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Idiot of the Day: Now, twice as stupid!

Here I go with the "being an idiot about the Idiot of the Day" thing again -- I forgot yesterday's. Which means, to make up for it, we get two stories of stupidity today! Both are from reader Becky, who also happens to be a dear friend, so I can guarantee she's the opposite of an idiot. First:

I was working, ever so briefly, at the Virginia Department of Health in the Vital Records office before getting a real job after college. I answered calls from those in search of birth, death and marriage certificates. One woman wanted her son Mark's birth certificate. To facilitate my search, I asked if Mark was with a "k" or with a "c," to which she replied with great exasperation, "It's with an M!"

And second:

Also courtesy of the VDH: One of the employees in my office had a teenage son who was applying to colleges. She and her son had just returned from a weekend visit to one school, and she was describing the campus to her coworkers. To help them visualize the admissions building, she invoked the image of a familiar landmark, explaining, "It had the octagonal shape of the Pentagon." I hadn't been to D.C. in a while, but the last time I checked, the Pentagon was shaped like a freakin' pentagon.

In the idiot's defense... yeah, actually we can't defend this one.

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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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