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AI

Google's DeepMind Develops New Speech Synthesis AI Algorithm Called WaveNet (qz.com) 46

Artem Tashkinov writes: Researchers behind Google's DeepMind company have been creating AI algorithms which could hardly be applied in real life aside from pure entertainment purposes -- the Go game being the most recent example. However, their most recent development, a speech synthesis AI algorithm called WaveNet, beats the two existing methods of generating human speech by a long shot -- at least 50% by Google's own estimates. The only problem with this new approach is that it's very computationally expensive. The results are even more impressive considering the fact that WaveNet can easily learn different voices and generate artificial breaths, mouth movements, intonation and other features of human speech. It can also be easily trained to generate any voice using a very small sample database. Quartz has a voice demo of Google's current method in its report, which uses recurrent neural networks, and WaveNet's method, which "uses convolutional neural networks, where previously generated data is considered when producing the next bit of information." The report adds, "Researchers also found that if they fed the algorithm classical music instead of speech, the algorithm would compose its own songs."

Comment Re:From TFA (Score 1) 323

Really, it's "we can pay for it now, or someone else can pay for it later." That's why most of "we" is satisfied to keep doing what we are doing. Speed up the warming processes and maybe interest will perk up. And indeed peat bogs burning, along with breakdown of methane clathrates in melted permafrost might just provide that burst of speed. Of course "we" would have to be convinced of the dangers posed by these events and "we" are to a surprising extent willingfully ignorant and stubborn.

Comment Re:Huffman alternative (Score 1) 135

But second, they claim they've been doing this to images uploaded to Dropbox. [...] But what happens when they find out their new algorithm -- which compresses AND decompresses! -- has a bug when it hits a certain data condition, and sorry, all your images are corrupted because the EXIF data common to them all triggered the bug.

Assume that the engineers behind this aren't morons. Failing that, read the article. For every newly compressed image, Dropbox does a decompression and a bit-for-bit comparison with the original before replacing the original. If there's an image that triggers a bug that corrupts the image for whatever reason, their test will catch it before the original image is replaced.

Comment Re:So what does it do then? (Score 1) 485

You're thinking about the old Google cars. Google changed direction more than a year ago to self-driving cars with no traditional driver controls.

https://www.google.com/selfdri...

Maybe there's a panic button in there for you to hammer on if the car is heading for a cliff, but there's certainly no steering wheel. One stated reason why Google changed the project scope is that it is unreasonable to expect a human operator to remain attentive when they aren't really driving the car.

TED talk about the project:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment Re:So What? (Score 1) 267

Well, there's the possibility of sudden catastrophic failure of the hardware, for which there may be no spare parts anymore. I hope someone is exploring the virtualization angle; any fifty year-old piece of hardware could be emulated in software running on $200 phone today. So migrating off the creaky hardware need not involve disinterring all that assembly language and exposing it to "agile" development.

Comment Re:Shouldn't others have a say? (Score 3, Insightful) 147

The Olympics is a large surge of incoming people, but consider that Rio receives 2.82 million international tourist visitors per year (source: Wikipedia). I'd imagine the tourism numbers have come down since the heartbreaking pictures of those microencephalic babies appeared, but even a 50% decrease leaves a mess of people who could carry the virus home with them.

Whatever is going to happen with Zika is going to happen with or without the Olympics. And with global warming proceeding apace, the mosquitos are going to be spreading out of the tropical regions in any event. Get ready.

Comment shut up before you kill us all (Score 5, Funny) 830

What's the fastest way to get the plug pulled on the simulation you're living in? Convince a significant fraction of the population that their existence is pointless because they live in a simulation. This will corrupt whatever experiment that's supposed to be occurring and the outraged grad student will ragequit the simulation and start over. Or maybe he'll restore from decades-old backups and arrange bizarre and agonizing deaths for Tyson and that meddling philosopher Bostrom.

Comment hide it (Score 1) 518

What I wonder is why the imbecile didn't just hide his fun box with its many antennas? You know, just keep it in a backpack. He'd been caught jamming once already, so if he was going to be an ass and keep doing it, he could at least be a smart ass. They could still figure out it was him using surveillance cameras and statistical analysis, but it might take more work than the local police would be willing to put in.

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