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Should you sleep with your pets?

I know what you're thinking, you dirty birds -- no, not that way. I mean, should you share the Tempurpedic with Rover and/or Fluffy -- and if you choose to, what consequences could it have? It's more of an issue these days, as our domesticated animals' habitats have migrated from back yard to porch to sleeping inside and finally, in some cases, the bedroom. (Though I'm sure a fair share of old prospectors preferred to bunk with the dog rather than freeze their way through a winter in an unheated shack alone. Slate tells us that "the rock group Three Dog Night takes its name from the supposed [Australian] Aboriginal practice of judging the coldness of an evening by the number of dogs required to keep warm.")

We certainly don't need our pets to keep warm at night anymore. Nevertheless, a recent survey found that about 62% of American pet owners keep their dogs and cats inside at night, and about half of those allow their pets to share the bed with them. Confession time: I'm one of the latter. That said, we've just got one little Tonkinese kitty (pictured above, in bed of course; how can you resist?), who doesn't go outside, devour mice or do anything particularly unsavory, as cats go -- but one overriding issue, cleanliness aside, remains. Cats are nocturnal creatures. The cat spends most of her day sleeping in our big red Ikea Poang chair, and when night comes, it's time to stalk, skulk, run and play -- even if her playmates are trying to catch their forty winks. The last thing you want when you're deep in dreamland is a cat pouncing on your stomach. (On the other hand, a little purring ball of fluff can be a great sleep-inducer. So does the good outweigh the bad?)

With dogs, it can be even worse: bed-sharing becomes a dominance issue. Once you allow a dog in the bed, according to some animal behaviorists, your role as leader of the pack is greatly diminished. (Not all experts agree about this, and anyway, most hard-core pet sleepers wouldn't care if you told them their pets were poisoning them in their sleep -- the animals are like a security blanket.)

I spilled my guts a little, now it's your turn: who sleeps with their animals? Of those who do, who's woken up regularly by the cat or the dog -- and doesn't bother changing their sleeping arrangements?

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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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