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Netflix Uses Deep Learning to Optimize Streaming in 4K HDR

Netflix has completed a worldwide technology upgrade that improves video quality for Premium subscribers viewing 4K HDR titles. The move is being hailed as welcome news in the wake of a price hike to $22.99 from $19.99 for U.S. Premium customers. Netflix used the “dynamic optimization” video encoding method to implement an HDR variant of the company’s VMAF (Video Multimethod Assessment Fusion) quality metric. The new HDR-VMAF is the result of a collaboration between Netflix and Dolby Laboratories that employs “subjective tests with 4K HDR content using high-end OLED panels,” according to Netflix. Read more

Runway Teams with Getty on AI Video for Hollywood and Ads

The Google and Nvidia-backed AI video startup Runway is partnering with Getty Images to develop Runway Getty Images Model (RGM), which it is positioning as a new type of generative AI model capable of “providing a new way to bring ideas and stories to life through video” for enterprise customers using copyright compliant means. Targeting Hollywood studios, advertising, media and broadcast clients, RGM will “provide a baseline model upon which companies can build their own custom models for the generation of video content,” Runway explains. Read more

IBM Announces Significant Advances in Quantum Computing

IBM has produced two quantum computing systems to meet its 2023 roadmap, one based on a chip named Condor, which at 1,121 functioning qubits is the largest transmon-based quantum processor released to date. Transmon-based chips use a type of superconducting qubit that is more error-resistant than typical qubits, which are notoriously unstable. The second IBM system uses three Heron chips, each with 133 qubits. The more modestly scaled Heron and its successor, Flamingo, play a vital role in IBM’s quantum plan, which boasts major progress as a result of these developments. Read more

Meta AI Seamless Translator Converts Nearly 100 Languages

The research division of Meta AI has developed Seamless Communication, a suite of artificial intelligence models that generate what the company says is natural and authentic communication across languages, facilitating what amounts to real-time universal speech translation. The models were released with accompanying research papers and data. The flagship model, Seamless, merges capabilities from a trio of models — SeamlessExpressive, SeamlessStreaming and SeamlessM4T v2 — into a single system that can translate between almost 100 spoken and written languages, preserving idioms, emotion and the speaker’s vocal style, Meta says. Read more

AWS Debuts Amazon One Enterprise Palm-Scanning Service

Amazon Web Services has introduced a palm-scanning identity service for enterprise clients that lets people authenticate when entering physical premises. Called Amazon One Enterprise, the new service leverages the Amazon One offering launched in 2020 to allow biometric payments in Amazon’s cashierless Amazon Go stores, bringing the technology to the workplace. At retail, Go shoppers can link payment cards to their palm-print and complete transactions by placing their hand on a scanner. While use of biometric data has raised concerns, Amazon appears to be expanding the technology’s applications. Read more

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