In February, Pornhub announced it would no longer tolerate AI-generated pornography featuring the facial features of celebrities over the bodies of adult actresses.And it’s kept its promise, except… not really.As Buzzfeed’s Charlie Warzel says:While banned material frequently slips through the cracks on large sites that allow users to upload content, the deepfake violations on PornHub are especially flagrant.More than 70 deepfake videos were easily searchable from the site’s homepage using the search term “deepfake.”What it is: So-called ‘deepfakes’ were born of an algorithm of the same name.
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It starts with a clickbait-y title -- "You Won't Believe What Obama Says In This Video!"Buzzfeed released a video on Tuesday that at first appears to show former US President Barack Obama conveying a warning, saying "We're entering an era in which our enemies can make it look like anyone is saying anything at any point in time."It then continues with Obama dropping an obscenity about President Donald Trump.But Obama didn't say these things.The video quickly reveals it's a fake, with the Oscar-winning filmmaker, actor and writer Jordan Peele providing the voice.Peele and Buzzfeed are looking to draw attention to the growing problem of fake-news videos, which can seem startlingly real.
Democrat Mignon Clyburn, a leading defender of net neutrality, said Tuesday she will be stepping down from the Federal Communications Commission in the next month, ending an eight-year stint at the agency.Clyburn, who was appointed as a commissioner by President Barack Obama in 2009, was in the majority when the FCC passed its 2015 net neutrality rules.She's been a staunch defender of the rules and has opposed the current Republican-led repeal of the rules in December.She is also the first woman to chair the agency, a position she held from May 2013 until October that year when President Obama appointed Tom Wheeler as chairman.Clyburn was one of 43 women highlighted who have made a difference in their chosen field of technology.As a former public utility commissioner for South Carolina and a publisher and editor of a weekly newspaper serving the African American community of Charleston, she has long championed consumer causes and promoted diversity in media.
What does the future of fake news look like?No one really knows, but here’s a little sampler from Jordan Peele and BuzzFeed, who teamed up to make the above PSA.Using some of the latest AI techniques, Peele ventriloquizes Barack Obama, having him voice his opinion on Black Panther (“Killmonger was right”) and call President Donald Trump “a total and complete dipshit.”The video was made by Peele’s production company using a combination of old and new technology: Adobe After Effects and the AI face-swapping tool FakeApp.The latter is the most prominent example of how AI can facilitate the creation of photorealistic fake videos.It started life on Reddit as a tool for making fake celebrity porn, but it has since become a worrying symbol of the power of AI to generate misinformation and fake news.
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Before he became an Academy Award-winning director, Jordan Peele was known for his pitch-perfect impersonation of former President Barack Obama as part of the Comedy Central show Key & Peele.Now, Peele has resurrected that impersonation in a partnership between BuzzFeed and his own Monkeypaw Productions for a faux public service announce on the importance of media literacy in the era of fake news.Technology is making it increasingly easy to spread misinformation by manipulating video and audio.In this particular video, which was distributed across social media channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat, the digital manipulation is especially scary considering what is being said.The project was born out of Peele and BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti’s conversations about fake news, new technologies and what seems to be an erosion of shared reality, according to BuzzFeed.The segment was written by Peele and produced by BuzzFeed’s Jared Sosa.
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Senate Bill 822, written by state Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, will have its first hearing before the Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee, which could gut key provisions of the legislation.These offerings allow a company to pay data charges so that certain apps don't count against a wireless subscriber's data plan.Net neutrality supporters are worried that the state's legislature led by Democrats is conceding too much to industry lobbyists, who say they support the spirit of net neutrality but believe Wiener's legislation goes too far.On Monday, the committee issued a report that many net neutrality supporters said eliminates key protections and opens huge loopholes that would allow internet service providers to skirt net neutrality protections."They're calling for giant loopholes that would gut SB 822 and leave California residents vulnerable to ISP scams and abuses."Other states including New York, Connecticut and Maryland, are preparing legislation to protect net neutrality.
This is because the nomination of Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine has languished for months before the US Senate—NASA has not had a formal administrator since Charles Bolden left the agency on the day President Barack Obama left office.The better part of a year has passed since the Trump administration nominated Bridenstine to fill the vacancy.In reality, with all Democrats likely to vote against him, the White House has not had enough votes in the narrowly divided Senate to confirm Bridenstine because Florida Republican Marco Rubio has opposed him, and Arizona Republican John McCain has been absent.But now, it appears that the White House has the votes, as multiple sources have told Ars that Rubio now supports Bridenstine's nomination.In the Senate, Florida Democrat Bill Nelson had successfully spearheaded the opposition to Bridenstine, saying a starkly conservative politician should not lead an agency known for its lack of partisanship.A technical agency like NASA would be better led by a scientist, engineer, or astronaut, Nelson argued.
