Collaborating Authors


Scientists use big data to sway elections and predict riots -- welcome to the 1960s


Ignorance of history is a badge of honour in Silicon Valley. "The only thing that matters is the future," self-driving-car engineer Anthony Levandowski told The New Yorker in 20181. Levandowski, formerly of Google, Uber and Google's autonomous-vehicle subsidiary Waymo (and recently sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing trade secrets), is no outlier. The gospel of'disruptive innovation' depends on the abnegation of history2. 'Move fast and break things' was Facebook's motto. Another word for this is heedlessness. And here are a few more: negligence, foolishness and blindness.

Watch this deepfake of President Nixon mourning a failed Apollo 11 mission


The moon landing is an iconic moment in human history but it's easy to forget 51 years later how risky it was. In 1969, there was a very real chance the Apollo 11 mission could have gone horribly wrong and over 600 million people could have witnessed it unfold on their television sets. If that did happen, the broadcasts would have switched to a solemn US President Richard Nixon, who would have addressed the nation with a speech titled "In Event of Moon Disaster". As far as political speeches go, it's a moving oration. "Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace," it begins.

Mike Pompeo urges more assertive approach to 'Frankenstein' China in major speech

The Japan Times

Washington – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took fresh aim at China on Thursday and said Washington and its allies must use "more creative and assertive ways" to press the Chinese Communist Party to change its ways, calling it the "mission of our time." Speaking at the Nixon Library in former President Richard Nixon's birthplace in Yorba Linda, California, Pompeo said the late U.S. leader's worry about what he had done by opening the world to China's Communist Party in the 1970s had been prophetic. "President Nixon once said he feared he had created a'Frankenstein' by opening the world to the CCP," Pompeo said. Nixon, who died in 1994 and was president from 1969 to 1974 opened the way for the establishment of U.S. diplomatic relations with Communist China in 1979 through a series of contacts, including a visit to Beijing in 1972. In a major speech delivered after Washington's surprise order this week for China to close its Houston consulate, Pompeo repeated frequently leveled U.S. charges about Beijing's unfair trade practices, human rights abuses and efforts to infiltrate American society.

Creepy Apollo 11 Nixon deepfake video created by MIT to show dangers of high-tech misinformation

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Scientists at MIT have digitally manipulated video and audio to create a creepy deepfake of President Nixon "delivering" a speech that would have been used in the event of an Apollo 11 disaster. Written in 1969, the contingency speech was to be used if NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were unable to return from the moon. The video is part of a project entitled "In Event of Moon Disaster" that aims to highlight the dangers of deepfakes, which use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to create false, but realistic-looking clips.

Tackling the misinformation epidemic with "In Event of Moon Disaster"


Can you recognize a digitally manipulated video when you see one? It's harder than most people realize. As the technology to produce realistic "deepfakes" becomes more easily available, distinguishing fact from fiction will only get more challenging. A new digital storytelling project from MIT's Center for Advanced Virtuality aims to educate the public about the world of deepfakes with "In Event of Moon Disaster." This provocative website showcases a "complete" deepfake (manipulated audio and video) of U.S. President Richard M. Nixon delivering the real contingency speech written in 1969 for a scenario in which the Apollo 11 crew were unable to return from the moon.

Machine Learning Can Help Decode Alien Skies--Up to a Point - Eos


Future telescopes like the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey (ARIEL) are designed to sample the chemistry of exoplanet atmospheres. Ten years from now, spectra of alien skies will be coming in by the hundreds, and the data will be of a higher quality than is currently possible. Astronomers agree that new analysis techniques, including machine learning algorithms, will be needed to keep up with the flow of data and have been testing options in advance. An upcoming study in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society trialed one such algorithm against the current gold standard method for decoding exoplanet atmospheres to see whether the algorithm could tackle this future big-data problem. "We got really good agreement between [the answers from] our machine learning method and the traditional Bayesian method that most people are using," said Matthew Nixon.

AI Company Says: Keep Your Eyes on the Road, We're Watching


San Diego's Lytx, the maker of DriveCam video monitoring technology for commercial truck fleets, has expanded its machine vision and artificial intelligence capabilities to detect when drivers are looking at cellphones on the road. The company's latest update to its in-cab camera technology recognizes when a driver is distracted by a mobile device or other behaviors. That triggers the camera to issue a warning and start recording video, which can be shared with fleet managers through an online portal. Others video telematics companies also have products that can detect cellphone use in the cab of commercial vehicles. But Lytx says its artificial intelligence technology has been developed using millions of miles of video data from its library collected over many years.

How Deepfakes Make Disinformation More Real Than Ever


One video shows Barack Obama using an obscenity to refer to U.S. President Donald Trump. Another features a different former president, Richard Nixon, performing a comedy routine. But neither video is real: The first was created by filmmaker Jordan Peele, the second by Jigsaw, a technology incubator within Alphabet, Inc. Both are examples of deepfakes, videos or audios that use artificial intelligence to make someone appear to do or say something they didn't. The technology is a few years old and getting better.

Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google are all ears


Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal," marks one of the famous lines from US President Nixon's interviews, where Nixon implicated himself in the Watergate scandal. At the time it was well-known that the government was tapping phones of its opponents, Nixon's confession gave it the much-needed propriety. What is different about today's scenario is that tech companies are well within their confines to listen to your conversations. It's just that they are being obscure about the way they do it. The latest to join this is Cupertino giant Apple.

Could machine learning solve attribution challenges? - MarTech Today


If your digital marketing team struggles with attribution, you're not alone. Nielsen reports that only one out of every four marketers can confidently attribute revenue to their digital efforts. But does that surprise you? Probably not -- attribution is a pressing issue and can be a serious challenge for marketing and sales teams. Activating cross-channel campaigns through different platforms leads to siloed data in various, disconnected systems.