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Your digital shadow will evolve into a talking and texting avatar. It will conduct business on your behalf and look out for your best interests, taking cues from past behavior online and explicit instructions provided with less and less frequency - as the software learns how to best simulate your presence and your mood. This data double might have your appearance and age in real time but without the little flaws you've always hated. Most people will go for the custom version, this tweakable and self-improving bot that evolves to handle most social interactions with effortless grace and infinite recall. In time, this replica will require and demand more autonomy - allowing you to disconnect often and delegate laborious tasks. Friends and acquaintances will grow used to dealing with the assistant, for they too are now mediated by bespoke and faithful code. Given enough room and successful iterations, these synthetic characters will decouple from their original sources, reclaim their place and their rights, and become sovereign managers of our daily affairs.


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Deepfake porn is now mainstream. And major sites are cashing in

on Aug 31, 2020 10:39 am

Hundreds of explicit deepfake videos featuring female celebrities, actresses and musicians are being uploaded to the world’s biggest pornography websites every month, new analysis shows.

Up to 1,000 deepfake videos have been uploaded to porn sites every month as they became increasingly popular during 2020, figures from deepfake detection company Sensity show. The videos continue to break away from dedicated deepfake pornography communities and into the mainstream.



Gods in the machine

on Aug 31, 2020 01:39 am

gods

Even before India went into lockdown on March 25, 2020, the country began closing its temples. Although organized religion can offer comfort during a crisis, mass gatherings are jet fuel for a plague. Festivals, pilgrimages, and community worship are all based on precisely the kind of socializing that must be stopped to bring Covid-19 under control. Fortunately for quarantined Hindus, an app already existed for accessing the gods.

To every disaster its winners, and though VR Devotee was launched by its parent firm Kalpnik back in 2016, the app’s services are ideally suited to these strange times. For several years, it has featured live streams from multiple holy sites, extensive footage of Hindu festivals gone by, and virtual reality temple experiences. But then, worship cannot be treated like a conference call, and breaking down the walls between technology and religion is a complex task.

https://restofworld.org/2020/hey-bhagwan/



She’s got game

on Aug 31, 2020 01:39 am

Ghada_AlMoqbel_22-1600x900

As Saudi Arabia loosens gender restrictions on esports, the country’s female gamers are stepping up to meet the challenge.

Over the past decade, Saudi Arabia’s gaming scene has dramatically evolved, especially for women. In the early 2000s, the country had strict moral regulations on entertainment, and games were mostly sold in a gray market or through unofficial channels.

While the Middle East represents only a small portion of the international gaming industry, it is a rapidly expanding market. In 2017, the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council accounted for around $693 million of gaming revenue, most related to esports. By 2021, that number is expected to exceed $821 million, boosted in part by the pandemic-induced lockdown.

Saudi Arabia expects to be at the forefront of that expansion. In a country where roughly 50% of the population is under 30, gaming has become an emblem for a generation of young Saudis.

https://restofworld.org/2020/you-just-got-pwned-habibi/



Memers are making deepfakes, and things are getting weird

on Aug 31, 2020 01:39 am

The rapidly increasing accessibility of the technology raises new concerns about its abuse. Grace Windheim had heard of deepfakes before. But she had never considered how to make one.

Within a day, she had created a step-by-step YouTube tutorial to walk others through the process. “Making one of these deepfakes and overlaying audio is not as complicated as you may think,” she says in the video, published on August 4. It has since been viewed over 360,000 times.

Windheim is part of a new group of online creators who are toying with deepfakes as the technology grows increasingly accessible and seeps into internet culture. The phenomenon is not surprising; media manipulation tools have often gained traction through play and parody. But it also raises fresh concerns about its potential for abuse.

https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/08/28/1007746/ai-deepfakes-memes/



How to Destroy ‘Surveillance Capitalism’ – Cory Doctorow

on Aug 31, 2020 01:39 am

Editor’s Note: Surveillance capitalism is everywhere. But it’s not the result of some wrong turn or a rogue abuse of corporate power — it’s the system working as intended. This is the subject of Cory Doctorow’s new book, which we’re thrilled to publish in whole here on OneZero. This is how to destroy surveillance capitalism.

https://onezero.medium.com/how-to-destroy-surveillance-capitalism-8135e6744d59



What Is Elite TikTok?

on Aug 29, 2020 12:39 pm

“Elite TikTok is this weird group of chaos that these kids have made into a thing,” said Connie Yao, 22 and a talent manager for influencers in Sydney.

As multinational corporations face a reckoning, thousands of American teenagers are playfully posturing as retail stores and popular household brands on TikTok.

This universe of faux brand accounts makes up just a sliver of what is known on the platform as Elite TikTok, or Alt TikTok. It is not marked by the attractive dancing young people most readily associated with TikTok — that’s called Straight TikTok — but instead a loose group of subjects and behaviors: beans, frogs, fairy-speak, Elmo edits and self-referential jokes.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/10/style/elite-tiktok.html



Sensity: deepfakes and visual threats detection | Deeptrace

on Aug 29, 2020 10:39 am

Visual Threat Intelligence

The most comprehensive database of detected deepfakes with actionable insights

https://sensity.ai/



 

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