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How to Spot a Deepfake — and Prevent It From Causing Political Chaos (Maria)

The author writes, “The ‘fake news’ of 2016 is so passé. This year, fake video and audio clips generated by artificial intelligence (AI) are the new looming threat that could sway voters in the upcoming US presidential election. Last week, voters in New Hampshire’s presidential primary received a robocall in which President Joe Biden seemed to be discouraging them from participating in the election. … Only the call wasn’t actually recorded by Biden — it was a deepfake, a form of generative AI in which algorithms collate clips of a person’s face or voice, learn from them, and impersonate the subject saying things they never did.”

Amid Backlash, RNC Scraps Plan to Name Trump Presumptive GOP Nominee (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “On Thursday, a committee member for the Republican National Committee (RNC) submitted a draft proposal that sought to immediately name Donald Trump the presumptive GOP nominee for the 2024 presidential election, overturning current rules that only allow the distinction to be given to someone who wins enough delegates through primary races. After the proposal was met with backlash, however, the draft document was withdrawn within hours of being made public. … While it’s highly unlikely that Trump will lose the nomination to former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, it’s not impossible for things to change in the coming weeks. Haley is refusing to bow out of the race for the time being, though Trump clearly has the momentum in the nominating race so far.”

‘Anti-European’ Populists on Track for Big Gains in EU Elections, Says Report (Sean)

The author writes, “Populist ‘anti-European’ parties are heading for big gains in June’s European elections that could shift the parliament’s balance sharply to the right and jeopardize key pillars of the EU’s agenda including climate action, polling suggests. Polling in all 27 EU member states, combined with modeling of how national parties performed in past European parliament elections, shows radical right parties are on course to finish first in nine countries including Austria, France and Poland.”

How To Make a Political Extremist (Al)

From Voegelin View: “Today, the word extremist in connection with politics is used frequently to a point where it has lost all of its prior meaning, and it is now a simple insult. However, despite this lack of understanding, political extremism is rampant to the point that most of the American people are extremists. Your family members, your neighbor, and that person sitting next to you at the bar are more likely than not extremists. Extremism is not like a disease that has a somewhat mysterious origin and is spread through proximity, but rather, extremism is manufactured through a procedural system. This system focuses on the degeneration of confidence and the creation of anger within individuals so that they can be brought to a blind, slave-like following to whatever cause may invoke this process.”

Inside the Crime Rings Trafficking Sand (Laura)

From Scientific American: “Organized crime is mining sand from rivers and coasts to feed demand worldwide, ruining ecosystems and communities. Can it be stopped?”

A Man Opened an Emergency Exit and Walked on a Plane’s Wing. Passengers Are Supporting His Action (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “At first it sounds like a typical case of bad behavior aboard airplanes. The Mexico City International Airport acknowledged in a statement Friday that a man had opened an emergency exit and walked out on a wing of a plane that was parked and waiting for takeoff Thursday. The airport said the man had been turned over to police. But dozens of fellow passengers signed a written copy of a statement saying the airline made them wait for four hours without ventilation or water while the flight was delayed. According to photos of the statement posted online, fellow passengers said he acted ‘to protect everyone, with the support of everyone.’”


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