Vocal Mimicry Using Lyrebird Technology

Lyrebird has created a voice imitation technology that uses deep learning and artificial neural networks to create fascinating and somewhat scary results. It relies on deep learning models developed at the MILA lab of the University of Montréal.

Lyrebird will offer an API to copy the voice of anyone. It will need as little as one minute of audio recording of a speaker to compute a unique key defining her/his voice. This key will then allow to generate anything from its corresponding voice. The API will be robust enough to learn from noisy recordings. Lyrebird will offer a large catalog of different voices and let the user design their own unique voices tailored for their needs.

Users will be able to create entire dialogs with the new or mimicked voice. Inflection, emotion, and content can all be tailored as necessary through a developer API. The demos are fairly impressive but still distinctly robotic. Check out some Trump/Obama examples below.

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I’m interested to find out how accurate this will be for non-english and non-human verbal communication.

Broken Porcelain Lady Figurines

Jessica Harrison takes old ceramic statues of fancily-dressed women and disembowels them. These found porcelain figures, that are typically seen occupying a special place your grandmother’s credenza, are reimagined in the most gory of ways. The juxtaposition of the prim statuettes displaying their decapitated heads and freshly opened throats without changing their demure expressions is striking. Despite having appeared to have been subjected to an awful violence (perhaps their own), the Georgian and Victorian-era figures remain decorous figures. The results are gory and macabre while also being kitsch and playful.

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There is a great interview with Harrison about the meaning behind her work on The Skinny. Many of these images can be purchased as signed and numbered prints on Harrison’s website.

Climbing The Mercury City Tower

Mercury City Climb 1

Mercury City Climb 2

Sergey Valyaev and his buddies have illegally climbed the construction crane Mercury City Tower in Moscow. The tower is Europe’s tallest building at 1,112 feet (339 m). What makes this climb particularly frightening to me (outside of the height and security risks) was the amount of snow and ice on rope free climb up the crane. The video below shows how they did it.

This reminds me a lot of this 1,768 foot transmission tower free-climb.

Climbing A 1,768 Foot Transmission Tower

This video tied my stomach into knots.

It’s a helmet-cam video of a transmission tower repair technician’s free-climb of a 1,768 foot tower. The climber reaches the tower’s top most light beacon (these towers are so tall they need FAA standardized beacons so airplanes won’t fly into them).

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The 25 Most Disturbing Films Of All Time

Below is Total Film’s list of the “25 Most Disturbing Films Ever” in order from least to most disturbing (links go to the Total Film page for each movie). I don’t totally agree with this list but it makes a nice comparison to the “Top 10 Most Controversial Horror Movies” list I posted last month

25) Antichrist – Von Trier, 2009
24) Blue Velvet – Lynch, 1986
23) Shivers – Cronenberg, 1975
22) Martyrs – Laugier, 2008
21) Man Bites Dog – Belvaux, 1992
20) Begotten – Merhige, 1991
19) Aftermath – Cerda, 1994
18) The Human Centipede – Six, 2010
17) A Clockwork Orange – Kubrick, 1971
16) Flower of Flesh and Blood (aka Slow Death: The Dismemberment) – Hinu, 1985
15) The Last House on the Left – Craven, 1972
14) Irreversible – Noe, 2002
13) Nekromantik – Buttgereit, 1987
12) Men Behind the Sun – Mou, 1988
11) I Spit on Your Grave (aka Day of the Woman) – Zarchi, 1978
10)Happiness – Solondz, 1998
9) Funny Games – Haneke, 1997
8 ) Visitor Q – Miike, 2001
7) Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom – Pasolini, 1975
6) Cannibal Holocaust – Deodato, 1980
5) In a Glass Cage – Villaronga, 1987
4) Eraserhead – Lynch, 1977
3) Audition – Miike, 1999
2) Threads – Jackson, 1984
1) Exorcist – Friedkin, 1973

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Top 10 Most Controversial Horror Movies

Bloody Disgusting runs down the top ten most controversial horror films of all time. It’s a pretty good list. I’m actually a little surprised the Blair Witch Project didn’t make the list. And I remember everybody talking about Children Of The Corn when I was a kid. I also think [REC] should replace Salo as the token foreign film (watch this one – you’ll be exhausted by the end and still not be able to sleep).

10. Antichrist (2009)
9. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
8. Peeping Tom (1960)
7. The Last House on the Left (1972)
6. I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
5. Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
4. Freaks (1932)
3. The Devils (1971)
2. The Exorcist (1973)
1. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

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