The Chinese face-swapping app that went viral is taking the danger of ‘deepfake’ to the masses

The “Zao” app, which is the phonetic sound of the Chinese character “to create,” was developed by a unit that’s majority-owned by online social networking platform . Users can pretend to be starring in blockbuster movies by uploading pictures to the app, which then create simulated video clips using machine learning. As a result, the ubiquitous Chinese messaging app WeChat reportedly banned users from sharing videos created using the app. A screenshot of the iOS App Store in China In response, Z


The “Zao” app, which is the phonetic sound of the Chinese character “to create,” was developed by a unit that’s majority-owned by online social networking platform . Users can pretend to be starring in blockbuster movies by uploading pictures to the app, which then create simulated video clips using machine learning. As a result, the ubiquitous Chinese messaging app WeChat reportedly banned users from sharing videos created using the app. A screenshot of the iOS App Store in China In response, Z
The Chinese face-swapping app that went viral is taking the danger of ‘deepfake’ to the masses Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-09-04  Authors: grace shao evelyn cheng, grace shao, evelyn cheng
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, masses, app, company, zao, data, videos, went, raised, users, chinese, danger, viral, taking, faceswapping, deepfake, weibo, respond


The Chinese face-swapping app that went viral is taking the danger of 'deepfake' to the masses

People on their smartphones in Shanghai, China. Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A face-swapping app that surged to the top of ‘s domestic download rankings has raised concerns about how fabricated but realistic-looking videos may be breaking into the mainstream. The “Zao” app, which is the phonetic sound of the Chinese character “to create,” was developed by a unit that’s majority-owned by online social networking platform . Users can pretend to be starring in blockbuster movies by uploading pictures to the app, which then create simulated video clips using machine learning. It’s the latest example of “deepfake” — a term that refers to manipulated videos or other digital representation produced by sophisticated artificial intelligence that yield seemingly realistic, but fabricated images and sounds. The rapid development of deepfake technology has raised concerns about how it could be used to influence elections or for some other malicious activity.

‘Uncharted territory’

Zao was first released on Aug. 30 and jumped quickly to the top of free mobile downloads on both Android and iPhone app stores in China. But users soon began to criticize Zao for its loose data privacy protections — including giving the company perpetual and transferable rights to uploaded data, according to Chinese media reports of Zao’s original user agreement. As a result, the ubiquitous Chinese messaging app WeChat reportedly banned users from sharing videos created using the app. , WeChat’s parent, did not respond to a CNBC request for comment. A screenshot of the iOS App Store in China In response, Zao changed its privacy policy on Sep. 3. In a statement Tuesday on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, the start-up said it will not store personal biometric information, which data has become key to personal security given its use for passwords. It’s rare for a Chinese company to publicly address privacy issues so quickly, said Ziyang Fan, head of digital trade at the World Economic Forum. Zao also said the “face-swapping” effect is created by a technical overlay, which the company clarified meant the machine-generated images are approximations rather than integrations of actual facial data. The company added that once a user deletes an account, it will follow the “required rules and laws” in handling that user’s information. However, it was not clear whether that meant data would be completely wiped out, or if the new terms also applied to previously uploaded data. Zao did not publicly respond to concerns raised by users below its statement on Weibo. Shares of Zao’s parent, Momo, which is traded on the Nasdaq, fell 1.6% to $36.18 a share in Tuesday’s session in New York. A representative for Momo was not available for comment, and Zao did not respond to a CNBC request for comment via Weibo. “Zao is (in) a completely uncharted territory,” said Jennifer Zhu Scott, founding principal of Radian Partners, a private investment firm focusing on artificial intelligence. The company’s future will not likely be easy due to rising distrust of technology, she added.

