CLOSE

What Would You Buy With $3 Trillion?

Last week, the state-controlled Chinese Central Bank released figures indicating the country now holds over $3 trillion dollars in foreign-exchange reserves. The Economist has some interesting ideas on what the bank could buy if it were ever inclined to shop around for sexy investments, rather than squirrel money away on stodgy foreign currency.

The fictional-but-still-realistic shopping list includes:

• Almost all of this year's total projected oil output—estimated to be around $3.41 trillion

• Apple, Microsoft, IBM, and Google combined—estimated aggregate market value $916 billion

• Every square-acre of farmland in the U.S.—about $1.87 trillion

• The U.S. Department of Defense—assets valued at around $1.9 trillion

• Manhattan's total taxable real estate—worth "only" $287 billion

• The fifty most valuable sports franchises in the world—a piffling $50 billion.

Who knew multi-trillionaires had so many tempting purchasing options?

You can read the full article at Economist.com.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
music
New AI-Driven Music System Analyzes Tracks for Perfect Playlists
iStock
iStock

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]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
quiz
Food Sorting Gallery
iStock
iStock

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios