tech, AI, deepfake speech detection, study
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Humans Can Detect Deepfake Speech Only 73% of the Time: Study (Maria)

The author writes, “Humans are able to detect artificially generated speech only 73% of the time, a study has found, with the same levels of accuracy found in English and Mandarin speakers. Researchers at University College London used a text-to-speech algorithm trained on two publicly available datasets, one in English and the other in Mandarin, to generate 50 deepfake speech samples in each language. Deepfakes, a form of generative artificial intelligence, are synthetic media that is created to resemble a real person’s voice or the likeness of their appearance.” 

RFK Jr. Says He’s Not Anti-Vaccine. His Record Shows the Opposite. It’s One of Many Inconsistencies (Reader Jim)

The authors write, “Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. rose to prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic because of his strident opposition to vaccines. Yet, he insists he’s not anti-vaccine. He has associated with influential people on the far right — including Tucker Carlson, Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn — to raise his profile. Yet, he portrays himself as a true Democrat inheriting the mantle of the Kennedy family. As he challenges President Joe Biden, the stories he tells on the campaign trail about himself, his life’s work and what he stands for are often the opposite of what his record actually shows.”

Republican Proposal Would Make Wiretaps Easier, But Might Violate Federal Law (Al)

From Urban Milwaukee: “Republican lawmakers have again introduced a bill to expand how wiretapping devices such as pen registers or trap and trace devices are defined under [Wisconsin] state law. A pen register is intended to collect information from a target phone, such as the phone numbers of outgoing or incoming calls, without eavesdropping on the call’s content or conversation. When the bill was pitched two years ago, legislators argued that it would simply modernize Wisconsin law and align it with federal standards. But the bill has raised concerns over privacy and whether its passage could open the door to wider surveillance.”

Putin Is Looking for a Bigger War, Not an Off-Ramp, in Ukraine (Gerry)

From the Financial Times: “‘These amendments are written for a big war and general mobilization. And the smell of this big war can already be scented,’ Andrei Kartapolov, the head of the Duma’s defense committee, said this week as the Russian parliament rushed to adopt a new law. The legislation enabling the Kremlin to send hundreds of thousands more men into combat reveals a sad truth: that far from seeking an off-ramp from his disastrous war in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is preparing for an even bigger war.”

Tesla Created Secret Team to Suppress Thousands of Driving Range Complaints (Reader Steve)

From Reuters: “About a decade ago, Tesla rigged the dashboard readouts in its electric cars to provide ‘rosy’ projections of how far owners can drive before needing to recharge, a source told Reuters. The automaker last year became so inundated with driving-range complaints that it created a special team to cancel owners’ service appointments.”

As Climate Shocks Multiply, Designers Seek Holy Grail: Disaster-Proof Homes (Laura)

The author writes, “As weather grows more extreme, geodesic domes and other resilient home designs are gaining new attention from more climate-conscious home buyers, and the architects and builders who cater to them. The trend could begin to dislodge the inertia that underlies America’s struggle to adapt to climate change: Technologies exist to protect homes against severe weather — but those innovations have been slow to seep into mainstream homebuilding, leaving most Americans increasingly exposed to climate shocks, experts say.”

Archaeologists Have Uncovered the Remains of Roman Emperor Nero’s Infamous Theater (Dana)

The author writes, “Archaeologists excavating a Renaissance building in Rome, Italy, have discovered the remains of Nero’s Theater, an imperial structure that has been described in ancient Roman texts, but never located. Since 2020, researchers from the Special Superintendence of Rome have been digging in the courtyard of the Palazzo della Rovere in the run-up to a renovation. The building, mere steps from the Vatican, houses the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, which has leased the space to the Four Seasons, due to open in 2025.” 


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