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What Should A.J. Jacobs Write about Next?

[We're in a dead-tie! So I'm reposting this poll to see if we can get a few people to help us pick between the two contenders, who've both racked up the exact same number of votes! - And be sure to catch A.J. on the Colbert Report tonight at 8:30pm.]

More than 180 brilliant ideas were submitted in our Win a Copy of A.J. Jacobs' new book contest . The idea was to help A.J. figure out what kind of experiment he should write about next. We narrowed all the entries to a dozen and let A.J. pick his five favorites. Each reader who submitted one of the below ideas in the poll just won a copy of The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment. But only one winner can be our grand-prize winner, so have at it! (Remember: one vote per person, please.)

And if you missed our interview with A.J., you can check that out right over here.

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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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