Danger of deepfakes


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-09-04  Authors: grace shao evelyn cheng, grace shao, evelyn cheng
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YouTube says harassment policy update coming soon, bans thousands of videos for hate speech

YouTube said Tuesday it removed nearly 30,000 more videos for hate speech in the last month and promised an update to its harassment policy “soon.” YouTube said in June it was updating its hate speech policies to ban videos alleging group superiority to justify discrimination, demote “borderline” content in its recommendations and tighten standards for creators who wish to access YouTube’s monetization program. In its post Tuesday, YouTube said the update represented a “fundamental shift in our


YouTube said Tuesday it removed nearly 30,000 more videos for hate speech in the last month and promised an update to its harassment policy “soon.” YouTube said in June it was updating its hate speech policies to ban videos alleging group superiority to justify discrimination, demote “borderline” content in its recommendations and tighten standards for creators who wish to access YouTube’s monetization program. In its post Tuesday, YouTube said the update represented a “fundamental shift in our
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YouTube says harassment policy update coming soon, bans thousands of videos for hate speech

YouTube said Tuesday it removed nearly 30,000 more videos for hate speech in the last month and promised an update to its harassment policy “soon.”

While the Alphabet-owned company did not disclose how many views the videos received, it said in a blog post they represented 3% of the views that videos about knitting generated over the same period.

YouTube said in June it was updating its hate speech policies to ban videos alleging group superiority to justify discrimination, demote “borderline” content in its recommendations and tighten standards for creators who wish to access YouTube’s monetization program. In its post Tuesday, YouTube said the update represented a “fundamental shift in our policies.”

Now, the company is working on an update to its harassment policy, including harassment between creators. The new update comes after Vox journalist Carlos Maza spoke out in May about harassment he said he experienced on the platform at the hands of conservative commentator Steven Crowder. After flip-flopping on its policy enforcement over the alleged harassment, YouTube ultimately said days later that it would take “a hard look at our harassment policies with an aim to update them.”

YouTube has been under pressure to reform and enforce its policies on a number of issues in recent months. In February, YouTube received flak from advertisers who shunned the platform following reports that pedophiles marked time stamps of child nudity in comments. The company has also been under pressure to speed up its removal of violent content. In March, the company struggled to keep copies of a video of a mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand off its platform.

WATCH: YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki faces tough questions at Code Con


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-09-03  Authors: lauren feiner
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Social media has become a battleground in Hong Kong’s protests

Using social media as a tool to galvanize support during a political movement isn’t new — the image of a yellow umbrella was widely shared on Facebook to show support to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement in 2014. Hong Kong demonstrators have remained largely anonymous, using social media to avoid being identified and arrested by police authorities. Social media has changed the way people document history, said Tracy Loh, senior lecturer of communication management at Singapore Management Univer


Using social media as a tool to galvanize support during a political movement isn’t new — the image of a yellow umbrella was widely shared on Facebook to show support to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement in 2014. Hong Kong demonstrators have remained largely anonymous, using social media to avoid being identified and arrested by police authorities. Social media has changed the way people document history, said Tracy Loh, senior lecturer of communication management at Singapore Management Univer
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-16  Authors: grace shao
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, using, hong, loh, used, protesters, movement, media, protests, battleground, demonstrators, videos, social, brutality, kongs


Social media has become a battleground in Hong Kong's protests

Using social media as a tool to galvanize support during a political movement isn’t new — the image of a yellow umbrella was widely shared on Facebook to show support to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement in 2014. But this time around, the protesters are using social media in a way demonstrating a heightened awareness of cybersecurity and an increased understanding of how to effectively communicate with the medium.

Hong Kong demonstrators have remained largely anonymous, using social media to avoid being identified and arrested by police authorities. Media experts said such tech has played a significant role in the documentation, organization, and assembly of the large-scale demonstrations.

Social media has changed the way people document history, said Tracy Loh, senior lecturer of communication management at Singapore Management University. She told CNBC that social media has played a “more apparent” role in the 2019 protests than ever before.

Just as in the 2014 “Umbrella Movement,” social media is being used by protesters to conceal identities, spread information, mobilize demonstrators and avoid detainment — but it’s now gone beyond that, according to Loh

“I think that what has changed now is that social media is used to win the hearts and minds of the people. Both sides are using images of police brutality and/or protester brutality to further their own agendas,” she said.

The ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong — a former British colony that was returned to Chinese rule in 1997 — started as peaceful rallies against a single proposed law. They’ve since snowballed into a wider pro-democracy movement, with some even demanding full autonomy from Beijing and occasional outbreaks of violence and disruptions to the city’s operations.

Protesters have circulated images of a female protester that was injured in the eye by members of the police force, and videos of police brutality have been spread to galvanize demonstrators, explained Loh. But, in the meantime, Chinese authorities have also utilized the power of social media, pushing out videos of military vehicles on standby in the neighboring city of Shenzhen and circulating videos of protesters disrupting public transit operations.

Social media has been used “as a tool in the battle for public opinion,” said Loh. She added that it has become more and more difficult for users and consumers of online content because they have to “deal with misinformation and fake news and the associated damages that (such content) can cause.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-16  Authors: grace shao
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Apple just released four YouTube videos consisting of sounds designed to give people a tingly feeling

How bonds with negative yields work and why it’s bad for the… Imagine paying a highly educated, market-seasoned master of the financial universe to put your hard-earned cash in an investment that is guaranteed to lose. Marketsread more


How bonds with negative yields work and why it’s bad for the… Imagine paying a highly educated, market-seasoned master of the financial universe to put your hard-earned cash in an investment that is guaranteed to lose. Marketsread more
Apple just released four YouTube videos consisting of sounds designed to give people a tingly feeling Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-07  Authors: kif leswing
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Apple just released four YouTube videos consisting of sounds designed to give people a tingly feeling

How bonds with negative yields work and why it’s bad for the…

Imagine paying a highly educated, market-seasoned master of the financial universe to put your hard-earned cash in an investment that is guaranteed to lose.

Markets

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Thousands of YouTubers want to unionize, and they’ve got the support of Europe’s largest trade union

But now, tens of thousands of YouTubers have formed a movement demanding greater transparency from the company, and Europe’s largest trade union is backing them. If YouTube’s algorithms determine that a video violates their advertising guidelines, it removes all ads from the video, also known as demonetization. Sprave started the YouTubers Union Facebook group in March 2018 as a place for dissatisfied creators to gather and organize against YouTube’s new advertising rules. Sprave’s took his effo


But now, tens of thousands of YouTubers have formed a movement demanding greater transparency from the company, and Europe’s largest trade union is backing them. If YouTube’s algorithms determine that a video violates their advertising guidelines, it removes all ads from the video, also known as demonetization. Sprave started the YouTubers Union Facebook group in March 2018 as a place for dissatisfied creators to gather and organize against YouTube’s new advertising rules. Sprave’s took his effo
Thousands of YouTubers want to unionize, and they’ve got the support of Europe’s largest trade union Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-06  Authors: carmin chappell
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, trade, ads, youtubers, youtubes, thousands, ig, fairtube, europes, video, theyve, company, youtube, videos, support, largest, union, unionize


Thousands of YouTubers want to unionize, and they've got the support of Europe's largest trade union

YouTube has turned ordinary people into celebrities and created an entirely new class of professionals who make a living on the platform.

But now, tens of thousands of YouTubers have formed a movement demanding greater transparency from the company, and Europe’s largest trade union is backing them.

YouTubers get a cut of the revenue when ads are placed in their videos. But in response to backlash from brands whose ads were being shown on inappropriate videos, in 2017 YouTube decided to implement stricter policies to prevent ads from appearing next to offensive content. If YouTube’s algorithms determine that a video violates their advertising guidelines, it removes all ads from the video, also known as demonetization.

Jörg Sprave is a YouTuber based in Germany who builds and tests extreme slingshots and crossbows. He started his channel in 2009 and now, with over 2.2 million subscribers, being a YouTuber is his full-time job.

In 2017, Sprave noticed that his videos were being demonetized seemingly without reason, preventing him from earning money on the platform. “I fail to understand YouTube’s decisions,” he wrote in a Facebook post in April 2017. Sprave started the YouTubers Union Facebook group in March 2018 as a place for dissatisfied creators to gather and organize against YouTube’s new advertising rules. The group now has over 20,000 members.

Sprave’s took his efforts to the next level in July, when the YouTubers Union partnered with IG Metall to start the FairTube campaign. IG Metall is a German union founded in 1949 with over 2 million members, making it Europe’s largest trade union. Although it was originally founded to advocate for the country’s metalworkers, IG Metall has expanded to represent other industries.

YouTube has pushed back against FairTube and IG Metall’s claims of unfair treatment. “We’re deeply invested in creators’ success,” a YouTube spokesperson told CNBC Make It. “We also need to ensure that users feel safe and that advertisers feel confident that YouTube is safe for their brand. We take lots of feedback as we work to get this balance right.”

