Posts tagged with "sara davidson"

tech illustration by sara davidson for use by 360 Magazine

Speech AI Company Sonantic Gives Val Kilmer His Voice Back

Revolutionary advancements in AI voice technology give Kilmer the ability to perform again after suffering side effects from throat cancer.

Sonantic, a UK-based startup leading the charge on emotional text-to-speech technology, has created a voice model for actor Val Kilmer, who was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2015 and has since undergone a tracheotomy procedure. The award-winning actor, whose Hollywood career has spanned nearly four decades, has difficulty communicating in a voice that is easily recognized or understood by fans. The AI-generated voice model, which was developed by utilizing clips of Kilmer’s voice prior to his illness, can be heard in a demo video that was created in close collaboration with the actor.

“I’m grateful to the entire team at Sonantic who masterfully restored my voice in a way I’ve never imagined possible,” said Val Kilmer, adding, “As human beings, the ability to communicate is the core of our existence and the side effects from throat cancer have made it difficult for others to understand me. The chance to narrate my story, in a voice that feels authentic and familiar, is an incredibly special gift.”

Founded in 2018, Sonantic has built a cutting edge platform that creates hyper-realistic, emotionally expressive, and controllable artificial voices. Sonantic has mastered this with its proprietary Voice Engine, which captures the nuances of the human voice such as accents, emotions and delivery styles. This process typically requires actors to record various lines of dialogue in a studio, but only historical footage could be used to create Kilmer’s voice model. After cleaning up the audio samples, Sonantic was left with 10x less data than typically needed. This led to the creation of new algorithms, techniques and models that have since been incorporated back into the Voice Engine, strengthening its ability to handle difficult voice content. These breakthrough advancements in the technology — which allowed for the creation of 40 different options before finalizing Kilmer’s prototype — have further enhanced Sonantic’s capabilities and will benefit all future voice projects.

This announcement comes on the heels of Amazon Studios’ release of Kilmer’s autobiographical documentary, Val, which touches upon the actor’s cancer battle and the physical and emotional toll it has taken on him. During the development of the documentary, Sonantic was introduced to Kilmer’s team which ultimately led to the creation of his voice model. By turning the written word into lifelike audio, Kilmer will be able to use the model  in both his professional and personal life. On the work front, Kilmer can take part in TV or film productions that require voice overs or replacement dialogue that will be created by Sonantic’s easy-to-use computer app. In terms of day-to-day living, Kilmer’s voice model can serve as a personalized replacement to robotic speech generating devices.

Sonantic’s co-founders Zeena Qureshi, CEO and John Flynn, CTO said in a joint statement: “It was an honor to create a voice model for Val Kilmer, whose courage and creativity is truly inspiring. This was an emotional project that demonstrates how Sonantic’s AI generated voice models can have a positive impact on the acting community at large. We’re proud to help Val continue his craft in a way that wasn’t feasible before, and we look forward to seeing what he takes on next.”

This groundbreaking advancement in speech and sound production is revolutionizing the film and gaming industries. Sonantic’s immersive voice acting on-demand allows its top tier B2B clients — including Amazon Studios, XBox Game Studios’ Obsidian Entertainment and Remedy Games — to significantly expedite timelines, streamline processes and lower production costs. Actors play a critical role in crafting voice models, which are scalable assets that generate passive income and create new job opportunities without the commitment of time and travel. Considered the CGI of voice for the industry, actors have embraced this hybrid approach that enables them to take on both traditional, real-life acting jobs as well as innovative, AI voice model work.

illustration by Sara Davidson for use by 360 Magazine

FIVE AUTO REPAIR TIPS FOR WOMEN

FixMyCar comes to your house/office to fix your car, offering vehicle repair tips

According to research published in the “Journal of Marketing Research,” women are quoted higher prices for auto repairs when they are uninformed about the pricing of such repairs. When they have an idea of what it should cost they are no longer overcharged. The more women know about vehicle repairs the more they can help keep expenses down. They can also help ensure they are getting the best service overall when they follow a few helpful tips regarding repairs.

