philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


LUMA’s virtual reality opera premieres

BINGHAMTON, NY – LUMA’s pioneering dive into live 3-D musical theater debuted on the internet last night.

“Miranda” a steampunk virtual reality opera was live streamed on YouTube for 3 performances last night.

It’s also available in an interactive format through gaming systems and V-R headsets.

It’s a murder mystery set in a futuristic dystopian Manhattan.

Live opera singers at Tri-Cities Opera Center in Binghamton wear motion-capture suits to bring the animated avatars to life.

See the full story here:


Augmented Reality Disappeared From Gartner’s Hype Cycle – What’s Next?

Augmented-reality-evolution-in-the-Gartner-Hype-Cycle-from-2005-until-2020According to Gartner, augmented reality has matured so rapidly that it is no longer considered an “emerging technology” anymore.

That evolution state is reinforced by Gartner’s latest report, predicting that multi-experience platforms, including augmented reality, will be deployed at least in one-third of all enterprises by 2021.

Furthermore, Gartner explains that mature technologies tend to live right in the heart of many other, still emerging, technology trends. Observing both 2019 and 2020 Hype Cycles, it’s clear that AR will be an essential piece of the puzzle for companies heavily investing in augmented intelligence, immersive workspaces, AI-augmented development, social distancing technologies, and other trends.

See the full story here:


Tech Veterans Try to Build a Kinder, More Thoughtful Facebook – Telepath

1000x-1The former venture capitalist and technology executive -- whose sister-in-law is Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg -- on Thursday formally unveiled Telepath, an interest-based service intended to foster online conversations. The network, which will be invitation-only to start, is trying to instill strict content standards from the get-go, including a rule against disinformation and hate speech. People have to use their real identity, and provide a valid phone number to sign up. “Be Kind” is the site’s first rule.

“We’re really focused on long engaging conversations with people who share the same interest with people who probably didn’t know each other before.” Bodnick said Telepath wants to limit accounts to real people, meaning no businesses or publishers.

Bodnick drew inspiration from the internet’s early days, when platforms like Facebook helped users meet people and share ideas without as much concern over animosity, hate speech or misinformation.

See the full story here:


Amazon’s Alexa gets a new brain on Echo, becomes smarter via AI and aims for ambience

rohit-and-echoAmazon is making Alexa smarter with natural turn-taking, having conversations with multiple people, natural language understanding, and the ability to be taught by customers. The first target is the smart home, but Alexa for Business is also likely to follow.

Features such as Reading Sidekick, designed to help kids read, and conversational improvements are aimed at making Alexa more of a family member without as many "Alexa" words.

Rohit Prasad, vice president and head scientist for Alexa Artificial Intelligence at Amazon, outlined the following capabilities:

  • Alexa can take interaction cues and note errors and then connect them.
  • Learn from humans by asking to follow up questions when Alexa has a gap in knowledge about returns and learned modes.
  • Deep learning space parsers to understand gaps and extract new concepts.
  • More natural conversation and adaptation.
  • Follow-up mode when interacting with humans.


Limp's talk outlined the new Echo devices and Echo Show 10, but the overall theme was that these devices can follow you around the room as a person would.

See the full story here:


Artificial Intelligence Produces Music Album for Kids

AKR20200923179500017_01_i_orgAISM produces songs based on music theory and data provided by a human composer, Genie Music explained.

AISM offers two methods of writing a song. First, the ‘conceptual composition’ method allows users to type in a certain genre, mood, or emotion to create music.

Second, the ‘preference composition’ method allows users to type in a song they like, to create a song with a similar vibe.

Songs produced by AISM have gone through additional rearrangements by human professionals before they were released as an album.

See the full story here:


Kal Penn quit Hollywood for politics. Now, politics are following him back to Hollywood

PESTKQJN7ZES5DFETZZXMD4DFQInstead, he said, “Approves This Message” wants to show everyone’s perspective, comparing it to a combination of “The Daily Show” and “CBS Sunday Morning.” An episode about the environment, for example, will feature young progressives and young, evangelical Christians.

“One approaches this from science, one approaches this from faith. Both are working together for the same goal,” Penn told The News. “In this world of polarization and chaos, there are people who are tuning out all of the noise and instead focusing on ‘what do we want to get done together and how do we want to get it done?’ They disagree on every other issue but that’s OK because they’re working together on this one particular issue. To me, success is highlighting stories like that and celebrating who we are.”

See the full story here:


The High Privacy Cost of a “Free” Website

“If it’s free, that doesn’t mean it’s free. It just means it doesn’t cost money.” Instead, it costs your website visitors’ privacy.

More than 200 popular websites used a particularly invasive technique that captures personal information people enter on forms—like names, phone numbers, and passwords—before they hit send. It’s called “key logging” and it’s sometimes done as part of session recording.

One of the websites doing this, SunTrust Bank, sent the user name and password we entered to a third party, Jornaya, which says it encrypts and discards the data it collects.

See the full story here:


Dudamel Heads Up A Virtual Reality Orchestra Project

DudamelVR_headerSymphony offers a sort of museum-like, planetarium experience: the project is touring in two connected mobile cinema spaces. The first room screens a film, no virtual reality yet, about the lives of three young musicians. For the second building, visitors don 3D headsets and are zoomed center stage to the Gran Teatre del Liceu; they sit among the orchestra as Dudamel leads excerpts from Mahler, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and the “Mambo” from West Side Story. The full thing lasts about half an hour.

For their part, Dudamel and the musicians finished recording in August 2019. The complete experience premiered last week, in a setup outside Barcelona’s CosmoCaixa museum, factoring in new coronavirus health guidelines. The show stays in Barcelona until Oct. 8, then moves on to more cities in Spain and Portugal for what’s scheduled to be a 10-year tour.

See the full story here:


Facebook Acquires Varifocal Startup Lemnis Technologies

vertifocalIt’s come to light that Lemnis Technologies, a startup creating varifocal optics for use in VR headsets, has reportedly been absorbed by Facebook in an ‘acqui-hiring’ move.

Solving a VR Problem

Starting in 2016 and later incorporated in 2017 in Singapore, the company set out to solve a problem that’s plagued VR since its inception: the vergence-accommodation conflict.

Suffice it to say that future VR headsets will likely incorporate some form of varifocal technology (and requisite eye-tracking) in effort to solve this and therefore make VR more realistic and comfortable for long-term use. Facebook has been working on this issue since at least 2018 when the company unveiled its own varifocal prototype headsetat Facebook’s annual developer conference.

See the full story here:


Microsoft teams up with OpenAI to exclusively license GPT-3 language model

 |   Kevin Scott - Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft

Today, I’m very excited to announce that Microsoft is teaming up with OpenAI to exclusively license GPT-3, allowing us to leverage its technical innovations to develop and deliver advanced AI solutions for our customers, as well as create new solutions that harness the amazing power of advanced natural language generation.

We see this as an incredible opportunity to expand our Azure-powered AI platform in a way that democratizes AI technology, enables new products, services and experiences, and increases the positive impact of AI at Scale.

See the full story here: