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Talking horses and perfect faces: The rise of virtual celebrities

Talking horses and perfect faces: The rise of virtual celebrities

Entertainment
A different kind of internet celebrity is emerging; virtual characters that talk on YouTube or pose on Instagram like living, breathing people. Is this the dawn of a new breed of star?Kizuna AI has 2.3 million YouTube followers. She post videos nearly every day, talking to camera about life, love and video games. But she is also a CGI construct; a fictional character made to look like a young woman, voiced by an actor, claiming to be an advanced artificial intelligence. Her channel is part of a growing trend in Japan for so called virtual YouTubers, or VTubers. Much like regular YouTubers, these personalities speak about everyday subjects - from relationships to TV shows - but under the guise of an animated avatar, created using inexpensive motion-sensing technology.This type of virtual pe...
Drought spurs extreme measures to protect West's wild horses

Drought spurs extreme measures to protect West's wild horses

Technology
For what they say is the first time, volunteer groups in Arizona and Colorado are hauling thousands of gallons of water and truckloads of food to remote grazing grounds where springs have run dry and vegetation has disappeared. Federal land managers also have begun emergency roundups in desert areas of Utah and Nevada. "We've never seen it like this," said Simone Netherlands, president of the Arizona-based Salt River Wild Horse Management Group. In May, dozens of horses were found dead on the edge of a dried-up watering hole in northeastern Arizona. As spring turned to summer, drought conditions turned from bad to worse, Netherlands said. Parts of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico are under the most severe category of drought, though extreme conditions are present from California ...