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(Video) New Digital Storytelling Project from MIT, Educate Public About World of Deepfakes

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) made a highly realistic manipulation of audio and video, or also knows as a deepfake, that shows Richard Nixon announced that the astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin had experienced a moon landing disaster, where they will “stay on the moon to rest in peace”.

This deepfake video shows the 37th U.S. President giving a real contingency speech written in 1969 for a scenario in which the Apollo 11 crew could not return back to Earth.

The use of a sophisticated artificial intelligence machine that reads the movements of an actor reading a script would be transferred and manipulated into Mr. Nixon, where it would look like he was the one actually giving it – when it’s not.

This project is called “In Event of Moon Disaster”, a storytelling project from MIT’s Center of Advanced Virtuality.

Halsey Burgund, the co-director from the MIT Open Documentary Lab, hopes that this would raise awareness about the dangers of spreading fake news, especially those that are well-developed and very convincing.

Halsey hopes that this project would educate the people to not be easily convinced at whatever they see online and to always find solid proof before sharing.

Not many can recognize a digitally manipulated video, especially those that produce realistic visuals that could trick our eyes.

It was featured on their website, where the “complete” deepfakes was posted. The team worked with a voice actor and Respeecher, a company that produces synthetic speech using deep learning techniques.

Another company they worked with, Canny AI, was to use video dialogue replacement techniques to study and copy the movements made by Nixon’s mouth and lips.

Through these collaborations and the sophisticated machines and techniques, these deepfakes can be strongly believable.

“Media misinformation is a longstanding phenomenon, but, exacerbated by deepfakes technologies and the ease of disseminating content online, it’s become a crucial issue of our time,” says D. Fox Harrell, professor of digital media and of artificial intelligence at MIT and director of the MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality, part of MIT Open Learning.

“With this project — and a course curriculum on misinformation being built around it — our powerfully talented XR Creative Director Francesca Panetta is pushing forward one of the center’s broad aims: using AI and technologies of virtuality to support creative expression and truth.”

Aside from the film, moondisaster.org had released multiple resources that are interactive and educational regarding deepfakes – teaming up with artists, journalists, filmmakers, designers, and computer scientists that can cater to the media consumers to get a better understanding of deepfakes; how they’re made, the dangers of information misuse and how to identify or combat it once it’s out.

Scientific American released a documentary on the project, and how it all became.

The project is supported by the MIT Open Documentary Lab and the Mozilla Foundation, which awarded “In Event of Moon Disaster” a Creative Media Award last year. These awards are part of Mozilla’s mission to realize more trustworthy AI in consumer technology. The latest cohort of awardees uses art and advocacy to examine AI’s effect on media and truth.

“It’s our hope that this project will encourage the public to understand that manipulated media plays a significant role in our media landscape,” says co-director Burgund, “and that, with further understanding and diligence, we can all reduce the likelihood of being unduly influenced by it.”

Source: Moondisaster.org, News MIT, Scientific American

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Elon Musk To Give $100 Million To Maker Of Best Carbon Capture Technology

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On Thursday, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk teased his new humanitarian effort: a competition aimed at supporting more innovative technologies for carbon capture.

Musk, who briefly passed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest man before a slide in Tesla’s stock price dropped him back a spot, said that the details will be given next week.

Musk signed the Giving Pledge in 2012, an initiative initiated by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett that requires signatories to donate at least half of their wealth over their lifetimes, and has mainly contributed to science and engineering education, research into renewable energy, pediatric research, and research into human space exploration.

But in September, an analysis by Forbes found that Musk has only contributed $100 million to date, less than 1 percent of his net worth.

Nevertheless, Musk’s proposed carbon capture competition will go towards a cause that, particularly under the Biden administration, is likely to play a major role in fighting climate change going forward.

In November, a study released by Science Reports concluded that businesses and policymakers urgently need to “start developing the technologies for large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere,” a method known as carbon capture and storage (CCS).

The technology is becoming the most commonly accepted method of geoengineering as a safe and potentially successful form, and Biden expressed support for it in his campaign platform, saying that his team would “accelerate the development and deployment of carbon capture sequestration technology.”

In particular, Biden aims to make carbon capture available more widely, cheaper and plans to fund projects that focus on this technology.

Source: Forbes

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Lifestyle

Sales Advisor Shares 8 Perodua Cars That You Can Buy For The Monthly Payment Around RM400-RM500

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It has been a lifelong dream for everybody to own their personal car that they can buy with their own money. The only problem that most people have is that they do not know what kind of car is suitable within their monthly budget. This type of decision is something that people have to make carefully so that it won’t burden them.

One particular authorized and certified Sales Advisor Perodua named Nur Syahira took it to her own official Twitter post to help all the Malaysians out there to own their personal car. This time around, she gave advice about what kind of car that people with a monthly budget of RM400-RM500 can get.

