Tech

Download: Language-preserving AI and hackers show how easy it is to breach critical infrastructure


This is today’s edition of Download, Our weekday newsletter provides daily coverage of what’s happening in the tech world.

A new vision of artificial intelligence for humans

In the back room of an old New Zealand building, one of the most advanced computers for artificial intelligence is helping to redefine the future of technology.

Te Hiku Media, a non-profit Māori radio station run by Peter-Lucas Jones and Keoni Mahelona, ​​purchased the machine to train its own algorithms for natural language processing. Now, the couple’s dream of restoring the Maori language while keeping control of their community data is a central part of the couple’s dream.

The project is a radical departure from how the AI ​​industry usually works. Over the past decade, AI researchers have pushed the field to new limits with the “more” dogma, constantly tapping people for their faces, voices, and behaviors to enrich more profit. But projects like Te Hiku can lead to a new generation of AI – one that doesn’t see marginalized people as mere data subjects but re-establishes them as co-creators of a future. common future.Read full story.

—Karen Hao

This is the fourth and final installment in our series on AI colonialism, the idea that artificial intelligence is creating a new colonial world order. You can read the previous articles in the series this.

These hackers have shown how easy it is to target critical infrastructure

Expert skills:Earlier this week, two Dutch researchers took home $90,000 as a reward for hacking software that powers the world’s critical infrastructure.

Easily Scary: Daan Keuper and his colleague Thijs Alkemade have been practicing really well. After hacking a car in 2018, they started hacking into video conferencing software and coronavirus apps last year. Their latest challenge is the easiest. The targets are all industrial control systems that operate critical facilities, including power grids, gas pipelines, etc. It’s the same software that can be found in the real world.

Security vulnerabilities: The pair managed to successfully pass the trusted application test for a communication protocol known as OPC UA, which allows different parts of the critical operation system to talk to each other in the environment. industry. “In industrial control systems, there is still a lot that goes wrong,” says Keuper. “Security is lagging badly.” Read full story.

—Patrick Howell O’Neill

Spread the secrets of Silicon Valley, one tweet at a time

Just after midnight on May 4, 2018, Jane Manchun Wong tweeted her first “discovery”. “Twitter is working on an end-to-end encrypted secret DM!” she writes.

That was the first tweet that Wong sent out. By diving into the publicly available source code of companies like Twitter and Facebook, she can find out what features and projects are secretly working before they’re announced.

A young woman of color revealing the plans of a Big Tech company without any tools but the ability to reverse engineer her own code is (and is) pretty radical — and it changed the way how technology companies operate.Read full story.

—Tanya Basu

Quote of the day

“We think we are against fascism, but there is no fascism there. Not available. ”

—Sergei Klokov, a driver at Moscow police headquarters, criticized Russia’s activities in Ukraine in a phone call to a friend shortly before his arrest, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Things to read

I’ve scoured the internet to find you today’s most interesting/important/scary/fascinating stories about tech.

1 We need to prepare for the war in Ukraine to last indefinitely

It’s been eight weeks since the invasion, with no sign of an end to the conflict. (Foreign Affair)
+ Ukraine is concerned that Chinese-made drones are undermining its defenses. (WSJ $)
+ Russia has banned Kamala Harris and other US officials from entering the country. (Reuters)
+ The Russian military is blocking a steel factory with 2,000 Ukrainian fighters inside. (NYT $)
+ The World Bank is predicting a catastrophic global food crisis. (BBC)
+ Zelensky says Russia plans to “falsify” an independence referendum in southern Ukraine. (Guardians)

Elon Musk says he lined up $46.5 billion to buy Twitter
That was a terrible amount, even for someone as rich as him. (WSJ $)
+ He says he wants free speech on the platform, but he’s spent years trying to silence his own critics who are pretty vulnerable to criticism. (Bloomberg $)
+ Musk also proved difficult to go back in time to a time when tweets had less consequences. (New Yorkers $)

3 Zero-day hacks are cybercriminals’ weapon of choice
They are eye-catchingly expensive, but extremely effective. (CHILDREN)
+ Google is fixing many zero-day bugs targeting Chrome. (ZDNet)

4 Micro-jet fuels can help cut carbon emissions from flying
If (a big if) then it can be proven to work on a large scale. (CHILDREN)
+ Another way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Sue manufacturers. (The Economist $)

5 EU is about to announce new laws forcing Big Tech to police illegal content
If it passes, it means they will no longer be allowed to mark their homework. (FT $)
+ It could leave the largest companies vulnerable to billions of dollars in fines. (Bloomberg $)
+ As always, the biggest companies aren’t thrilled by the prospect. (Bloomberg $)
+ And marketers won’t be happy, either. (Drum $)

Regulations alone cannot combat misinformation
Distorted information is dangerous, but flawed methods for dealing with it can also be terrible. (Atlantic $)
+ YouTube is more likely to reinforce extreme views than refer you to them. (NYT $)
+ Big tech has made democracy more vulnerable, says Obama. (WP $)

7 Sheryl Sandberg is said to have persuaded journalists not to write about her then-boyfriend
Partly because it would damage her reputation as a women’s champion. (WSJ $)

8 Someone in the UK has had covid for over a year
Doctors say we need better treatments for people battling persistent infections. (Guardians)
+ New global covid cases fell by almost a quarter last week. (Guardians)

9 Installing smart home technology in rental properties is a tough privacy issue
On the one hand, it’s convenient. Otherwise: it’s a web-enabled monitoring network. (WSJ $)
+ Amazon thinks home tech is a safer bet than expanding into supermarkets. (FT $)

10 How does it feel to receive an email from your past?
It’s a lovely way to reflect on your achievements and the future. (Guardians)

We can still have good things

A place for comfort, fun and distraction during these strange times. (Any comments? Drop me a line or tweet ’em with me.)

+ If you’re lucky, you might catch a piglet taking a mud bath here live stream a Namibian waterhole (thanks Michael!)
+ Forget it, I think this is Stephen King’s scariest work to date.
+ NASA’s durable Rover has seen a Rare solar eclipse on Mars.
Today is Glen Campbell’s 86th birthday. Enjoy this demo of Old Classic, Wichita Lineman.
+ I’m sure New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was touched by this beautiful dance of two people dressed as kiwis Welcome her to Japan.
+ This album cover collection makes me want to listen some Grace Jones instant.
+ Do you remember Honda’s ASIMO robot? Its retirement.





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