Cybersecurity & Finance

What the 2020 bank hack means for you

Photo by Chris Yang on Unsplash

Just last week, news broke that a group of hackers broke into thousands of online bank accounts in a series of sophisticated and well-executed cyberattacks. These hackers stole millions of dollars, affecting thousands of account-holders across several banks. And it should serve as a stark reminder that we need better cybersecurity habits, collectively and individually, to protect our personal finances.

The observation by security expert Bruce Schneier rings just as true today as it did at the turn of the millennium:

People often represent the weakest link in the security chain and are chronically responsible for the failure of security…

Deepfakes for Good

AI and ethics don’t exist in a social vacuum

There’s much alarm surrounding deepfakes and AI.

This is a maturing field of artificial intelligence. And we should remember to not throw out nascent AI with the proverbial bathwater. Instead, we should approach deepfakes and their implications with diligence, curiosity, and understanding.

This short piece deconvolves a few kernels of insights from various AI experts. A few questions guide this inquiry: What’s all the hype with AI and deepfakes? What are their consequences? And how can we take responsibility for AI?

What’s all the hype?

When people read the word “deepfake,” they may associate the term with chaotic scenarios, where manipulated media can derail…

Samples of Robert De Niro’s eyes from the AI Face Finder software used during production of The Irishman. The eyes in the middle are CG rengered | Source: fxguide

When AI and Scorcese Rendered a Masterpiece

Deepfakes and other synthetic media are widespread across social media. They can be wildly entertaining, odd, uncanny, or can contribute to disinformation.

Deepfakes can be created by artists, comedians, graphic designers, and, in the case of disinformation, by politically motivated trolls. And generating deepfakes and other synthetic media is altogether not a difficult process, given enough time and computing power, often employing free and open source software, like the popular library DeepFaceLab.

The field has also found new applications in Hollywood. Millions have watched the Netflix original The Irishman, released in 2019, about the legendary mafia hitman Frank Sheeran. Directed…

Artificial Intelligence & Historical Media

Synthetic media and how neural networks preserve history.

How AI makes sense of images

Before color photography took off in the 1960s, most photographs existed in black and white. Today, we can appreciate photography from past decades and centuries, but our appreciation for them is limited to the range of colors in which they were developed. More so, photographs don’t last forever: if not preserved properly, their images fade, and with it our clarity of their history and memory blurs. Of course, history is not black and white, and nor should personal and global histories fade from memory, especially not colorful moments in American history.

Summer of Love at Haight-Ashbury, 1967. Restored and colorized with DeOldify. Source: Tropics of Meta

Technical advances in artificial intelligence and image processing have…

Bruno Sch_

a writer and data scientist @ Bloom AI. We’re in beta:

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