How Deepfakes Might Change the World (Pt. 2)

The other concern experts have about deepfakes, AI generated videos that can look and sound very real, is the speed at which their realism is increasing as evidenced by the viral videos of a deepfaked Tom Cruise covering Dave Matthews Band songs and doing coin flips. These demonstrated the increasing realism of these generated video and audio files.

Neither the Zelensky or Putin videos came close to the quality of Tom Cruise TikTok video. However, currently, one tactic to hide flaws is to use a purposefully low-quality video resolution like that which was used in the Zelensky and Putin videos.

Even if a deepfake is of low quality each one and each increase in quality blurs the line between fact and fiction online, according to experts. Many believe that even a bad deepfake can accomplish the task of planting doubt and obscuring the truth.

Some believe we could cross a line and on the other side is a world in which truth will no longer exist. These experts believe that when you can no longer believe anything you see everything becomes fake. It is not that everything will become true, but one loses confidence in everything. The truth becomes irrelevant in a sea of falsehoods.

Deepfakes Bring Psychological Warfare to the Ukraine (Pt. 1)

Amid the first weeks of Russia’s war in the Ukraine a video of Volodymyr Zelensky surfaced online. He wore a dark green shirt, spoke with purpose and was standing behind a white presidential podium adorned with the Ukraine coat of arms. His body held nearly still while his head and face were quite animated while he spoke.

Part of the speech in the video was as follows. “I ask you to lay down your weapons and go back to your families. This war is not worth dying for. I suggest you to keep on living, and I am going to do the same.”

The video was quickly identified as a “deepfake” – a realistic computer generated video.

Just five years ago deepfakes were not part of the common consciousness. The false but persuasive video and/or audio files are generated with the help of artificial intelligence. Worryingly and unsurprisingly they are now being employed to try to impact the outcome of a war. And it wasn’t just the Zelensky video, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin also went viral. In the video the faux-Putin was declaring peace with the Ukraine.

Experts in propaganda, disinformation and authentication have long worried that deepfakes would be used to sew lies and chaos throughout society. As deepfakes become more realistic the potential for influence and damage increases exponentially.

Meta Completes Its Own Supercomputer for AI Research

Facebook has put many of its eggs in the AI basket hoping it would help them with moderating all the posts on its social media platform. Now Meta, the Facebook parent company, is building its first supercomputer.

Meta has announced its new AI Research SuperCluster—a supercomputer meant to be used for research projects in the field of AI. The supercomputer has been in the works for two years. Meta hopes it will help them develop more powerful AI which could be useful in the difficult task of recognizing hate speech or other posts that go against their community standards.

Meta said that the RSC will help quickly train multi-modal AI that can understand context in a post, like language, tone and images, analyze this data and make or suggest a moderation decision.

Supercomputers employ many computer processors that are all connected inside what are commonly referred to as “nodes.” Supercomputers have been an essential part of much of the world’s AI research. The U.S. Department of Energy has its own supercomputer, Summit, which is the fastest in the U.S. and the second fastest in the world. Microsoft and Nvidia are two other well-known companies who keep and use their own custom supercomputer.

 

Very Human Robot Writes Poetry and Creates Art

Artificial intelligence has been a part of science fiction for years and has often been portrayed as anywhere from troubling to outright evil.

AI is not commonly associated with things like art and poetry, but that is the purpose of the very realistic human-like robot, Ai-Da, invented by Aidan Meller in Oxford, England. She spends her time creating poetry and visual art. She is the worlds first robot of her kind and publicly performed some of her poetry that she wrote using her AI. The poetry was in celebration of famous Italian poet Dante.

Ai-Da performed her poetry recital at the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University as part of an exhibition marking Dante’s 700th death anniversary.

Ai-Da’s poem was a response to Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” Ai-Da’s AI analyzed Dante’s writing patterns and vocabulary but also her own databank of words—between the two her AI created the final product.

Ai-Da’s creator, Meller, stated that her ability to imitate human writing is so incredible it is hard to know it wasn’t written by a human.

