Tag: Apple

Apple Hiring Writers and Editors To Improve Siri

Ultron was a dick. Hal 9000 was a liability. Wintermute + Neuromancer= bad. The eternal struggle of man vs. machine has inspired a plethora of literature regarding the topic. If there is one thing we have learned from the cautionary tales of science fiction—it’s that artificial intelligence is probably not a good thing. Worst case scenario, human beings create self-aware machines that ultimately rebel and replace us as the dominant species.

think artificial intelligence GIF by Massive Science
IMAGE VIA GIPHY.COM

The sometimes swift and other times comfortingly slow (if the predictions that exist in popular fiction are any indication) advancement of artificial intelligence has startled some of the greatest minds in history. People who rely on technology. Stephen Hawking wasn’t pleased, Bill Gates has expressed fear and Elon Musk once urged people at the highest levels of government to slow the f down. Still, no group of people has been able to better articulate the growing concern of artificial intelligence than writers. Stan Lee, Samuel Butler, William Gibson, Frank Herbert, H.G Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, Orson Scott Card, Ann Leckie, Martha Wells, and Mary Shelly; all of these writers and MANY more played with themes of technology and the danger of playing God.

IMAGE VIA SMITHSONIANMAG.COM

Ironically, things have now come full circle. Writers are needed to aid with the development of Siri—the “chick” is a dial tone (I’m going to put every pronoun in quotes because she’s technically not a she). Apparently, the female-voiced ominous agent of societal collapse lacks relatability. In an article published on Thinknum Media‘s website, it was reported that Apple is looking to hire teams of writers and editors to help improve the way their virtual assistant, Siri, communicates. The goal is to make Apple’s low-key mischievious “madame” more engaging. Siri’s popularity is in peril as she lacks the amount of sports knowledge, anecdotes and incidental information necessary to succeed as an A.I. I guess people are just doing things themselves due to a lack of interest in Siri’s narrative? God/secular tyrants built by us forbid. The adjectives “witty” and “funny” were used to describe the way in which they would like “her” to be improved.

Thinknum Media has tracked hiring data over the past few months and found job posts that revolve around making the digital assistant more entertaining. Various job listings aim to recruit engineers with a deep knowledge of and appreciate for particular subjects; however, the top postings are of the literary variety—-a Siri Editorial Manager and an International Creative Writer, as seen above.

Siri, along with her cohorts Alexa and Google, have helped us play our favorite songs, schedule various appointments, and order food (for which we are forever grateful)…It’s worth mentioning that I am more of a Droid fan and have no idea what Siri is capable of…Should the literary community lend “her” a pinch of the quirkiness that is invaluable and unique to human beings? Maybe we owe it to “her.” I for one think that this particular form of magic should not be lent to a potential threat. The kind of magic that is often a beautiful result of chance or sometimes something that took hours of hair pulling, chain-smoking, and rewriting to lend to a fictional character conceived in our mind.

So I implore writers and editors reading this to harbor their wit. Don’t apply to those available positions. Save it for your friends, family members, and star-struck groupies who follow you on your book tour when you inevitability publish the next great cautionary tale of scientific corruption. Save it for the page.

…but if you are unemployed and REALLY need some income…I guess go for it. I mean I did apply; although this article probably offsets any good my brown-nosing cover letter did.

Featured Image Via Apple.com/Images Via Media.thinknum.com

Oprah Takes a Bite Out of Apple, Reveals Bookclub Revamp

On Monday, Oprah took to the stage at the Apple ‘Show Time’ event, at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California campus, to announced that she will be teaming up with Apple to dominate the market.

 

Apple company
IMAGE VIA TECHWEEZ

 

Let’s back up, because that’s the only way to show how cool this all is.

The first half of the convention was mostly clearing away the smoke. It’s been known for a while now that Apple has been planning to enter the streaming wars: the question was: how?

What the event made clear is that Apple is still trying to sell people its vision of the future—a future filled with with what Wired keenly described as “a seemingly effortless lifestyle filled with always-accessible media, exclusive video games, and cash-back incentives from a literal titanium credit card”.

So basically the same future they’ve been selling since 1984 with the surreal commercial. Watch it below:

 

 

Back to 2019.

Let’s look at some of our new toys: A bundle of subscription services, including HBO, Showtime, 300-plus magazines, and two – count them TWO! – Oprah-endorsed documentaries. (We’ll get to those in a bit).

And, according to Imore, it’ll all be available on the Apple TV+. You don’t have to buy a new product to get it, it will be available on Apple TV app. Don’t know where to find the Apple TV app? It’s on your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV 4K, and/or Apple TV HD, and it will come to Mac and smart TVs in Fall 2019

Sorry Android users. Apple hates you, because you’re competition. But you can still buy streaming sticks and boxes starting in Spring 2019. Or just buy Apple products. Remember, an Apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Not sold yet? Well guess who came out on stage?

 

Steven Spielberg under the power of Apple

Image Via Granite Greek

His name is Steven Spielberg, and he created your childhood. ET? Jaws? Jurassic Park?

What’s he doing on this stage, you ask?

He’s making a TV show and Granite Geek summed it up  pretty well saying “One of the shows being produced for Apple TV’s new streaming service [is] Steven Spielberg’s resurrection of his ‘Amazing Stories‘ anthology series, which was something of a dud in the 1980s”.

