Entertainment January 13, 2023
Manchester City Football Club Enters Metaverse
Manchester City Football Club, an association football team based in the United Kingdom are in process of launching a virtual fan engagement platform in the metaverse, according to a Proof of Concept (PoC) video shown at CES 2023.
CES is the most influential technology event in the world and it showcases the work of companies which includes developers, suppliers, and manufacturers of content, consumer technology hardware, and technology delivery systems.
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The PoC video showed a group of avatars interacting in a virtual version of Manchester City’s home ground called Etihad Stadium. Sony’s Hawk-Eye Innovations which includes creative graphic technologies, video review, vision processing, and optical tracking that has made sports safer, more engaging, and fairer was also shown as part of the PoC.
With fans of the clubs and visitors across the footballing landscape having access to the creation of avatars of their own, Sony’s Hawk-Eye Innovations will distribute live three (3)-dimensional (3D) video for them to see the players of the Manchester-based football club in a 3D metaverse space.
Sony’s Toshimoto Mitomo, the Officer responsible for Intellectual Property (IP) and Business Incubation Platform made it known that the company will support the club to significantly increase the value of its content as well as its engagement with fans in the country and across the globe.
Manchester City Football Club’s metaverse appearance was in the works
Sony’s latest development with the current champions of the English Premier League comes 14 months after it announced in November 2021 that it had become the official virtual fan engagement partner of Manchester City. At the time, Sony said it was going to combine its technologies with the club’s content to help develop a new digital fan experience.
Football organizations are making use of the metaverse
Due to the enormous opportunity, the metaverse provides in the form of immersive experiences and the production of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) which can add more sales volume to projects, many football institutions have joined the emerging sector.
Serie A, the highest league in Italy broadcasted a live football game between A.C. Milan and Fiorentina in May 2022. The match was made available to viewers in the Middle East and North Africa.
Aside from Serie A, La Liga, the top-tier league in Spain entered the metaverse via strategic partnerships with Vegas City Limited and Stadioplus to offer part of its operations in the metaverse through the Ethereum-based platform Decentraland in September 2022.
Manchester City is active in fan token sales
While the club continues to make gains in the metaverse, it is among the most active football organizations in terms of fan token sales. As of 12 Jan. 2023, Manchester City fan token sales had surpassed more than $4 billion with token price trading between $4 and $5.
Other football clubs with high fan token sales include, but are not limited to, Paris Saint Germain (France), Santos FC (Brazil), Lazio (Italy), FC Porto (Portugal), and Atletico Madrid (Spain).
Ice Cube Rubbishes AI-Generated Music as Demonic
Legendary rapper Ice Cube has spoken out against AI-generated music as well as platforms that distribute it, branding AI as “demonic.” AI-generated content in the art and entertainment industry, especially music, has garnered conversation in recent weeks.
There have been widespread AI tools in image generation ranging from voice-to-text and text-to-voice. And now AI is making songs from unauthorized reproductions of famous musicians’ voices and musical styles.
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While some have accepted such AI advancement and consider it a legitimate tool in the arts industry, some artists have expressed concern. In the most recent case, rapper and actor Ice Cube has pulled no punches about AI generated music.
While discussing the topic on the Full Send Podcast, Cube made it clear he would take legal action against anyone who used AI tools to generate music using his style, as well as the platforms that play the AI-generated songs.
“Somebody can’t take your original voice and manipulate it without having to pay.”
In the video, Ice Cube continues to say that AI is demonic and will provoke a backlash from people.
“I think AI is gonna get a backlash from real people, real authentic people.”
Offenders should be sued
The former NWA rapper also talked about “Heart on my sleeve,” a song that used AI-generated vocals that imitated Drake and The Weeknd. He said authorities should act against the people who made the song.
“I think that’s terrible,” Cube says. “I don’t wanna hear that bullshit. He should sue whoever made it.”
The “Heart on my sleeve” track simulates Drake and The Weeknd trading verses about pop star Selena Gomez, who previously dated The Weeknd. Its creator, known as @ghostwriter, claimed the song was generated by software trained on the musicians’ voices.
Barely a week after it was posted, the song had been viewed more than 8.5 million times on TikTok while the full version was played 254,000 times on Spotify.
Drake expressed displeasure at the track and Universal Music Group (UMG) wrote to streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music, asking them to prevent AI companies from accessing their libraries.
“We will not hesitate to take steps to protect our rights and those of our artists,” UMG said in an email which was first obtained by the Financial Times.
Other faked AI songs that have gone viral recently include a “deepfake” of Rihanna singing Beyonce’s Cuff It and a cloned Kanye West singing the acoustic ballad Hey There Delilah.
IA Rihanna from ChatGPT singing Beyoncé’s "Cuff It" pic.twitter.com/1TAmHEDAKv
— Rihanna Facts (@Nevernyny) April 13, 2023
According to Stephanie Holland, producer Timbaland recently came under fire after he made a collaborative song with the late Notorious B.I.G using AI. While some other artists like Ice Cube have expressed their distaste about using AI to generate music using other artists’ style and likeness, others have embraced the new technology and say they’re ready to use it to their advantage.
AI as a tool for art growth
Musician Grimes recently released Elf.tech, which can be used to generate music using AI in Grimes’ style. However, the profits of the tracks made with this AI will be split 50/50 between Grimes and the maker.
French DJ David Guetta also recently used a site called uberduck.ai to mimic the voice of Eminem and added it to one of his instrumentals. He told the BBC, “I’m sure the future of music is AI.”
He did, however, say technology could only be useful “as a tool” – just like the drum machine and the sampler before it. According to a BBC report, a broad coalition of musicians and artists have launched a “Human Artistry Campaign” whose aim is to ensure AI will not erode human creativity.
