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You Are Using AI; Maybe you Just Don’t Know

You are Using AI…You Might Not Know it!

It’s pretty simple to see Artificial Intelligence (AI) at work when you read a New York Times article about driverless car collisions or displaced factory workers. But, what’s harder is clocking the real ways that you are using AI in your day to day lives and just don’t know it. Here are four everyday functions of AI technology that you may not notice until you take a closer look.

Advertising

Machine learning has revolutionized the advertising industry. According to a piece in Variety, Lexus teamed up with the AI powerhouse IBM Watson to watch over 15-years worth of “car and luxury brand campaigns that have won the Cannes Lions awards for creativity, as well as a range of other external data.” Then, they had the AI script an entire commercial with no human involvement. These kinds of script writing services aren’t just one off PR stunts, they are available for widespread commercial consumption.

The Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute even noted that:

“Brands today are beginning to use commercially available artificial intelligence to intelligently identify and segment audiences, build ad creative, test variations, improve performance, and optimize spend—automatically, in real-time, and at scale.”

Your Email Inbox 

At the beginning of accessible email services (I’m talking Hotmail and MSN Messenger: The dark days), your junk mail was virtually indistinguishable from your regular mail. Today, ask anyone who uses Gmail about the last time they looked through their spam folder and see what happens. As is the case with most things that are hidden in plain sight, the spam folder in Gmail is real, but designed so that you aren’t very inclined to crack it open except to empty it out. While Gmail is blocking around 100 million extra spam messages a day. Google has implemented new “neural networks” into it’s spam filters that actually learn the language we use and can spot spam 99.9 percent of the time with only a 0.05 percent false positive rate (things that get labeled spam but aren’t).

Streaming/Music Curation 

There was once a very popular Spotify ad in New York City subway stations that read, “I want a partner who knows me as well as my Spotify Discover Weekly Playlist.” At one point in history, it may have been easy to think that some music lover somewhere would just comb through our most listened to albums and build a playlist for us. If that seemed too menial to be possible (which it 100 percent is) you could at least imagine that someone was at least going: “Well if they like this artist than they’ll like this genre” and letting a computer churn out the playlist for them. What you may not have imagined is that companies all over the world are working on AI that can actually listen to and interpret music. Not only so they can recommend it to you, but so that the AI will suggest other compositions you might like.

The application Brain.FM uses AI “to arrange musical compositions and add acoustic features that enable listeners to enter certain mental states.”  Amper Music does a similar thing, but analyzes other types of non-musical creative content in order to compose background or accompanying music. The company Asaii is even changing the inner record label landscape by seeking to eliminate the need for an A&R rep to scout talent by using machine learning algorithms. 

Online Translation Tools  

As of right now, punching in an English phrase and letting Google Translate churn it out in Spanish won’t get you a good grade, but thanks to Google’s Neural Machine Translation, that could soon change. The most basic form of any online translator basically takes a word in one language and uses a cache of words in another while trying to make a match.  But neural Machine Translation takes that to a whole new level. Not only is it learning how to translate word for word, but it is learning how to create more accurate translations based on the entirety of a sentence.  In other words, it is translating for context.

This could mean that while right now you may only be able to translate your English phrases into textbook Spanish sentences, in a few years you may be able to specifically translate your English phrases into any number of Spanish’s sub-dialects. As you read this Google’s Neural Machine Translation, rather than guessing based on statistics, is learning from a broad range of language inputs, linking them to grammatical constructs in language, and then deriving more relevant translations than a machine ever could in the past. 

*Article by Raz Robinson, journalist and freelance writer, based in New York City. Connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter @razrobinson or send an email to Rrob0904 (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Posted in Automation, Choosing a Career, Choosing a Major, College Life, Employment Trends, ReSkill America, STEM Careers, What Employers Want | Comments Off on You Are Using AI; Maybe you Just Don’t Know

Warner Bros. Makes Deal to Predict Film Success With AI

Warner Bros. Adopting New AI Technology

It’s often tricky to figure out what makes a movie good. Is it having an amazing look? Good dialogue? Expensive personnel?

Plenty of movies have been successful or popular without any of those things. But now, Warner Bros. is trying to turn the business of making successful films on its head by making a deal with Cinelytic, an LA startup with Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools “to guide decision-making at the greenlight stage. ” 

If you’re already worried that AI is going to ruin movies relax. Cinelytic’s AI can only unpack a film, not write or direct one (although AI can edit a film).

“Artificial intelligence sounds scary. But right now, an AI cannot make any creative decisions,” Tobias Queisser, Cinelytic CEO, told THR. “What it is good at is crunching numbers and breaking down huge data sets and showing patterns that would not be visible to humans. But for creative decision-making, you still need experience and gut instinct.”

