This is creepy, but also fascinating. Makerbot and I were discussing the new Val Kilmer documentary recently, and how sad it is. In case you didn’t know, Val had cancer and can no longer speak. Well, no some fancy computer people have been able to re create his voice with AI, and it sounds just like him.
… but it was a nice run.
I’m considering new careers now that a forced-cough recording app has disrupted my industry.
Porn Star of a Certain Age is definitely on the short list.
I don’t have many skills.
The future of working from home: Japanese convenience store chain begins testing remote-controlled robot staff 😮🤖
“Model-T is remote controlled by a human equipped with a VR set using their ‘Augmented Workforce Platform.'”
— Steve Stewart-Williams (@SteveStuWill) August 31, 2020
I’ll be more impressed when he can slap a mean stand-up bass.
Electronic pop duo Silver Apples released their first album in ’68. I believe that makes them the first ever electronic pop band, predating Can, Kraftwerk, et al. If any of you bastards know of someone prior to these guys, please clue me in. They sold very few albums, but one somehow ended up in my house in the mid 70’s. Ignorant that they predated Kraftwerk, I pretty much dismissed them because I didn’t like the songs very much. They typically set up good initial ideas but, in my opnion, are let down by the singing and trippy lyrics, which creep me out for some reason. But the electronic sounds are innovative and excellent. Those sounds come from “The Simeon,” a primitive, homemade synth built by singer Simeon Coxe, an Alabaman. He was just stringing together old WWII oscillators and claims that at the time he’d never heard of Moogs or other synthesizers in develpoment.
Silver Apples’ legacy is hard to pin down. Some 90’s experimental bands have cited them as an influence, but what about the electronic innovators of the 70’s? You never heard a word about these guys back then, so did they influence Krautrock, Eno, Devo, prog rockers, or just work in a vacuum? Who knows, but I can’t help but love their oddball creativity. Very much in the tradition of American cranks innovating alone in the basement or garage. But overall they show that first usually isn’t best.
Here is their full story, which is very interesting. If you want to hear more, below is the entire first album and one song, “You and I”, from their second and final album, which was withdrawn soon after release. The opening of “You and I” is suspiciously like “Station To Station,” but I have no idea if Bowie was familiar with it. The whole second album, which I haven’t heard, is also on YouTube.
Florian Schneider, co-founder of Kraftwerk, dead at 73.
Just silly enough to engage me.
A Polish painter by the name of Jakub Rozalski has created a cool world ruled by robots. It kinda has a Star Wars/Steampunk vibe to it, against an Eastern European backdrop. Lots more of this can be found here…
(artist’s drawing of Google’s quantum computer chip)
In October, Google built a quantum computer that solved an incredibly hard problem in 200 seconds — a problem the world’s fastest supercomputer would take 10,000 years to solve. This is called “quantum supremacy”, and has been compared to the Wright Brothers’ first flight.
”Until recently, every computer on the planet — from a 1960s mainframe to your iPhone, and even inventions as superficially exotic as ‘neuromorphic computers’ and DNA computers — has operated on the same rules. These were rules that Charles Babbage understood in the 1830s and that Alan Turing codified in the 1930s. Through the course of the computer revolution, all that has changed at the lowest level are the numbers: speed, amount of RAM and hard disk, number of parallel processors.
But quantum computing is different. It’s the first computing paradigm since Turing that’s expected to change the fundamental scaling behavior of algorithms, making certain tasks feasible that had previously been exponentially hard. Of these, the most famous examples are simulating quantum physics and chemistry, and breaking much of the encryption that currently secures the internet.”
I’m sure this will go well.
Possibly the pinnacle of Western culture.