Backed by the Recording Industry Association of America, the Association for Independent Music and BPI has stressed that copyright protection should only be afforded to music created by humans.
In his recent appearance before Congress, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said content creators were entitled to a say on how their voices, likeness or copyrighted content were used to train AI models.
“Creators deserve control,” he said.
Altman added that his company is working on a copyright system to compensate artists whose art was used to create something new.
‘The Voice’ Reality TV Show Announces Metaverse Auditions
Reality singing competition and TV show ‘The Voice’ is throwing open the virtual door and inviting fans to enter.
From May 12, fans of the show will be able to enter the competition through VR. The latest event follows a successful trial of the concept last year.
Audition in VR
ITV Studios and metaverse developer Virtual Brand Group are teaming up to launch “The Voice Studios” (TVS), hosted in ‘Vegas City’ within Decentraland, a 3D browser-based virtual world. Last year The Voice ran a successful test of its concept in Decentraland with a virtual pop-up event. Now, TVS will become a permanent fixture.
TVS will launch with five experiences, comprising a trivia game, a treasure hunt, a dance-off, a rhythm challenge, and ‘music maker,’ a competition in which users can publish one of their own tracks and compete to win prizes. The best entries will also have the chance to compete in future seasons of the hit TV show.
The interactive environment will invite fellow TVS members to decide on winners in each category, encouraging interaction, and fostering community. The greater the level of interaction, the more features and prizes users can unlock.
Lucie Stoffers, ITV Studios’ head of brand licensing and global partnerships, revealed how TVS encourages fans to participate in the experience.
“While very few people get to be in a studio where ‘The Voice’ is being recorded, let alone receive a tailored gift from their favorite coach, it will now be possible for all fans to get access and have fun in this new immersive experience,” said Stoffers.
A massive competition
The Voice currently runs in 148 versions right around the world. TVS is being launched to coincide with the final weeks of Season 23 of the US competition, which airs on NBC.
The singing competition features unknown artist contestants who are coached by established stars. In the blind audition phase, the contestants each sing a song while coaches facE away from them. If one of the coaches likes what they hear, they press a button to face the contestant and add them to their roster.
This season the show’s coaches have been Kelly Clarkson, Chance the Rapper, Niall Horan, Blake Shelton, and Carson Daly. Past contestants on the show include Koryn Hawthorne, Nicolle Galyon, Cassadee Pope, and Sawyer Fredericks.
Following last year’s trial of virtual auditions, The Voice and Virtual Brand Group (VBG) found that engagement with the show was much higher than through other social media.
Data showed that fans spent an average of 49 minutes per session engaging with the show and its content in the metaverse. That figure amounts to 13x more engagement than on traditional social media platforms.
VBG CEO Justin Hochberg said that TVS represents “the future of entertainment, fashion and youth-culture marketing,” and that ultimately, “Building the next generation with Vegas City [in Decentraland] that is bigger and better for the show, advertisers and fans was the obvious logical step.”
Pepe Token Soars 2,400% in 14 Days Amid Huge Investor Demand
Viral sensation Pepe Token has become one of the hottest cryptocurrencies in circulation in recent weeks, turning small capital investments into mammoth gains.
Pepe Token, a cryptocurrency introduced to the market in April 2017 as a tribute to internet meme Pepe the Frog, gained 1,175% in its opening month, data from CoinMarketCap shows.
PEPE, which appeared as a tradable asset on supporting exchanges on April 17 with an opening price of $0.00000005685, closed the month on April 30 at $0.0000007247. On May 1, the crypto asset rose to an all-time high (ATH) price of $0.000001439.
Pepe Token’s rise down to several factors
Supported by sixteen exchanges, Pepe Token is available on OKX, Uniswap, Gate.io, Huobi Global, BitMart, DigiFinex, Poloniex, MEXC Global, BingX, CoinEx, NovaDAX, BKEX, LBank, CoinW, BTCEX, and Ox Protocol.
Accessibility is a major factor in any crypto-asset’s growth, and the ease with which traders found the asset made it simple for them to pour millions of dollars in liquidity into it. PEPE’s daily trading volume soared by over 1,000% from around $47 million on April 17 to approximately $523 million on the day of its peak on Labor Day.
OKX, which has over 20 million users, topped the charts with more than $100 million in daily volume. It was followed by decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap, and others such as Gate.io, Huobi Global, and Bitget.
PEPE is now the third-largest meme coin by market value
The tokenomics of PEPE show that the project has a total and maximum supply of 420.69 trillion and all the tokens are in circulation, per CoinMarketCap.
The token was exchanging hands for $0.000001287 and multiplying it by 420.69 trillion results in about $541 million, which is the project’s market capitalization.
Dogecoin (DOGE) remains the largest meme coin by market value with roughly $10 billion and it’s followed in second place by Shiba Inu (SHIB) with around $6 billion.
With more than $500 million, PEPE has surpassed other popular meme-inspired projects such as Floki Inu (FLOKI), Bone ShibaSwap (BONE), Dogelon Mars (ELON), Baby Dogecoin (BabyDoge), and MonaCoin (MONA).
Does PEPE have a future?
As of the first two weeks of its existence, the project has profited from being widely known for its different types of frogs (sad, feels, angry, smug, and you will never).
Several meme coins have been created over the years to replicate the success of Dogecoin but many of them go extinct within six months.
Only time will tell if PEPE can weather the storm and become a mainstay in a market where the number of cryptocurrencies is on its way to reaching 24,000 before the end of the year.
With that said, Binance, the largest crypto exchange by daily volume, is yet to list the token on its platform. Considering Binance sees at least $1 billion in liquidity daily, the announcement of PEPE/USDT on Changpeng Zhao’s platform could take the token to new heights.
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