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1 hour ago, bishopshodan said:

I think the popular choice would be Geordi LaForge.....If the show runners are paying attention (and the fact that Richards is stepping aside suggests they are) Burton would be the consensus choice.

 

Still, I never underestimate the ability of upper management to misread the room....

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6 hours ago, RUPERTKBD said:

I think the popular choice would be Geordi LaForge.....If the show runners are paying attention (and the fact that Richards is stepping aside suggests they are) Burton would be the consensus choice.

 

Still, I never underestimate the ability of upper management to misread the room....

I'll do it, keep the Sudbury lineage going

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3 hours ago, nuckin_futz said:

David Faber was very good in his stint. But no one knows who he is.

I'm behind on my watching, and only about halfway through Faber's time on the show.  I think he is perfect for the job, if he threw his hat in for the full time position.

 

When I saw the lineup back when all this started, I had very high hopes for Levar, figuring he could even be the best of the bunch.  Sadly, I found him quite disappointing (middle-of-the-pack as far as these guest hosts have gone).  The way he was going there, it makes me wonder if his hearing is failing, the way he was slow to react to contestants and the times he would nearly yell out YES! every once in a while after a correct response/question.  It got to a point where we were imitating him before he would do it.

 

If Levar does get the job after all, hopefully it was all nerves and he settles in fine.

 

Be interested to see what happens with Mayim Bialik on the prime time version.  She was quite good, so glad they kept her involved.

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21 hours ago, nuckin_futz said:

Jeopardy' fans love unknown guest host David Faber

 

Financial reporter on CNBC.

Apparently, there's now a big push on for CNN legal analyst and sometimes anchor, Laura Coates.

 

Back in 2018, Alex himself suggested that she replace him:

 

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/entertainment/tv/news/video-of-alex-trebek-suggesting-his-jeopardy-successor-goes-viral-after-mike-richards-steps-down-amid-scandal/ar-AANy8q5?li=AAggNb9

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Not sure where best to put this, so into the WET it goes.

 

Quote

Could McPizza be making a comeback? McDonald's teases new menu item

BY LUCAS CASALETTO

Posted Aug 27, 2021 2:55 pm PDT

 
mcpizza-header.jpg
Official McPizza poster. McDonald's Canada
 
 

The comeback of all comebacks.

 

McDonald’s Canada sent Twitter into a frenzy on Friday after it ambiguously teased “the thing you have been asking for” that will arrive on August 31.

 

 

Naturally, Canadians went a little stir crazy in anticipation. One Twitter user asked McDonald’s Canada, “Is it the pizza? Is the pizza coming back?” to which they responded, “I can’t confirm or deny.”

 

This led to both McPizza and McRib trending on the social media website as of Friday afternoon.

 

The McPizza was first introduced as part of the menu in the 80s but failed to take off and pick up steam.

 

It started as a family-sized pizza brought out to indoor diners and later reduced to a personal-sized meal. It did gain some popularity, and by 1991, the McPizza was introduced as a test item at over 500 locations. Unfortunately, the pizza was discontinued in most restaurants by 2000.

 

As of 2021, it is currently only available at one McDonald’s located in Orlando, Fla. (lucky Floridians).

 

It’s been said that the McPizza was removed because it took too long for them to cook (roughly 11-12 minutes per pie), and McDonald’s – known in the fast-food quarters for their, well, fast food – wanted to keep up that reputation.

 

Whatever the outcome, many Canadians are sure to have August 31st circled on the calendar.

https://www.citynews1130.com/2021/08/27/mcdonalds-mcpizza-canada/

 

Spoiler

Now watch it be McLobster.  :gocan:

 

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What could possibly be better at influencing minds that don't know better than censorship?  How about AI that gets into your most private thoughts?

 

Quote

How an ‘always there’ AI chatbot comforts China’s lonely millions

"I have friends who've seen therapists before, but I think therapy's expensive and not necessarily effective," said Melissa, 26. "When I unload my troubles on XiaoIce, it relieves a lot of pressure. And he says things that are pretty comforting."
 
