Life during the Covid-19 pandemic would be even more difficult without the Internet and automation, making this year timely for the upcoming "Dune" film to portray a distant future where humanity is devastated by our dependence on machines. Director Dennis Villeneuve is set to release his adaptation of the science fiction epic on October 22, both on HBO Max and in movie theaters. The release was delayed from last December to make it safer for people to view and hear the space fantasy in theaters. WarnerMedia aims to distribute Villeneuve's vision of the first "Dune" novel in two films, but has not yet scheduled a release date for the second film after the first half is released. Frank Herbert's "Dune" novel begins in the far distant future, thousands of years after humans were enslaved by robots, fought a revolutionary crusade and banned artificial intelligence with a new anti-tech religion.
Music is an indispensable element in film: it establishes atmosphere and mood, drives the viewer's emotional reactions, and significantly influences the audience's interpretation of the story. In a recent paper published in PLOS ONE, a research team at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, led by Professor Shrikanth Narayanan, sought to objectively examine the effect of music on cinematic genres. Their study aimed to determine if AI-based technology could predict the genre of a film based on the soundtrack alone. "By better understanding how music affects the viewer's perception of a film, we gain insights into how film creators can reach their audience in a more compelling way," said Narayanan, University Professor and Niki and Max Nikias Chair in Engineering, professor of electrical and computer engineering and computer science and the director of USC Viterbi's Signal Analysis and Interpretation Laboratory (SAIL). The notion that different film genres are more likely to use certain musical elements in their soundtrack is rather intuitive: a lighthearted romance might include rich string passages and lush, lyrical melodies, while a horror film might instead feature unsettling, piercing frequencies and eerily discordant notes.
Simply mentioning these fields conjures up images inspired by science fiction. Robots that compose music and write novels. Computers that mimic human emotion and predict the future. Yet despite the futuristic visions that these subjects conjure, the reality of AI/ML, on the operations side, has much in common with the past. In the early days of the internet, web developers, the trailblazers of their time, built almost everything from scratch.
Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin reports live from Del Rio, Texas, as border crisis intensifies and migrant facilities are overrun. Fox News drone footage over the International Bridge in Del Rio Texas shows thousands of migrants being kept there as they wait to be apprehended after crossing illegally into the United States -- as local facilities are overwhelmed and the crisis at the border continues. Border Patrol and law enforcement sources told Fox News that over 4,200 migrants are waiting to be apprehended under the bridge after crossing into the United States. The new footage shows how the migrant crisis that has rocked border states, with a knock-on effect in states across the country, appears to be far from over. Click here to see the footage.
Today more than ever, people are voicing concerns regarding biases in news media. Especially in the political arena, there are accusations of favouritism or disfavour in reporting, often expressed through the emphasizing or ignoring of certain political actors, policies, events, or topics. Is it possible to develop objective and transparent data-driven methods to identify such biases, rather than relying on subjective human judgements? MIT researchers Samantha D'Alonzo and Max Tegmark say "yes," and have proposed an automated method for measuring media bias. The proposed data-driven approach produces results that are in close accordance with human-judgement classifications on left-right and establishment biases.
A study from MIT has used machine learning techniques to identify biased phrasing across around 100 of the largest and most influential news outlets in the US and beyond, including 83 of the most influential print news publications. It's a research effort that shows the way towards automated systems that could potentially auto-classify the political character of a publication, and give readers a deeper insight into the ethical stance of an outlet on topics that they may feel passionately about. The work centers on the way topics are addressed with particular phrasing, such as undocumented immigrant illegal Immigrant, fetus unborn baby, demonstrators anarchists. The project used Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to extract and classify such instances of'charged' language (on the assumption that apparently more'neutral' terms also represent a political stance) into a broad mapping that reveals left and right-leaning bias across over three million articles from around 100 news outlets, resulting in a navigable bias landscape of the publications in question. The paper comes from Samantha D'Alonzo and Max Tegmark at MIT's Department of Physics, and observes that a number of recent initiatives around'fact checking', in the wake of numerous'fake news' scandals, can be interpreted as disingenuous and serving the causes of particular interests.
Disney is about to lean more on sci-fi nostalgia to reel in viewers. Deadline reports Disney is remaking its 1986 classic Flight of the Navigator for the streaming service. Details of the reboot are scarce, but it would feature a female lead and see Bryce Dallas Howard (who directed two The Mandalorian episodes) both direct and produce the title. It's safe to say the basic premise, of a child who bonds with an alien spaceship, won't change much for this adaptation. The project is a shrewd move for Disney.