Collaborating Authors


Deep diving into deepfakes


The weaponisation of deepfakes against politicians or nation states has become something we're simply going to have to live with,

The Role of Social Movements, Coalitions, and Workers in Resisting Harmful Artificial Intelligence and Contributing to the Development of Responsible AI Artificial Intelligence

There is mounting public concern over the influence that AI based systems has in our society. Coalitions in all sectors are acting worldwide to resist hamful applications of AI. From indigenous people addressing the lack of reliable data, to smart city stakeholders, to students protesting the academic relationships with sex trafficker and MIT donor Jeffery Epstein, the questionable ethics and values of those heavily investing in and profiting from AI are under global scrutiny. There are biased, wrongful, and disturbing assumptions embedded in AI algorithms that could get locked in without intervention. Our best human judgment is needed to contain AI's harmful impact. Perhaps one of the greatest contributions of AI will be to make us ultimately understand how important human wisdom truly is in life on earth.

A Differential Privacy Mechanism that Accounts for Network Effects for Crowdsourcing Systems

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

In crowdsourcing systems, it is important for the crowdsource campaign initiator to incentivize users to share their data to produce results of the desired computational accuracy. This problem becomes especially challenging when users are concerned about the privacy of their data. To overcome this challenge, existing work often aims to provide users with differential privacy guarantees to incentivize privacy-sensitive users to share their data. However, this work neglects the network effect that a user enjoys greater privacy protection when he aligns his participation behaviour with that of other users. To explore this network effect, we formulate the interaction among users regarding their participation decisions as a population game, because a user's welfare from the interaction depends not only on his own participation decision but also the distribution of others' decisions. We show that the Nash equilibrium of this game consists of a threshold strategy, where all users whose privacy sensitivity is below a certain threshold will participate and the remaining users will not. We characterize the existence and uniqueness of this equilibrium, which depends on the privacy guarantee, the reward provided by the initiator and the population size. Based on this equilibria analysis, we design the PINE (Privacy Incentivization with Network Effects) mechanism and prove that it maximizes the initiator's payoff while providing participating users with a guaranteed degree of privacy protection. Numerical simulations, on both real and synthetic data, show that (i) PINE improves the initiator's expected payoff by up to 75%, compared to state of the art mechanisms that do not consider this effect; (ii) the performance gain by exploiting the network effect is particularly good when the majority of users are flexible over their privacy attitudes and when there are a large number of low quality task performers.

Life Imitates Orwell...


And I am talking Season 3. Or Amazon's hit, The Handmaid's Tale? Do you just binge and veg out or are you like me, and see how easily we could, and are, slipping into these worlds? After watching shows like this I often find myself reflecting back on George Orwell's 1984. It proves more eerily prophetic with each passing year. This Season, I fear, the writers of Westworld are almost scripting our future lives. You may not have caught it, but it is all in there.

GPT-3 Creative Fiction


What if I told a story here, how would that story start?" Thus, the summarization prompt: "My second grader asked me what this passage means: …" When a given prompt isn't working and GPT-3 keeps pivoting into other modes of completion, that may mean that one hasn't constrained it enough by imitating a correct output, and one needs to go further; writing the first few words or sentence of the target output may be necessary.

The Matrix Conspiracy updates (The Matrix Dictionary)


With my concept of The Matrix Conspiracy I put myself in the risk of being accused of being a paranoid conspiracy theorist. This is not the case. I m just making aware of that there exists a conspiracy theory which is called The Matrix Conspiracy, and that this conspiracy in fact is a global spreading ideology. My critique is in that way ideology critique, or cultural critique. The concept of the Matrix comes from mathematics, but is more popular known from the movie the Matrix, which asks the question whether we might live in a computer simulation. In The Matrix though, there is also an evil demon, or evil demons, namely the machines which keep the humans in tanks linked to black cable wires that stimulates the virtual reality of the Matrix. Doing this the machines can use the human bodies as batteries that supply the machines with energy. It is the fascination of the virtual reality that deceives the humans. The philosophy behind the movie comes from especially two philosophers: Rene Descartes and George Berkeley. Descartes was very dubious concerning how much we can trust our senses. Therefore he took up the question Is life a dream? However, his intention with this was in his Meditations to develop a confident cognition-argument. In his Meditations Descartes presents the problem approximately like this: I frequently dream during the night, and while I dream, I am convinced, that what I dream is real. But then it always happens, that I wake up and realize, that everything I dreamt was not real, but only an illusion. And then is it I think: is it possible, that what I now, while I am awake, believe is real, also is something, which only is being dreamt by me right now? If it is not the case, how shall I then determinate it? Precisely because Descartes not even in dreams can doubt, that 2 plus 3 is 5, he leaves the dream-argument in his Meditations and goes in tackle with the question, whether he could be cheated by an evil demon concerning all cognition, also the mathematics. This radical skepticism leads him forward to the cogito-argument: Cogito ergo Sum (I think, therefore I exist). But he didn t deny the existence of the external world. The external world he described in a way that resembles what would later be known as modern natural sciences. In the view of nature in natural science, nature is reduced to atomic particles, empty space, fields, electromagnetic waves and particles etc., etc. I have called this the instrumental view of nature. Berkeley is famous for the sentence Esse est percipi, which means that being, or reality, consists in being percepted (to be is to be experienced). The absurdity in Berkeley s assertion is swiftly seen: If a thing, or a human being for that matter, is not being perceived by the senses, then it does not exist. In accordance with Berkeley there therefore does not exist any sense-independent world.

The 84 biggest flops, fails, and dead dreams of the decade in tech


The world never changes quite the way you expect. But at The Verge, we've had a front-row seat while technology has permeated every aspect of our lives over the past decade. Some of the resulting moments -- and gadgets -- arguably defined the decade and the world we live in now. But others we ate up with popcorn in hand, marveling at just how incredibly hard they flopped. This is the decade we learned that crowdfunded gadgets can be utter disasters, even if they don't outright steal your hard-earned cash. It's the decade of wearables, tablets, drones and burning batteries, and of ridiculous valuations for companies that were really good at hiding how little they actually had to offer. Here are 84 things that died hard, often hilariously, to bring us where we are today. Everyone was confused by Google's Nexus Q when it debuted in 2012, including The Verge -- which is probably why the bowling ball of a media streamer crashed and burned before it even came to market.

The Great Hack: the film that goes behind the scenes of the Facebook data scandal


Cambridge Analytica may have become the byword for a scandal, but it's not entirely clear that anyone knows exactly what that scandal is. It's more like toxic word association: "Facebook", "data", "harvested", "weaponised", "Trump" and, in this country, most controversially, "Brexit". It was a media firestorm that's yet to be extinguished, a year on from whistleblower Christopher Wylie's revelations in the Observer and the New York Times about how the company acquired the personal data of tens of millions of Facebook users in order to target them in political campaigns. This week sees the release of The Great Hack, a Netflix documentary that is the first feature-length attempt to gather all the strands of the affair into some sort of narrative – though it is one contested even by those appearing in the film. "This is not about one company," Julian Wheatland, the ex-chief operating officer of Cambridge Analytica, claims at one point. "This technology is going on unabated and will continue to go on unabated.[…] There was always going to be a Cambridge Analytica. It just sucks to me that it's Cambridge Analytica."