thoughts about stuff

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  • Instagram now flags manipulated images

    As reported by PetaPixel, Instagram is now using a combination of AI and humans to flag manipulated images. Photoshop has been a verb for quite some time, but the move into the “post-evidence” world, the issue of provenance is rapidly becoming a challenge. Since PetaPixel is a photography-focused site, they highlight that there is a whole…

  • 21st Century Manhattan Project

    That was the term I used for virtual humans back in 2013 during a TedX talk “Analog Soul – Digital World.” I argued that avatars would progress to the point where their impact would reach far beyond just their intended use. Looks like we’re one step closer to that, courtesy of Neon. Part of the…

  • plugging in the brain

    The goal of brain-to-digital interfaces has been the stuff of science fiction for decades, but is edging closer to science fact. The recent use of high-density electrocorticography (ECoG) to achieve ~60% success rates in “mind reading” points toward these capabilities becoming reality sooner rather than later. When combined with IoT sensor networks (including body computing/wearables) and rapidly…

  • laying blame

    The current situation in Hong Kong may be one of the turning points for global security. The Chinese government is blaming the US for the protests. People I know with ties to Hong Kong say the only role the US plays in their protests are around the concepts of democracy and suffrage being goals to…

  • will trade secrets kill the 6th amendment?

    As we move into an increasingly AI-influenced world, we will have to continually revisit our governance structures and approaches to figure out what freedoms still exist, what are at risk, and what need to be rethought. The recent move to include algorithms in the bail bond process should lead us to consider potential impacts to…

  • dark patterns

    No doubt you’ve been on a web site and clicked on something that you thought was part of the “content”, but instead was either an ad or something unexpected. Those of us that have worked in UI/UX design, the “prime directive” typically is to make life clear and easy for the user. When you boil…

  • once upon a time…

    Life used to be simple. You got up, you went to work, you came home, you ate dinner, you watched TV. On the weekends you’d go to the movies. There was a very clean line between TV and movies – small screen vs big screen, at home vs in a theater. Ahh, the simple life.…

  • the ugly side of tech

    While the news is awash in various Facebook mis-steps (Cambridge Analytica being the most recent driver), the latest “smoking gun” is a memo written by Facebook VP Andrew Bosworth in 2016 talking about the ends justifying the means. While most of the press is clickbaiting with this “horrible memo” etc, a piece on The Atlantic…

  • triple Uber failure

    photo by Uber We knew this day would come. The Tesla autopilot incident a few years back was a harbinger, but since a human was still “in control” it really wasn’t the test that autonomous vehicles had coming. But the AZ incident is the first case of a pedestrian being killed by a robocar. The…

  • reality has always been mixed

    While there is plenty of hype around “mixed reality” and how new the technology is, in fact reality has *always* been mixed. Perception is reality, and that has never been absolute. But what has changes are the stimuli that forms the perception. The inputs have changed (or more accurately, been increased), but the process of…

  • running blades

    Blade Runner 2049, while not crushing the box office, certainly has some people excited (my artist/wife being one of them). We saw it last night and my 3 word review is: Brilliant, flawed, beautiful It did provide a new tag line for me to use – “if it’s real, it should be messy.” The context…

  • carbon + silicon

    We are a carbon-based life form. Though silicon is abundant in our world, it is not incorporated into us or other “organic” systems. One reason for this is based on the atomic structure – in short, Si can’t do pi bonds (double bonds), which are critical for diversity in molecular bonding. But enzymes can be…