According to Andrea Scarso, a Cinelytic customer, the AI really opens them up to “a conversation about different approaches,” to developing a film. Scarso has noticed that just a little input from the AI can have a  “massive impact on the commercial performance.”

Users can punch in various data sets like aviators involved, budget, genre, and director. By FaceTiming in all of this, the AI can tell you whether older women would like a rom-com directed by Quentin Tarentinio more than they would like a Micheal Bay flick. Still, this bit of AI is very limited to being a complimentary tool. It can’t do the work of a human at a higher level. When you think about it, all the AI knows is that Micheal Bay movies usually turn a profit with x budget but Tarantino may be able to make a cheaper movie that won’t be as good unless the change the genre. Still, Warner Bros is really exited about the potential behind using Cinelytic. 

“We make tough decisions every day that affect what — and how — we produce and deliver films to theaters around the world, and the more precise our data is, the better we will be able to engage our audiences,” said Tonis Kiis, the senior vice president of distribution at Warner Bros.

If you are a student or emerging professional in the arts, have you figured out how the future of work and your career are going to be impacted by artificial intelligence technologies.

*Article by Raz Robinson, journalist and freelance writer, based in New York City. Connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter @razrobinson or send an email to Rrob0904 (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Start a Dorm Room Business This Year

Between classes, extra curriculars, and the unavoidable need to socialize with other human beings, it can be hard for college students to find time to work, let alone start a business. But in this struggle lies the answer. Being your own boss seems daunting, but might actually be the best way to accommodate the flexibility you want for yourself. So here are four businesses that any college student can start out of their dorm room. 

Cutting/Styling Hair 

Arguably one of the oldest professions, cutting and styling hair requires two things that are perfect for the busy college student. The first is that it requires people to make appointments with you ahead of time. The second is that if you do a good job, it’s recurring business. The fact is that hair grows around a half an inch every month. Moreover, cutting hair also means a steady flow of tips and the ability to take walk-ins and develop reputation for convenience as well. 

Web/Graphic Design

Within the employer market, there is already a massive demand for skilled workers who are computer literate. This means that more college students (i.e. those who will be seeking employment soon) are looking for ways to stand out in this regard. One of the best ways comes in the form of a website. It’s not overly complicated, but managing one implies some technical know how and is inarguably more convenient than Googling you. The problem is that HTML and web development are tricky to learn on your own. This means people are more likely to find a person who can design the page and do the heavy lifting for them.

This presents good dorm room business opportunities for the aspiring entrepreneur looking for an in-demand niche. While learning HTML and web development on your own is hard, it’s far from impossible. There are more than a few web design courses available on YouTube to get you started for little to no money. It seems basic, but being able to build even a basic landing page is a valuable skill for someone with limited time every week, and you’d be shocked how many people need help doing it. 

Photography

Remember taking grainy selfies on your Iphone six years ago? While a fair amount of the people who are alive now most certainly do, you’re hard pressed to find such low resolution images blowing up on Instagram in 2020. Just as the cameras in our phones have gotten better, so has the standards for commercial photography risen. Yet, as the standards rise, our ability to produce the same high quality images has increased exponentially. Buying and selling camera gear is more accessible now than it has ever been before and that is a huge opening for someone looking to make a few bucks doing photography out of their dorm room. 

Local businesses will always need visual promotion, actors and performers will always need headshots, and event coordinators will always need someone to shoot a function. As a photographer you can set your own rates, and after you set yourself apart, you can raise them. 

Tutoring/ Writing Coach 

If you’re a busy student, but have the patience to teach, tutoring is perhaps the simplest and most in-demand gig you can land on a college campus. Not only are you in school, but everyone around you is as well. Every college student knows what it’s like to be in a classroom learning about something related to your major and seeing a student across the room pulling their hair out because this was the only gen-ed that fit their schedule. Running a lowkey tutoring service could be a great way to make money and help your fellow students get more accessible help than they might get using an on campus resources.

Working as a tutor can put you in even greater demand if you have a skill for writing.  A 2015 Education Trust analysis of middle school language arts work, found that only 9 percent of assignments required that students wrote more than one paragraph. It’s also been found that students who received A’s on average are required to do more writing than students who receive C’s on average. Moreover students who receive C’s on average specifically admit to needing more help in the area of writing their counterparts who get A’s. If you are a good writer in college, there are many opportunities to help college students improve writing skills.

By the way, clear all disruptive activities with your roommates. You don’t want your dorm room business to crash and burn before it really gets off the ground because of annoyed roomies.

*Article by Raz Robinson, journalist and freelance writer, based in New York City. Connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter @razrobinson or send an email to Rrob0904 (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Posted in Career Advice, Career and Industry Awareness, Choosing a Career, College Life, Employment Trends, Leadership, Life After College, Start a Business, Student Career Journal | Tagged | Comments Off on Start a Dorm Room Business This Year
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