonight heat to his Tonight Show appearance on Monday night. Before their Zoom interview, Oliver joined Fallon in a game called Hey Robot, where the two were aiming to get Alexa to say a certain word -- like "Liverpool" or "Leprechaun" -- by asking just the right question. It went well enough, until Oliver's crucial error of asking an American-based Alexa about "the greatest football team" when he didn't mean the kind of football involving helmets and shoulderpads. The Liverpool F.C. superfan took that one personally, and went on to take digs at Alexa's "rotten heart."