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Artists amaze with AI-generated film stills from a parallel universe



Increase / An AI-generated image from the #aicinema photo series titled “Vinyl Vengeance” by Julie Wieland, created with Midjourney.

Since last year, a group of artists have been using an artificial intelligence image generator called Midjourney to create still photos of films that don’t exist. They call the trend “AI cinema.” We spoke to one of her practitioners, Julie Wieland, and asked her about her synthetic photography technique, which she calls “synthography.”

Origins of “AI cinema” as a still image art form

In the past year, image synthesis models such as DALL-E 2, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney have made it possible for anyone with a textual description (called a “hint”) to create a still image in a wide variety of styles. This technique has been controversial among some artists, but other artists have embraced the new tools and are working with them.

While anyone with a clue can create an AI-generated image, it soon became clear that some people had a special talent for refining these new AI tools to create better content. As with painting or photography, the human creative spark is still needed to consistently produce noticeable results.

Shortly after the miracle of single-image creation came along, some artists started creating multiple AI-generated images with the same theme, and they did it using a wide aspect ratio like in movies. They tried to tell a story together and posted it on Twitter with a hashtag. #icinema. Due to technological limitations, the images did not move (yet), but a group of images gave the aesthetic impression that they were all taken from the same movie.

The most interesting thing is that these films do not exist.

V first tweet we could find which included the #aicinema tag and the familiar four movie-style images with a related theme, was received from John Finger on September 28, 2022. Wieland, to this day a graphic designer who has been practicing AI cinema for several months, acknowledges Finger’s pioneering role. in art form along with another artist. “Probably I saw it first of all. John Meta another john Fingers,” she says.

It is worth noting that the movement of AI cinema in its current form of still images can be short-lived when text2video models such as Podium Gen-2 become more capable and widespread. In the meantime, we’ll try to capture the zeitgeist of this short AI moment.

Julie Wieland’s story on artificial intelligence

For more information on the #aicinema movement, we spoke to Wieland, who lives in Germany and has a huge following. on twitter placing attention-grabbing works of art generated by Midjourney. We previously covered her work in an article about Midjourney v5, a recent model update that adds more realism.

The art of artificial intelligence has been a fruitful field for Wieland, who believes that Midjourney not only gives her a creative outlet, but also speeds up her professional workflow. This interview was conducted via direct messages on Twitter and her responses have been edited for clarity and length.

Ars: What inspired you to create frames from films with the help of AI?

Wieland: It all started with a DALL-E application when I finally got access after being on the waiting list for several weeks. To be honest, I don’t like it”drawn astronaut dog in spacetoo much aesthetic that was very popular in the summer of 2022, so I wanted to check out what else there is in the AI ​​universe. get good results and I used them pretty quickly in my daily job as a graphic designer for moodboards and presentations.

With Midjourney, I have reduced my time from looking for inspiration on Pinterest and stock sites from two days of work to maybe 2-4 hours because I can create exactly the feeling I need to convey to clients so they know , as it will be “. feel.” Since then, the adaptation of illustrators, photographers and videographers has become even easier.

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Oggwo is the 2023 Seattle Inno Madness Champion.



Seattle-based reputation management company Oggvo won the top prize in this year’s Seattle Inno Madness competition. In the final round, Oggvo defeated Opala, a healthcare data company also headquartered in Seattle. Oggwo with 12 crops won 66% of the vote compared to 34% for Opala with 14 crops. Inno Madness is our friendly competition where readers vote for the best companies by answering one question: who would you invest in? The bracket was designed to shine…

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RIP to Dropcams, Nest Secure: Google shutting down servers next year



Increase / The Dropcam line was eventually replaced by the Nest Cam.


In a message on the official Google Nest community page, Google has announced a closure of service for several older Nest smart home products. Most of them haven’t sold in years, but since all that hardware is cloud-tethered, shutting down the servers will turn them into useless bricks. The good news is that Google is offering existing users upgrade suggestions for supported hardware.

First of all, it’s Dropcam, which Nest and Google purchased in 2014 for $555 million and eventually evolved into the Nest Cam line. Dropcam (and Dropcam Pro) servers are ending support on April 8, 2024, with Google saying “Dropcam will no longer work after this date and you will no longer be able to use your Nest app to check your status.” Video clips are stored online, so Google adds, “If you want to keep your video history, download and save it before this date.”

Nest replaced the Dropcam line in 2015, so these cameras are all about 8 years old. Nest promises five years of support for its own products. However, Google doesn’t just cull these users; it offers discounts on new Nest Cams if they want to continue with the Google ecosystem. Google says that if users are currently subscribed to Nest Aware, they will receive a free Nest Cam wired home camera (worth $100). Nest Aware is a $6 or $9 monthly subscription that lets you record camera video and store it online. Since that subscription fee will match the price of the Nest Cam in a year or two, it makes sense for Google to try to keep the subscription revenue going. If you don’t have a Nest Aware subscription, Google is offering a 50 percent discount on the Nest Cam wired indoor camera.