“Typically, women don’t feel comfortable going to the vehicle repair shop, because they feel they are not going to get fair treatment and may get overcharged,” explains Prashant Salla, founder of FixMyCar. “Being able to talk to mechanics directly about the car and seeing the actual repairs taking place outside their house, women (and men) feel much more confident about their car.”

FixMyCar is a company that is revolutionizing the auto repair industry, and one of their missions is to help customers feel more comfortable about their vehicles. Their business model is mobile, so the mechanic goes to the person’s home or office, making the repairs and doing maintenance extremely transparent and hence more trust. This makes it more convenient and comfortable for people, who need to have repairs and maintenance done to their vehicle.

Here Are 5 Auto Repair Tips:

  • Get it in writing. When you take your vehicle somewhere for a repair or maintenance, get in writing what is being done and the rate that you were quoted. This will help you avoid a situation where you are verbally quoted one price and then when you go to pay it’s much higher.
  • Use your owner’s manual. Getting to know your owner’s manual is a good way to help keep up on what your vehicle needs to stay in top condition. Often times, the answer to common issues are found in the owner’s manual, but people don’t think to look there. If you no longer have yours, you may be able to find a PDF copy online.
  • Keep up on routine maintenance. The routine maintenance on your vehicle is important to keeping it running good. If you fall behind in this area your vehicle will likely have issues that arise. Routine maintenance, such as oil changes and tune ups, are affordable and can keep your vehicle running great longer.
  • Find a mechanic you trust. It’s important for women to trust their mechanic so they feel they are being well taken care of, rather than being taken advantage of. When you find a mechanic you trust you will know you are getting a fair deal.
  • Keep track of what has been done. It’s always a good idea to keep a log or file with all of the work you have had done to the vehicle. This will help you if things are recommended that you know you recently had done, as well as when you go to sell the vehicle. Don’t try to rely on memory about what has been done, because you will not remember everything. Keep an envelope or file where you can keep all the receipts of work that has been done.

“Women love FixMyCar, because we make the process of getting your car fixed extremely transparent, convenient, quote upfront and we don’t upsell. Our best customers and members are women, and they tell us one of the reasons they use our service repeatedly is because of the excellent customer service,” added Salla.

Mobile repairs are also more affordable than going to a dealership or a repair shop. The mobile service model doesn’t have the high overhead that shops do, so the prices offered tend to be 20-30% lower than dealership and repair shops. Plus, it has been designed to allow mechanics to make a higher salary.

Services being offered by FixMyCar include diagnostic inspections, such as car not starting, check engine light on, strange noises, or not being sure what is wrong with it. Other services include battery and starter replacement, brakes and light engine repairs, routine maintenance, such as oil changes, and used car inspections for those who are purchasing or selling a car.

FixMyCar also launched a membership program where you sign up for a quarterly or yearly membership and they schedule and perform all your vehicle’s oil changes outside your house or office. This new membership comes with an unlimited oil change package, which is the first in the industry and allows customers to not worry about their vehicle’s oil changes. Not only do members get free oil changes scheduled and delivered to their house, but they also receive discounts on all other services provided by FixMyCar.

The company was founded by Salla in 2018, after he received an initial $250,000 in funding capital from an angel investor he met at a bar. Later, he secured another $1.6 million in investor funding, including from the likes of Marc Randolph, Netflix’s founding CEO, Richard Wolpert, HelloTech’s founder & CEO, John Kobs, ApartmentList.com’s Founder & CEO. Salla came to America in 2012 from India, where he was earning $100 per month working as a mechanic while studying Mechanical Engineering. In the Detroit area, he earned his master’s degree in automotive engineering, and has flourished in the industry. In addition to revolutionizing the auto repair industry, he is a great example of an American immigrant success story.

Currently, FixMyCar is serving the areas of Metro Detroit, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston. They are also moving into Austin, and eventually plan to have services being offered around the country. To learn more about FixMyCar, click HERE.

