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Will the future of spirituality include artificial intelligence and virtual worship?

#artificialintelligence

Easter, Passover, Holi, and Ramadan were just a few of the religious milestones that used virtual tools during the pandemic to replace traditional observation. The intersection of technology and spirituality is coming much faster than many expected. In the 1983 Star Wars film Return of the Jedi, artificially intelligent android C3P0 finds out what it's like to become the subject of worship. "They think I'm some sort of God," he said, as fuzzy creatures hover around him chanting in prayer. But the intersection of machines and religion is happening in real life.


This AI Turns Celebrities into Incredible Cartoon Characters - Nerdist

#artificialintelligence

Doron Adler and Justin Pinkney, two software engineers, recently released a "Toonification translation" AI model that turns real faces into flawless cartoon representations. And while the toonification tool, "Toonify," was originally available to the public, it became too popular to sustain cheaply. But some people managed to Toonify a ton of celebrities before the tool was pulled, and all the animations are stellar. After much training of neural networks @Norod78 and I have put together a website where anyone can #toonify themselves using deep learning!https://t.co/OQ23p30isC In a series of blog posts, which come via Gizmodo, Pinkney outlines how he and Adler created Toonify.


Five Myths on Scaling AI

#artificialintelligence

I grew up in the Star Wars era. I remember sitting rapt in the theater, watching Luke Skywalker and Han Solo battle the dark forces in one intergalactic battle after another. So it's not lost on me when I read an article like this one in Popular Mechanics detailing how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is putting us closer to a Star Wars world every day. Beyond the clouds, AI is helping citizens prepare for the COVID-19 crisis. Not to mention recognizing and interpreting human emotions.


Top 5 Creepy Robots

#artificialintelligence

We were used to hearing that we'll be out of a job in twenty years, because of robots. Then the virus came, and now many are out of a job a bit faster, and not because of anything more intelligent or capable than themselves. Here are five currently existing robots that score pretty high on the creepiness scale, even without threatening to take away one's job. Sophia has somehow become the flagship of humanoid robotics. Constructed in Hong Kong, it has taken part in major TV talk shows and has been granted Saudi Arabian citizenship, although it is, essentially, not more than a "chatbot with a face" [1]. What the citizenship thing really means is unclear: Can Sophia vote?


Amazon launches spherical Echo and flying camera drone

The Guardian

Amazon has announced a full range of new spherical Echo devices, new motorised smart display, a camera drone that flies around your house, a game-streaming service and more. In a streaming presentation, the firm showed off a smorgasbord of new devices from its various brands, including Ring, Eero Fire and Echo. The new standard Echo ditches its cylindrical shape for a fabric-covered ball design with Amazon's characteristic light-ring in the base to indicate when it is listening to you. It has a new 3in woofer and two tweeters with Dolby processing for stereo sound and automatic adjustment to the acoustics of your room. It also has Amazon's new AZ1 artificial intelligence chip for greater local processing of voice and other actions for increased privacy and speed.


Amazon announces new video game streaming service, partnership with Ubisoft

Washington Post - Technology News

Engadget, which had an opportunity to demo Luna, wrote that the technology worked "just fine," playing across a Fire TV, Mac and iPhone over the span of 45 minutes. "I started on Fire TV and was able to boot up the beefiest game in the store, Control, in a matter of seconds. It stuttered a bit throughout the opening scenes, but not enough to interrupt the cinematic flow," wrote Jessica Conditt of Engadget. "More often than not, gameplay was smooth, and none of the network interruptions that did appear were significant enough to break my experience."


BMF CEO John Kawola on 3D printing parts smaller than a human hair

ZDNet

Ever since I was a boy, I was fascinated by the idea of miniaturization. I read Isaac Asimov's Fantastic Voyage and then, when I finally got my hands on the movie, I probably watched it a dozen times. The premise was that a team of scientists were miniaturized to the point where they could be injected into a person and perform surgery from the inside. Another movie with a similar premise was InnerSpace, starring the incredibly well-matched team of Martin Short and Dennis Quaid. There was the whole Honey, I Shrunk the Kids series of movies and TV shows, and I ate them up as well.


Google Assistant can control Disney on Google smart displays

Engadget

You can now use Google Assistant voice controls to navigate Disney content on smart displays like Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max. To use the feature, you'll have to link your Disney subscription to your Google Home or Assistant app. Then, just say something like "Hey Google, play The Mandalorian," to stream content. From the start, Disney has been available on Google Assistant smart displays like Nest Hub. You can already use Assistant to play Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access and HBO content, so it only makes sense that the same feature would be available for Disney .


We are all already addicted to AI

#artificialintelligence

I have been on a 30-day challenge to improve my knowledge of Artificial Intelligence (AI), to understand how it works and how it impacts our lives, and this section talks about how not only have we already integrated it in our everyday lives, but in some cases already love it and depend on it. In this fifth section, we tackle "AI in Application." Exploring where AI is prevalent and the data that is being collected already is not surprising but it is humbling how much it has already penetrated our lives and how much we depend on it. Recently, a friend of mine named her baby Sirius. For those that love the Harry Potter books, the immediate connection is to Sirius Black, so of course being a Harry Potter fan I instantly loved it.


How to use Triller, in case TikTok actually gets banned

Mashable

TikTok may be the app-du-jour, but its presence in the United States may not last. Enter Triller, the video sharing platform emerging as the alternative to TikTok amid uncertainty over the app's future. Popular stars like Charli D'Amelio, the most followed person on TikTok, are starting their own accounts on Triller. D'Amelio is still posting on TikTok as usual, however. Triller, which began as a niche music discovery app because of its "AI-powered" editing features, has been around since 2015.