The disruptive effect of AI-enhanced media manipulation

Artificial intelligence techniques such as convolutional neural networks (CNNs) and their variant generative adversarial networks (GANs) can be used to create extremely convincing fake images, voices and videos. The technologies are being developed within research institutions, enterprises and the open source community and being deployed in multiple applications – for good (such as Hollywood fantasy blockbusters) and ill (such as fake celebrity videos). Such are the capabilities of AI to help improve the traditional ways of creating manipulated media that there is the potential to disrupt sectors of commerce – as well as presenting a challenge to news organisations and publishers. Two industries that might feel the impact are cyber security and entertainment.

Robot Olympics: more exciting than the human version?

The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang showcased the East Asian nation’s robotics heritage by including robots in many areas of the event ... but there was also a mini-event taking place at the same time a two-hour drive from PyeongChang: robotic skiing. Eight teams sent their full metal skiers down a slalom run. The results were mixed, with near equal helpings of cuteness, idiocy and admiration ... could this presage more robotic sports?

These are the most important short-term trends in AI

Forward Partners, a London-based company that specialises in early stages venture capital investing, has come up with a series of observations and predictions on the microtrends that are expected to shape the AI business in the next five years. The company’s insights are drawn from its interactions with nearly 500 applied AI start-ups. Chris Corbishley, an investor with Forward Partners, took part in the AI Expo 2018 held in London Olympia on 18 and 19 April. In his public speech Corbishley outlined the trends that could potentially define the AI start-up scene in the years to come...

What causes AI boom and bust: a personal view of Artificial Intelligence history

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is ubiquitous. Everything from toiletries to phones to cow tracking claims to be using ‘cutting edge AI technology’ to improve the efficiency, usefulness or accuracy of specific products or services.

But the cutting edge might not be as sharp as many believe. AI has a nearly 70-year long history with some surprising backtracks and re-emergences among it...

A new way of thinking about media forensics

Artificial Intelligence (AI) approaches are increasingly used to create or edit media ... The capabilities of these tools mean it’s harder than ever to spot a fake image, or a fake sound recording or a fake video – and that’s a problem for many organisations. What’s needed is a radical rethink, by those who care, of the way that trust in media content can be evaluated, that draws on well-established protocols and analogous problems. Rather than try to spot a fake by looking more closely at its content (for instance, the edges of visual elements, composition, relationships between pixels in an image, or the attributes of the file such as file size or compression) etc, one must instead look more closely at its context. There are multiple ways this might be done. The military have long been specialists at deception (think camouflage) and the assessment of information of variable trustworthiness...


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