About FixMyCar:

Founded by Prashant Salla, FixMyCar is a mobile auto repair marketplace that is revolutionizing the automotive repair industry. Founded by Salla in 2018, the company has locations in several major cities in two states, with plans to continue expanding nationally. Salla is an immigrant from India who has been able to achieve the American dream since moving to the country in 2012.

image by Sara Davidson for use by 360 Magazine

Third Man announces Bob Dylan – Springtime In New York

Third Man Records is excited to announce Vault Package #49: Bob Dylan – Springtime In New York: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 16 (1980-1985). In conjunction with Sony/Legacy, Third Man will release this 4xLP collection (pressed at Third Man Pressing in Detroit) full of previously unreleased outtakes, mixes and more, complete with a 16-page booklet of liner notes and track notations and four uniquely-colored LPs in their own individual LP sleeves, all housed together in an impressive custom slipcase. The songs on the Third Man Vault will be the ONLY vinyl release of those 42 songs. There is NO material overlap between the 2xLP version from Sony/Legacy and the 4xLP release from Third Man. Sign up is open now through July 31 at midnight CT.

In the early 1980s, while the music industry was grappling with the arrival of new trends and technology, from MTV to compact discs to digital recording, Bob Dylan was writing and recording new songs for a new decade, creating an essential new chapter in his studio catalog. The latest in Columbia/Legacy’s highly acclaimed Bob Dylan Bootleg Series revisits an often-forgotten, rich vein in Dylan’s vast and complex catalog, shining fresh light on the provocative new musical directions Dylan was taking as a songwriter and a recording artist from 1980 through 1985. Bob Dylan – Springtime In New York (1980-1985) celebrates the rich creative period surrounding Dylan’s albums Shot Of Love, Infidels, and Empire Burlesque with previously unreleased outtakes, alternate takes, rehearsal recordings, live performances and more.

Third Man Records, in conjunction with Sony/Legacy, is humbled to release a limited edition 4LP vinyl collection of Bob Dylan – Springtime In New York: The Bootleg Series Vol. 16 (1980-1985) as their 49th Vault package. Pressed on gold, violet, orange and purple discs at the state-of-the-art Third Man Pressing facility in Detroit, the set includes a 16-page booklet of liner notes and track notations, as well as individual LP sleeves all housed together in an impressive slipcase.

Bob Dylan – Springtime In New York: The Bootleg Series Vol. 16 (1980-1985) is also available in a deluxe 5xCD boxset as well as 2xCD and 2xLP 12” vinyl highlight packages. The songs on the Third Man Vault will be the ONLY vinyl release of those 42 songs. There is NO material overlap between the 2xLP version from Sony/Legacy and the 4xLP release from Third Man.

LP One of Bob Dylan – Springtime In New York: The Bootleg Series Vol. 16 (1980-1985) was recorded in 1980 and 1981 and finds Dylan rehearsing a variety of his own catalog compositions (“Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)”), rearranging some traditional folk tunes (“Jesus Met the Woman at the Well,” “Mary of the Wild Moor”) and revving up a selection of surprising covers (“Mystery Train” featuring Ringo Starr, “Fever,” “Abraham, Martin and John”) with a group of musicians including Frank Fred Tackett (guitar), David Mansfield (mandolin), Willie Smith (keyboards), Tim Drummond (bass), Jim Keltner (drums) and background vocals by Clydie King, Carolyn Dennis, Gwen Evans, and Regina McCrary.

LP Two of Bob Dylan – Springtime In New York (1980-1985) is devoted to outtakes and alternate takes of recordings, produced by Chuck Plotkin for Shot of Love, as well as material Bob Dylan wrote for Infidels, performed by the all-star band assembled for the album, produced by Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler, which featured Knopfler (guitar), Mick Taylor (guitar), Alan Clark (keyboards), Robbie Shakespeare (bass) and Sly Dunbar (drums).

