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7 Ways Data and AI Can Be Used to Trick and Deceive the Public


Deepfake videos and altered videos are getting so advanced that they are increasingly harder to spot. Many believe AI deepfake tools, that allow people to superimpose the face of a politician or actor onto a video and also convincingly replicate their voice, could be a real threat to democracy. In May 2019, Donald Trump posted a video that had gone viral of Nancy Pelosi appearing to drunkenly slur her way through a speech. The video was quickly debunked -- someone had altered the original footage to slow down Pelosi's speech while raising the pitch to make it sound like natural slow speech. The video was viewed millions of times and Trump, notably, didn't remove the video from his social media after it was debunked.

Can computers ever replace the classroom?

The Guardian

For a child prodigy, learning didn't always come easily to Derek Haoyang Li. When he was three, his father – a famous educator and author – became so frustrated with his progress in Chinese that he vowed never to teach him again. "He kicked me from here to here," Li told me, moving his arms wide. Yet when Li began school, aged five, things began to click. Five years later, he was selected as one of only 10 students in his home province of Henan to learn to code. At 16, Li beat 15 million kids to first prize in the Chinese Mathematical Olympiad. Among the offers that came in from the country's elite institutions, he decided on an experimental fast-track degree at Jiao Tong University in Shanghai. It would enable him to study maths, while also covering computer science, physics and psychology. In his first year at university, Li was extremely shy.

Cortana's smart-home powers grow with IFTTT, Honeywell, Ecobee support


The key weakness of the Microsoft Cortana-powered Harman/Kardon Invoke smart speaker was that it just wasn't a great smart-home controller, lacking many of the services and IFTTT support of its rivals. Today, Microsoft said, that changes.

Ecobee4 smart thermostat review: Retains the great functions of the Ecobee3, and adds Alexa


The Ecobee3 was already our favorite smart thermostat, edging out the Nest Learning Thermostat thanks to its remote sensors and overall functionality, but we weren't sure what to expect from the follow-up. Apparently, the answer is Alexa. The Ecobee4 plays it safe when it comes to evolving the winning thermostat line. If you were thinking of upgrading your home to an Ecobee, but waiting on the latest, that purchase decision relies entirely on your interest in being able to talk directly to your thermostat. While the 4 looks almost identical to the 3, if slightly larger, it's now packed with a speaker and microphone to accommodate its new role as a smart hub that can tell you jokes and the weather, change the temperature in the house, and, if you really want, play music from Amazon's music service (among many other tasks).

LG Smart Security Wireless Camera review: DIY security backed by ADT professional monitoring


The DIY home security movement driven by the proliferation of affordable, easy-to-use wireless cameras was supposed to be a smug nose-thumbing at pricey professional security firms like ADT. So it raised a few eyebrows when LG announced its Smart Security Wireless Camera ($200) would be built around ADT's new standalone monitoring service. Unlike most IP security cameras, nothing about the the LG Smart Security Camera's design reveals the device's true purpose. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to recognize the 3-inch-tall black cone as a camera at all--you really need to get close enough to spot the 5MP lens sitting behind a square of black plastic near the top. Thanks to its unconventional design, this is a camera you can hide it in plain sight despite its significant girth (2 inches at the base, and 5 inches across the top).

Meet Hive, an all-new DIY smart home subscription service from the U.K.


You've probably never heard of Hive or its British parent, the multinational utility Centrica plc. You might be familiar with Hive's Texas-based sister company Direct Energy, which provides residential gas and electricity services in 13 states as well as several Canadian provinces. I mention these connections because when you're considering signing a two-year contract for smart home services from a brand-new company, you'll want assurances that the company knows what it's doing. You'll also want to know that it has the financial backing to make a go of it. On the first point, Hive's smart home lineage can be traced back to the British manufacturer AlertMe, which was acquired by British Gas (another Centrica plc company) in February 2015.

Kwikset, Schlage, and Yale smart locks gain Alexa skills


Entry lock manufacturers Kwikset, Schlage, and Yale have announced new Alexa skills that enable you to control some models of their entry locks via voice commands directed at Alexa-enabled products such as the Amazon Echo series. But you'll also need to own a smart home hub--either a Samsung SmartThings or a Wink Labs' Wink--in order to use them, since the locks themselves don't have mics and don't connect directly to the internet. Schlage is enabling this skill for its Connect series of touchscreen entry locks and Kwikset is adding this capability to its Kwikset SmartCode 910-, 914-, and 916-series locks. We're waiting to hear which Yale models will be affected, but we presume it will be the Real Living or Assure series, since onboard Z-Wave radios seems to be the other feature in common. According to Schlage's VP of strategy and partnerships Rob Martens, "the integration of the Alexa Skill for locks is achieved through a cloud-to-cloud integration, and the Alexa team has previously made those cloud-to-cloud integrations with Z-Wave smart home systems such as SmartThings and Wink and to operate other devices such as lighting and thermostats.

LG's SmartThinQ connected-home hub will monitor and control appliances and sensors

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The Amazon Echo was the one of the darlings of the online retailer's record-breaking holiday season, so it was only a matter of time before a competitor popped out something similar. That competitor will be LG with its SmartThinQ hub, which looks very similar to the Echo and includes a large speaker for streaming music. But LG's device will focus on the connected home--monitoring various sensors and monitoring and controlling smart home appliances--where the Echo is more of a personal digital assistant. To that end, the SmartThinQ will support the Z-Wave, ZigBee, and Bluetooth protocols, as well as Wi-Fi and the AllJoyn Internet of Things platform. Also unlike the Echo, LG's SmartThinQ will have a 3.5-inch LCD on its angled top, which will display notifications from connected devices as well as reminders from personal calendars.

The tiny Klug Home promises big changes in what we should expect of hubs and controllers


If you live in a connected home, you've likely spent a great deal of time customizing it for your needs and preferences. That's because the smart home is actually rather dumb, until you've invested some time teaching it: While some smart-home components--such as the Nest thermostat--are capable of learning on their own, there are no connected-home hubs that do. The Klug Home promises to change that. The Klug Home, from Singapore-based Intraix, is a 79 smart hub that plugs into one of your router's USB ports. It's available for preorder on Indiegogo, with delivery expected in October 2016.