ETC@USC Announces RoninX Foundation as Board Member

The Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC@USC) is pleased to announce the addition of the RoninX Foundation to its executive board. The Japan-based foundation is pursuing a camera metadata interoperability standard and a new 8K streaming protocol for innovative use cases for the open multiverse. The RoninX Foundation is guided by its community of camera manufacturers, storage providers, Internet service providers, infrastructure providers, 5G operators and studios. Continue reading ETC@USC Announces RoninX Foundation as Board Member

IP Protection for NFTs and Blockchain Assets Is Still Unclear

As blockchain projects diversify into sales marketplaces for creative works, many find themselves dealing with copyright problems due to uncertainty as to how existing law applies to things like NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations). For instance, while purchase of an NFT confers certain rights, copyright isn’t one of them, unless the buyer applies for a standard copyright license. Spice DAO spent $3 million to purchase director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1970s illustrated pitch for an unfilmed version of “Dune,” only to have the “Dune” copyright holder block the ability to turn the storyboards into an animated film. Continue reading IP Protection for NFTs and Blockchain Assets Is Still Unclear

Clearview AI Courts Investors While Facing Privacy Pushback

Clearview AI is positioning itself for a major expansion that is already generating major controversy. At a December financial presentation, the New York-based firm reportedly predicted it will have 100 billion facial images in its database by the end of 2022 — or about 14 photos for each of the earth’s 7 billion people. And there is said to have been talk of surveilling gig economy workers, identifying people based on how they walk and remotely scanning fingerprints. While the company’s 34-year-old founder and chief exec Hoan Ton-That is careful to present the firm as a crime-fighting tool, its broader implications are chilling. Continue reading Clearview AI Courts Investors While Facing Privacy Pushback

Squarespace Adds Monetization Options to Its Video Feature

Squarespace has introduced a new video feature for content creators that provides them with the ability to sell access to videos either as a one-off or via a continuing subscription plan. The website creation and hosting service will offer 30 minutes of uploaded content for free, while creators looking to post more content have the option to sign up for Member Areas plans, starting at $9 per month. To compete with the likes of YouTube, Patreon and OnlyFans, users will be able to upload video directly to their Squarespace site with options for monetizing content. The company’s native video player offers “slick playback” and “deep integration into the Squarespace platform.” Continue reading Squarespace Adds Monetization Options to Its Video Feature

Apple Buys Primephonic, Plans to Debut Classical Music App

Apple officially inked a deal to acquire Primephonic, a popular classical music streaming service. The tech giant reportedly plans to launch a standalone classical music app sometime in 2022. Due to the acquisition, Primephonic stopped accepting new customers immediately and will temporarily go offline on September 7, when Apple begins to integrate the app into Apple Music. Apple told worried fans that it will combine Primephonic’s classical user interface “that fans have grown to love with more added features.” Continue reading Apple Buys Primephonic, Plans to Debut Classical Music App

IBM Project CodeNet Employs AI Tools to Program Software

IBM’s AI research unit debuted Project CodeNet, a dataset to develop machine learning models for software programming. The name is a take-off on ImageNet, the influential dataset of photos that pushed the development of computer vision and deep learning. Creating “AI for code” systems has been challenging since software developers are constantly discovering new problems and exploring different solutions. IBM researchers have taken that into consideration in developing a multi-purpose dataset for Project CodeNet. Continue reading IBM Project CodeNet Employs AI Tools to Program Software

IBM CodeNet Enables AI Translation of Computer Languages

During its Think conference this week, IBM debuted Project CodeNet, an open-source dataset for benchmarking around AI for code. Project CodeNet consists of 14 million code examples, which makes it about 10 times larger than the most similar dataset, which has 52,000 examples. Project CodeNet also offers 500 million lines of code and 55 programming languages including C++, Java, Python, Go, COBOL, Pascal and Fortran, making it a Rosetta Stone for AI systems to automatically translate code into other programming languages. Continue reading IBM CodeNet Enables AI Translation of Computer Languages

HPA Tech Retreat: Cloud-Enabled Virtual Production – Part 2

In a conversation on cloud-enabled virtual production during the HPA Tech Retreat, Jack Wenzinger of Amazon Web Services’ Global M&E Partners vertical asked how those interested in virtual production can retool existing skills. ETC@USC senior consultant Erik Weaver stated that participating in Epic Games’ Unreal Fellowship program was “an eye-opening experience.” “Understanding what a blueprint is and how to put things in a timeline gave me a fundamental understanding,” he said. “I highly recommend watching all the videos you can on Unreal and start walking through the tutorials.” Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Cloud-Enabled Virtual Production – Part 2