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Shantanu Narayen, Adobe’s CEO, recently declared that products [aren’t the main] differentiator anymore in a world where people are buying experiences, not products.The importance of online video was summed up perfectly by Arun Chaudhary, who served as the first official White House videographer for President Barack Obama, when he also waded in by saying “If you don’t constantly tell your story, other people will tell it for you…and take it from you.” In the past few weeks, I have been bombarded with some mouthwatering stats that illustrate the demise of SEO, email marketing, and even written search.Thankfully, it’s not all about automation; there is a clear focus towards using storytelling to build trust.SEO is no longer just about links and keywords and is in need of a dramatic overhaul.Because we can speak 4 x faster than we can type.Analysts go as far as to say that by 2020, 50% of searches will be made using our voice rather than fingers.
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Google computer scientist Supasorn Suwajanakorn has created a lip-reading technology that can make convincing, fake videos of celebrities saying anything he wants.The computer program learns how to imitate the way a person talks by watching videos of them speaking.In an era of fake news, we can still rely on our own eyes to spot the truth, right?Computer scientist Supasorn Suwajanakorn, now a research resident at Google Brain, has created a new kind of lip-reading technology that can make a fake video of just about anyone that looks and sounds almost exactly like them.All the program needs is a few photos and videos to learn from.He said the new system, which he created as a PhD thesis project at the University of Washington, uses a neural learning network to mimic movements in the mouth and teeth of a person from video footage.
Perhaps start a tech company known for its ruthless ways, face regulatory troubles, make ungodly amounts of money and then spend the rest of your life doing great philanthropic work.This is just one suggestion, but it's based on the announcement Wednesday that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has been named in an annual poll as the world's most admired man.He beat out former US President Barack Obama, martial artist and actor Jackie Chan and Chinese President Xi Jinping for the top spot -- though this may lead some to conclude that the world has rather divided criteria for admiration.The poll was based on the views of more than 37,000 people in 35 countries.It comes via YouGov, a market research and data analytics firm based in London.This did, though, represent a rise of one spot for Trump over last year.
Behind every great woman, there is often another great woman who has encouraged her and listened to her and advised her, rather than tried to compete with her.That’s the way that it should be, according to Shine Theory, a concept that was crystalized by journalist Ann Friedman in 2013 and embraced by women in the last presidential administration at the urging of Barack Obama himself.As Obama’s former senior advisor Valerie Jarrett recalls its genesis in the White House, numerous women who’d been hired into largely male administration began voicing their opinions less and less over time.“You had to really push your idea in, and [it was] totally exhausting,” Jarrett recalls in a new interview with the founder of TaskRabbit, Leah Busque .Jarrett — who’d recruited many of the female senior officials and knew they were the “best and the brightest” — felt responsible for their happiness, so she voiced her concern.These women aren’t talking as much as they did at the beginning; they’re shying away.
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It's an interesting time for Virgin Hyperloop One, which saw one of its board members arrested on fraud and embezzlement charges in Russia last week and three other high-profile directors departing the board, according to Bloomberg.But that hasn't stopped the futuristic-transport startup from showing off its latest pod prototype, first for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and now for the rest of us via the video above.The charges faced by Russian billionaire and board member Ziyavudin Magomedov are reportedly unrelated to Virgin Hyperloop One, and he is appealing the arrest.Following the arrest, the company's list of board members on its website was updated.Magomedov is still listed, but gone are Jim Messina, former adviser to Barack Obama, X Prize founder Peter Diamandis and former Morgan Stanley exec Jim Rosenthal.In their place are new board members Bill Shor, Yuvraj Narayan of shipping company DP World and Anatoly Braverman of Russia's sovereign wealth fund.