Still, FairTube is not backing down on its demands for change at the company, and it has set a deadline of August 23, 2019 for YouTube to come to the negotiating table. If YouTube refuses, the organizers have threatened legal action to force the company’s hand.

FairTube’s demands for YouTube include:

Transparency in decisions surrounding demonetization

A direct line of communication to a company representative

An independent board to resolve disputes between creators and YouTube

A YouTubers advisory board where creators can weigh in on company decisions

“YouTube calls the YouTubers ‘partners,’ but in reality that’s not the case,” Sprave said in a video announcing the campaign. “YouTube has all the power, and this is not how a partnership works.”

One method is claiming that YouTubers are actually employees of YouTube and not self-employed like the company claims. “There is some evidence that YouTubers may be falsely self-employed. For example, they are continuously rated and monitored by YouTube, and only YouTube managers the relationship with advertisers,” said IG Metall lawyer Thomas Klebe in a video announcing the partnership.

FairTube is also considering appealing to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that went into effect last year. GDPR states that individuals have a right to request a copy of their personal data collected by companies. FairTube claims that YouTube’s decisions about whether or not to place ads on individual videos fall under this umbrella, and that data should be made available to YouTubers as part of GDPR.

Whether or not YouTube decides to change its policies as a result, the support FairTube has gained is a clear indication that the traditional notion of work is no longer relevant for many people. Companies ranging from Google to Lyft have struggled to keep up as workers demand greater protections in a rapidly changing economy, and now it seems YouTube is no exception.

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Don’t miss: These 7 high-paying work-from-home jobs all pay as much as $90,000 a year or more


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-06  Authors: carmin chappell
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Surveillance videos show alleged criminals attacking ATMs — and the crime is getting more common

The U.S. Secret Service gave CNBC surveillance video from two incidents that showed people attacking ATMs in broad daylight. These are two alleged criminals that dressed up as ATM workers to attack an ATM, according to the U.S. Secret Service. And there was pedestrian traffic,” said Greg Naranjo, a Secret Service special agent in charge from the Miami field office. Greg Naranjo is a Secret Service special agent in charge from the Miami field office. “When that street thug walks away with the mon


The U.S. Secret Service gave CNBC surveillance video from two incidents that showed people attacking ATMs in broad daylight. These are two alleged criminals that dressed up as ATM workers to attack an ATM, according to the U.S. Secret Service. And there was pedestrian traffic,” said Greg Naranjo, a Secret Service special agent in charge from the Miami field office. Greg Naranjo is a Secret Service special agent in charge from the Miami field office. “When that street thug walks away with the mon
Surveillance videos show alleged criminals attacking ATMs — and the crime is getting more common Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-01  Authors: jennifer schlesinger andrea day, jennifer schlesinger, andrea day
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, attacking, alleged, atm, theyre, secret, money, ibm, attacks, criminals, videos, common, service, xforce, getting, crime, source, atms, surveillance


Surveillance videos show alleged criminals attacking ATMs — and the crime is getting more common

The recent Capital One breach of more than 100 million customer records has left consumers worrying about banking safety. But the threats extend far beyond customer records, as hackers are increasingly finding ways to attack ATMs. “We know for a fact that ATM crime and fraud does cost the banking industry and financial services industry billions of dollars per year,” said David Tente the executive director for the U.S. and Americas for the ATM Industry Association, ATMIA. The trade group includes financial institutions as well as ATM manufacturers. The U.S. Secret Service gave CNBC surveillance video from two incidents that showed people attacking ATMs in broad daylight.

These are two alleged criminals that dressed up as ATM workers to attack an ATM, according to the U.S. Secret Service. Source: U.S. Secret Service

“I’ve seen surveillance footage of technicians dressed up as actual technicians come up to a department store where the ATM was located right by the front door. And there was pedestrian traffic,” said Greg Naranjo, a Secret Service special agent in charge from the Miami field office. “And they’re working on this ATM for approximately 30 minutes when they finally install their device and depart and then have the cashing crew come in and cash out the machine,” These attacks and others cost $3.5 million between late 2017 and early 2018, according to the Secret Service, which protects Americans from financial crimes.

