What’s the future of facial recognition technology? Its use has become increasingly controversial due to privacy concerns and issues of bias. Now, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in a letter to Congress that his company “no longer offers general purpose IBM facial recognition or analysis software.” He continued, “IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms.”
We’ll see how other business leaders and politicians respond, and whether this represents any kind of turning point in the deployment of facial recognition.
Sony reschedules its PS5 games event for June 11th
The pre-taped stream will be available in 1080p running at 30 fps.
After postponing its showcase last week amid widespread anti-racism protests, Sony will debut its PlayStation 5 showcase on Thursday afternoon. The company is apparently planning to show off about an hour’s worth of next-gen games, although whether or not we’ll see the system itself is unknown. Check back at 4 PM ET / 1 PM PT / 9 PM BST on the 11th to find out what’s in store.
The new Sonos app and S2 update are available now
Opening a divide between new and old devices.
This S2 app is the only way to control Sonos’ latest slate of speakers, including the Sonos Arc, Sonos Five and the updated Sonos Sub. Besides a new tan icon and a cleaned-up user interface, the new software adds support for Dolby Atmos on the Sonos Arc and, in the future, other high-resolution audio formats.
Things will get tricky if you have older equipment in the mix. If you own “legacy” Sonos devices, such as first-generation Play:5, first-generation Connect or Zone Players, you’ll have to keep the S1 app on your phone if you want to continue using them.
The US Air Force is planning a human versus AI dogfight in 2021
The battle is tentatively planned for July.
It definitely sounds like at least three movies I wish I never saw, but it’s now turning into a real thing. Next year, the US Air Force will test out an autonomous fighter drone designed to take down a human-piloted plane.
A lot of the details about the drone itself are classified, but the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has been working on an autonomous fighter jet since 2018. The team is apparently confident that the AI machine will best its human competition.
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'Final Fantasy VII Remake' and the curse of remade soundtracks
Dust off your CD drive.
Mat Smith (well, me, one of the authors of this newsletter) gets overly excited about the incredibly dense soundtrack that launched alongside Final Fantasy VII Remake. Why can’t he stop listening to the same melodies, remade and remixed?
The Big Picture: An AI creates ‘mindscape’ art
With traditional Chinese techniques.
The Chinese painting style called Xieyi literally means “writing ideas” and marries the freehand techniques of calligraphy, line drawing and shading. It might be the last thing you’d expect to see put through the AI wringer, but here we are.
Hong Kong artist Victor Wong created a painting robot called A.I. Gemini. Wong is a Xieyi artist with a background in physics, electrical engineering and VFX effects for cinema, spending three years programming the industrial-style robot to paint in the Xieyi style. The results are often hypnotic.