Ever fancied yourself as a David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell and Ira Glass–otherwise known as the brilliant, nebbishy hosts of NPR’s This American Life.
For this year’s Music Hack Day San Francisco, Dale Low and Brent Noorda reverse engineered their radio show. They discovered that the secret to making regular Joes and Janes sound profound is to liberally sprinkle emotionally charged musical interludes in between their otherwise unremarkable blather.
Here’s a picture of Dale telling a story so pedestrian that only an inanimate object (his iPad, pictured) could stand to listen.
(He’s actually using another app, Soundbiter, to do the recording.)
The team’s Hack Day app, The Profoundilizer, goes to work after he scans through the sound file, searching for a place to insert a musical cue. Before The Profoundilizer, he’d be forced to then embark on a laborious search for music of the right mood, and with appropriate rights attached.
Now he previews the sound file, drops it in if he likes it, and repeats the process a few more times. Next, as the developers put it, “Dale sees and hears that his original recording is now way more interesting. He is more interesting. He is profound.” And here’s the proof: The Profoundilized version of Dave’s day (streaming audio). It took him all of two and a half minutes to produce the piece using his app.
Those of you who would like to give This American Life a run for their money by Profoundilizing your own experiences should contact the developers directly.
This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting
With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics.
This artist is dominating AI-generated art. And he’s not happy about it.
Greg Rutkowski is a more popular prompt than Picasso.
VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence
On key metrics, a VR experience elicited a response indistinguishable from subjects who took medium doses of LSD or magic mushrooms.
This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine
Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.