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About Ran

  • Birthday 05/06/1978

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    Balerion (Admin), Aidan Dayne, Rhodry Martell

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    Westeros! History (ancient and medieval), SF/F, adventure and strategy gaming, MUSHes and MUXes (but not MUDs), Linda.

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  1. Apparently the leading theory among people who used Sky was that Rashida Jones provided the voice, because there's a lot more similarity to her voice than Johansson's. That would be kind of funny. Speaking of funny, the SNL finale was amusing: (For those not aware, it's become tradition for Che and Jost to write jokes for one another, with the other party not seeing the joke until they record. Also, Colin Jost is married to Scarlett Johansson.)
  2. If you've seen Her, you'll notice that the voice in the demos doesn't actually sound like Scarlett Johansson in the film beyond the general 20-something young white American woman. Johansson speaks in a lower register and with a distinctive huskiness which the voice in the demo does not have. What it mimics, if it was mimicry at all, is something of the emotional timbre and mannerisms of Samantha the AI, a character Scarlett Johansson played. Which can be explained by a voice actor being paid considerable sums to provide vocal data for training, and possibly being directed in recordings of her voice towards a sort of bubbly friendliness and positivity like the AI character had. It's worth noting that the "Sky" voice has been available since last year, and no one made a fuss about it until this demo -- which features interactions between a human man and a digital assistant -- put people in mind of Her. Altman's case isn't helped by tweeting the title or having approached Johansson previously, but that's not the same thing as saying he "stole" her voice.
  3. Does Raya have more information than the rest of the public on OpenAI's "Sky" voice and its relationship to Scarlett Johansson? I would be very surprised.
  4. I doubt it'll come to an actual lawsuit, to be honest, so I think expectations of learning much more than we have now are pretty low, outside of what might be leaked to journalists.
  5. This isn't really different from when Ford hired a Bette Midler backup singer to cover "Do You Wanna Dance?" and instructed her to perform it like Midler. Which was a suit they lost regarding right to publicity. But it has nothing to do with generative AI "theft". They "just" hired an actor who had a somewhat similar voice and was directed to perform along the lines of Samantha the AI. The model itself was based on an actor who was legally paid for their vocal performance. As I said, it has nothing in particular to do with generative AI in itself. The AI has not "stolen" anything, OpenAI has done so by directing an actress to have a very distinctive performance too close to Johansson's. What this does show is that generative AI models are pretty neutral -- you put stuff in, you get stuff out. You can put legal stuff in or you can put illegal stuff in, it doesn't have a say or know the difference.
  6. What is the theft here, exactly? It sounds like they paid another actor to provide the vocal data to train the model on. If the idea is hiring an actress to mimic Johansson in a very specific role, well, that has nothing to do with generative AI in particular.
  7. Trailer for Emilia Pérez, a musical crime dramedy currently in competition at Cannes set in the world of Mexican drug cartels, when a cartel boss chooses to accept their own gender identity (and evade capture by the Federales and the DEA) by going through gender-affirming surgery. Karla Sofia Gascón is in the titular role, while Zoe Saldaña plays a lawyer hired by Pérez to help her. Has some buzz at Cannes, even predictions it may take the prize, but hard to say.
  8. There's a reason the French called the English "Rosbif" back during the Hundred Years War. Beef Wellington is quite good too.
  9. Clam chowder, crab cakes, and lobster rolls are American. General Tso's Chicken was created in America. Soul food, Creole, and Cajun are all fusions made in America. The Cuban sandwich was first made in Florida. Sandwiches like the cheesesteak and Italian Beef are American. Hamburgers s we know them are American. Tex-Mex and Sonoran and New Mexico cuisines are fusions of various kind with Mexican food. Chicken Parmesan and baked ziti are inventions of Italian-Americans. The California maki roll is American. I think American cuisine has a lot of good in it with a great deal of breadth and variety, accepting that our melting pot nature means some of the best dishes are American takes on ethnic foods. American BBQ is awesome, though. We were just visiting our favorite American BBQ place here in Sweden last week for my birthday, Mugwort's, as they have a new location in town. Their food is awesome. The owners, Johan and Sanna, make regular trips to the US to sample BBQ from some of the most well-regarded BBQ restaurants in the US (they had some spicy thoughts about Franklin's!) and figure out how to improve what they're doing. They picked up some tips on preparing their ribs, and jeez, best ribs I've ever had.
  10. I have no idea what that look was like.... well, huh, it's nice enough, but Euphoria leaves much less to the imagination.
  11. Looking further, the first lightwhip appeared in the 1977 Star Wars comic series, but there it was depicted as a bunch of thin cables that the energy would wrap around, and it did indeed crack like a whip. This version is described differently, however, having no physical extension for the whip but rather talking about microemitters and containment fields. Apparently the comics have never given them a cracking sound, but this TV show will be the first to feature this sort of lightwhip on the screen.
  12. Did Gurney Halleck go into battle with a pug under his arm? No? QED.
  13. There's nothing about lightsabers that ever said that that's how light works, either, it must be said.
  14. It's a long-standing thing in the EU version of Star Wars, dating back to the early 2000s if not earlier, which it seems they decided to bring back for the High Republic stories. The character shown to be using it has been extensively written about in HR novels and comics, according to the length of her Wookipedia entry.
  15. If Sweeney in a nun's habit is your thing, go for it, but it's in no way a sexy film and there's basically very little in the way of nudity. Benedetta this is not. Sweeney was instrumental in getting the film made, having first auditioned for in 2014 only for it to end up in development hell. Then, when she had her big breakout post-Euphoria, it seems the story really stuck with her because she bought the rights to the script and brought Mohan on board to finally get it made.
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