Greg Naranjo is a Secret Service special agent in charge from the Miami field office. Source: CNBC

For these physical attacks, one criminal plants a device on the back of the ATM, which is one reason why . Depending on how it’s programmed, the machine could just spit out cash. But most of the time, criminal accomplices walk up and insert a card and enter a PIN to make it look like they’re real customers. To learn how to pull the attacks off, Naranjo says, criminal gangs have set up training facilities in South and Central America. “They have stolen machines from banks. They have training rooms with different types of ATMs,” he said. Physical attacks like these are on the rise. In a recent survey of ATM operators that the ATMIA shared with CNBC, 57 percent of respondents said physical attacks are increasing. The survey also found that stand-alone ATMs not connected to a bank were the most common for fraud. Stores and shopping malls were other common locations for fraud.

David Tente is the executive director for the U.S. and Americas for the ATM Industry Association, ATMIA. Source: CNBC

Physical attacks are not the only threat ATMs need to watch out for. Hackers can remotely access a bank’s servers to get it to allow ATM transactions, according to IBM Security’s X-Force Red, a team that does penetration testing. “We intercept the traffic, the response from the bank and change the ‘deny’ response to an approval,” said David Byrne, the global head of methodology for X-Force Red.

David Byrne is a global hacking methodology expert for IBM Security’s X-Force Red. He demonstrates how to refill an ATM. Source: CNBC

CNBC visited IBM’s ATM testing lab outside Toronto where the team demonstrated how this attack worked. Byrne demonstrated how a CNBC reporter could take out money using a grocery loyalty card and an old student ID. Any card with a magnetic stripe would work.

ATMs inside IBM Security’s ATM testing lab outside Toronto, Canada. Source: CNBC

“The street thug that the hacker mastermind sends out could conceivably sit here and just collect money after money after money until the ATM is empty,” said Charles Henderson, the global managing partner of X-Force Red. “When that street thug walks away with the money from an ATM, they’re gone forever.” IBM has seen a 500 percent increase in ATM testing demand from banks. “They’re seeing the attacks in the wild, and they’re trying to get ahead of the criminals,” Henderson said. “The thing about these machines is they’re very often connected to the internet…That’s a very important vulnerability, and one that we exploit in a lot of our ATM testing.”

Charles Henderson is the global managing partner of IBM Security’s X-Force Red. Source: CNBC


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-01  Authors: jennifer schlesinger andrea day, jennifer schlesinger, andrea day
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Breaking In: Surveillance video shows alleged criminals attacking ATMs

Breaking In: Surveillance video shows alleged criminals attacking ATMs1:49 PM ET Thu, 1 Aug 2019Hackers have turned their attention to ATMs. Two surevillance videos show alleged criminals attacking ATMs in order to drain them of cash. ATM crime and fraud costs the financial service industry billions each year, according to the industry trade group. Andrea Day reports.


Breaking In: Surveillance video shows alleged criminals attacking ATMs1:49 PM ET Thu, 1 Aug 2019Hackers have turned their attention to ATMs. Two surevillance videos show alleged criminals attacking ATMs in order to drain them of cash. ATM crime and fraud costs the financial service industry billions each year, according to the industry trade group. Andrea Day reports.
Breaking In: Surveillance video shows alleged criminals attacking ATMs Cached Page below :
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Breaking In: Surveillance video shows alleged criminals attacking ATMs

Breaking In: Surveillance video shows alleged criminals attacking ATMs

1:49 PM ET Thu, 1 Aug 2019

Hackers have turned their attention to ATMs. Two surevillance videos show alleged criminals attacking ATMs in order to drain them of cash. ATM crime and fraud costs the financial service industry billions each year, according to the industry trade group. Andrea Day reports.


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How this mom went from ‘super broke’ to Kim Kardashian’s trainer

4 Hours AgoTo view this site, you need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser, and either the Flash Plugin or an HTML5-Video enabled browser. Download the latest Flash player and try again. Melissa Alcantara lost over 40 pounds when she used the Insanity workout videos to lose the baby weight. Her transformation caught the eye of Kim Kardashian, who ultimately signed her on as her personal trainer.


