On this week's If Then, Slate's April Glaser and Will Oremus discuss the outrage at the largest TV-station owner in the country--Sinclair Broadcasting--after the media conglomerate forced its local-news anchors to read a script that echoes Trumpian talking points. They also unpack Trump's beef about Jeff Bezos owning what he calls the #AmazonWashingtonPost. Meanwhile, music streaming site Spotify went public this week in a totally new kind of way. The hosts take a look at its unorthodox move and what it means for the company's future.
High-speed 5G networks could lead to big changes in how we use our mobile phones, allowing us to enjoy virtual reality on-the-go, interactive live broadcasts, and even project holograms from our handsets. But will connection "not-spots" and high costs stop many of us reaping the benefits? Holograms have always felt like science fiction - think of the scene in Star Wars when robot R2-D2 beams a 3D hologram message from Princess Leia into thin air. But imagine if you could project Leia from your mobile phone or tablet, anytime, anywhere. Richard Foggie, an expert at the Knowledge Transfer Network, says this could well be possible within the next five years thanks to the arrival of 5G mobile broadband networks.
What could be more exciting than seeing yourself starring alongside your favorite actor in a movie, music video, or TV program? Yes, that's possible--well, kind of, by using a new AI-based deepfake app that has gone viral in China over this weekend, climbing to the top of the free apps list in the Chinese iOS App Store in just three days. Dubbed ZAO, the app is yet another deepfake app for iPhone that lets you superimpose your face onto actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Kit Harrington from "Game of Thrones," and many others in video clips from their popular movies and TV shows with just a selfie uploaded by you. Developed by Chinese developer MoMo, one of China's most popular dating apps, ZAO was released on Friday (August 30) and rapidly got downloaded millions of times with users being excited about the experience for the app's realistic face-swapping videos that last for as little as 8 seconds. ZAO Deepfake Face Swap App Sparks Privacy Outcry However, ZAO faced a sudden backlash from some users concerned about the potential misuse of deepfake technology.
In the aftermath of the U.S. Presidential election and the numerous terrorist attacks around the globe, the social media giant received criticism for hosting fake news and advertisements, as well as extremist content on its platform. We identified they were stuck with this issue right after the election. In the middle of the year, the company reached a new milestone of 2 billion monthly active users.
It's been a long time coming, but Apple's very own streaming video service will be officially unveiled in a few weeks. We also get a first look at the Harry Potter universe given the augmented-reality treatment, and Twitter's experimental beta app has also broken cover. It turns out rumors of an Apple spring event were true: The company's next event will happen on March 25th at the Steve Jobs Theater on Apple's Cupertino campus. And judging by the event invite, we'll finally hear about Apple's long-rumored video service. Many older web games and media experiences were built around Shockwave, which enabled visually exciting web apps at a time when HTML wasn't up to snuff, and powerful, consumer-friendly smartphones were just pipe dreams.