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OpenAI’s Voice Cloning AI Model Only Needs A 15-Second Sample To Work

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A rendition of OpenAI’s logo, which looks like a stylized whirlpool.
Illustration: The Verge

OpenAI is offering limited access to a text-to-voice generation platform it developed called Voice Engine, which can create a synthetic voice based on a 15-second clip of someone’s voice. The AI-generated voice can read out text prompts on command in the same language as the speaker or in a number of other languages. “These small scale deployments are helping to inform our approach, safeguards, and thinking about how Voice Engine could be used for good across various industries,” OpenAI said in its blog post.

Companies with access include the education technology company Age of Learning, visual storytelling platform HeyGen, frontline health software maker Dimagi, AI communication app creator Livox, and health system Lifespan.

In these…

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Science and Tech

You Can Buy A Refurbished Steam Deck For Almost Half Off

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A Steam Deck on a white and orange background.
Valve says each unit has received over 100 tests and meets the same performance standards as new Steam Decks. | Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

It’s not often we see an excellent portable gaming PC like the Steam Deck on sale for nearly half off, but today’s your lucky day. So long as you don’t mind buying it in certified refurbished condition, you can save hundreds when you purchase it directly (with a one-year warranty included) from Valve right now.

The refurbished Steam Deck starts at $279 for the base model with 64GB of storage, which is about $120 cheaper than buying it in new condition. And if you need more storage, the 256GB and 512GB models are both on sale, too, for $319 and $359, respectively. Given they both start at $529 and $649 in new condition, that’s almost like getting them for up to half off. What’s great, too, is that Value says it’s thoroughly tested each…

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Applying The Mathematical Principles Of Pareto To Mario Kart 8

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An image of Mario, Yoshi, and other Mario Kart characters driving on a course that resembles a pinball machine.
Image: Nintendo

If you’re the kind of Mario Kart 8 player who cares about winning and not just playing their favorite characters (Daisy and Peach supremacy), choosing the best combination of driver, vehicle, and wheels gets tricky.

Luckily, thanks to data science and 19th-century Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, there’s a way to figure that out. Data scientist Antoine Mayerowitz applies one of Pareto’s principles, the Pareto front, to plot the best combination among the 703,560 possible decisions players must make in Mario Kart. Eurogamer helpfully explains that a Pareto front finds the best possible solution to a problem with different objectives.

In a cool piece of data visualization you should definitely check out, Mayerowitz narrows down the…

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Kia’s More Affordable EV2 Is Getting Ready To Undercut Tesla

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five electric kia vehicles fanned out in a modern architecture area with stone brick flooring
Kia’s lineup of electric vehicles are growing. | Image: Kia

The Kia EV2, the automaker’s small, affordable electric crossover, has been spotted on the street in camouflage. It’s the first time the model has been seen in the wild, although the EV2 is not currently confirmed for the US.

The timing of the sighting is particularly significant given recent news that Tesla may have canned its plans for a $25,000 mass-market “Model 2” vehicle. Elon Musk reportedly mothballed the affordable EV in favor of going all in on the company’s plans for a fully autonomous robotaxi.

No official price has been set for the Kia EV2, but Electrek says it could be 20 million won, or about $15,000. Other reports have it under $30,000 — which would be considerably more affordable than the current average retail price…

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