LP Four of the album includes live tracks (“Enough Is Enough” from Slane Castle, Ireland, and “License to Kill” from Late Night with David Letterman, March 22, 1984) alongside alternate takes and outtakes from the Empire Burlesque sessions, produced by Bob Dylan, including the premiere of the new song “Straight A’s in Love.”

According to the Producer’s Note in the album: “The alternate takes selected for this set are different than the ones released on previous volumes of The Bootleg Series. They are included here to illustrate the musical journey Bob Dylan undertook during these years.”

In his liner notes for Bob Dylan – Springtime In New York, Damien Love writes, “And that’s the real story of this gloriously untrammeled collection. The songs. The songs stripped free of trappings, tampering, passing tastes, and judgements. The songs broken down to the sound of people really doing this, right now, acting on instinct. The songs rough and rowdy, bruised and tender, joking and crying, nagging and striving and yearning. The songs were always there, and here they are still, keeping pace with us.”

Fans have only until July 31st to subscribe to Third Man Records Vault, where they will automatically receive this package. Visit here to sign up.

Bob Dylan

Springtime In New York: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 16 (1980-1985)

Third Man Records 4-LP Set

Track List: 

LP-1

  1. Señor (Tales of Yankee Power) – Rehearsal
  2. Jesus Met the Woman at the Well – Rehearsal
  3. Mary of the Wild Moor – Rehearsal
  4. A Couple More Years – Rehearsal
  5. This Night Won’t Last Forever – Rehearsal
  6. Mystery Train – Shot of Love outtake
  7. We Just Disagree – Rehearsal
  8. Let’s Keep It Between Us – Rehearsal
  9. Fever – Rehearsal
  10. Abraham, Martin and John – Rehearsal
  11. Angelina – Shot of Love outtake

LP-2

  1. Price of Love – Shot of Love outtake
  2. I Wish It Would Rain – Shot of Love outtake
  3. Let It Be Me – International 7” Single B-side*
  4. Donߣt Ever Take Yourself Away – Shot of Love outtake*
  5. Cold, Cold Heart – Shot of Love outtake
  6. Is It Worth It? – Shot of Love outtake
  7. Borrowed Time – Shot of Love outtake
  8. Yes Sir, No Sir – Shot of Love outtake
  9. This Was My Love – Infidels outtake
  10. Donߣt Fall Apart on Me Tonight [version 2] – Infidels alternate take
  11. Neighborhood Bully – Infidels alternate take

LP-3

  1. Too Late [acoustic version] – Infidels outtake
  2. Clean Cut Kid – Infidels outtake
  3. Baby What You Want Me to Do – Infidels outtake
  4. Foot of Pride – Infidels outtake
  5. I and I – Infidels alternate take
  6. Green, Green Grass of Home – Infidels outtake
  7. Union Sundown – Infidels alternate take
  8. Lord Protect My Child – Infidels outtake
  9. Tell Me – Infidels outtake

LP-4

  1. Enough is Enough [live] – Slane Castle, Ireland
  2. License to Kill [live] – Late Night with David Letterman, March 22, 1984
  3. Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground – Infidels outtake
  4. Julius and Ethel – Infidels outtake
  5. I’ll Remember You – Empire Burlesque alternate take
  6. When the Night Comes Falling from the Sky [slow version] – Empire Burlesque alternate take
  1. Tight Connection to My Heart (Has Anybody Seen My Love) – Empire Burlesque alternate mix
  2. Emotionally Yours – Empire Burlesque alternate take
  3. Clean Cut Kid – Empire Burlesque alternate take,
  4. Straight A’s in Love – Empire Burlesque outtake
  5. When the Night Comes Falling from the Sky [fast version] – Empire Burlesque alternate take

All tracks previously unreleased except *

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Robert George Joins Pepperdine Faculty

Philosopher and Legal Scholar Robert P. George Joins Faculty at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law and School of Public Policy.

