If you turned to Wikipedia for a pre-Avengers deep dive into the Marvel canon or refresher on Harry Potter’s defenses against the dark arts, you are apparently not alone. What’s more, your digital breadcrumbs might be a preview of coming box-office receipts. A team of researchers has shown that Wikipedia data can predict how popular a film will be.
A team from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics looked at 312 movies that came out in 2010 (think Inception, Toy Story 3 and Twilight: Eclipse) and built a mathematical model that measured the number of readers and editors for the movie’s Wiki page. The model’s data was juxtaposed with box office earnings and showed almost a 77 percent correlation between popularity on Wikipedia and big opening weekends.
Wednesday was the first day on the job for Marie, LaGuardia Airport’s newest customer service hire: a virtual avatar designed to answer questions and help guide visitors through the airport.
The round-faced, chestnut-haired young woman we saw before us was merely a video of a human woman–the Port Authority wouldn’t disclose the actress’s name–projected on Read More
The folks over at Evolver.fm think this is a “joke” feature, but Betabeat is inclined to disagree. The company is strapped for resources and not likely to code something they don’t plan on using, even if it does help them blow off a little steam. This should’t be at the top of anyone’s priority list, but a system that lets you take a photo with a webcam and use your real face as an avatar definitely get our awesome meter going. Video Here
Attack of the Clones
In the annals of bizzare pitches we have received from PR firms over the years, this one kind of takes the cake.
“Ready to visit your favorite social media pages and web sites to converse in real-time with the page owner? Can you imagine asking your friend how the big date went and getting an immediate, spoken answer from a digital clone? How about a customer asking specific questions about your line of products and having a life-like face of the company give a spoken response in conjunction with a set of images with further detail? It’s not some sci-fi take on tomorrow’s social media. It’s today’s reality with the release of Intellitar for Social Networks. The company, which first introduced interactive digital clones less than a year ago, has begun to move it’s technology off it’s own Virtual Eternity application and onto popular social networking sites. The first set of intellitars (aka intelligent avatars) are moving out across MySpace today. In the coming months, users of additional social networks, including Facebook and Orkut, will be joining the cloned masses.”