Author Archives: Mroczyński Wojciech

Blob opera

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Everyone of us has a desire to create, but we don’t always have the idea how to do certain things.

Recently, David Li from Google created an online experiment which enabled everybody to create their own musical masterpiece at the same time putting a smile on many faces of Internet users, including mine.

This simple game enables you to compose beautiful harmonies without any knowledge or experience in the music field. You don’t have to play and instrument or know any theory, it’s built for everyone to enjoy.

The website is effortless to use. You basically drag the colorful blobs upwards or downwards to change the pitch of their voice and you drag to the sides to change the vowels which they are singing. You control one blob at the time and the others are following you and harmonizing with your melody.

To create such a great game, the developer David Li recorded 4 opera singers for 16h and he trained machine learning models which got to know how every one of them sounds like. That’s why we can hear their synthesized voices by AI, which sound very lifelike.

The harmonies however are built by analyzing big datasets of already known melodies. When the note of the blob is being chosen by you, the algorithm picks another one that matches the first, to create a pleasurable sound.

The professionals recorded for this experiment were Cristian Joel (tenor), Frederick Tong (bass), Joanna Gamble (mezzo‑soprano), and Olivia Doutney (soprano), but imagine you could record a sample of your own voice and play around using it as a base for the algorithm.

Such feature isn’t yet available in the game but I think that it could be a good plan for improvement and development of the experiment. What about expanding the library of voices available for the blobs, or even better, an option of recording your friends as other singers and jamming around in the virtual reality?


Ling, Thomas. “The Hidden Genius of Blob Opera – and How It Could Get Even Smarter.” BBC Science Focus Magazine, 18 Dec. 2020,

Piper, Daniel. “Is Google’s Blob Opera the Best Thing on the Web?” Creative Bloq, Creative Bloq, 16 Dec. 2020,

Thier, Dave. “’Blob Opera’ Is Genuinely One Of The Best Games All Year.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 17 Dec. 2020,

Plans for a new underground transportation system

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Las Vegas lacks a good-working underground transport system and that is why The Boring Company is coming to the rescue. This venture founded by Elon Musk is currently planning to build a huge, 10-mile sub-surface loop that connects the famous casino hotels with the downtown areas as well as the McCarran International Airport.

These tunnels will work only for Tesla vehicles, which is a limitation, but the loop enables people to go from the Las Vegas Convention Center to Mandalay Bay in only 3 minutes while the traffic is at its peak. Right now, the same route at the same time of the day takes 30 minutes!

The activity of The Boring Company has been noticeable since the Las Vegas Monorail filed for bankruptcy. The monorail was bought by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) which made the temporary agreement not to allow The Boring Company to dig tunnels in areas of the monorail.

That is why the Elon Musk’s venture decided to expand at a different location and build a Tesla-powered people-mover based under the Convention Center. It was claimed that this smaller-scale loop will be introduced while the next big trade show event.

The loop is said to be able to shuttle up to 4 000 passengers per hour and the vehicles used to do so will be Tesla Model 3s, Model Xs, and a bigger tram-like car built on the Model 3 platform fitting maximum 16 people.

This first project only will cost LVCVA $48.6 million, but the forecasts say that the investment will make convention fans commuting to events much easier and the convention itself is likely to attract more people. The extended, city-wide project however, will be funded mainly by The Boring Company and only the stations near certain buildings will require extra funding from the property owners.

I think that the first project is a great introduction to show the quality of The Boring Company and such sample of their work could be beneficial for the future expansion in Las Vegas. Although there is a chance that the monorail will open again, it is not expected to launch till May 2021. Because of that, there is a high chance that the further development of the Elon Musk’s venture will eventually succeed.


O’Kane, Sean. “Boring Company Proposes Massive Vegas Expansion Following Monorail Bankruptcy.” The Verge, The Verge, 15 Dec. 2020,

Akers, Mick. “Las Vegas Monorail Extension Plans Balloon to $172M.” Journal, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 8 May 2019,

Budget flagship

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Samsung is known for producing a wide variety of phones each year, so they can attract more users with different budgets. As for now, the prices of their smartphones range from 99$ to 1 999$[1]. Although Samsung releases devices in so many different price points, the mid-range and budget ones (699$ and below) are the bestsellers.

Samsung saw this trend and launched the S20 FE (“Fan Edition”). It’s a budget flagship which means that the most important features, according to the feedback of customers, were kept, while the costly and less necessary were exchanged with cheaper alternatives. The price of this model is 699$ which means that it is 300$ cheaper than the original S20.

What was reduced?

Resolution from QuadHD+ to FHD+ – On such a small screen it’s very hard to tell a difference.

RAM memory – 8GB to 6GB of RAM – 6GB are more than enough for many people, but If you like to have 20 windows open in the background and multitask often, I would consider going for the S20.

Plastic back instead of glass – Most people wear protective cases, so they won’t even worry about it, moreover plastic backs are more resistant to cracking and scratching.

Flat screen instead of curved – That’s a personal preference.

Rear facing camera quality from 64 to 8megapixels – That may seem like the biggest sacrifice of the model for people taking a lot of photos for their social media, but thanks to 3 cameras located in the back of the phone the camera does a pretty good job, below is an example.

What has stayed?

