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Our Most Popular Stories Since September 14th

Since my daughter Katherine was born on September 14th, I haven't been obsessively refreshing mentalfloss.com, and we haven't been posting The Week's Most Popular Stories. But now that paternity leave is behind me, here's what I missed:

1. 10 Ways to Game Up Your Home, by Miss Cellania
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2. The Surprising Voices Behind Cartoon Characters, by Ethan Trex
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3. History of the U.S.: A Ridiculously Long and Incomplete List of Things Ben Franklin Invented, by Stacy Conradt & Erik Sass
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4. The Quick 10: The Real People Behind 10 Literary Characters, by Stacy Conradt
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5. The Quick 10: 10 Films Roger Ebert Hated, by Stacy Conradt
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6. 24 Cool College Landmarks, by Andréa Fernandes
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7. 10 People Who Did it Anyway, by Miss Cellania
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8. 7 Little-Known Muppets, by David K. Israel
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9. Large-Scale Lego: BrickExpo 2010, by Rob Lammle
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10. 14 Celebrities Who Appeared on Comic Book Covers, by Robert Schnakenberg
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11. The Quick 10: 10 Cool Corn Mazes, by Stacy Conradt
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12. 5 Stories of People Delivered as Cargo, by Miss Cellania

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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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