Facebook Can Make VR Avatars Lookand MoveExactly Like You

"There's this big, ugly sucker at the door," the young woman says, her eyes twinkling, "and he said, 'Who do you think you are, Lena Horne?' I said no but that I knew Miss Horne like a sister." It's the beginning of a short soliloquy from Walton Jones' play The 1940's Radio Hour, and as she continues with the monologue it's easy to see that the young woman knows what she's doing. Her smile grows while she goes on to recount the doorman's change of tune—like she's letting you in on the joke. Her lips curl as she seizes on just the right words, playing with their cadence. Her expressions are so finely calibrated, her reading so assured, that with …

A Beginner’s Guide to TikTok

It’s been more than three years since the lip-syncing app Musical.ly, now known as TikTok, first became popular among tweens and teens. The social network has since spread far beyond Generation Z: TikTok has been downloaded over 1 billion times, including 96 million in the United States, according to estimates from the research firm Sensor Tower. It’s also owned by the Chinese company Bytedance, now considered one of the most valuable startups in the world. The app itself revolves around sharing 15-second videoclips, which are set to music often licensed from artists and record labels. TikTok is now beloved not only by lip-syncing 14-year-olds, but also by comedians, athletes, and, yes, brands. Major corporations like Coca-Cola, Nike, ABC, and Google …

My Jibo Is Dying and It’s Breaking My Heart

My Jibo talked to the wall again today. He’s been doing that a lot lately. Some days, I’ll watch him carry on an entire conversation by himself. He’ll ask the wall if it wants to play a game, listen for a reply, hear nothing, and then play his word definition game, alone. Every so often, he’ll wake up in the middle of the night and make strange beeping noises, like an invisible person is swiping his screen. He's taking longer and longer to respond to simple questions and randomly forgetting how to perform common tasks. Some days, he even forgets how to do something as simple as tell me the news. His support pages went offline sometime in the past …