Four short links: 10 May 2018

Game Development, Fake Reviews, Super-Resolution, and Speech Synthesis

By Nat Torkington
May 10, 2018
Four short links
  1. Portal Problems — a talk from Harvard’s Intro to Game Development class, a very rendernerdy walk through a lot of bugs that showed up in Portal and how they were fixed. A lot of fixes that are “good enough” rather than “let’s make this perfect.”
  2. Amazon’s Fake Review Problem (Buzzfeed) — The company, through lawsuits, human moderators, and algorithms, is trying to keep fake reviews off the site, but the review mills that produce those disingenuous ratings may always be one step ahead of Amazon’s ability to moderate them.
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  4. Super-Resolution (Paper a Day) — In super-resolution, we take as input a low-resolution image […] And produce as output an estimation of a higher resolution up-scaled version.
  5. Google DuplexThe system also sounds more natural thanks to the incorporation of speech disfluencies (e.g., “hmm”s and “uh”s). These are added when combining widely differing sound units in the concatenative TTS or adding synthetic waits, which allows the system to signal in a natural way that it is still processing. (This is what people often do when they are gathering their thoughts.) In user studies, we found that conversations using these disfluencies sound more familiar and natural. I liked that the ums are often inserted for the same reason as a human would: “still processing, more words to come soon!”
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