Sometime not necessarily too far from now, the first humans whose DNA has been intentionally edited by scientists could very likely be born.
A while back we reported on news that a hack had been released which allowed NES Classic Mini owners the ability to edit and add to the 30 games which come pre-loaded on the console out of the box.
There are two key issues when planning for a prolonged manned mission in space: Room for the crew and how to keep them fit. Let’s take for example, a manned mission to Mars, which will take anywhere between 150 and 300 days depending on the speed of the spacecraft.
There was no doubt Nintendo's miniature NES Classic Edition was going to be a hit, especially around the holiday season. The affordable retro console hit all the right nostalgic notes, but there's a consensus Nintendo missed a trick by omitting any way to add new games to the system beyond the 30 preinstalled titles. Also, it shouldn't be that hard -- the mini NES is just an emulator in a pretty package, after all. Well, leave it up to the internet to do what Nintendo wouldn't. The modding community has successfully cooked up ways to load additional games onto the system, and all you need is a PC and a micro-USB cable.
The use of facial recognition software for commercial purposes is becoming more common, but, as Amazon scans faces in its physical shop and Facebook searches photos of users to add tags to, those concerned about their privacy are fighting back.
Berlin-based artist and technologist Adam Harvey aims to overwhelm and confuse these systems by presenting them with thousands of false hits so they can’t tell which faces are real.
The Hyperface project involves printing patterns on to clothing or textiles, which then appear to have eyes, mouths and other features that a computer can interpret as a face.
This is not the first time Harvey has tried to confuse facial recognition software. During a previous project, CV Dazzle, he attempted to create an aesthetic of makeup and hairstyling that would cause machines to be unable to detect a face.
Speaking at the Chaos Communications Congress hacking conference in Hamburg, Harvey said: “As I’ve looked at in an earlier project, you can change the way you appear, but, in camouflage you can think of the figure and the ground relationship. There’s also an opportunity to modify the ‘ground’, the things that appear next to you, around you, and that can also modify the computer vision confidence score.”
Harvey’s Hyperface project aims to do just that, he says, “overloading an algorithm with what it wants, oversaturating an area with faces to divert the gaze of the computer vision algorithm.”
The resultant patterns, which Harvey created in conjunction with international interaction studio Hyphen-Labs, can be worn or used to blanket an area. “It can be used to modify the environment around you, whether it’s someone next to you, whether you’re wearing it, maybe around your head or in a new way.”
Explaining his hopes for how technologies like his would affect the world, Harvey showed an image of a street scene from the 1910s, pointing out that every figure in it is wearing a hat. “In 100 years from now, we’re going to have a similar transformation of fashion and the way that we appear. What will that look like? Hopefully it will look like something that appears to optimise our personal privacy.”
To emphasise the extent to which facial recognition technology changes expectations of privacy, Harvey collated 47 different data points commercial and academic researchers claim to be able to discover from a 100x100 pixel facial image – around 2.5% of the size of a typical Instagram photo. Those include traits such as “calm” or “kind”, criminal tendencies like “paedophile” or “white collar offender”, and simple demographics like “age” and “gender”.
Research from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, for instance, claims to be able to predict criminality from lip curvature, eye inner corner distance and the so-called nose-mouth angle.
“A lot of other researchers are looking at how to take that very small data and turn it into insights that can be used for marketing,” Harvey said. “What all this reminds me of is Francis Galton and eugenics. The real criminal, in these cases, are people who are perpetrating this idea, not the people who are being looked at.”
Harvey and Hyphen-Labs plan to reveal details on the Hyperface project this month, as part of Hyphen-Labs’ new work NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism.
Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 has been the butt of its fair share of internet jokes since it started exploding in September, but it's hard to surpass what oneGrand Theft Auto V modder did when he turned the phone into an in-game grenade. Apparently, Samsung doesn't think it's very funny, though -- the company appears to have filed a totally bogus copyright infringement claim on the YouTube video showing this mod.
A competition pitting artificial intelligence (AI) against human players in the classic video game Doom has demonstrated just how advanced AI learning techniques have become – but it's also caused considerable controversy.
Earlier this month, NESBox, a NES emulator that was to be released on the Xbox One, passed certification for sale on the console's storefront. This would have allowed it to be purchasable on the platform without the need to modify the console's system software. While the certification was eventually revoked prior to the software's launch, it was interesting to see such a program get so close to having an official release on a modern gaming console.
DeepMind, the Google artificial intelligence division behind the champion-defeating AlphaGo bot, has revealed that it’s managed to create some of the most realistic, human level speech ever achieved from a machine. CalledWaveNet, the new AI is said to act as a deep neural network that’s capable of generating speech by sampling real human speech and forming raw audio waveforms.
For decades, scientists have tried to harness the unique properties of carbon nanotubes to create high-performance electronics that are faster or consume less power — resulting in longer battery life, faster wireless communication and faster processing speeds for devices like smartphones and laptops.