Google Is Feeding Romance Novels To Its AI Engine To Make Its Products More Conversational | BuzzFeed #AI #books

This has to be one of the most awesome headlines I have ever seen while curating news for this blog! 🙂

For the past few months, Google has been feeding text like this to an AI engine — all of it taken from steamy romance novels with titles like Unconditional Love, Ignited, Fatal Desire, and Jacked Up. Google’s AI has read them all — every randy, bodice-ripping page — because the researchers overseeing its development have determined that parsing the text of romance novels could be a great way of enhancing the company’s technology with some of the personality and conversational skills it lacks.

And it’s working, too. Google’s research team recently got the AI to write sentences that resemble those in the books. With that achievement unlocked, they’re now planning to move on to bigger challenges: using the conversational styles the AI has learned to inform and humanize the company’s products, such as the typically staid Google app. READ MORE: Google Is Feeding Romance Novels To Its Artificial Intelligence Engine To Make Its Products More Conversational | BuzzFeed News

Human Library Stories [Video] | CBC #libraries #documentaries #culture #stereotypes #society

This 45-minute documentary delves into the stories of the human books who participated in the CBC’s Human Library project…. SOURCE: Human Library Stories | Absolutely Ottawa | CBC Player

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‘Trashy’ #Books: Garbage Collector Rescues #Reading Material for Colombian #Children | Times Colonist #kids

A second-grade education has not stopped garbage collector Jose Gutierrez from bringing the gift of reading to thousands of Colombian children. Gutierrez started rescuing books from the trash almost 20 years ago, when he was driving a garbage truck at night through the capital’s wealthier neighbourhoods. The discarded reading material slowly piled up, and now the ground floor of his small house is a makeshift community library stacked from floor to ceiling with some 20,000 books, ranging from chemistry textbooks to children’s classics. READ MORE: ‘Trashy’ books: garbage collector rescues reading material for Colombian children | Times Colonist.

Boy Who Couldn’t Afford #Books Asks Mailman For Junk Mail To Read; Mailman Responds Spectacularly | HuffPost #reading #kids

Twelve-year-old Mathew Flores is a bit different from the rest of us. He loves junk mail. Until recently, advertisements were the only reading materials available to the boy. Flores loves reading so much that he approached his mailman in a Salt Lake City suburb on Friday to ask if he could have any junk mail. The strange question prompted the mailman, Ron Lynch, to ask why. READ MORE: Boy Who Couldn’t Afford Books Asks Mailman For Junk Mail To Read; Mailman Responds Spectacularly | HuffPost.

Adieu |Guy LaramĂ©e | Vimeo #art #books

Adieu / Guy Laramée from Colossal on Vimeo. Artist Guy Laramée ( bids farewell to the printed Encyclopedia Britannica. via Adieu / Guy Laramée on Vimeo.

Caring Pepper Robot Hits the Market, Sells Out in a Minute | CNET #robots #empathy

The adorable Pepper robot unveiled a year ago by Japan-based mobile and telecommunications company SoftBank has finally been made available to consumers, and it’s been a roaring success.

According to CIO, the robot was launched on to the market at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 20. Within a minute, all 1,000 robots in the first wave had been snapped up by customers, going for 198,000 yen (around $1,610) apiece.

Pepper aims to act as a household companion. It is programmed to communicate with users, follow vocal commands, and, in what SoftBank claims is a first, read human emotions and react accordingly. Pepper is not built for physical tasks. The robot’s role is more emotional. READ MORE: Caring Pepper robot hits the market, sells out in a minute – CNET

Let’s Stop Shaming Little Boys Who Read About Girls | BookRiot #books #kids #sexism #genderequality

At the link the author further recommends in the article 23 books about girls for little boys to read. Great post!

I recently took my infant son to a gathering where he played happily on the floor, the center of attention in a ring of adults who were all interacting with and admiring him.  Then I mentioned that his new favorite toy is bright pink. The men in the circle chuckled awkwardly and exchanged glances, and then someone joked: “so does that mean he’s gay?” I see this kind of gender policing happening so often, so early, for little boys.

In a related issue, when Nicola Griffith posted her astonishing data showing that books about women don’t win awards, it begged the question: why don’t men seem to care about women’s stories? Why don’t judging panels value the experiences of women? And yet I’ve heard this offhanded sentiment from friends of mine who are men: “I guess it’s a pretty good story — even though it’s about a girl.”

The root of the problem, I believe, isn’t simply that men don’t care about women or can’t imagine women’s experiences. It’s that they are actively shamed — even as infants! — when they show interest in anything perceived as “girly” or as a compromise to their masculinity. They’re not supposed to like pink, or dolls, or dresses, or princesses, or stories about girls. They hear it first from their caregivers and authority figures, and then from each other once they’ve internalized the message. READ MORE: Let’s Stop Shaming Little Boys Who Read About Girls | BookRiot

Incredible Wedding Dresses Made of Romance Novels | #art #books

She had never designed a wedding dress before. In fact, she has no fashion background at all. But Carrie Ann Schumacher is an artist who, while working in a public library three years ago, was stopped in her tracks by a box of 50 donated books – all of them romance novels.

Months later, that box – and a grad school project -ignited a very big idea.

After a month of painstaking trial and error, those stories became a living symbol of love: The Wedding Dress.

READ MORE: Incredible wedding dresses made of romance novels |

A Cat Library in New Mexico Encourages Office Workers to Check Out #Kittens | Mashable #cats #libraries


A county office in Las Cruces, New Mexico, is home to one of the most ingenious stress-relief ideas ever: a cat library, where office workers can check kittens in and out like books.

City officials installed a kitten playpen in lobby of the building in May 2012 as a way to promote the adoptable cats from local shelters. Inside the playpen are several cat condos, scratching posts and toys — and plenty of rescue kitties.

Visitors to the cat library can simply sign in, play with a kitten, then sign back out. READ MORE A cat library in New Mexico encourages office workers to check out kittens | Mashable

The Future Of #Museums Is Reaching Way Beyond Their Walls | Co.Exist #AMNH

The American Museum of Natural History has always been one of the most popular destinations in New York City. With about 5 million visitors a year, an increase from 3 million in the 1990s, it—along with the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art—is among the top 10 most-visited museums in the world.

Even with this influx of people coming to its doorstep, however, the museum is now equally focused on drawing a crowd beyond its campus.

“In the old days, a visit to a museum like ours would be a one-off. You come, you visit you go home,” says Futter. “Now people have a relationships with us very often before they get here. They come, and [their visit] is like a giant exclamation point—and then they return home and continue to engage with us wherever they are.”

AMNH today is a sprawling outreach institution that is using apps, social media, and educational programs to slowly grow its reach. READ MORE: The Future Of Museums Is Reaching Way Beyond Their Walls | Co.Exist | ideas + impact.