Blurring the line between CGI and reality

“She’s a digital personality created using a new real-time motion-capture technology.”

“Epic Games has been obsessed with real-time motion capture for years, but the company is now trying to take its experiments with the technology one step further. Enter “Siren,” a digital personality that it created alongside a few prominent firms in the gaming industry: Vicon, Cubic Motion, 3Lateral and Tencent (which just became a major investor in Ubisoft). The crazy thing about Siren is that she comes to life using live mocap tech, powered by software from Vicon, that can make her body and finger movements be captured and live-streamed into an Unreal Engine project.”

Watch the video here:

Why it’s hot:

  • Breakthrough mocap tech
  • Going to save gaming company’s a ton of time on animations
  • Could easily be used to create some fake news
  • Robots taking some more jobs

Buzzfeed wants to get you to step outside of the bubble

Buzzfeed wants to challenge your social media bubble. We’re all fully aware of the major controversy that followed the elections regarding fake news. Since then, its probed questions from media outlets and social media platforms on their plans to police fake news, and expand perspectives.

While many have reacted, this one stood out to me specifically. Buzzfeed–one of the most widely shared editorial sources out there–is close to launching the “Outside Your Bubble” Feature. The way the tool would work is as a feature accessed by the reader at the bottom of an article, where a staffter will have curated different opinions from Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and blogs with the help of data tools. This way, willingly or not, every Buzzfeed reader will be introduced to an opinion that is unlike their own.

Why its hot:

  • I think it’s an interesting attempt to regulate the bubble–something like this can go either way. A feature like this will expose every Buzzfeed reader, willingly or not, to an opinion that is unlike their own, which could help remove an element of bias that social media tends to layer on posts. However, at the end of the day, these outside opinions are still in the hands of a bot, or an algorithm, which is what caused the bubble in the first place.

BuzzFeed Is Exposing Readers to Opposing Viewpoints With ‘Outside Your Bubble’ Initiative

Fake News Challenge: Using AI To Crush Fake News

The Fake News Challenge is a grassroots competition of over 100 volunteers and 71 teams from academia and industry, to find solutions to the problem of fake news.

The competition is designed to foster the development of new tools to help human fact checkers identify real news from fake news using machine learning, natural langauge processing, and AI.

 Why its hot:

  • When everyone can create content anywhere, its important that truth be validated and for misinformation to be identified.
  • This is an immensely important and complex task executed as a global hackathon spread over 6 months. Big challenges can be approached in new ways.
  • This challenge will result in new tools that could make its way into our publishing platforms, our social networks, etc – is this potentially good or bad for us?


Fake News: IKEA Builds Trump a Prefab Börder Wåll

German parody site Der Postillon has come up with an immigration solution almost as ridiculous as the original. They came up with an Ikea version of a border wall made of pressboard that is assembled with a hex key, similar to the furniture that is actually sold by the Swedish furniture giant. The wall comes with a 12,000 page manual and is undoubtedly missing one screw.

President Trump browsing the Wall section of Ikea’s catalog


Why It’s Hot

Companies such as Kellogg’s and Uber are finding out that taking a political stance comes with many costs, including bad press, boycotts and potential loss of business. Brands must navigate these treacherous political waters carefully. Though this parody did not come from Ikea itself, it shows how a brand can handle the messiness of politics with a bit of humor without alienating customers.