(Although I would advise you to throw off the shackles of Google always stormy fenced garden and buy something that doesn’t require a monthly fee or depends on the cloud. I like my Unifi Protect system for being self-hosted, with decent hardware and a range of camera models, but there are plenty of options. Nest cameras simply don’t offer anything that justifies the monthly fee, and that gives them a high overall cost.)

Next on the Nest cutting board is the Nest Secure. It was a $500 home security system with a keypad, window and door sensors, motion detectors, and a presence sensor on the key chain. Google has disabled the hardware in 2020, but will continue to support existing devices until the same day as Dropcam: April 8, 2024. Google says that from this date, “your Nest Secure will no longer work. It will not be available on the Nest app and will work.” do not connect to the Internet.”

When Google originally announced the cancellation of Nest Secure, it promised to support the device until at least November 2022 – exactly five years after its November 2017 release – but now it’s getting 6.5 years of support.

Google just announced an updated security product in partnership with ADT, one of the leaders in the home security market (Google bought a 6.6% stake in ADT in 2020). It’s the same base product as Nest Secure, but with a combination of Google technologies (cameras and smart displays) and ADT technologies (hub, sensors and software). Like Nest Cams, this hardware is a subscription lure: Google and ADT would like you to sign up for ADT’s 24/7 professional monitoring, which costs $25 to $35 a month, depending on your home setup.

Nest Secure owners are offered a free upgrade to the new ADT system – Google calls it “up to $485” – though you’ll have to do a lot of new installation work, replacing every sensor and component to get it up and running. Another option is a $200 Google Store credit. If you qualify for discounts on Nest Secure or Dropcams, Google will notify you via email. So here it is recycling program for your dead products.

Nest’s “Works with Nest” smart home ecosystem has also finally received a closing date: September 29, 2023. “Works with Nest” was the original Nest smart home ecosystem, allowing you to change the thermostat when you leave the house, or allow third party apps to control your Nest system. Third party devices can also connect to this system and interact in some way with your thermostat, cameras, or smoke detector.

Works with Nest received a death sentence in 2019 and has been on Google’s death row ever since. Google originally wanted to close Works with Nest in August 2019 but delayed it due to public outcry. Google still blocked Works with Nest from adding new devices in August 2019, so any system has been lame since then. If something breaks, you’re out of luck and unable to replace it.

At the time, Google wanted Nest users to migrate to the “Works with Google Assistant” ecosystem, which is the same core idea of ​​smart home communication, but without the “not invented here” baggage of the acquired Nest system. a Google account instead of a Nest account, has different hardware compatibility and, most importantly, allows you to control devices with your voice. Of course, Google Assistant also seems to have lost priority in Google, so Works with Google Assistant is no longer called Works with Google Assistant; now it’s calledWorks with Google Home“. But “Google Home” does not refer to the original Google Home product, which was a smart speaker. This line has been removed and replaced with Nest Audio speakers. “Google Home” now means the app that controls your smart devices. , so “Works with Google Home” means you’ll see it in the app. The Nest app, which can also control some Nest devices, is being gradually replaced by the Google Home app.

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Cash App founder Bob Lee mortally wounded at 43



SAN FRANCISCO — Bob Lee, the head of technology who created the Cash App and is currently the chief product officer of MobileCoin, was fatally shot in San Francisco early Tuesday morning, according to the cryptocurrency platform and police.

The San Francisco Police Department said in a press release that officers responded to a report of a stab wound on Main Street at 2:35 a.m. Tuesday and found a 43-year-old man with apparent stab wounds. The victim died in the hospital.

Police have not identified the victim, but MobileCoin confirmed Li’s death in response to an email from the Associated Press on Wednesday.

“Our dear friend and colleague Bob Lee passed away yesterday at the age of 43, survived by a loving family and gathering of close friends and employees,” MobileCoin CEO Josh Goldbard said in a statement.

Lee was “made for a new world,” wrote Goldbard.

“From being a big contributor to Android at Google, to being Square’s first CTO, creating CashApp at the time, and working with us here at Mobilecoin, Bob has undoubtedly made an impact that will last far beyond his short time on earth.” , – he said. .

Li joined MobileCoin as an investor and early advisor, Goldbard said, then became chief product officer and helped launch the Moby app. Lee was CTO at digital payments company Square in 2013 when it launched the money transfer app, now known as the Cash App.

The police statement did not provide any details about the circumstances of the stabbing. Calls and emails to the department’s media relations department were not immediately returned early Wednesday morning.

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