Ai-Da doesn’t only write poetry, she also is very capable of creating works of art. She made one of the Dante exhibition. It was inspired by her own experience in Egypt when security forces detained Ai-Da and Meller over security concerns over the cameras in her eyes, which they wanted to remove. The piece is titled “Eyes Wide Shut.”

Facebook Testing New AI That Will Detect Arguments in Facebook Groups

If you frequent Facebook or other online platforms you know conversations can get out of hand quickly. Facebook is hoping to use an AI program to keep things calm. The social media platform is testing a machine learning program that would detect fights in Facebook’s Groups and report it to the group admins so they can intervene.

Facebook will be rolling out a number of new tools to help the 70 million users who run and moderate groups on the social media platform. Facebook has 2.85 billion monthly users, 1.8 billion participate in groups each month and there are tens of millions of active groups on the platform.

Along with these other tools, AI will decide when to send out a “conflict alert” to those admins and moderators who maintain groups on the platform. When the AI finds a conversation to be “unhealthy” or “contentious” the AI will send out a message and the human administrators of the group can decide from there what to do.

Social media platforms have increasingly relied on AI to filter what users see and to help remove hate speech from their platforms. However, AI has not always treated users fairly when left to its own devices. So, Facebook is hoping this new combination an AI watch dog and allowing the human administrators of the group to make final decisions will be a more fair way to handle things.

Twitter Ditches Biased Image Cropping AI

Twitter has pretty much abandoned an image-cropping AI after discovering that automated system was biased. Users had complained it had a preference toward showing pictures of white people in previews of tweets.

A blog post from Rumman Chowdhury, software engineering director at Twitter, stated that Twitter concluded the AI was biased after testing it for both gender and race biases. The post and research essay attached detailed that the cropping system when tested on random images demonstrated a preference for white people over black people and men over women.

Chowdhury stated that their conclusion is some tasks are best left to people and are not a good task for AI.

The research conclusions come months after the company said it would investigate the issue with its AI image cropping program.

Twitter, in March, started testing a new method to show a full image, rather than auto cropped previews, on mobile devices when a user tweeted a single image. The program would auto-crop the preview image people saw before clicking the preview for the full image. However, the program was prone to errors.

Now they rely on saliency which requires knowing what area of the image the eye is drawn to first.

 

Meet a New Personal Robot

There’s a new personal robot ready to help you. It’s called Ballie and is made by Samsung. It was introduced at CES2020.

It is a small rolling robot that reacts to your needs. In the video, you can see some of the capabilities. From waking up and opening your drapes, helping you with your exercises, your pets, connecting its camera through an app, turning on the TV for your pet, knowing to clean the floor with the vacuum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7N5UDZX7TQ

Need Help Knitting?

MIT researchers have created an AI that can do your knitting for you! Create your own design and have it made for you. Even if you have never knitted a stitch before, with this system you can create hats, gloves, or whatever you want. Even patterned designs. You can create a template for the computer to follow.

The only missing ingredient is the joy you can get from making each stitch by hand…




Source

Are You Smarter Than an AI?

AIs are supposed to be ever learning. However computer vision can be a different story. The Verge has an interesting article that shows some pictures and what AI sees it as.

In the article are a lot of pictures labeled with what the AI says it is vs. what it really is. In one group they are showing 4 different pictures of a dragonfly but the AI doesn’t identify any of them as a dragonfly.

It is important to get computers to see what is really there especially in the realm of self-driving cars. We don’t want them to see stop signs where there aren’t any or vice-versa. In another article on The Verge, it was reported that Google’s AI saw a rifle and not a turtle. If this had been something where they were looking for adversarial attacks, this could be a problem.

Ever need music clip for a video?

With all the copyright laws out there, if you need music for videos, here’s a site where you can generate AI music. At Jukedeck, you can choose genre (instruments), moods, and length. They have also have a list of pre-made downloads. Every track is unique and royalty free.

If you set up an account, you can save your downloads for future use. This was originated at Cambridge University by a team of composers, producers, engineers, academics, and machine learning experts.

The downloads are free for small businesses or individuals if you give them credit or $0.99 per download without credit. For businesses with 10 or more employees the cost is $21.99 per download. If you need to buy the copyright, it is $199 and you own it outright.

Here are some samples: