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Unveiling the Sci-Fi Spectacle: NextCypher's "Deathlands" Directed by Jonathan Frakes

Jeff Garzik's production company, NextCypher, has enlisted the talents of Star Trek's Jonathan Frakes to direct an adaptation of the sci-fi novel Deathlands. Frakes, known for his role as Commander Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, brings his experience as a veteran director who has worked on TV shows like Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Star Trek: Picard, and Leverage: Redemption to this project. Garzik expressed his excitement by stating that he was "incredibly humbled and blessed" to have Frakes on board. Key Points: Deathlands Adaptation: Based on a series of novels by James Axler and Jack Adrian, Deathlands follows a group of survivors navigating a post-apocalyptic world using teleportation technology. Garzik described the show as a blend of "Mad Max meets AI meets the monsters from Tremors." Refreshed Adaptation: Garzik highlighted that the TV series offers a modern take on the original post-Cold War, post-nuclear war scenario presented in

Canva Launches Magic Studio: Streamlining Visual Content Creation with AI

Canva, the popular digital design platform, recently celebrated its 10th anniversary by launching Magic Studio, an AI-powered toolset designed to streamline visual content creation. Developed in collaboration with Runway AI, Magic Studio introduces a suite of generative AI tools that enhance Canva's paid professional plan. These tools include Magic Switch, which transforms designs into various formats and languages, Magic Media, which converts text into photos or videos using Runway's Gen 2 AI, and Magic Design, which automates video and presentation creation.

Generative AI, which allows users to create images, text, and video using prompts entered into an AI chatbot, has seen increased investment since the launch of OpenAI's ChatGPT in November. Tech investors, including Google, Nvidia, and Salesforce, have backed AI developers like Runway AI. Amazon and Microsoft have also made significant investments in generative AI, with Amazon investing up to $4 billion in Anthropic, the developer of Claude AI, and Microsoft investing over $10 billion in OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT.

With Magic Studio, Canva's 150 million monthly users now have direct access to the powerful capabilities of Runway's Gen 2 AI. Canva's head of AI products, Danny Wu, emphasized that while Magic Studio is a new product, Canva has been exploring AI for several years. Wu explained that Canva has been using AI, which was previously referred to as machine learning, in various features such as the Kaleido technology background remover. He believes that AI technology has immense potential to make design tasks easier and more accessible to users.

Canva, launched in 2013 and based in Australia, is a free platform that allows users to create a wide range of visual content, from YouTube thumbnails to video presentations. While the base platform is free to use, advanced features like Magic Studio require a monthly subscription. Despite Canva's claimed user base of over 150 million, it faces competition from other generative AI platform developers like Nvidia and Adobe. Adobe launched its generative AI tool, Firefly, in May, and OpenAI added a Canva plugin to its subscription-based ChatGPT Plus in September.

Wu did not provide specific details about the other models used in Canva's new AI platform, but he stated that Canva adopts a three-pronged approach to AI. This approach involves developing proprietary models focused on the design space, integrating the best available models to provide benefits in one place, and collaborating with developers and partners like Runway for video-related features. Canva's priority is to ensure the responsible use of AI and prevent the platform from contributing to the growing issue of AI-generated deepfakes. Wu explained that Canva has implemented strict policies to prevent the generation of images of public figures, known persons, third-party intellectual property, medically related content, and politically related content.

In addition to Magic Studio, Canva also unveiled the Canva Shield initiative, which offers advanced trust, safety, and privacy tools powered by AI. These tools include AI indemnification for eligible enterprise users, robust content moderation systems, and customizable AI privacy settings. Canva is committed to investing over $200 million in creators in the coming years, demonstrating its dedication to supporting the creative community. Similarly, Getty Images recently launched a generative AI tool that it deems "safe" for commercial use, prioritizing the exclusion of brands, intellectual property, and recognizable public figures to prevent the misuse of AI technology.

Danny Wu highlighted the reason behind Canva's focus on building Magic Studio and AI capabilities, explaining that AI is a powerful tool that enables users to accomplish tasks they previously could not. Canva's goal is to empower its users and provide them with the means to create visually stunning content with ease.


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