The mysterious Voynich manuscript has finally been decoded… Or has it? | Ars Technica #manuscripts #digitization #analysis #languages #translation #speculative


More recent update from Arstechnica: So much for that Voynich manuscript “solution” | Ars Technica Librarians would have “rebutted it in a heartbeat,” says medieval scholar. Unfortunately, say experts, his analysis was a mix of stuff we already knew and stuff he couldn’t possibly prove.

The mysterious Voynich manuscript has finally been decoded | Ars Technica
Since its discovery in 1969, the 15th century Voynich Manuscript has been a mystery and a cult phenomenon. Full of handwriting in an unknown language or code, the book is heavily illustrated with weird pictures of alien plants, naked women, strange objects, and zodiac symbols. Now, history researcher and television writer Nicholas Gibbs appears to have cracked the code, discovering that the book is actually a guide to women’s health that’s mostly plagiarized from other guides of the era.

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Disney Research taught AI how to judge short stories | engadget #research #AI #literature #evaluation


Disney researchers have been coming up with some striking new technology lately, including a method for real-time speech animation, shared augmented reality and some creepy face-projection tech for live performances. Now, researchers at Disney and the University of Massachusetts Boston have been working on neural networks that can evaluate short stories.

Source: Disney Research taught AI how to judge short stories | engadget

Judge sides with YouTubers Ethan and Hila Klein in copyright lawsuit | TechCrunch #copyright #fairuse #YouTube #video


Ethan and Hila Klein, the husband-and-wife team behind the popular H3H3 YouTube channel, appear to have won their legal battle against Matt Hosseinzadeh, a.k.a. Matt Hoss. A New York judge today issued a summary judgement in favor of the Kleins.

Hosseinzadeh’s initial suit focused less on the criticism per se, and instead alleged that the Kleins had infringed his copyright by featuring clips of one of his videos in their criticism.

The Kleins defended their use of the footage as fair use, and another YouTube creator, Philip DeFranco, raised more than $170,000 for their legal defense — DeFranco wrote, “If they are bullied and drained of funds because of this ridiculous lawsuit and/or they lose this case it could set a terrible precedent for other creators.”

Ethan Klein offered a similar sentiment in a tweet today describing the outcome as a “huge victory for fair use on YouTube.”

Source: Judge sides with YouTubers Ethan and Hila Klein in copyright lawsuit | TechCrunch

Facebook’s artificial intelligence agents creating their own language is more normal than people think, researchers say | The Independent #AI #research #language #tech #Facebook #chatbots


Fears that computers were taking over swept the world this week when stories emerged about Facebook’s AI creating its own language that researchers couldn’t understand. But they might be a little misplaced.

Artificial intelligence experts have looked to calm worries that robots are becoming sentient or that we are living through the prelude to Terminator. The messages might seem strange, they agree. But they are explicable and fairly normal in the world of artificial intelligence research. READ MORE: Facebook’s artificial intelligence agents creating their own language is more normal than people think, researchers say | The Independent

Tristan Harris: The manipulative tricks tech companies use to capture your attention | TED.com #media #tech #design #UX #engagement #attention


The future of fake news: don’t believe everything you read, see or hear | The Guardian #tech #news #video #audio #fakenews #morphing


A new breed of video and audio manipulation tools allow for the creation of realistic looking news footage, like the now infamous fake Obama speech. READ MORE: The future of fake news: don’t believe everything you read, see or hear | Technology | The Guardian

Google’s “We Wear Culture” project is a stunning, searchable archive of 3,000 years of world fashion | Quartz #databases #digitallibraries #archives #fashion #culture


Google’s latest project may be the most widely accessible and comprehensive fashion collection on the planet. All you need to view it is an internet connection.

“We Wear Culture” is a collaboration between Google and more than 180 museums, schools, fashion institutions, and other organizations from all parts of the globe. It’s part of Google’s Arts & Culture platform, which is digitizing the world’s cultural treasures, and functions as a searchable guide to a collective archive of some 30,000 fashion pieces that puts “three millennia of fashion at your fingertips,” Google says.

But it isn’t just a database. Google has worked with curators to create more than 450 exhibits on different topics—say, how the cheongsam changed the way Chinese women dress—making the site an endlessly entertaining, educational portal filled with stunning imagery touching on everything from modern Japanese streetwear to the clothes worn at the court of Versailles. READ MORE: Google’s “We Wear Culture” project is a stunning, searchable archive of 3,000 years of world fashion |  Quartz

MIT develops a vibrating wearable to help people with visual impairments navigate | TechCrunch #disabilities #tech #wearables #navigation


For such a simple tool, the white cane has been incredibly enduring. With all of the technological advances that have been made over the past century, we haven’t come up with much better than a stick with a metal tip for helping the visually impaired get around. Though researchers at MIT have been working on a wearable solution designed to augment and, hopefully, one day replace the cane. The system features a 3D camera with an on-board computer hung around the neck at chest level. The camera senses the location of objects, converting the signals into pulsing haptic vibrations that alert the wearer to the location of an object. The on-board motors vibrate with a variety of patterns and frequencies to signify different things, like the distance of an object. READ MORE: MIT develops a vibrating wearable to help people with visual impairments navigate | TechCrunch

Your next trip to the library could include an Oculus Rift | engadget #VR #libraries #gadgets #tech


Oculus, the Facebook-owned virtual reality company, is taking it upon themselves to enhance public libraries with its own educational initiative that will place 100 VR head-mounted displays in 90 California libraries. READ MORE: Your next trip to the library could include an Oculus Rift | engadget

Google’s AI Invents Sounds Humans Have Never Heard Before | WIRED #music #audio #innovation #tech #AI #artists


Engel and Resnick are part of Google Magenta—a small team of AI researchers inside the internet giant building computer systems that can make their own art—and this is their latest project. It’s called NSynth, and the team will publicly demonstrate the technology later this week at Moogfest, the annual art, music, and technology festival, held this year in Durham, North Carolina.

The idea is that NSynth, which Google first discussed in a blog post last month, will provide musicians with an entirely new range of tools for making music. READ MORE: Google’s AI Invents Sounds Humans Have Never Heard Before | WIRED