Are Deepfakes Dangerous? Creators and Regulators Disagree

Over the past few years, deepfakes have emerged as the internet’s latest go-to for memes and parody content.

It’s easy to see why: They enable creators to bend the rules of reality like no other technology before. Through the magic of deepfakes, you can watch Jennifer Lawrence deliver a speech through the face of Steve Buscemi, see what Ryan Reynolds would’ve looked like as Willy Wonka, and even catch Hitler and Stalin singing Video Killed The Radio Star in a duet.

For the uninitiated, deepfake tech is a form of synthetic media that allows users to superimpose a different face on someone else’s in a way that’s nearly indistinguishable from the original. It does so by reading heaps of data to understand the face’s contours and other characteristics to naturally blend and animate it into the scene.

Ryan Reynolds as Willy Wonka Deepfake from NextFace
NextFace/Youtube

At this point, you’ve probably come across such clips on platforms like

Read More
Read More

Study documents a persistent, dangerous problem — ScienceDaily

As many as 800 million children have dangerously high lead values in their blood. The neurotoxin can cause permanent brain damage.

The huge international numbers come from a new report from Pure Earth and UNICEF. Pure Earth works to solve pollution problems that can be harmful to humans.

“A child’s earliest years of life are characterized by rapid growth and brain development. This makes children particularly vulnerable to harmful substances in the environment,” says Kam Sripada, a postdoc at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) who has contributed to the report.

Sripada collaborates with international organizations to research social health inequalities, especially among children.

“Exposure to lead during pregnancy and early in life can lead to a child never reaching his or her potential,” she says.

Sripada works at NTNU’s Center for Global Health Inequalities Research (CHAIN) in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and UNICEF.

Read More
Read More

Elite Dangerous Is Making Its Horizons Expansion Free

Elite Dangerous is making Horizons, its 2015 expansion, free for all players. Horizons added the ability to land on planets, use ground vehicles and bases, and craft weapons, alongside numerous other upgrades–all of which will soon be available to everyone with the base game on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

From October 27, Horizons will be made free to all players–right now, it costs $30. If you bought the expansion at an earlier point, you’ll be given an exclusive paint job for your ships, called Azure. It can be applied to all 41 ships in the game.

Elite Dangerous has a new expansion coming in 2021, called Odyssey. It will let you get out of your ship and explore planets by foot, expanding the game out even further. Earlier this year, the Fleet Carriers update proceeded the announcement of a new narrative arc for the game, which will see the

Read More
Read More

Talk of a scientific rift is a dangerous distraction in the fight against Covid-19 | Coronavirus outbreak

The cardinal rule of coronavirus policy is that you must follow “the science”. Or, at the very least, you must say that you are. After the US’s disastrous response to the pandemic, Donald Trump still insists he is “guided by science”. In the UK, Boris Johnson and his ministers always claimed that our own bumbling response was either “led by the science” or “following the science”, even as Britain’s infection rate soared above other countries that were also, in their own words, following the science.

Sometimes it is easy for us to separate out false claims about science from real ones. Early in the crisis, the majority of mainstream scientists, and institutions such as the World Health Organization, supported swift lockdown measures. Trump resisted this approach, instead putting his faith in quack cures that his closest scientific advisers clearly opposed. Johnson has tended to drag his heels, taking the

Read More
Read More

The Dangerous Security Of An Amazon Drone That Spies On The Inside Of Your Home

Amazon’s
AMZN
home-security business Ring announced a niche offering Thursday: a drone that flies inside a house. Dubbed the “Always Home Cam,” this interior surveillance apparatus is designed to ship in 2021, with an expected list price of $250. It is, in many ways, a caricature of gimmick drones, of home security, and of what an opt-in panopticon offers.

Ring’s Always Home Cam is a quadcopter built only for indoor flight, its small rotors contained in boxy protective grills. Its body, dangling from below the rotors, contains a 1080p video camera, which effectively shutters itself inside a charging station when the drone is at rest. While the dimensions are not yet public, the largest Ring device on the market today is barely longer than 5 inches, and it is safe to assume the Always Home Cam

Read More
Read More