Top Tech News of the week: August 6

This week, the tech industry continued to grapple with the continued development and pervasiveness of AI. At Google, researchers from the company conducted a study alongside Osaka University to test the “musical stimulus” listeners experience when playing a song, using their brain activity to produce new music. . Meta, meanwhile, is testing a feature for Instagram that flags content as having been generated using AI.

On the streaming side, NASA has entered the race with a new streamer of its own science-focused live coverage and original series. And, in the business corner, Nintendo announced its best first quarter yet following the release of Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

Below, Hypebeast has rounded up the top tech stories of the week so you can stay up to date on industry trends.

Google researchers used AI to turn brain scans into music

Researchers from Google and Osaka University have joined forces on an interesting study that turned brain scans into music. Five volunteers were selected to undergo fMRI scans, while simultaneously listening to music in 10 different genres. The volunteers’ brain activity was then uploaded to an AI platform the researchers had built called Brain2Music.

The researchers took the output of Brain2Music and funneled it into another AI tool, Google’s AI-assisted home music production program MusicLM, to create streamable songs.

In the published study, the researchers reported that the experiment allowed them to consider “musical stimuli that human subjects experienced, with respect to semantic properties like genre, instrumentation, and mood.”

Nintendo posted record first-quarter profit

Popular versions like Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom And The movie Super Mario Bros. culminated in a banner year for Nintendo. The company reported a record first quarter for 2023, in which operating profits rose 82%, equivalent to an increase of 185.4 billion yen ($1.3 billion).

Building on the success of The Legend of Zelda And Super Mario Bros., Nintendo also saw an increase in Switch sales. During the last quarter, the company sold 3.91 million units, compared to 3.43 million units in the same period last year.

Instagram is testing labels for AI-generated posts

Meta now flags content created using AI. The company is testing tags for Instagram that subtly note whether an image is AI-generated, reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi reported.

Last month, Meta rolled out its own text-to-image AI program called Llama 2. The Instagram feature focuses on content produced specifically by this program, appearing as a message accompanying the content that simply reads, “generated by MetaAI”.

In the potential feature tab, Meta describes that “content created with AI is usually tagged in such a way that it can be easily identified.” Users will have to wait and see if the company decides to launch it on Instagram.

NASA launched a free streaming service

NASA adds to the growing list of streaming services available to the masses. The only difference, however, is that NASA+ will be completely free. The space agency has created a streamer that will feature its live coverage and new original video series for informative and exploratory science content.

“Our vision is to inspire humanity through a unified, world-class NASA web experience,” said NASA Chief Information Officer Jeff Seaton. “NASA’s legacy footprint presents an opportunity to dramatically improve the user experience for the audiences we serve. Modernizing our core websites from a technology perspective and streamlining how the public interacts with our online content are essential first steps in making our agency information more accessible, discoverable and secure.

NASA+ is slated for release in the coming months and will be available on iOS, Android, the web, and a majority of streaming boxes including Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV.

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