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Lights, Camera, Artificial Action: Start-Up Is Taking A.I. to the Movies

Lights, Camera, Artificial Action: Start-Up Is Taking A.I. to the Movies
PALO ALTO, Calif. — Inside an old auto body shop here in Silicon Valley, Stefan Avalos pushed a movie camera down a dolly track.
He and a small crew were making a short film about self-driving cars. They were shooting a powder-blue 1962 Austin Mini, but through special effects the rusted relic would be transformed into an autonomous vehicle that looked more like the DeLorean from “Back to the Future.”
Stepping back from the camera, Mr. Avalos referred wryly to the movie he was filming as “Project Unemployment.” The film was a way of testing new technology from a start-up called Arraiy, which is trying to automate the creation of digital effects for movies, television and games.
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This new type of artificial intelligence, which is also being developed by the software giant Adobe and in other technology industry research labs, could ultimately replace many of the specialists who bui..

150 Whales Beached in Australia, as Rescuers Fight to Save Them

150 Whales Beached in Australia, as Rescuers Fight to Save Them Photo More than 150 short-finned pilot whales were found beached in Hamelin Bay, Western Australia, on Friday. Credit Western Australia Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images HONG KONG — More than 150 whales became stranded on a Western Australia beach, wildlife officials said Friday, as poor weather and the threat of frenzied sharks prevented rescuers from saving scores of them.
The short-finned pilot whales were spotted Friday morning on the coastline of Hamelin Bay, about 160 miles south of Perth. But by nightfall, all but seven of the whales were dead, according to the state’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
“Most of the whales beached themselves on dry land overnight and have not survived,” said Jeremy Chick of the department’s Parks and Wildlife Service, who was overseeing the rescue attempt.
Efforts were underway Friday evening to mo..

Elon Musk Joins #DeleteFacebook With a Barrage of Tweets

Elon Musk Joins #DeleteFacebook With a Barrage of Tweets Photo Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla Inc. and SpaceX. He and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook have long been at odds. Credit John Raoux/Associated Press Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have clashed on artificial intelligence, space travel and the direction of technology.
On Friday, Mr. Musk showed just how little love lost there was between the two tech titans.
Mr. Musk, the chief executive of SpaceX and Tesla, deleted the Facebook pages of both of his companies. In doing so, he joined a growing chorus of tech leaders calling for people to abandon Mr. Zuckerberg’s social network after it allowed a political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, to obtain and misuse data on 50 million users. The revelations have plunged Facebook into its worst public relations crisis in years.
As with most news in 2018, Mr. Musk’s decision started with a barrage of tweets.
The tech luminary began by criticizing Sonos, a maker of wireless speakers, w..

China Says Anbang’s Founder Defrauded Investors of $10 Billion

Supported by Business Day China Says Anbang’s Founder Defrauded Investors of $10 Billion 查看简体中文版 查看繁體中文版 Photo Wu Xiaohui, founder of Anbang Insurance Group, could face life imprisonment if convicted. Credit Thomas Peter/Reuters BEIJING — China accused the deal maker who bought the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York of bilking investors of more than $10 billion.
The vast amount of money that officials said the deal maker, Wu Xiaohui, had obtained illegally raised the stakes in a prosecution meant to show Beijing’s resolve to crack down on the titanic borrowing binge of recent years. The Chinese government last month seized Mr. Wu’s company, Anbang Insurance Group, in a move seen as making an example of a firm that piled on too much debt too fast and added risks to the country’s already creaky financial system.
The $10.3 billion that prosecutors allege that Mr. Wu and Anbang raised illegally would make the case one of China’s biggest financial crimes trials.
Mr. Wu pleaded guilty to..

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Expansion Project Hits the Skids

Supported by Sports The Pro Football Hall of Fame Expansion Project Hits the Skids The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, is supposed to become a Disney-esque, multiple-day destination with a four-star hotel, a state-of-the-art stadium, a water park, a youth sports complex, a retail promenade, a convention space, a 143-bed assisted living facility for retired Hall of Famers and a small hospital.
At the moment, however, it is a project with a skyrocketing budget, stalled progress, a developer with a checkered performance history in the region who has been accused of misusing $25 million in funds from a federal program, and contractors who recently went months without being paid. Financing problems have necessitated an emergency bank loan, and elected officials in Stark County have discussed a special ballot measure for a sales tax increase to subsidize the project known as Hall of Fame Village.
“You have to watch the warning signs when you are working with any developer,” s..

John Cacioppo, Who Studied Effects of Loneliness, Is Dead at 66

Supported by Obituaries John Cacioppo, Who Studied Effects of Loneliness, Is Dead at 66 Photo John and Stephanie Cacioppo, partners in marriage and neuroscience, at the University of Chicago in 2017. Credit Whitten Sabbatini for The New York Times She was a brain researcher and an authority on the scientific basis of love. He, too, was a neuroscientist, but with an expertise in loneliness. She was in her mid-30s, he in his late 50s.
Both were wedded to careers in separate hemispheres — until they happened to be seated beside each other, serendipitously, at dinner on the last night of a neuroscience research symposium in Shanghai.
Before going their separate ways, they left the restaurant together. A romantic full moon was rising over the East China Sea. He snapped a photograph. A few weeks later, she emailed him to request a copy (which she later admitted was just a pretext to resume their brief acquaintance).
She, Stephanie Ortigue, was conducting research at the University of Ge..