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‘Deepfake challenge’. Who is really speaking in that video?

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‘Deepfake challenge’. Who is really speaking in that video? | Thaiger

“…new tools are “urgently needed to detect these types of manipulated media.”

Technology firms and academics are joining together to launch a “deepfake challenge” to improve tools to detect videos and other media manipulated by AI (Artifical Intelligence).

The initiative includes US$10 million from Facebook and aims to curb what is seen as a major threat to the integrity of online information.

The rise of deepfakes has been driven by recent advances in machine learning. It has long been possible for movie studios to manipulate images and video with software and computers, and algorithms capable of capturing and re-creating a person’s likeness have already been used to make point-and-click tools for pasting a person’s face onto someone else (there’s a video below explaining the techniques).

So, in an election campaign, you could have someone else’s facial features ‘painted’ by AI onto a person saying, well, anything thy want, giving the impression of a politician appearing to say things.

The effort is being supported by Microsoft and the industry-backed Partnership on AI and includes academics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University, University of Oxford, University of California-Berkeley, University of Maryland and University at Albany.

'Deepfake challenge'. Who is really speaking in that video? | News by Thaiger

It represents a broad effort to combat the dissemination of manipulated video or audio as part of a misinformation campaign.

“The goal of the challenge is to produce technology that everyone can use to better detect when AI has been used to alter a video in order to mislead the viewer,” said Facebook chief technical officer Mike Schroepfer.

Schroepfer said deepfake techniques, which present realistic AI-generated videos of people doing and saying fictional things, “have significant implications for determining the legitimacy of information presented online. Yet the industry doesn’t have a great data set or benchmark for detecting them.”

The challenge is the first project of a committee on AI and media integrity created by the Partnership on AI, a group whose mission is to promote beneficial uses of artificial intelligence and is backed by Apple, Amazon, IBM and other tech firms and non-governmental organizations.

Terah Lyons, executive director of the Partnership, said the new project is part of an effort to stem AI-generated fakes, which “have significant, global implications for the legitimacy of information online, the quality of public discourse, the safeguarding of human rights and civil liberties, and the health of democratic institutions.”

Facebook said it was offering funds for research collaborations and prizes for the challenge, and would also enter the competition, but not accept any of the prize money.

Oxford professor Philip Torr, one of the academics participating, said new tools are “urgently needed to detect these types of manipulated media.

“Manipulated media being put out on the internet, to create bogus conspiracy theories and to manipulate people for political gain, is becoming an issue of global importance, as it is a fundamental threat to democracy,” Torr said in a statement.

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

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First Thai-made satellite to launch in 2023

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First Thai-made satellite to launch in 2023 | Thaiger
PHOTO: "Wait, you're telling me Koh Phangan has a 'Full ME Party'?!"

The first Thai-manufactured satellite, named the TSC-Pathfinder and designed to survey Earth’s natural resources, is planned to be launched in 2023. The launch is part of a schedule by the Ministry of Higher Education Science Research and Innovation’s developing space technology programme to launch 5 small satellites between 2021 and 2027. Space engineering development and application, research and development, and educational and industrial support will be the focus of their new programme. The TSC Pathfinder’s project manager reported that a minimum of 15 staff members on the project would be trained in China within the next year about the construction and engineering of satellites.

While Thailand did officially launch a satellite last year, it was manufactured in the Netherlands and launched in French Guiana. The Thai-made satellite is the first thing in space made in Thailand, aside from some trees on the International Space Station.

It’s exciting to see Thailand enter the space race, although some people are critical, asking if the big price tag on a project like this will actually benefit Thailand and its citizens. Many people have posted publicly on social media pointing out that, while the government spends heavily on advanced space technology, many Thai people are struggling with poverty.

MHESI Minister Anek Laothamatas believes that developing space technology would definitely be beneficial for future investors because of the expansion of advanced technology into everyday life for so many people. He believes that while the launch of these satellites is just establishing of the basic infrastructure needed to develop the technology further, the field will actually create a lot of jobs and stimulate the economy in the long run.

“The space technology business will be able to create start-up businesses related to space technology and in doing so elevate the country’s economy.”

The MHESI have planned five satellite launches between now and 2027:

  • The TSC-Pathfinder, launching in 2023 to survey natural resources
  • The TSC-1, launching in 2025 to survey the Earth
  • The TSC-PFT1, launch date TBD to probe dual-system technology
  • The TSC-PFT2, launch date TBD to analyze a system of sending and receiving signals in a low-frequency-X band
  • The TSC-2, launching by 2027, to use the developments of the third and fourth satellites in order to reach the Moon’s orbit

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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The challenges for the digital nomad in Thailand | VIDEO

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The challenges for the digital nomad in Thailand | VIDEO | Thaiger

Ah yes, the challenges of being a digital nomad in Thailand. What is a digital nomad? People who can do their job anywhere in the world with just a laptop, tablet and wi fi (preferably free wi fi). Thailand has the scenery, wi fi access, speed and lots and lots of coffee shops (with excellent coffee these days).

But there are also lots of challenges that make Thailand not quite the perfect haven for the digital nomad. Kay from Hey Big Mango checks out the challenges faced by digital nomads in today’s program.

Some more information about the Smart Visa and digital nomads HERE.

Here’s a link to more of Kay’s content.

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Personal Data Protection Act might be delayed to give businesses more time to prepare

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Personal Data Protection Act might be delayed to give businesses more time to prepare | Thaiger
Photo by Tech Daily for Unsplash

The launch of Thailand’s Personal Data Protection Act, set to go into effect in June, might be delayed to allow small and medium-sized more time to prepare for the new regulations.

The new Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakhamanusorn says that if the public has negative views about the new legislation, then the ministry might discuss whether to defer or amend the act.

Rumours that the PDPA will be postponed until the end of this year seen more likely as members of the Personal Data Protection Committee have yet to be appointed. This committee is necessary to approve any follow-up legislation.

Several associations are requesting the deferral and enforcement, saying that they lack the readiness to comply with the new regulations, in particular associations in the travel and automotive fields. They fear that nefarious people may exploit loopholes in the law to abuse businesses to benefit themselves personally. The legitimate fear of abuse have led to the drafting of supplemental legislation addressing complaints, consent procedures, and expert panels, but will require approval by the short-staffed committee.

The Personal Data Protection Act was originally published in May of 2019 but immediately deferred for one year allowing a grace period for members to comply. In May 2020 the cabinet agreed to another postponement in enforcing most of the sections of the PDPA to give the public and private enterprises affected time to comply and rework internally, and also to reduce costs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Digital Economy and Society Minister has pledged to assign priority to 5G, a national digital ID, fake news suppression, and a government cloud. They have set goals to address a 5-point plan that they will focus on:

  • First, the ministry will concentrate on helping people gain access to innovation and technology.
  • Second, they will strive to manifest an ecosystem that will be more amiable to a digital economy in the future.
  • Third, the ministry will pursue digital infrastructure development including the 5G rollout and “smart cities”. 500 million baht has already been earmarked by the government for 5G projects in various fields including education, farming, and manufacturing.
  • Fourth, the ministry plans to build people’s trust in the digital ecosystem especially for cybersecurity and electronic transactions. They aim to develop a legal framework and how to enforce it.
  • Finally, plans are underway to protect people from abuse on the internet especially on social media.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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