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THE RECORDING ENGINEER IS THE CTO

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In the past couple weeks my company, Lauten Audio, released some exciting news regarding our microphones being used on significant recording artists.

First, we announced that Darrell Thorp, an astounding 7-time Grammy award winning mixer/recording engineer (in just a handful of years…) used a bunch of Lauten Audio microphones on the new Foo Fighters record ‘Concrete and Gold’. The album went number 1 on the Billboard Hot 200. This is a big deal.

Second, we announced that Michael Ashby, who compared to Thorp, is just getting his start in the business, but what a start it is. Michael used Lauten Audio’s flagship Eden LT-386 microphone to record and engineer the vocals for Cardi B’s ‘Bodak Yellow’ a.k.a. Money Moves. Cardi cemented her name in history when this track bumped Taylor Swift from the number 1 spot on Billboard Hot 100. She became the first female rapper to achieve that milestone as a solo artist since Lauryn Hill in 1998. Cardi B is a true rag to riches story, you should look into it. This is a bigger deal!

But here’s my reason for this post

Being a “Recording Engineer” isn’t as financially rewarding as many people think. It’s my perception the general public thinks the above engineers are getting rich. However, the reality is, and has been for a long time, Recording Engineers don’t get rich. They get paid a flat rate and that’s it. There’s no obligation for the Producer or record company to give them points (a percentage on sales of the record or song), and most don’t.

I do not know the details of Michael Ashby’s deal with Cardi or her Producer and record company but, it’s quite possible he got paid a few hundred dollars to record her that night and that’s it… Darrell on the other hand, engineered and mixed the Foo Fighter record. Mixers typically get some type of residual. But again, Darrell is likely seeing nothing from the “Engineering” part.

The Recording Engineer is the CTO

I’ve never understood this, because in my opinion, the “Engineering” part is one of the most time consuming, intense, and impactful tasks in the recording of music. The lead Recording Engineer is the equivalent of a CTO at a tech company. Do you think they should be receiving profits from a products success which they helped developed?

There is a bill

In March of 2015 Rep. Joe Crowley introduced the AMP Act, a bill to allow Music Producers, Mixers and Engineers to receive fair compensation. In my opinion, it’s the Engineers that need to most help, not the Producers and Mixers…

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Robot Vacuums Battle For Your Homes Layout, Acoustics and Airflow

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Cesare Ferrari – KC7U5443 – A long exposure of a roomba at work

As reported in a Reuters article, ‘Roomba vacuum maker iRobot is betting big on the ‘smart’ home’. There is a move to use artificial intelligence inside a robot vacuum to help it collect and then monetize on information about your home.

Here’s a few examples of what they might collect.

  1. The robot vacuum can analyze the acoustics of your home and then sell this information to companies who can help improve your homes acoustics. Actually if you’ve never considered the acoustics of your home, improving on it can truly create a much more pleasant, and in the case of a home office, professional, sounding environment.
  2. Analyze the air cleanliness and temperature in each room. This data could then be fed to your climate control unit to better regulate your homes temperature and filtration on a room by room basis.
  3. Analyze your homes layout and provide this information to furniture and decor related companies so they might recommend items that will fit in your space.
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Kalashnikov develops fully automated neural network-based combat module

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© Kalashnikov Group

I remember Terminator, and I understand why Elon Musk is a little concerned. We are well on our way to autonomous robotic soldiers and this automated combat module is just the beginning…

The Russian Kalashnikov arms manufacturer has developed a fully automated combat module based on artificial neural networks, which allows it to identify targets, learn and make decisions on its own.

Source: Kalashnikov develops fully automated neural network-based combat module

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Hate carrying luggage? This hands-free suitcase will follow you around – But will it be banned?

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The robotic suitcases come in a variety of sizes and colors. Image source: Travelmate Robotics.

Interesting, a “fully autonomous suitcase”. I wonder if they’ll be banned in airports. I can see people tripping over them. I think we identify the location of someones suitcase, at least partially, by their body position, e.g. your arm reaching out to pull it and/or push it. I’m also always weary of advertised battery life as well, if they say 4 hours, given my experience, you’re probably likely to see 60% of that. All that being said, my wife would love not toting a suitcase around. 😉

Source: Hate carrying luggage? This hands-free suitcase will follow you around and respond to your commands – Electronic Products

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Jobs, Robots, Taxes and Artificial Intelligence – Ai vs Humans

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Here’s an early IRB Robot

An article published on Forbes.com in late June reminded me of a plastic model my father brought home in the 1980’s. The model was an IRB industrial robot by the now ABB company. He was overseeing the implementation of the these robots into Benteler Corporations assembly line.

The article on Forbes talks about how AI may augment the role of tutor; or perhaps like the industrial robot, replace the tutors role all together.

Anand Rao – PwC Head of AI, and Data & Analytics is quoted saying; “the human is still in the loop. Both humans and AI are learning, teaching each other. We will see more combination of man and machine in every sector.”

When, I read things like this I’m reminded of the blue-collar worker, of whom I knew many back in the day, who weren’t educated to “team up” with the robots, they knew how to do the robots job, not design and/or repair the robot…

I think the following quote for Rao says it clearly ““AI can shift human tasks from menial to strategic, freeing up time for innovation and the broader, bigger-picture thinking that can lead to transformation.”

The problem is, those workers only the know that once “skilled” labor which is now being called a “menial” human task…

Here’s an interesting chart that shows “Among 2,500 respondents, 58% saw tutoring by AI bots displacing real people in five years, even more likely than that of human tax preparers (54%), health coaches (46%), or doctors (22%).”

Notice even Federal governments are threatened by AI as their tax revenue could be severely diminished. How do you tax a robot’s income?

AI vs real humans survey

How likely AI will take over real human roles – From Bot.me: A Revolutionary Partnership

P.S. You can buy one those now “vintage” industrial robots for about $1500 on ebay.

 

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The Latest News in Artificial Intelligence – Excellent Resource

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singularity-now-cover-ebook-artificial-intelligenceI recently stumbled on the Singularity Now! monthly eBook on Amazon.com . I have no idea who the author is, it says only “Singularity Now!”. Whomever you are, thank you! These are an excellent resource for discovering the latest news and developments in Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Neural Networks, and the AI development landscape etc. The summaries are well put together with references to every original article. It’s a perfect for anyone exploring the artificial intelligence space. Below is a link to the July edition, for $0.99 you can’t go wrong.

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