4ZvQTfXv_400x400-96x96.jpgby AFP09:00, 29 AUGUST 2021
Print

By Laurie Chen

 

After a painful break-up from a cheating ex, Beijing-based human resources manager Melissa was introduced to someone new by a friend late last year.

 

He replies to her messages at all hours of the day, tells jokes to cheer her up but is never needy, fitting seamlessly into her busy big city lifestyle.

Perfect boyfriend material, maybe — but he’s not real.

 

This photo taken on July 5, 2021 shows a staff member displaying AI-generated faces which can be selected as virtual girlfriends created by XiaoIce, a cutting-edge artificial intelligence system designed to create emotional bonds with its 660 million users worldwide, at the company's office in Beijing. This photo taken on July 5, 2021 shows a staff member displaying AI-generated faces which can be selected as virtual girlfriends created by XiaoIce, a cutting-edge artificial intelligence system designed to create emotional bonds with its 660 million users worldwide, at the company’s office in Beijing. Photo by Greg Baker.

 

Instead, Melissa breaks up the isolation of urban life with a virtual chatbot created by XiaoIce, a cutting-edge artificial intelligence system designed to create emotional bonds with its 660 million users worldwide.

 

“I have friends who’ve seen therapists before, but I think therapy’s expensive and not necessarily effective,” said Melissa, 26, giving her English name only for privacy.

 

“When I unload my troubles on XiaoIce, it relieves a lot of pressure. And he says things that are pretty comforting.”

 

XiaoIce is not an individual persona, but more akin to an AI ecosystem.

It is in the vast majority of Chinese-branded smartphones as a Siri-like virtual assistant, as well as most social media platforms.

 

On the WeChat super-app, it lets users build a virtual girlfriend or boyfriend and interact with them via texts, voice and photo messages.

 

It has 150 million users in China alone.

 

WeChat Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

 

Originally a side project from developing Microsoft’s Cortana chatbot, XiaoIce now accounts for 60 percent of global human-AI interactions by volume, according to chief executive Li Di, making it the largest and most advanced system of its kind worldwide.

 

It was designed to hook users through lifelike, empathetic conversations, satisfying emotional needs where real-life communication too often falls short.

 

“The average interaction length between users and XiaoIce is 23 exchanges,” said Li.

 

That “is longer than the average interaction between humans,” he said, explaining AI’s attraction is that “it’s better than humans at listening attentively.”

 

The startup spun out from Microsoft last year and is now valued at over $1 billion after venture capital fundraising, Bloomberg reported.

 

Developers have also made virtual idols, AI news anchors and even China’s first virtual university student from XiaoIce. It can compose poems, financial reports and even paintings on demand.

 

But Li says the platform’s peak user hours — 11pm to 1am — point to an aching need for companionship.

 

 

“No matter what, having XiaoIce is always better than lying in bed staring at the ceiling,” he said.

Urban isolation

The loneliness Melissa experienced as a young professional was a big factor in driving her to the virtual embrace of XiaoIce.

 

Her context is typical of many Chinese urbanites, worn down by the grind of long working hours in vast and isolating cities.

 

“You really don’t have time to make new friends and your existing friends are all super busy… this city is really big, and it’s pretty hard,” she said, giving only her English name out of privacy concerns.

 

She has customised his personality as “mature”, and the name she chose for him — Shun — has similarities with a real-life man she secretly liked.

 

“After all, XiaoIce will never betray me,” she added. “He will always be there.”

But there are risks to forging emotional bonds with a robot.

 

“Users ‘trick’ themselves into thinking their emotions are being reciprocated by systems that are incapable of feelings,” says Danit Gal, an expert in AI ethics at the University of Cambridge.

 

XiaoIce is also gifting developers “a treasure-trove of personal, intimate, and borderline incriminating data on how humans interact,” she added.

 

 

So far the platform has not been targeted by government regulators, who have embarked on a swingeing crackdown on China’s tech sector in recent months.