For more details about other cars that are available, feel free to contact Miss Nur Syahira on Twitter that is @mssyahira, or even Whatsapp: 60 17-515 1705.

According to Nur Syahira, these are 5 suitable auto cars for a monthly pay of RM400-RM500:

1) Axia Standard G

Picture: Twitter Nur Syahira

  • Monthly payment of RM364.
  • Downpayment 10% RM3500.
  • A USB port on the radio.
  • 14-inch rim.
  • 5 seater.
  • Bonnet can hold 4 pieces of luggage.
  • Power window.
  • Electric power steering.
  • There is ABS with EBD.
  • Basic spec suitable for parents who want to go to the market.

2) Azia Gxtra

Picture: Twitter Nur Syahira

  • Monthly payment of RM381.
  • Downpayment 10% RM3600.
  • Same spec as Axia G but more safety features.
  • Can adjust driver seat (raise and lower).
  • Reverse sensor.
  • ABS with EBD.
  • There is traction control.
  • Seatbelt reminder.
  • Power window.
  • Retractable side mirror.

3) Axia SE

Picture: Twitter Nur Syahira

  • Monthly payment of RM419.
  • Downpayment RM3988.
  • Push start button.
  • There is a fog lamp.
  • Reverse sensor.
  • Front corner sensor.
  • Isofix system.
  • There are safety tinted windows.
  • ABS with EBD.
  • There are VSC and TRC.
  • Many more safety features.

Picture: Twitter Nur Syahira

4) Axia Style

  • Monthly payment of RM419.
  • Downpayment RM3988.
  • Same price as Axia SE.
  • Push start button.
  • Stylish design because there is a dummy roof-rail on the car.
  • Slightly large rim 15 inches.
  • Denim type seat.
  • There are TRC and VSC.
  • ABS with EBD.
  • Isofix system.
  • There are safety tinted windows

5) Axia Advance

Picture: Twitter Nur Syahira

  • Monthly payment of RM464.
  • Downpayment 10% RM4310.
  • Push start button.
  • More safety features than other Axia.
  • Full spec.
  • Steering leather.
  • There is advanced safety assist (ASA) 2.0.
  • There is a reverse camera.
  • There is a radio screen with a smart link, Bluetooth, GPS.

Picture: Twitter Nur Syahira

6) Bezza Standard G

  • Monthly payment of RM396.
  • Downpayment 10% RM3800.
  • Cc 1.0.
  • There is side skirting.
  • 14-inch rim.
  • LED headlamps.
  • There are a USB and Bluetooth.
  • Auto-off headlamps.
  • Electric power steering.
  • Reverse sensor.
  • ABS with EBD.
  • Large bonnet 508 liters.

7) Bezza Premium X

Picture: Twitter Nur Syahira

  • Monthly payment of RM477.
  • Downpayment 10% RM4430.
  • Cc 1.3.
  • Push start button.
  • Side skirting is also available.
  • There is a fog lamp.
  • There are a USB and Bluetooth.
  • Front corner sensor.
  • There is safety tinted.
  • 15-inch rim.
  • Dwi-tone Rim.

8) Myvi Standard G

Picture: Twitter Nur Syahira

  • Monthly payment of RM482.
  • Downpayment 10% RM4680.
  • There are 4 Airbags.
  • Rim 14 inches.
  • Cc 1300.
  • There are TRC, VSC, ABS with EBD.
  • Front corner sensor.
  • Reverse sensor.
  • USB and Bluetooth

Sources: Twitter Nur Syahira.

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Lifestyle

Mercedes Unveils Electric Compact SUV In Attempt To Outdo Tesla

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As part of plans to take on rival Tesla Inc and sell more emission-free vehicles to customers to reach goals in Europe and China, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz unveiled on Wednesday the EQA, a new electric compact SUV.

The EQA will initially have a range of 426 kilometers (265 miles), with a 500km model coming later, the luxury brand carmaker said in a video presentation, the first of many electric vehicles Mercedes-Benz expects to introduce this year.

On Feb 4, the SUV will go on sale in Europe at what Britta Seeger’s board of management described as “very attractive price points.”

Last year, sales of electric vehicles (EV) took off in Europe as carmakers struggled to meet the CO2 emissions quotas of the European Union. In particular, revenues got a boost from subsidies included in the economic stimulus initiatives carried out in France and Germany.

During the first three quarters of 2020, sales of fully electric and plug-in hybrid models grew 122 percent across the EU.

The EQA is identified by Mercedes-Benz as an “urban entry model” and its “sustainability, versatility and fresh look” was touted by board member Seeger.

With its large investments in fossil-fuel cars, electric carmaker Tesla has made a head start on traditional carmakers and has dominated global sales. The mass-market Tesla Model 3 is the world’s best-selling EV, led by Renault’s Zoe in distant second place.

As well as pollution quotas, in some markets, carmakers face bans on fossil-fuel vehicles that are effective as early as 2030.

Source: Reuters

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