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Controversial AI image platform Civitai has been dropped by its cloud computing provider


OctoML says it has ended its business relationship with Civitai days after an investigation by 404 Media revealed the text-to-image platform was being used to generate images that "could be categorized as child pornography." While OctoML initially indicated it would continue working with Civitai and introduced new measures to curb the creation of harmful images, 404 Media reported on Saturday that it has now decided to cut ties with the platform altogether. According to 404 Media's December 5 report, internal communications showed that OctoML was aware some Civitai users were creating sexually explicit material that included nonconsensual images of real people and pornographic depictions of children. In a followup report this weekend, the publication noted that OctoML rolled out a filter to block the generation of all NSFW content on Civitai before announcing its decision to pull out. Civitai also added new moderation methods in response to the investigation earlier this week, including a mandatory embedding called Civitai Safe Helper (Minor) that bars the model from generating images of children if "a mature theme or keyword is detected," according to 404.

Are robot mixologists out to replace human bartenders taking more American jobs?

FOX News

KIME, the robotic bartender, is a marvel of modern engineering. There is a revolutionary change underway when it comes to making our food and drinks. The advent of robotics, once limited to the fields of industrial manufacturing and the beloved Roomba, is now making a monumental leap into our kitchens and dining experiences. This shift is not just a fleeting trend; it's an evolution reshaping the very fabric of the food and beverage industry. CLICK TO GET KURT'S FREE CYBERGUY NEWSLETTER WITH SECURITY ALERTS, QUICK VIDEO TIPS, TECH REVIEWS, AND EASY HOW-TO'S TO MAKE YOU SMARTER KIME is a humanoid bartending kiosk that stands as a testament to the possibilities of robotic technology in food service.

ChatGPT exploded into public life a year ago. Now we know what went on behind the scenes John Naughton

The Guardian

If a week is a long time in politics, a year is an eternity in tech. Just over 12 months ago, the industry was humming along in its usual way. The big platforms were deep into what Cory Doctorow calls "enshittification" – the process in which platforms go from being initially good to their users, to abusing them to make things better for their business customers and finally to abusing those customers in order to claw back all the value for themselves. Elon Musk was ramping up his efforts to alienate advertisers on Twitter/X and accelerate the death spiral of his expensive toy. TikTok was monopolising every waking hour of teenagers.

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That Google Gemini video was so amazing because of some slick editing


A demo video of Gemini, Google's new AI model, isn't as "mindblowing" as it appears. On Wednesday, Google released Gemini, a natively-built multimodal model that surpassed OpenAI's GPT-4 in major intelligence benchmarks. A six-minute demo video showing off Gemini's amazing abilities to track a ball in a cup trick, locate countries on a map, and identify a simple duck drawing wowed techies on social media -- and seemed to convince the internet that AGI (artificial general intelligence) is on the horizon. But it didn't take long for experts to discover the Gemini video was a teensy bit exaggerated. As Parmy Olson for Bloomberg first reported, the video was edited in numerous ways.

Did Israel's overreliance on tech cause October 7 intelligence failure?

Al Jazeera

An overreliance on technology by Israel's intelligence agencies and military has continued to shape the current conflict in Gaza, analysts say, while also being partially responsible for the failure to detect the Hamas attack on October 7. Hamas's surprise attack on army outposts and surrounding villages in southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,200 Israeli and foreign nationals, mostly civilians, took the Israeli intelligence agencies by surprise. Hamas fighters also took about 240 people captive. Israel, in its brutal military response, has killed more than 17,000 Palestinians in Gaza since then. Within both Israel and the wider Arab region, many have asked how Shin Bet, one of the world's most respected and feared intelligence agencies, which is responsible for Israel's domestic security, could have been outmatched by Hamas using bulldozers and paragliders. The world's disbelief has sparked a bounty of conspiracy theories in some quarters.

The Gospel: Israel turns to a new AI system in the Gaza war

Al Jazeera

More than 60 days into the Israel-Gaza war, two Israeli news outlets – 972 magazine and Local Call – published a report on The Gospel, a new artificial intelligence system deployed in Gaza. The AI helps generate new targets at an unprecedented rate, allowing the Israeli military to loosen its already permissive constraints on the killing of civilians. The exchange of hostages between Israel and Hamas late last month created some challenges for the Netanyahu government – and its messaging. Producer Meenakshi Ravi looks at how Israeli media has been reporting on the story. As the world is focused on the events unfolding in Gaza, Israel has also escalated its attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, where Hamas has no authority or military presence.

Uncanny valley: What's the latest TikTok makeup trend?

Al Jazeera

Pasty skin, empty eyes and slightly misshapen features against delirious music tracks – it's the recent TikTok trend with a dose of disconcerting strangeness. Generally called the uncanny valley makeup trend, it involves creators using makeup to appear as hyper-realistic bots. Some of the videos under this trend have received up to 13 million likes on the platform. I love the uncanny valley makeup trend because it taps into the primal fear of being stalked by a not-quite-human thing that's ambiguously threatening. Modern thrillers often confuse surprise with fear: Lingering creepiness is much scarier than one-time jump scares and CGIs.

AI could provide the 'ultimate second opinion' as scientists say it is just as good as doctors at analysing X-rays

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Artificial intelligence could provide the'ultimate second opinion' as it is just as good as doctors at analysing X-rays, scientists have claimed. Tests using AI software on millions of old scans diagnosed conditions at least as accurately as radiologists 94 per cent of the time. The joint study by Warwick University and King's College London suggested it could prove vital in avoiding human error when checking patients' results. The AI software, which can scan X-rays as soon as they are taken, is able to understand the seriousness of each condition and flag the more urgent ones immediately. The study's authors suggested it could be used to screen X-rays, freeing up time for busy doctors to focus on more critical patients and helping deal with chronic NHS staffing shortages.

European Union reaches agreement on landmark legislation to regulate AI

Al Jazeera

European Union policymakers have agreed on landmark legislation to regulate artificial intelligence (AI), paving the way for the most ambitious set of standards yet to control the use of the game-changing technology. The agreement to support the "AI Act" on Friday came after nearly 38 hours of negotiations between lawmakers and policymakers. "The AI Act is a global first. A unique legal framework for the development of AI you can trust," EU chief Ursula von der Leyen said. A commitment we took in our political guidelines – and we delivered.