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Out to Launch

According to this month's Wired magazine, speed enthusiast and self-described "inventrapreneur" Brian Walker is planning on shooting himself into space (or at least 20 miles into the atmosphere) via an enormous home-made crossbow. The plan is simply to "stretch a carbon-fiber bowstring 24 feet along a rail, fire up a jet turbine with 1,350 pounds of thrust, hit a trigger and pull 10 G's." Easier said than done, of course. Aside from catapulting himself, Walker is also hoping to catapult a new craze marketed to sky divers, base jumpers and other adventurous sort. Of course, the cleverly-named Project RUSH (a.k.a. "Rapid Up Super High") is just one of the man-child's many ridiculous/borderline genius ideas. Walker is still working to perfect his 300-gallon water balloon launcher aimed at putting out forest fires, and he's putting the finishing touches on his Taser gloves meant for, well, Tasering people.

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New AI-Driven Music System Analyzes Tracks for Perfect Playlists
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Whether you're planning a bachelorette party or recovering from a breakup, a well-curated playlist makes all the difference. If you don't have time to pick the perfect songs manually, services that use the AI-driven system Sonic Style may be able to figure out exactly what you have in mind based on your request.

According to Fast Company, Sonic Style is the new music-categorizing service from the media and entertainment data provider Gracenote. There are plenty of music algorithms out there already, but Sonic Style works a little differently. Rather than listing the entire discography of a certain artist under a single genre, the AI analyzes individual tracks. It considers factors like the artist's typical genre and the era the song was recorded in, as well as qualities it can only learn through listening, like tempo and mood. Based on nearly 450 descriptors, it creates a super-accurate "style profile" of the track that makes it easier for listeners to find it when searching for the perfect song to fit an occasion.

Playlists that use data from Sonic Style feel like they were made by a person with a deep knowledge of music rather than a machine. That's thanks to the system's advanced neural network. It also recognizes artists that don't fit neatly into one genre, or that have evolved into a completely different music style over their careers. Any service—including music-streaming platforms and voice-activated assistants—that uses Gracenote's data will be able to take advantage of the new technology.

With AI at your disposal, all you have to do as the listener is decide on a style of music. Here are some ideas to get you started if you want a playlist for productivity.

[h/t Fast Company]

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