Hashtag Trending Aug.16-99 per cent of internet content could soon be AI-generated; Millions of voters affected by UK data breach; Reddit faces content moderation issue in Russia

99 per cent of internet content could soon be generated by Artificial Intelligence. Forty million voters are affected by a UK data breach. The Internet Archives is being sued again.  And Reddit is in trouble once again, this time with the Russian government.

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These stories and more as we bring you the top tech news stories on today’s Hashtag Trending.  

I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and Tech News Day in the US.

The UK Electoral Commission has suffered a data breach, leaking the personal information of 40 million voters registered between 2014 and 2022. Detected in October 2022, the breach had been ongoing since August of 2021. The leaked data includes names and addresses and is claimed not to pose a high risk but experts point out the data could be used for spear phishing or profiling. 

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office is investigating, and added measures have been taken to secure the commission’s systems. 

Sources include:  CPO Magazine

Experts predict that 99 per cent of internet content could be AI-generated by 2025 to 2030. This massive shift poses significant challenges:

Misinformation: AI can create content that seems plausible but may be entirely false, fueling disinformation campaigns.

Manipulation: AI models can be “poisoned” to shape outputs, exacerbating the challenge of finding trustworthy information.

Bias: AI may reproduce biases related to gender, race, and culture and other things.

Several measures are being taken to combat the risks:

Microsoft is proposing to add metadata to AI-generated content to trace its origin.

But that may not be enough. Some are recommending that laws should require identification of such things as political advertising’s funders or prohibit deepfake harassment.

AI itself could be used to detect machine-generated misinformation, Open AI is proposed that AI could be used for curation but this has had only limited success to date and may lead to an arms race.

Media literacy efforts could help people evaluate information, but given what has already happened with social media, does this seem to be a truly viable alternative?

Tech companies like Microsoft, Google, and Meta (Facebook) say they are actively working on these and other measures to address the unique challenges posed by AI-generated content.

But if these predictions are right, the dominance of AI content may be one of the most serious threats the internet has ever faced.

Sources include:  Axios and Futurism

We’ve heard this song before. Yesterday we reported that the Internet Archives had been sued by book publishers.  Today, the other shoe dropped and major record labels, including UMG Recordings, Capitol Records, Sony Music Entertainment, and others, are now also suing the Internet Archive for “massive” and “blatant” copyright infringement related to the “Great 78 Project.” 

This project, launched in 2006, aims to digitize sound recordings on 78 RPM records made between 1898 and the late 1950s, preserving these early recordings for study.

The record labels argue that the Great 78 Project undercuts the industry’s profits from selling licenses to stream some of the world’s most popular recordings on platforms like Spotify or Apple Music. They allege that the Internet Archive financially benefits from digitizing popular recordings, attracting donations by giving away songs they have no right to distribute.

Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle characterizes the project as providing “free public access to a largely forgotten but culturally important medium.” He emphasizes that the recordings are used for teaching and research, with each recording accessed by only one researcher per month on average.

The record labels have demanded a jury trial and damages that could amount to more than $400 million. Kahle seems prepared to defend against the charges, questioning the motives behind the complaint and asking, “Who benefits?”

Sources include: ArsTechnica

Google is updating its Search Generative Experience (SGE) with new AI-powered features to help users understand complex information. Users can now hover over specific words to preview definitions and see related images, aiding in subjects like STEM and economics. 

For programmers, color-coded syntax highlights will make code easier to understand and debug. 

An experimental feature, SGE while browsing, will provide AI-generated key points and links to specific sections of an article. 

Google emphasizes that AI summaries won’t be provided for paywalled content, reflecting its commitment to enhancing user experience while respecting publishers’ rights.

Sources include: TechCrunch

And social media site Reddit has yet another problem with content moderation, but this time it’s in Russia.

Russia has fined Reddit for the first time for not deleting “banned content” that contained “fake” information about Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine. The fine was reported by RIA, the Russian news agency, on Tuesday, citing a decision by a Moscow court. 

The bad news is that the fine is in the amount of 2 million roubles, the same amount that Russia assessed against the Wikimedia foundation for “failing to delete ‘fakes’ about what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

The good news is that with the rouble currently being worth about one cent USD, the fines are miniscule in comparison with those that the European Union has levelled against tech and social media companies. 

Given the size of fines (about 20 thousand USD) Reddit has to feel that it finally lucked out with who it has irritated.

There is no truth to any rumour Reddit will be forcing its moderators to hold a bake sale to pay the fine.

Those are the top tech news stories for today.  Hashtag Trending goes to air 5 days a week with a special weekend interview show we call “the Weekend Edition.”

You can get us anywhere you get audio podcasts and there is a copy of the show notes at itworldcanada.com/podcasts 

If you want to catch up on these and other news more quickly, you can read these stories and more at TechNewsDay.com and some more of them at ITWorldCanada.com on the home page.

It’s always great to hear from you.  It lets me know we are on the right track. Or possibly, on the wrong track.

So please go to the article at itworldcanada.com/podcasts –  and you’ll find a text edition there. Click on the x or the check mark but tell us what you think. 

To those who have reached out – my sincere thanks. I answer each and every email that comes to me. It is so great to hear from you. 

I’m your host, Jim Love. Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Jim Love
Jim Lovehttp://www.itworldcanada.com
I've been in IT and business for over 30 years. I worked my way up, literally from the mail room and I've done every job from mail clerk to CEO. Today I'm CIO of a great company - IT World Canada - Canada's leading ICT publisher.

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