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Technology and You

For all of its massive implications — its impact on our countries, communities, lives — AI is just cool. And it's getting cooler. As one of the hottest and most explosive fields in science, AI sees new leaps in ability nearly every day. Self-driving cars. Universal translators. Virtual assistants that almost perfectly mimic humans. Health diagnostics that can spot and kill diseases before doctors even notice them. It's not science fiction anymore. It's real life. And it's happening right now.

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Deepfake maps could really mess with your sense of the world

Deepfake maps could really mess with your sense of the world

Ars Technica | May 30, 2021

Image-manipulation tools capable of creating fake satellite images using AI are spreading. In a paper published online last month, University of Washington professor Bo Zhao employed AI techniques to create so-called deepfakes to alter satellite images of several cities. Zhao and colleagues swapped features between images of Seattle and Beijing to show buildings where there are none in Seattle and to remove structures and replace them with greenery in Beijing. As with deepfake video clips that purport to show people in compromising situations, such imagery could mislead governments or spread on social media, sowing misinformation or doubt about real visual information.
How AI Shapes Our Daily Lives

How AI Shapes Our Daily Lives

May 19, 2021

It seems like time is really speeding up, doesn’t it? Things that were once considered science fiction have become part of our reality. Technologies like self-driving cars and smart homes are quickly becoming part of the daily lives of millions of Americans. Given how fast the landscape is changing, it raises the question: how will these new technologies affect us? And more importantly, will they be accessible for everyone?
Connecting With My Voice: AI and Accessibility

Connecting With My Voice: AI and Accessibility

Apr 21, 2021

Since the rise of the Internet, digital inclusion and accessibility has been a concern. The number of people working and interacting with computers and other devices daily is rising — especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic— leading to renewed anxiety surrounding the ease and access of Internet navigation.
Europe Proposes Strict Rules for Artificial Intelligence

Europe Proposes Strict Rules for Artificial Intelligence

New York Times | Apr 21, 2021

The European Union passed strict regulations to govern the use of AI. The regulations outline how companies and governments can use AI; they set limits on the use of AI in a range of activities, from self-driving cars to hiring decisions, bank lending, school enrollment selections, and exam scoring. It also covers the use of AI by law enforcement and court systems.
Facebook’s new AI teaches itself to see with less human help

Facebook’s new AI teaches itself to see with less human help

Ars Technica | Mar 7, 2021

Facebook has recently built an algorithm that can recognize objects in images with little human help. The algorithm, called Seer, was trained on more than a billion images that the company pulled from Instagram. Images with whiskers, fur, and pointy ears, for example, were collected into a pile. The algorithm was then given a small number of human-labeled images -- some of "cats" -- and, lo and behold, it was able to recognize the initial images as belonging to cats or not. So what's the point? Tech like this could be used to read medical images without the need for labeling scans and x-rays. It could be used at Facebook to match ads to posts or help filter out undesirable content. It could even help auto-generate hashtags for Instagram posts.
Lack of Sleep Could Be a Problem for AIs

Lack of Sleep Could Be a Problem for AIs

Scientific American | Dec 9, 2020

AI tool may predict movies' future ratings

AI tool may predict movies' future ratings

University of Southern California | Nov 17, 2020

New AI tools developed by the USC Viterbi School of Engineering are able to rate a movie’s content in a matter of seconds by analyzing the script. A feature like this could allow film studio executives to plan a rating and marketing strategy long in advance. A kind of instantaneous feedback, this algorithm would tailor scriptwriting and filming decisions for maximum profit.
Vatican enlists bots to protect library from onslaught of hackers

Vatican enlists bots to protect library from onslaught of hackers

The Guardian | Nov 8, 2020

The Vatican Apostolic Library, home to 80,000 documents of tremendous value, has hired a cybersecurity firm to protect itself from hackers. As more of the library becomes digitized, the need for security increases. The algorithms in place are able to discover subtle, unusual activity that typically precedes a full-blown attack.

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