Snapdragon 865 processor – fast core of the phone

120Hz screen refresh rate – feeling of smoothness of the display

5G connection – for future cellular networking systems

128GB of standard storage

Two of the features were even upgraded. First the battery, from 4,000mAh to 4,500mAh which is a significant change and a response to the growing customer’s needs. The battery is said to last two days of moderate use or six hours of screen time. Secondly, the front-facing selfie camera from 10 megapixels to 32. Although it’s an upgrade on paper, some users say that the selfie camera does not represent a credible, mirror-like picture.[2]

In my opinion the compromises made to the new device were very reasonable considering such a price difference. Many reviews on YouTube state that this is the best value-for-money Samsung phone from the Galaxy collection. Some put Galaxy S20 FE in the top 3 phones of 2020. I think it is a great choice for many people looking for a great bang for the buck device. Nonetheless I would emphasize that it wouldn’t be the best option for people using their front and rear cameras on the daily basis.



Data from:

  2. Heater, Brian. “The Galaxy S20 FE Is Samsung’s New $699 Budget Flagship.” TechCrunch, TechCrunch, 23 Sept. 2020,

Article I base on:

Bohn, Dieter. “Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Review: the Right Price for the Right Stuff.” The Verge, The Verge, 8 Oct. 2020,

External YouTube videos I am referring to:

Need help with paperwork?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Yesterday, Google Cloud released the Document AI Platform, which should help businesses to extract information from electronic versions of documents using machine learning. Currently the service runs in a preview mode.

Nowadays, a lot of important data from formal papers needs to be reentered manually to some kind of an accounting system. That way we can have an organized database from which we can not only extract valuable information for financial reports, but also apply data mining techniques and learn from the company’s data about different trends. Doing such extractions by hand takes workers a lot of valuable time that they could spend on more productive work for the company. An IDC report found out that U.S. companies see a productivity loss of an astounding 21,3% due to paperwork challenges! Moreover, only 18% of companies consider themselves paperless, so 82% of them are in need of such tool. Additionally, they found that $8 billion in total is wasted by all American companies annually on these specific tasks[1].

Document AI Platform is not the first document processing services from Google, but it is probably the most effective yet. It combines Lending DocAI and Procurement DocAI services that work under the same, easy to use dashboard.

The Platform offers managing certain documents without any data mapping or training. These are forms such as W9, 1040, W2, 1099-MISC, 1003 as well as invoices and receipts. The Google Cloud product manager Lewis Liu and product marketing manager Yang Liang claim that there will be more parsing tools added in the future that will help to manage more types of documents.

Google says that this tool helps not only in increasing the speed of data extraction from documents, but also significantly reducing errors that could be made by a human doing the job. The Belgian financial technology firm Unifiedpost managed to increase data capture accuracy by 250% using the service[2]. That’s probably why the platform developers pride themselves on the efficiency of the tool.

The idea of Document AI Platform is so simple in its purpose but can be so effective in saving time and money of many enterprises. It is worth mentioning that Google is not the only company providing such services. Amazon offers Textract and Microsoft has its Form Recogniser. I am wondering, how these competitive tools compare to the Google’s.



Articles I base on and extract data:

  1. Wiggers, Kyle. “Google Launches Document AI Suite of Parsing and Processing Tools in Preview.” VentureBeat, VentureBeat, 4 Nov. 2020,
  2. Team, Editorial. “Unifiedpost and Google Collaborate on Document AI to Automate Procurement Data Capture.” Finextra Research, Finextra, 21 Oct. 2020,

External article:

Deutscher, Maria. “Google Cloud Debuts New Document AI Platform.” SiliconANGLE, 4 Nov. 2020,

Ghost Kitchens

Reading Time: 2 minutes

42% of overall food orders are now placed online. The annual growth rate of online ordering and food delivery from restaurants is about 15-20% [1]. We value more convenience and oftentimes do not want to waste our valuable time on picking up meals ourselves. Therefore, we see less people visiting restaurants nowadays, but the costs of rent in shopping malls and expenditures to make their brand logos noticeable are not shrinking. Ghost kitchens come to the rescue!

What are they?

Shadow kitchens, dark kitchens, whatever you want to call them, they are the new booming trend in the Food & Beverage industry. These are food preparation facilities that stay hidden from the customers’ eyes. Set up out of sight, they cater mainly to delivery and do not serve customers directly. Their goal is to focus on making quality product cheaper and in a more efficient way.

What are the benefits?

Lower operating costs are possible thanks to a couple of factors. Choosing less obvious locations makes the rent less expensive. Neither dining area nor serving staff is needed in such a place. These elements combined save a lot of money, therefore the prices of meals can become more attractive to customers.

Not operating under a given brand and staying incognito enables them to change their menu and cook totally different food. Being so flexible is a very valuable opportunity not only for start-up restaurants that are not sure what products will sell best, but also for existing ones that try to experiment with their meal choices.

Are they flawless?

I think that they are close to perfection, but there is an issue.

If these places do not have their own app for delivery, this business model is dependent on the middlemen between the consumers and the kitchens. Being under somebody’s control may lead to toxic relationships.

Overall, I see a great potential for this trend, and I think it will successfully expand in the future.



Data from:

  1. The Lavu Team. “The Growth of Online Ordering and Food Delivery Is Transforming the Food Business Industry.” IPad Point of Sale System for Restaurants, Bars & More, 24 Feb. 2020,


Article I base on and present different view from them:

Hanet, Isabelle. “What Is a Dark Kitchen?” Deliverect,


External articles:

“Ghost Kitchen.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Oct. 2020,

Bromwich, Jonah Engel. “Farm to Table? More Like Ghost Kitchen to Sofa.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 24 Dec. 2019,