Princeton University professor Robert George has been named the inaugural Nootbaar Honorary Distinguished Professor of Law at the Caruso School of Law and the Ronald Reagan Honorary Distinguished Professor of Public Policy at the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. George will commence his new roles at Pepperdine in fall 2021 and serve a five-year term. He will continue to serve as McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University where he is a full-time faculty member. As an honorary distinguished professor at both schools, he will be invited to give academic lectures, lead student colloquia, and participate in other speaking engagements with members of the Pepperdine community.

“I am delighted that Dr. George has accepted our invitation to affiliate with our schools of public policy and law as an honorary distinguished professor. His national platform and influential voice will elevate the conversation of respectful discourse and intellectual freedom at Pepperdine,” said Jim Gash (JD ’93), president of Pepperdine University. “Dr. George brings to Pepperdine his passion to invest in the leadership development of students, which is one of our most cherished core values.”

George was introduced to the University community at the inaugural President’s Speaker Series event in January 2021, where he joined fellow professor and political scholar Cornel West for a discussion about honesty, civility and courage through the lens of faith. During the event George expressed that universities have a sacred mission to open students’ minds to the truth and to encourage the pursuit of information from opposing sides in order to better understand and defend the truth.

“Pepperdine is one of the world’s truly great Christian universities—an institution that embodies the conviction that faith and reason are the ‘two wings on which the human spirit ascends to contemplation of truth,’” said George. “Some years ago I was delighted to speak at Pepperdine’s Commencement and become an honorary alumnus. I’m thrilled now to deepen my relationship with the University’s exceptional faculty and student body by becoming an honorary distinguished professor of law and public policy.”

The Ronald Reagan Honorary Distinguished Professor of Public Policy, which is the most distinguished of the School of Public Policy’s visiting professorships, was launched in the program’s first years and approved by Nancy Reagan. As the school’s first-ever visiting professorship, and the only professorship in the president’s name at any policy program in the United States, the position was initially endowed and facilitated by University supporter Flora L. Thornton.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Swarthmore College, George holds degrees from Harvard University and Oxford University, in addition to 22 honorary degrees. He is a recipient of the US Presidential Citizens Medal, the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. The University of Dallas and the American Enterprise Institute host the Robert P. George Initiative in Faith, Ethics, and Public Policy in Washington, D.C. His most recent book is Conscience and Its Enemies.

To learn more about Dr. Robert George visit the Pepperdine Newsroom.

Tech illustration by Sara Davidson for 360 Magazine

Tech Industry Billionaires

70% of the Top 10 Billionaires Generated Their Wealth from the Tech Industry.

Data researched by Trading platforms UK indicates that 70% of the top ten richest people amassed their wealth from the technology industry as of March 1, 2021. The top ten wealthiest individuals control a fortune of $1.14 trillion in total, with tech players accounting for $855.9 billion.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest person globally with a fortune of $181 billion, followed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk at $174 billion. Microsoft founder Bill Gates ranks third with a fortune of $135 billion.

The report explains some of the underlying factors leading to the tech sector’s dominance of the top ten rich list. According to the research report:

“The dominance of the rich list by the technology industry figures also points to the sector’s resilience in times of crisis. Technology rose to prominence due to its ability to offer solutions to help people cope with the coronavirus crisis. For instance, during the health crisis, most billionaires in the sector like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos amassed more wealth as more people leveraged on e-Commerce platforms amid the lockdown and stay at home measures.”

The U.S. and China together host 49% of the top 500 billionaires globally.

Additionally, the findings reveal that the United States has the highest number of billionaires globally at 156, while China ranks second at 86. The two countries, therefore, account for 49% of the top 500 billionaires globally.

Germany is third with 28 billionaires followed by Russia at 24. Hong Kong and France follow, with each having 17 billionaires. The United Kingdom and India each have 16 billionaires. Canada is ninth with 15 billionaires while Sweden is tenth with 11 billionaires.

The analysis also shows that the tech industry has the highest number of billionaires globally at 84. Industrial ranks second with 56 billionaires followed by diversified at 50 while the consumer has 43 billionaires. Finance has 37 billionaires, while entertainment has the least billionaires at 10.

For further statistics and information, please visit this website.