Canada Confronts Clearview AI Over Facial Recognition App

Canada has denounced facial recognition app Clearview AI and, despite the lack of legal authority, demanded that the company delete all Canadian faces from its database. Canada’s privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien stated that the company puts all of society “continually in a police lineup.” Clearview AI has scraped 3+ billion photos from social media networks and other public sites. Canada is the first country to take such a strong stand against the app that is currently in use by 2,400+ U.S. law enforcement agencies. Continue reading Canada Confronts Clearview AI Over Facial Recognition App

Amazon Sidewalk Rolls Out with Echo, Ring Software Updates

Amazon is slowly rolling out Amazon Sidewalk, first revealed in 2019 as an effort to create smart neighborhoods via wireless Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and 900MHz radio signals that can expand the connectivity reach to up to half a mile. Using a small amount of the home’s Wi-Fi bandwidth, Amazon Sidewalk can connect the user with any compatible device, such as garage door openers or outdoor lights, without any additional hardware. Amazon has unveiled it first as a free software update to Echo speakers and Ring cameras. Continue reading Amazon Sidewalk Rolls Out with Echo, Ring Software Updates

REMINDER: Virtual Production Webinar Slated for This Week

The next ETC Digital Town Square — Breaking Down “Ripple Effect”: A Case Study on COVID-19 Safety Protocols, Advanced Workflows and Virtual Production — will be hosted by Equinix and the Entertainment Technology Center@USC on November 19, 1:00-3:30 pm PST. Free and open to the public, the webinar will dive into “Ripple Effect,” a recent live-action short produced by ETC that leveraged Safetyviz as well as remote and virtual production to improve safety in the return to media production. Register today for your virtual front row seat to this important webinar. Continue reading REMINDER: Virtual Production Webinar Slated for This Week

Ripple Effect: Webinar Covers Virtual Production Case Study

The next ETC Digital Town Square — Breaking Down “Ripple Effect”: A Case Study on COVID-19 Safety Protocols, Advanced Workflows and Virtual Production — will be hosted by Equinix and the Entertainment Technology Center@USC on November 19, 1:00-3:30 pm PST. Free and open to the public, the webinar will dive into “Ripple Effect,” a recent live-action short produced by ETC that leveraged Safetyviz as well as remote and virtual production to improve safety in the return to media production. Register today for your virtual front row seat to this important webinar. Continue reading Ripple Effect: Webinar Covers Virtual Production Case Study

Comcast, Walmart Discuss a Potential Smart TV Partnership

Comcast and Walmart are discussing a partnership whereby the former would develop smart TV software, and the latter would promote the TVs, possibly under its own brand Onn, and get a share of recurring revenues. The TVs would be manufactured by a third party. Comcast, whose software would aim to help consumers navigate streaming apps, would be able to market its TVs nationwide. The Comcast sets would put it in competition with Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku, the dominant players in streaming platforms. Continue reading Comcast, Walmart Discuss a Potential Smart TV Partnership

Adobe Beta-Testing New Tool to Detect Manipulated Images

Adobe released a beta version of a Photoshop tool that will make it easier to determine if an image is real or has been manipulated. The so-called attribution tool, which will first be tested with a select group of people, enables photo editors to attach more detailed, secure metadata to images. In addition to including who created the image, the metadata will provide information on how it was altered and if AI tools were used to do so. Adobe said it will also be clear if the metadata has been tampered with. This could be a step toward combatting deepfakes. Continue reading Adobe Beta-Testing New Tool to Detect Manipulated Images

HPA Announces 2020 Engineering Excellence Awards Winners

The Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) Awards Committee revealed winners of its 2020 HPA Awards for Engineering Excellence, to be given out in a virtual ceremony on November 19. This year will mark the 15th anniversary of the HPA Awards, founded to “recognize creative artistry and innovation in the professional media content industry.” This year’s awards will honor EIZO’s Prominence CG3146 31.1-inch HDR reference monitor; Eluvio Content Fabric for managing and distributing large form content; the Moxion Immediates platform; and Carl Zeiss SBE: eXtended Data (XD) lens metadata technology. Continue reading HPA Announces 2020 Engineering Excellence Awards Winners