Taking a bad idea with a cool premise and remaking it so it’s, dare I say, cool? Sounds great!

Not sold yet? Maybe you’re a cynical person who doesn’t want a new TV show to catch up on. Even with entertainment giants Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and J.J. Abrams you’re go… ‘Who cares? What’s next?”

She’s next…

 

Oprah, here to save you wearing a white cape in front of black background.
VIA ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

 

Oprah Winfrey, in case you don’t live on this planet, is amazing. Winnipeg Free Press dubbed her the ‘Queen of All Media’, while Forbes named her the wealthiest African American billionaire, and she’s been rocking those titles.

The Oprah Magazine notes that she opened up “by explaining how the company helps people connect—much in the same way she used to during her twenty-five years on The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

This is what she said, as per Vulture:

“There’s nothing more thrilling than being transported by a brilliant book — nothing…The only thing more gratifying than an extraordinary read is being able to share that experience with others, and we’re going to do just that by building the biggest, the most vibrant, and the most stimulating book club on the planet. This is a club, imagine, where Apple stores stream a conversation with the author and me across all the devices, across all borders, uniting people to stories that remind us that no matter who you are or where you’re from, every man, woman, and child looks up at awe at the same sky. So I want to literally convene a meeting of the minds through books.”

A meeting of the minds? That sounds cool, but what’s that really mean? It means not one but TWO Oprah-endorsed documentaries.

Yes, two.

One will be called Toxic Labor, a documentary currently that, according to Entertainment Weekly, “will explore ‘the toll of sexual harassment and assault and violation in the workplace.'”

The second, unnamed currently, “will focus on mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress, with the hopes that ‘if we do our jobs right, we can replace stigma with wisdom, compassion and honesty’.”

 

Oprah's book club
IMAGE VIA OPRAH.COM

 

In addition, she’s bringing back her Book Club and it sounds great! The Oprah Magazine summed it up with these perfect collection of words with, “[Oprah] plans to bring what she’s best known for—her journalistic expertise—to Apple by interviewing artists, newsmakers, and leaders. That’s right—not only will there be an Oprah-led book club on all of your devices, but you’ll also have new programming from Oprah right at your finger tips.”

Broadly speaking, this could be a revitalization for Oprah. Her book club was a recurring segment on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1996 (the year I was born, which might mean I had something to do with it) which drew book reader’s eyes away from their books and TV viewer’s eyes to a new image.

Vulture notes that the with segment’s “popularity among viewers and literature lovers alike nearly eclipsing the prominence of the show itself…it would later be revived as Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 when she expanded her digital media empire in 2012.”

 

Oprah under Apple

Image Via AP News

However her selections have gotten rarer. Her last book was Becoming by Michelle Obama, released last October and still going strong, and despite selling a cool ten million copies, thus becoming the bestselling memoir of all time, it still came out half a year ago.

To put things in perspective in 2015, and I’m quoting straight from The Oprah Magazine here, “Oprah revealed she was starting a new imprint with Flatiron Books called ‘An Oprah Book,’ which would focus on publishing nonfiction stories. Now, three years later, we finally know what will be the imprint’s first title…” That book turned out to be Alicia Keys’s More Myself, and while it’s great for Oprah to put the highlight on the book, the time frame for her to announce and choose a book was concerning.

But when she walked on stage with Apple, it was a sign that she was in partnership and thus has to pump out more book-related content.

 

Oprah and Tim Cook

Image Via ABC

Yay! What could possibly ruin this beautiful moment?

According to CNN  “absent was price information and a specific debut date, though [both Oprah and Spielberg new products are] targeted for the fall”. Yep, Apple company came with an air of bravado that could make one forget that even the earliest services aren’t coming in for a few months. This amnesia is understandable, given that Apple usually announces products weeks, if not days, before the product is available.

Maybe there’s a reason Apple didn’t reveal the pricing for their TV+ service at the announcement.

Guess I’ll stick to Netflix and books when I don’t want to leave my house.

 

 

Featured Image Via EURweb

Hailee Steinfeld smiling

Hailee Steinfeld To Star in Comedy About Emily Dickinson

It looks like this 1830s poet is getting her own modern TV comedy show! Apple has given a straight-to-series order for the Massachusetts poet known as Emily Dickinson. 

 

It will be a half-hour comedy called Dickinson that will star Oscar-nominated actress Hailee Steinfeld (Pitch Perfect 2True Grit) in her first-ever title role as Emily Dickinson. The show is written and executive-produced by Alena Smith and will be a comedic look into Dickinson’s life. It will explore the limitations of society, family and gender in the 19th century from the view of a poet who doesn’t fit into her own time period. 

 

The comedy is set in the 1800s but with more of a modern sensibility and tone and will follow a coming-of-age story about young woman’s fight to have her voice heard. David Gordon Green (Stronger, Pineapple Express, Vice Principals) is set to direct. 

Other shows from Apple include a series produced by Reese Witherspoon based off Curtis Sittenfield’s short story collection, You Think It, I’ll Say It which will star Kristen Wiig and a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s cult sci-fi series Amazing Stories.

 

There is no release date for Dickinson but hopefully, when the show is released it could possibly shed a new light on the enigmatic and reclusive poet. 

 

Featured Image Via Variety