Google’s ‘Translatotron’ translates your speech while retaining the sound of your voice

The new system could soon greatly improve foreign-language interactions.

Omegatron via Wikipedia
  • Current translators break down the translation process into three steps, based on converting the speech to text.
  • The new system uses machine learning to bypass the text representation steps, converting spectrograms of speech from one language into another language.
  • Although it's in early stages, the system can reproduce some aspects of the original speaker's voice and tone.
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Surprising Science

Apple CEO Tim Cook calls for graduates to overcome "political noise" and algorithms

Cook's commencement speech at Tulane University urges students to take action.

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  • Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a commencement speech at Tulane University on May 18th.
  • Cook cautioned the graduates to not get caught up in echo chambers and algorithms.
  • He acknowledged the failures of his generation.
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Technology & Innovation

Befriend your ideological opposite. It’s fun.

Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.

  • Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
  • Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
  • "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
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Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation

Free speech: The history every American should know

What can and can't you say? A brief glimpse of precedent-setting free speech cases in the United States.

  • There's a reason you're free to wear clothing with protest statements on them today. In 1968, 19-year-old Paul Robert Cohen was arrested for disturbing the peace by wearing a jacked that read "F*ck the Draft" in a California courthouse. His case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which decided that being offended by the jacket did not merit censorship.
  • Jonathan Zimmerman argues that the history of debate in the U.S. – of who gets to say what, and how that has evolved – should be taught to every American.
  • Zimmerman also says it's ahistorical for free speech to be cast as a conservative issue. For much of U.S. history, champions of free speech were those who fought for social justice to help the powerless keep the only power they had: their voices.
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Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies

Use these phrases when talking about climate change

Phrases like "Global warming" and "climate change" don't carry any weight.

Pexels
  • A neurological study shows that there are better ways to get someone to care about the threat of a climate in crisis.
  • Catastrophe and more visceral words are more likely to make someone take action.
  • Framing the problem in a different way can make naysayers come over to the cause.
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Culture & Religion