**Showrunner: AI Technology Creates South Park Parody Episode**
In a groundbreaking move, The Simulation (formerly Fable Studio) has unveiled Showrunner, an innovative text-to-episode AI application. This new technology is capable of creating fan and parody episodes of popular TV shows. To showcase its capabilities, The Simulation released a 22-minute episode of South Park titled “Westland Chronicles.” This episode focuses on the ongoing Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike and a Hollywood studio called Bizney, which utilizes AI with disastrous consequences. The release of this episode, along with the introduction of Showrunner, emphasizes the tangible threat posed by AI.
**Meta Introduces Llama2: A Revolutionary AI Program**
Meta, previously known as Facebook, has launched an upgraded version of its open source AI program called Llama2. Unlike its predecessor, Llama2 is now available for commercial licensing from major providers such as AWS, Azure Cloud, and Hugging Face. However, it still remains free for non-commercial use. Initially released to credentialed academics in February, the original LLaMA program was quickly leaked to torrent sites. This unauthorized distribution prompted OpenAI to reconsider its own release strategy, opting for more cautious measures.
**Apple’s Project “Ajax”: A Revolutionary Chatbot**
According to credible sources quoted by Reuters, Apple is set to release a new project internally known as “Ajax.” This initiative aims to develop large language models that will power an advanced chatbot dubbed “Apple GPT.” Known for its early foray into voice assistants with Siri, Apple seeks to make a significant impact with this new endeavor. Despite previous shortcomings, the company is determined to succeed in the chatbot landscape.
**Futureverse: Merging AI and the Metaverse**
Futureverse, an AI and metaverse technology and content company, recently secured $54 million in funding. This Auckland-based company consists of a conglomerate of eight entities spanning AI, creative engineering, digital asset payments, 3D asset creation, decentralized communications, Web3 payments, digital identity, and animation and game development. With over 300 employees across 16 countries, Futureverse aims to build infrastructure and content for an open metaverse, bridging the gap between AI and virtual reality.
**Stable Diffusion’s Revolutionary Text-to-Image AI**
Stable Diffusion has introduced a groundbreaking AI called Stable Doodle, which employs the Stable Diffusion model to analyze sketches and generate high-quality images. This innovative tool allows individuals with minimal drawing skills to create original artwork in a matter of seconds. Stable Doodle envisions its application in various professional fields, catering to designers, illustrators, and other artists. Users can access this feature through ClipDrop, a platform acquired by Stability AI earlier this year.
**US Army’s IVAS: A Critical Test for AR Wearables**
The US Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), an augmented reality (AR) wearable based on the Microsoft HoloLens, faces a pivotal moment. With a reduced budget of $40 million, the Army must prove that the modified IVAS is a reliable and practical tool without causing motion sickness, unlike previous attempts. This begs the question of whether the Army is relying too heavily on technology. Could ruggedized, unintrusive on-demand assisted reality flip up monocular displays offer a more sporadic and versatile alternative?
**Google and Taito Collaborate on AR Space Invaders Game**
Google teams up with Taito, the creator of the classic arcade game Space Invaders, to develop an augmented reality (AR) version. Similar to the success of Pokemon Go, this game requires players to venture outside and interact with the real world. Niantic, the company responsible for Pokemon Go, has struggled to replicate its initial triumph with subsequent games based on IPs such as Harry Potter and the NBA.
**Walkabout Mini Golf Launches Laser Lair: A Story-based Course**
Walkabout Mini Golf (WMG), the highly acclaimed multiplayer game on the Quest platform, introduces a new course called Laser Lair. This story-driven course features 720 themed holes across 20 immersive settings, all meticulously designed with perfect mini-golf physics. The base course is priced at $14.99, with additional downloadable content available for $3.99. WMG boasts a massive player base, with hundreds of thousands of players worldwide and regular player-organized tournaments.
**This Week in XR: An Informative Podcast**
“This Week in XR” is a podcast hosted by Ted Schilowitz, Futurist at Paramount Global, and Rony Abovitz, founder of Magic Leap. Offering insightful discussions and analysis, this podcast covers the latest developments in the extended reality (XR) industry. This week’s guest is renowned YouTube documentarian Dan Olson of Folding Ideas. Listeners can tune in to Spotify, iTunes, or YouTube to stay informed about the ever-evolving world of XR.