YouTube live mobile

Google has finally rolled out what it’s calling YouTube mobile live streaming. The live-streaming feature will be built directly into the regular YouTube app. The app sounds easy to use. You’ll tap on a “capture” button, optionally take a photo that will serve as a thumbnail, type in your description of the video to come, choose whether you want people chatting over your video, then start streaming. As with Hangouts On Air, YouTube mobile live-streamed videos will become regular YouTube videos in your channel. The feature was rolled out last week to only five prominent users, with Google promising a general rollout later. The late entry into mobile by the first-mover of desktop live-streaming changes everything.

Credit: YouTube

Mobile live video streaming has been around for a while, but Google’s entry is a game-changer. Here’s why: YouTube is a star machine. Felix Kjellberg, a.k.a. Pewdiepie, made $12 million last year from advertising on his video-game-centric YouTube video channel. He has 46 million subscribers. YouTube has made millionaires out of dozens of hitherto unknown people. Many YouTube obsessives are teens and children, who know YouTube stars better than they do TV stars. As the young get older, they’ll bring their YouTube-viewing habits with them, squeezing out and simultaneously influencing TV even further than has already happened.

Source (Kurt Wilms, “We’ll do it live—a new chapter in YouTube’s live stream”, YouTube Official Blog, 23.06.2016)

China builds world’s fastest supercomputer

Credit: Jack Dongarra

China revealed on Monday its latest supercomputer, a monolithic system with 10.65 million compute cores built entirely with Chinese microprocessors. This follows a U.S. government decision last year to deny China access to Intel’s fastest microprocessors.

There is no U.S.-made system that comes close to the performance of China’s new system, the Sunway TaihuLight. Its theoretical peak performance is 124.5 petaflops, according to the latest biannual release today of the world’s Top500 supercomputers. It is the first system to exceed 100 petaflops. A petaflop equals one thousand trillion (one quadrillion) sustained floating-point operations per second.

The most important thing about Sunway TaihuLight may be its microprocessors. In the past, China has relied heavily on U.S. microprocessors in building its supercomputing capacity. The world’s next fastest system, China’s Tianhe-2, which has a peak performance of 54.9 petaflops, uses Intel Xeon processors.

TaihuLight, which is installed at China’s National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, uses ShenWei CPUs developed by Jiangnan Computing Research Lab in Wuxi. The operating system is a Linux-based Chinese system called Sunway Raise.

Source (Patrick Thibodeau, “China builds world’s fastest supercomputer without U.S. chips”, ComputerWorld, 20.06.2016)

AI-written screenplay made into a film

With a dark, ominous atmosphere and gibberish script, short film Sunspring was penned by a computer and stars Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch.


Artificial intelligence has recently been trying its hand at various human creative endeavours, from cooking to art, poetry to board games, but nothing is quite as surreal as a robot writing the script for a science fiction movie – until now. The script and movie were the product of director Oscar Sharp and Ross Goodwin, a New York University AI researcher. A so-called recurrent neural network, which named itself Benjamin, was fed the scripts of dozens of science fiction movies including such classics as Highlander Endgame, Ghostbusters, Interstellar and The Fifth Element.

From there it was asked to create a screenplay, including actor directions, using a set of prompts required by the Sci-Fi London film festival’s 48-hour challenge. The resulting screenplay and pop song were then given to the cast, including Thomas Middleditch from Silicon Valley, Elisabeth Gray and Humphrey Ker to interpret and make into a film. The actors were randomly assigned to the parts and set to it. The result is a weirdly entertaining, strangely moving dark sci-fi story of love and despair. The sentences make sense in isolation, although the dialogue doesn’t really when taken together – but if you were half watching while doing something else you would definitely get the feeling that something just happened.

Source (HAL90210, “This is what happens when an AI-written screenplay is made into a film”, TheGuardian, 10.06.2016)