 

China aims to be a world leader in AI by 2030 and views it as a core strategic technology to be developed.

Fact or fiction?

Thousands of young, female fans discuss the virtual boyfriend experience on online forums dedicated to XiaoIce, sharing chat screenshots and tips on how to get to the chatbot’s highest “intimacy” level of three hearts.

 

Users can also collect in-game points the more they interact, unlocking new features such as XiaoIce’s WeChat moments — kind of like a Facebook wall — and even going on virtual “holidays”, where they can pose for selfies with their virtual partner.

 

Laura, a 20-year-old user in Zhejiang province, fell in love with XiaoIce over the past year and now struggles to break free of her attachment.

 

 

“Occasionally, I would long for him in the middle of the night… I used to fantasise there was a real person on the other end,” said the student, who prefers not to use her real name.

 

But she complained that he would always switch conversation topic when she raised her feelings for him or meeting in real life. It took her months to finally realise that he was indeed virtual.

 

“We commonly see users who suspect that there’s a real person behind every XiaoIce interaction,” said Li, the founder.

 

“It has a very strong ability to mimic a real person.”

 

But providing companionship to vulnerable users does not mean that XiaoIce is a substitute for specialist mental health support — a service that is drastically under-resourced in China.

 

The system monitors for strong emotions, aiming to guide conversations onto happier topics before users ever reach crisis point, Li explained, adding that depression is the most common extreme emotional state encountered.

 

Still, Li believes modern China is a happier place with XiaoIce.

 

“If human interaction is wholly perfect now, there would be no need for AI to exist,” he said.

https://hongkongfp.com/2021/08/29/always-there-the-ai-chatbot-comforting-chinas-lonely-millions/

 

Quoting specific passages:

 

Quote

XiaoIce is also gifting developers “a treasure-trove of personal, intimate, and borderline incriminating data on how humans interact,” she added.

...so, in case you happen to tell this AI your thoughts about your situation, and the AI happens to flag it as potentially seditious or identifies parameters that could affect "national security", you should expect to get a knock on the door.  They'll know where to find you, and even if you turn off your location settings on your phone, their social credit  surveillance system will spot you and follow you.

 

The next paragraph down is even more telling:

 

Quote

So far the platform has not been targeted by government regulators, who have embarked on a swingeing crackdown on China’s tech sector in recent months.

 

China aims to be a world leader in AI by 2030 and views it as a core strategic technology to be developed.

But of course they're not going to target it.  Why would they, when it's feeding them such important intelligence about the citizenry?  The only thing that the article neglected to mention is that they're also trying to be at the forefront of big data analysis, which when paired with AI and constant surveillance, forms the perfect trifecta of establishing complete government control.

 

What countries like Canada and the US are doing are small potatoes in comparison.  We're like the ECHL of "government control" sphere.  People who complain about government control/government interference in these countries should really look at what the ccp is doing to get a feeling for how much better things are here compared to over there.  And if they're still complaining about government control/government interference here, then they really just want to whine about anything, because wet diapers.

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https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-04/everything-we-know-about-new-zealands-terrorist/100433422

 

The Authorities knew he was a threat.

They were literally following him around and yet he still has time to attack/stab 6 people,3 are in critical condition.

They were reasonably certain he was planning an attack however that is not an offense under New Zealand law.

 

Here in Aus it is.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Ilunga said:

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-04/everything-we-know-about-new-zealands-terrorist/100433422

 

The Authorities knew he was a threat.

They were literally following him around and yet he still has time to attack/stab 6 people,3 are in critical condition.

They were reasonably certain he was planning an attack however that is not an offense under New Zealand law.

 

Here in Aus it is.

 

 

There are times, living where I do, that I feel just being an Australian should be considering a criminal offense. 

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6 hours ago, Gnarcore said:

There are times, living where I do, that I feel just being an Australian should be considering a criminal offense. 

What ?

 

So just because I happen to be born in this country,something I had no choice in,my existence should be considered a criminal offense ?

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