4 Hours AgoTo view this site, you need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser, and either the Flash Plugin or an HTML5-Video enabled browser. Download the latest Flash player and try again. Melissa Alcantara lost over 40 pounds when she used the Insanity workout videos to lose the baby weight. Her transformation caught the eye of Kim Kardashian, who ultimately signed her on as her personal trainer.
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How this mom went from 'super broke' to Kim Kardashian's trainer

4 Hours Ago

To view this site, you need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser, and either the Flash Plugin or an HTML5-Video enabled browser. Download the latest Flash player and try again.

Melissa Alcantara lost over 40 pounds when she used the Insanity workout videos to lose the baby weight. Her transformation caught the eye of Kim Kardashian, who ultimately signed her on as her personal trainer.


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‘Strictly Dumpling’ YouTuber Mike Chen’s best and ‘most expensive’ food day ever

Food vlogger Mike Chen has had a lot of memorable meals — from an all-you-can-eat lobster buffet in Las Vegas to a massive, 5.5-pound gyoza dumpling in Tokyo. Chen, who started making YouTube food videos six years ago, actually runs six different YouTube channels, with more than 5 million followers overall, including “Beyond Science, ” where he explores “food, news, Chinese culture and mysterious phenomenons.” Chen tells CNBC Make It that he started making YouTube food videos in 2013, “because f


Food vlogger Mike Chen has had a lot of memorable meals — from an all-you-can-eat lobster buffet in Las Vegas to a massive, 5.5-pound gyoza dumpling in Tokyo. Chen, who started making YouTube food videos six years ago, actually runs six different YouTube channels, with more than 5 million followers overall, including “Beyond Science, ” where he explores “food, news, Chinese culture and mysterious phenomenons.” Chen tells CNBC Make It that he started making YouTube food videos in 2013, “because f
‘Strictly Dumpling’ YouTuber Mike Chen’s best and ‘most expensive’ food day ever Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-13  Authors: emma fierberg tom huddleston jr, emma fierberg, tom huddleston jr
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'Strictly Dumpling' YouTuber Mike Chen's best and 'most expensive' food day ever

Food vlogger Mike Chen has had a lot of memorable meals — from an all-you-can-eat lobster buffet in Las Vegas to a massive, 5.5-pound gyoza dumpling in Tokyo. As the host of “Strictly Dumpling, ” the food reviews YouTube channel that has nearly 2.6 million subscribers, Chen, 38, regularly attracts millions of viewers per post with videos showing him trying foods around the world, from “legendary” ramen in Japan to McDonald’s in India or Vietnamese street food. Chen, who started making YouTube food videos six years ago, actually runs six different YouTube channels, with more than 5 million followers overall, including “Beyond Science, ” where he explores “food, news, Chinese culture and mysterious phenomenons.” Born in China but raised in the U.S., Chen is a former Morgan Stanley financial analyst who left that job after a year, in 2006. He now works for the non-profit media company NTD Television, where he serves as the head of digital strategy, according to his LinkedIn page. Chen tells CNBC Make It that he started making YouTube food videos in 2013, “because food is the love of my life.” “I’ve always felt that the best way to explore a new culture is taking a bite out of it,” Chen says. “Everywhere in the world food is both historical and modern and encompasses the people, the land and the essence of its cultural identity.”

Recently, Chen sat down with CNBC Make It to talk about his favorite hacks for finding great food while traveling, and the best and “most expensive food day” of his life in 2017, when he spent nearly $1,000. CNBC Make It: What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? Mike Chen: It’s the best meal I’ve ever had, it’s just purely because it was the first meal I’ve ever had of that particular dish. And it was so mind-blowingly good. I will never forget the day I had an A5-grade Wagyu steak in Kobe, Japan. I mean, I had that thing for lunch, and it changed my life. It changed my everything. I mean, my soul is like different now, because the Wagyu did stuff to it that is just miraculous. And then after lunch I said, “You know what? For dinner, I also want Wagyu.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-13  Authors: emma fierberg tom huddleston jr, emma fierberg, tom huddleston jr
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Fake news is real — AI is going to make it much worse

President Donald Trump has been warning about “fake news” throughout his entire political career putting a dark cloud over the journalism professional. “What the last couple years has shown is basically fake news is quite compelling even in [the] absence of actual proof. How to detect a deepfakeTo make one of these fake videos, computers digest thousands of still images of a subject to help researchers build a 3-D model of the person. Once we live in an age where videos and images and audio can’


