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Thursday - June 21, 2001
- Disney Studio Chief Resigns!
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Become CGI Animated Movie
- A.I. Spawns Interest in Real Artificial Intelligence
- News Link of the Day - Pearl Harbor Doesn't Make the Grade

Peter SchneiderDisney Studio Chief Resigns!
(by In
a surprise announcement, Disney Studio Chief Peter Schneider has resigned after poorer than expected showings of Disney's two big summer films, Pearl Harbor and Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Schneider plans to start an independent Broadway theater production and investment company partially funded by The Walt Disney Company.

Before being promoted to Disney Studio Chief in early 2000, Schneider had served as the president of Walt Disney Studios and head Disney Feature Animation.

"I wish Peter all the success and happiness as he goes forward,'' says Disney CEO Michael Eisner. "For the last 16 years, he has been a wonderful colleague and friend who has been at the center of our incredible creative successes in animation and the legitimate theater. He has chosen to go back to his roots in live theater. Whether Peter is producing a play on Broadway or wherever his plans take him, I will be with him in spirit. Peter's passion and purpose, however, will be missed in Burbank.''

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Become CGI Animated Movie
(by The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will hit the big screen again, this time as a fully animated CGI feature, courtesy of John Woo. Action director Woo (Mission Impossible 2, Face Off) will be the creator of the CGI film and plans to take the movie back to its darker comic book beginnings. Plans are for the movie to be released fourth quarter 2002. More details will be released as the project progresses.

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A.I. Spawns Interest in Real Artifical Intelligence
(press release) With the release of the new Steven Spielberg movie, A.I., the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) is ready to address the interest in artificial intelligence that the movie is expected to generate among the movie-going public. Realizing the need to help the public understand the technological and philosophical issues associated with AI, the AAAI has made available its staff and experts to explain the technology and its possibilities.

"Real artificial intelligence applications rarely resemble what you see in the movies," said outgoing AAAI president Bruce Buchanan. "But there are many practical uses of AI, and many more that will emerge in the next few years. And AI can enhance what human beings can accomplish through their own senses and brain power."

Tom Mitchell, who will become the President of the AAAI in August 2001, continues with this theme and notes that, "The goal of AI is not to build computers that replace people except, of course, for those chores that people don't want to do because they are dangerous, mundane, or otherwise unappealing. The goal," Mitchell says, "is to build machines that enhance what people can do."

Mitchell said it won't be long before robots will be involved in search & rescue operations, elderly care, highway driving, or finding lost items. He added that AI research has the potential to result in "a lot of long-term payoffs that are good for the country, including many social benefits and possible cures for disease."

On August 4, just a month after the movie opens, the AAAI will be co-sponsoring the International Joint Conference on AI (IJCAI-01) in Seattle. Featuring Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates as the keynote speaker, the one-week conference will serve as a forum for the best minds in AI to present the latest research, demonstrate technology that is currently available, and to discuss what's just over the horizon.

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News Link of the Day - Pearl Harbor Doesn't Make the Grade

According to the Washington Post (AP):

"The stars weren't famous enough. The running time was too long. The hype too great. The reviews devastating.

There are many explanations offered for why Disney's Pearl Harbor has fallen short of expectations since its star-spangled premiere on the deck of a Navy aircraft carrier a month ago…"

Click here for the full story.

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