Virgin Hyperloop One is currently courting investment in Saudi Arabia with an eye toward building one of its high-speed transports in the Kingdom.But trouble at the top of the company threatens to shake investor confidence.One Hyperloop director of the board was arrested over the weekend, and on Monday, three others were replaced.A list of directors that was updated on the company’s website Monday showed three members stepped down from the 10-person board: Jim Messina, a former adviser to President Barack Obama; Jim Rosenthal, a former Morgan Stanley executive; and Peter Diamandis, founder of X Prize.New board members are Bill Shor of Caspian Venture Capital; Yuvraj Narayan, chief financial officer of DP World; and Anatoly Braverman of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund.The changes were made several weeks ago, a person familiar with the situation said.
Netflix has poached former Grindr global marketing head Peter Sloterdyk, ending a role he has held at the dating app since 2016.According to an update on Sloterdyk’s LinkedIn profile he now serves as director of marketing for North America, Australia and New Zealand from its Los Angeles office, although neither Grindr nor Netflix have commented publicly on the move.During his stint at Grindr Sloterdyk oversaw an increase in the number of daily active members from 3 million to 4 million, a track record he will hope to emulate with the streaming services' own subscriber base.Netflix has risen to dominate the booming streaming sector with an increasingly ambitious production programme that is said to include former US president Barack Obama in future content.
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The EPA plans to roll back the Obama Administration’s standards on car emissions, setting the auto industry – and the Trump government – on a collision course with California.Describing the previous standards as having been made “with politically charged expediency,” US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt argued that the emissions limits were “too high.”At the heart of the controversy is the Obama Administration’s attempt to finish up the Midterm Evaluation (MTE) process for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards.That affects cars and light trucks for the model years spanning 2022 to 2025.“This evaluation would determine whether the standards remain appropriate or should be made more, or less stringent,” the EPA says.Their argument has been that the demands made are simply too great, and unfeasible even given the ongoing transition to greater electrification.
The existing standards, which Barack Obama pushed for in 2012, demand each automaker nearly double the average fuel efficiency of its cars, to deliver 36 miles per gallon.The state had rules to battle govern tailpipe emissions before a 1970 amendment to the Clean Air Act gave the EPA the authority to govern vehicle efficiency.No other state can do this, but they may opt to follow California’s rules, which tend to be more stringent than whatever Washington drums up.It may sound like a pain, but it’s cheaper than building two versions of every car—the cleanish one for most of the country, and the cleaner one for the folks who like their air salty but clean.Pruitt, a climate change skeptic, has signaled he’s ready—and right—to wrestle the grizzly bear."California is not the arbiter of these issues," he told Bloomberg this month.
Obama is now in the White House.Captain 'Sully' Sullenberger makes a successful crash landing on the Hudson River.Palm is still a phone maker, and it's seen as the main rival to the iPhone.Nobody has landed on the Hudson.Palm might be making a return to shelves after years in the wilderness.Well, that's the rumor from Android Police, who've spoken to a source familiar with the matter.
You know what tech startups hate?The problem is, Facebook isn’t a startup any more, but its competitors are.The government could require extensive ads transparency reporting or data privacy protections.But the danger is that those same requirements could be much more onerous for a tiny upstart company to uphold.Without much cash or enough employees, and with product-market fit still to nail down, young startups might be anchored by the weight of regulation.STANFORD, CA – JUNE 24: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (R) hugs U.S. President Barack Obama during the 2016 Global Entrepeneurship Summit at Stanford University on June 24, 2016 in Stanford, California.
Two Democrats in the US Senate are pushing President Donald Trump to hire a lead advisor for the administration's Office of Science and Technology Policy."The director position has been vacant for more than a year, and we believe it is critical to appoint a well-qualified individual, with background in science or engineering, to this role as soon as possible," Sens.Mark Warner of Virginia and Gary Peters of Michigan said in a letter on Thursday.The two are co-chairs of the Senate Science Forum.The OSTP's job is to advise the president on science matters that affect the country's economy, national security, environment, health and foreign relations.But the Trump administration has alienated many scientists, in particular over the issue of global climate change, and thousands protested the administration in a 2017 demonstration, the March for Science.
called for a new platform that lets elected officials and their constituents engage in more productive and mutually beneficial ways.“The social media platforms we have today usually do not create the kind of productive discourse useful for accurate representation and good government,” Crawford wrote, attributing their shortcomings to the profit motive of the providers.Before the technology can be built, however, we need to acknowledge what our goals are for a democracy-enhancing tech disruptor.Here are some thoughts on what such a platform would look like:Promote productive and civil dialog between elected officials and votersWe all know that etiquette and civility quickly become casualties on the internet, and the normalization of these hostile exchanges are bleeding into the real world in disturbing and damaging ways.
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