President Donald Trump has been warning about “fake news” throughout his entire political career putting a dark cloud over the journalism professional. “What the last couple years has shown is basically fake news is quite compelling even in [the] absence of actual proof. How to detect a deepfakeTo make one of these fake videos, computers digest thousands of still images of a subject to help researchers build a 3-D model of the person. Once we live in an age where videos and images and audio can’
Fake news is real — AI is going to make it much worse Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-12  Authors: joe andrews, brandon duffy, magdalena petrova
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, going, technology, trump, zhao, ai, threat, real, fake, videos, farid, media, sort, worse, video


Fake news is real — AI is going to make it much worse

President Donald Trump points at CNN’s Jim Acosta and accuses him of “fake news” while taking questions during a news conference following Tuesday’s midterm congressional elections at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 7, 2018. Kevin Lemarque | Reuters

“The Boy Who Cried Wolf” has long been a staple on nursery room shelves for a reason: It teaches kids that joking too much about a possible threat may turn people ignorant when the threat becomes an actual danger. President Donald Trump has been warning about “fake news” throughout his entire political career putting a dark cloud over the journalism professional. And now the real wolf might be just around the corner that industry experts should be alarmed about. The threat is called “deepfaking,” a product of AI and machine learning advancements that allows high-tech computers to produce completely false yet remarkably realistic videos depicting events that never happened or people saying things they never said. A viral video starring Jordan Peele and “Barack Obama” warned against this technology in 2018, but the message was not enough to keep Jim Carrey from starring in “The Shining” earlier this week. The danger goes far beyond manipulating 1980s thrillers. Deepfake technology is allowing organizations that produce fake news to augment their “reporting” with seemingly legitimate videos, blurring the line between reality and fiction like never before — and placing the reputation of journalists and the media at greater risk. For more on tech, transformation and the future of work, join CNBC at @ Work: Human Capital + Finance Summit in Chicago on July 16. Ben Zhao, a computer science professor at the University of Chicago, thinks the age of getting news on social media makes consumers very susceptible to this sort of manipulation. “What the last couple years has shown is basically fake news is quite compelling even in [the] absence of actual proof. … So the bar is low,” Zhao said. The bar to produce a convincing doctored video is lower than people might assume. Earlier this year a clip purporting to show Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi slurring her words when speaking to the press was shared widely on social media, including at one point by Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani. However, closer inspection revealed that the video had been slowed to 75% of its normal speed to achieve this slurring effect, according to the Washington Post. Even with the real video now widely accessible, Hany Farid, a professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Information and a digital forensics expert, said he still regularly receives emails from people insisting the slowed video is the legitimate one. “Even in these relatively simple cases, we are struggling to sort of set the record straight,” Farid said.

It would take a significant amount of expertise for a fake news outlet to produce a completely fabricated video of Oprah Winfrey endorsing Trump, but researchers say the technology is improving every day. At the University of Washington, computer vision researchers are developing this technology for positive, or at least benign, uses like making video conferencing more realistic and letting students talk to famous historical figures. But this research also leads to questions about potential dangers, as the attempts made by attackers are expected to continually improve.

How to detect a deepfake

To make one of these fake videos, computers digest thousands of still images of a subject to help researchers build a 3-D model of the person. This method has some limitations, according to Zhao, who noted the subjects in many deepfake videos today never blink, since almost all photographs are taken with a person’s eyes open. However, Farid said these holes in the technology are being filled incredibly rapidly. “If you asked me this question six months ago, I would’ve said, ‘Yeah, [the technology] is super cool, but there’s a lot of artifacts, and if you’re paying attention, you can probably tell that there’s something wrong,'” Farid said. “But I would say we are … quickly but surely getting to the point where the average person is going to have trouble distinguishing.” In fact, Zhao said researchers believe the shortcomings that make deepfake videos look slightly off to the eye can readily be fixed with better technology and better hardware. “The minute that someone says, ‘Here’s a research paper telling you about how to detect this kind of fake video,’ that is when the attackers look at the paper and say, ‘Thank you for pointing out my flaw. I will take that into account in my next-generation video, and I will go find enough input … so that the next generation of my video will not have the same problem,'” Zhao said.

