Hashtag Trending – Creepy deepfake; The robotics revolution; New York’s “Supernode”

A disturbing new deepfake app is making its rounds, a new report about how robots will change the world is getting people worried again, and New York’s strategy to provide affordable broadband continues to turn heads.

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A new app called DeepNude is trending all over social media due to its ability to produce realistic images of nude women at the touch of a button. It’s the latest example of AI-generatied deepfakes, which have spread like wildfire in recent months due to their potential to misinform the general public. DeepNude allows users to upload a photo, and after some programming magic, spits out a watermarked copy that is absent of any clothes. The app’s creator, who according to reporting from Motherboard, goes by the name “Alberto”, describes himself as a tech enthusiast and says there was no malicious intent behind the app’s creation. He adds he was inspired by the capabilities of AI, and the “economic return” from his experiments – a strange claim considering the app’s name and overall purpose. As of this recording, the app is no longer available to download on the Windows store.

It’s that time of the month again – LinkedIn is abuzz about a new report that says the number of robots in industrial spaces is set to multiply nearly 10-fold to 20 million by 2030. What’s really got people worried, however, is the projection that up to 20 million manufacturing jobs are set to be lost by 2030 as a result. The report from Oxford Economics also pointed to other negative effects such as lower skilled workers and poorer regions being hit the hardest, aggravating social and economic problems, and posing daunting policy challenges.

And lastly, a Vice’s article about a community-run operation named NYC Mesh continues to gain traction on Reddit. NYC Mesh, an effort to deliver cheaper, better broadband service to New York City, is an initiative run by volunteers and donors who dedicate their time, money, bandwidth, and hardware to build an alternative to the shoddy US broadband that plagues large swaths of the U.S. The group actually recently announced it’s dramatically expanding the network this month, and they say it will have 50 times the capacity of the original node.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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