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Apple TV snaps up another Tom Hanks movie

Engadget

Apple is once again betting on a Tom Hanks movie to attract viewers and awards. Deadline has learned that Apple TV has bought the rights to Finch (formerly Bios), a sci-fi movie that stars Hanks as the namesake character who builds a robot to take care of his dog once he's gone. The three set out into a post-apocalyptic American West where Finch teaches his robot the "joy and wonder" of being alive. The tech giant won a "very competitive" bidding war between streaming services, according to Deadline. Finch was originally meant as a Universal release.


Gender and Genre in "Made for Love" and "Mare of Easttown"

The New Yorker

"Made for Love," which is now streaming on HBO Max, opens on a vast expanse of desert, empty save for a geometric building in the distance. A lid on the ground is unlatched, and out pops a woman in a sequinned dress, gasping for breath, her hair drenched with water and a little blood. The woman is Hazel Green, and she is portrayed by Cristin Milioti, a strongly expressive actor who has become known for deploying her feral intellect to outsmart male villains in science-fiction thrillers. If you have seen Milioti take down a video-game dictator in the "Black Mirror" episode "USS Callister," or hack a time-loop purgatory in the 2020 comedy "Palm Springs," then you might be able to guess the story of "Made for Love," even before Hazel raises her middle finger at the structure on the horizon. The place is clearly the source of some terror--one that is futuristic yet eerily familiar.


Top Big AI Trends and Challenges Impacting Media, Advertising & Entertainment Industry

#artificialintelligence

I recently interviewed some of the top data science leaders from Comcast/Freewheel, Condé Nast, ViacomCBS, Audoir, USA Today Network, and Samba TV on the biggest trends, challenges, and opportunities they see for ML & AI in media, advertising, & entertainment -- and what the future may hold. What are some of the biggest trends you'll see being adopted by the entertainment and media industries? Christopher Whitely, Senior Director of Applied Analytics at Comcast/FreeWheel, shares "There are a few areas that we'll see adopted by M&E industries in the coming months and years, including more contextual advertising, where advertising creative assets are matched to appropriate program content algorithmically. Federated learning is also a new trend, which refers to modeling using machine learning without sharing data sets. Privacy is important, so I expect we'll see continued use of aggregated customer segments and clean rooms for marketing and analytics. Also, lookalike models will help advertisers reach potential customers and optimize campaigns for the greatest effect."


10 funniest comedies on Hulu because we all need a laugh

Mashable

Hulu's movie library is here to help. From cult classics to recent gems, Hulu boasts a collection of hundreds of comedies. The prospect of wading through all of them can be daunting, especially since some movies may be leaving Hulu soon or require an add-on subscription to watch. No need to panic though: We've gone through Hulu's catalog already and narrowed it down to the cream of the crop. Here are the best comedies on Hulu that you can watch without an extra subscription.


Netflix's Latest Hit Continues an Argument Sci-Fi Fans Have Been Having for Decades

Slate

Embedded in the narrative DNA of the new Netflix movie Stowaway is one of the most iconic and controversial science-fiction short stories ever published, "The Cold Equations," by Tom Godwin. Like "The Cold Equations," Stowaway is the story of a spaceship journey that hits a snag when an additional passenger is discovered onboard. The ship can't complete its trip with the extra drain on its resources, so somebody has to go out the airlock. "The Cold Equations" first appeared in the August 1954 edition of Astounding magazine, whose editor, John W. Campbell Jr., played a major role in defining the genre of "hard science fiction"--that is, stories fundamentally concerned with the accurate depiction of science and technology. According to legend, Campbell sent the story back to Godwin several times because the author kept trying to find a way for the characters to wriggle out of the story's central dilemma and achieve a happy ending.


How 'Superstore' nailed the chaos and complexities of robots in the workplace

Mashable

It's hard not to feel like technology is taking over when you turn on the TV and see some of your favorite characters dealing with their own personal robot revolution. Television shows have tackled emerging technologies and workplace modernization over the years, but few have hit the nail on the head quite as precisely as Justin Spitzer's workplace comedy, Superstore. Superstore, which follows a quirky group of employees at the giant, fictional Cloud 9 department store, premiered on NBC in 2015 and concluded its six-season run in March 2021. The show, which starred America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, and Lauren Ash, famously spoke to pressing hot-button issues, including politics, immigration, the environment, #MeToo, and cultural appropriation. Throughout it all, writers established a deep sense of relatability between their characters and real-life retail employees by addressing the growing presence of tech in the workplace.


Disney made a demon Groot robot that dances, and sure why the hell not

Mashable

Are you excited to walk around Disney's Avengers Campus, which opens at Disneyland California on June 4? No? There's a pandemic, you say? Let's try this another way: Would you be excited to walk around Disney's Avengers Campus if you knew there was a free-roaming robot modeled after Teen Groot that you might run into? Sure, wait until you're vaccinated. "Robot Teen Groot-as-tourist attraction" is still more "if" than "when" at this point -- the YouTube description makes that clear. But the Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development team did indeed build the thing, and it could offer a glimpse at what some of the future character interactions at Disney parks might look like.


Product placements could be added to classic films on streaming sites

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A UK technology company is inserting customised product placement into films and TV shows – even those that were originally released decades ago. The firm uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse films and TV episodes for space where the ads or objects can be subtly inserted. It means old Hollywood classics like Casablanca or The Great Escape could soon appear on streaming services with the newest ads in the background, like a new Apple smartphone or the latest McDonald's whopper. Streaming services including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video could be temped by large offers from companies to insert their ads to content, to accompany the subscription fees from its userbase. Mirriad's technology could even allow different ads to be seen by different people, based on their internet search history, just like targeted ads on Facebook.


Council Post: Understanding What Artificial Intelligence Is, And What It's Not

#artificialintelligence

So goes the classic line from HBO's dystopian television series Westworld. The show depicts the growing consciousness, and later uprising, of android "hosts" from a western-themed amusement park. The phrase is the series' proverbial safeword, the recurring host admission that they are not, to the great relief of all Westworld guests, sentient beings. Westworld is the latest addition in the Hollywood tradition of sinister robots that gain intelligence, gain consciousness and go rogue. Blade Runner, The Terminator, The Matrix, Transcendence, Ex Machina... the list is long and, for many, a clear demonstration of why the full implications of artificial intelligence (AI) might not be worth the convenience it brings.


'Black Mirror' Episode Comes To Life With NYPD Robot Dogs, Internet Terrified

International Business Times

The internet is terrified of the New York Police Department's newest "canine" on unit: Digidog, a robo-dog that the Netflix series "Black Mirror" warned of. After a video went viral of Digidog in action, the internet started comparing it to Series 4 Episode 5, "Metalhead," where human society is no longer in existence and has been overrun by robot dogs. Some fear that this new invention could eventually turn into something negative. It was first deployed in February when men were being held hostage in a Bronx apartment and the robot was able to see how safe it was and if it was safe for the police to enter, the New York Times reported. The creators of Digidog, Boston Dynamics, explained that these devices won't be used as a weapon, but a political art collective has shared a few examples of how easy it is for things to go downhill fast, including a handful of Muslim Americans being killed by drones, according to the Guardian.