Once we live in an age where videos and images and audio can’t be trusted … well, then everything can be fake. Hany Farid professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Information

One of the more recent developments in this field is in generating speech for a video. To replicate a figure such as Trump’s voice, computers can now simply analyze hundreds of hours of him speaking. Then researchers can type out what they want Trump to say, and the computer will make it sound as if he actually said it. Facebook, Google and Microsoft have all more or less perfected this technology, according to Farid. Manipulated videos of this sort aren’t exactly new — Forest Gump didn’t actually meet JFK, after all. However, Farid says this technology is hitting its stride, and that makes the danger new. “To me the threat is not so much ‘Oh, there’s this new phenomenon called deepfakes,'” Farid said. “It’s the injection of that technology into an existing environment of mistrust, misinformation, social media, a highly polarized electorate, and now I think there’s a real sort of amplification factor because when you hear people say things, it raises the level of belief to a whole new level.” The prospect of widespread availability of this technology is raising eyebrows, too. Tech-savvy hobbyists have long been using deepfakes to manufacture pornography, a consistent and comically predictable trend for new technology. But Zhao believes it is only a matter of time before the research-caliber technology gets packaged and released for mass-video manipulation in much broader contexts. “At some point someone will basically take all these technologies and integrate and do the legwork to build a sort of fairly sophisticated single model, one-stop shop … and when that thing hits and becomes easily accessible to many, then I think you’ll see this becoming much more prevalent,” Zhao said. “And there’s nothing really stopping that right now.”

Facing a massive consumer trust issue

When this happens, the journalism industry is going to face a massive consumer trust issue, according to Zhao. He fears it will be hard for top-tier media outlets to distinguish a real video from a doctored one, let alone news consumers who haphazardly stumble across the video on Twitter. “Once we live in an age where videos and images and audio can’t be trusted … well, then everything can be fake,” Farid said. “We can have different opinions, but we can’t have different facts. And I think that’s sort of the world we’re entering into when we can’t believe anything that we see.” Zhao has spent a great deal of time speaking with prosecutors, judges — the legal profession is another sector where the implications are huge — reporters and other professors to get a sense for every nuance of the issue. However, despite his clear understanding of the danger deepfakes pose, he is still unsure of how news outlets will go about reacting to the threat. “Certainly, I think what can happen is … there will be even less trust in sort of mainstream media, the main news outlets, legitimate journalists [that] sort of react and report real-time stories because there is a sense that anything that they have seen … could be in fact made up,” Zhao said. Then it becomes a question of how the press deal with the disputes over reality. “And if it’s someone’s word, an actual eyewitness’ word versus a video, which do you believe, and how do you as an organization go about verifying the authenticity or the illegitimacy of a particularly audio or video?” Zhao asked.

Defeating the deepfakes

Part of this solution may be found in the ledger technology that provides the digital infrastructure to support cryptocurrencies like bitcoin — the blockchain. Many industries are touting blockchain as a sort of technological Tylenol. Though few understand exactly how it works, many swear it will solve their problems. Farid said companies like photo and video verification platform Truepic, to which he serves as an advisor, are using the blockchain to create and store digital signatures for authentically shot videos as they are being recorded, which makes them much easier to verify later. Both Zhao and Farid are hoping social platforms like Facebook and Twitter will then promote these videos that are verified as authentic over non-verified videos, helping to halt the spread of deepfakes. “The person creating the fake always has the upper hand,” Farid said. “Playing defense is really, really hard. So I think in the end our goal is not to eliminate these things, but it’s to manage the threat.” Until this happens, Zhao said the fight against genuinely fake news may not start on a ledger, but in stronger consumer awareness and journalists banding together to better verify sources through third parties. “One of the hopes that I have for defeating this type of content is that people are just so inundated with news coverage and information about these types of videos that they become fundamentally much more skeptical about what a video means and they will look closer,” Zhao said. “There has to be that level of scrutiny by the consumer for us to have any chance of fighting back against this type of fake content.”

A woman in Washington, D.C., views a manipulated video that changes what is said by President Donald Trump and former president Barack Obama, illustrating how deepfake technology can deceive viewers. ROB LEVER | AFP | Getty Images


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-12  Authors: joe andrews, brandon duffy, magdalena petrova
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, going, technology, trump, zhao, ai, threat, real, fake, videos, farid, media, sort, worse, video


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