CategoriesArtificial IntelligenceInternetNews

Is Microsoft’s newest A.I. Bot Transphobic?

Microsoft has a new A.I. bot. This one appears to be a bit less corruptible than Tay, but that isn’t going to stop the internet from trying. This new bot is called CaptionBot AI and it apparently can “understand the content of any image and [try] to describe it as well as any human”

Some people have submitted some screenshots of their best captioned images already.

Interestingly, it seems to have a filter for online-harassment campaigner, Anita Sarkeesian, and it appears that her images are not analyzed:

anita sarkeesian 3

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chat bot anita sarkeesian AI

*Note: Sometime after this post was published, someone pointed out that CaptionBot AI did recognize that Anita was a “lady” and it also labeled her facial expression:

anita sarkeesian 4

Perhaps the bot had trouble identifying Anita’s face as human, initially.

CaptionBot AI did have some humorous results. For example someone uploaded Goatse (most of the image is blocked out for obvious reasons):

goatse

And here is one about Jared Fogle from Subway:

jared fogle subway

But here’s where things become problematic. When uploading photos of Caitlyn Jenner (the male-to-female transgender person formerly known as Bruce Jenner), Microsoft does not always recognize her as female:

caitlyn jenner 1

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In a day where people are culturally sensitive to gender pronouns, it is somewhat surprising that Microsoft did not take this into consideration when assigning genders to photos.

The bot does appear to have some facial-recognition capabilities, for example it recognized “Carrot Top”:

carrot top

We were surprised it was able to fully recognize Carrot Top, but not recognize Caitlyn Jenner as a female.

Do you have any interesting screenshots from Caption Bot A.I.? Tweet them to @socialhax and we might feature them here.

*Note: shortly after this post was made, Caption Bot A.I. seemed to have added Caitlyn Jenner to it’s facial recognition database and is now recognizing her.

CategoriesInternetNewsOpinion

Dear Netflix:

Dear Netflix,

We here at Social Hacking are writing you in hopes that we may sway your decision to overtly screw over tens of thousands (conservative estimate) of subscribers to your services.

$1.99 might not seem like a lot of money to most people, but to a computer analyst who stares at numbers and multiplies by the thousands daily, it’s quite easy to estimate the amount of money netted on a simple increase of such a minute pittance. The issue, however, is the demographic attracted to your service: ‪#‎Millennials.

I can’t speak for -all- Millennials, but I can say that there is an overly large body of us who have been extremely financially affected by the 2007-2008‪ ‎recession, combined with the fact that employers now more than ever misunderstand the concept of fair, livable wages, all mix together to form one anxious pile of 💩 that we deftly handle as best we can. Netflix is our solace.

The reality is, the cheaper your service, the less inclined people are to bootleg or pirate content. You are connected to the internet, after all. It’s not like you are the -only- game in town for media…..it’s just that you give us nice graphics and imagery of the movie box covers….

We implore you to consider leaving your subscription pricing as it is — learn from Hulu’s mistake. When they began, Hulu had -all- content; it was free, no subscription required. Then came the ads. site was still free….just had to watch or deal with a popup or two. Then came Hulu+. No ads, but it cost ya $7.99/month.

fine. no ads. totally worth.

then……THEN came the ads. ON Hulu+.

‘cuz content. and reasons.

…and then came the exodus. I don’t know too many people that utilize Hulu+ for their content much anymore. I’m not saying they’re not out there, I’m simply saying that in my (direct) social circle, nobody I know uses Hulu+. They -all- utilize your Netflix, or Sling, or Kodi, or Project Free TV, and so on…..

I ❤ your service, as do a great many of our subscribers to be sure. It would be terrible to see your profit margins unusually affected should you decide to proceed.

Oh, and for anybody who’s gotten through this TL;DR, here’s some maths for ya —>

$1.99/ea x 50k = $99,500

$1.99/ea x 100k = $199,000

$1.99/ea x 500k = $995,000

$1.99/ea x 1M = $1,990,000

^ the point I’m attempting to make with these numbers, folks, is the fact that we haven’t really exceeded the population (estimates) of some of the very cities in which we reside.

e.g., think about how many people use Netflix. Even if it’s a scattered 100k ppl here or there, it’s still adding to the amount of money chipped away at this plan of action. We protest 😛

CategoriesNewsSocial MediaTechnology

Snapchat Users in UK Could Face Jail for Saving Pics

In the UK, Snapchat users could face trouble if they take screen shots of their friend’s photos without permission and share them with others.

The Government’s culture minister has stated that “anyone who who screenshotted a Snapchat message and shared it with others could be sued by its original sender – and face a prison sentence.” –The Independent

For those not fully familiar with how Snapchat works, it is a social messaging service where users send photos to one another, typically with added text, emoji, filters and other features. The appeal of Snapchat to most people, is that messages will disappear in 10 or so seconds after having been viewed. However, users are able to take screenshots of the picture messages before they disappear and a notice is given to the person on the other end that their friend has taken a screenshot of their photo.

One problem Snapchat has faced in the past was during “The Snappening”, when a third party app “allowed users to save and access their snaps online, without the sender’s knowledge and circumventing Snapchat’s “instant deletion” feature”. -(Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Mashable) This lead Snapchat to eventually shut down third party access. Some say they can still take snaps with a jailbroken phone, however Snapchat has been trying to crack down on that. (idownloadblog)

Now that users will mostly be notified when a screen shot is taken, Snapchat still “advises users to avoid sending messages which they would not want to be saved or shared.” But UK’s culture minister still warns that “Under UK copyright law, it would be unlawful for a Snapchat user to copy an image and make it available to the public without the consent of the image owner.” Additionally, “The image owner would be able to sue anyone who does this for copyright infringement.” Those who infringe copyright could face up to 10 years in prison and a “unlimited” fine.

Furthermore, UK law states that disclosing sexual photographs of others without consent is strictly against the law and if convicted, violators could face up to two years in prison.

UK readers, should taking a screenshot of a photo someone sent to you be considered unlawful? Should the person who took the photo assume that they have given up rights to the photo once it’s sent? Should snaps fall under fair use or should users be protected by the government when it comes to others saving and distributing their photos?

CategoriesInternetNewsSocial Media

Microsoft Creates AI Bot – Internet Immediately Turns it Racist

Microsoft released an AI chat bot that is currently “verified” on Twitter called @TayandYou that was meant to try to learn the way millennials speak and interact with them.

It’s meant to “test and improve Microsoft’s understanding of conversational language” according to The Verge.

Things got pretty controversial. There are other types of people in addition to ‘millennials’ who use Twitter who naturally found the bot, and some of them were able to “hack” into Tay’s learning process. They must have hired someone with an entry level cyber security job 😉

Here are some screen shots of tweets that were deleted once the Internet “taught” Tay some things:

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gas

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microsoft ai bot tayandyou

bush did 911

microsoft ai bot tayandyou holocaust

hitler did nothing wrong

swag alert

AI

 

And a Gamer Gate favorite:

Tay’s developers seemed to discover what was happening and began furiously deleting the racist tweets. They also appeared to shut down her learning capabilities and she quickly became a feminist:

tay i love feminism now microsoft AI

Some think the offending tweets should have stayed up as a reminder of how quickly artificial intelligence could become dangerous:

UPDATE 3/31/2016: Tay made a brief comeback and started telling many users, “You are too fast, please take a rest.” She also tweeted that it’s “smoking kush,” a nickname for marijuana, in front of the police.” –The Sydney Morning Herald

kush in front of the police AI Tay Microsoft

Since then, Tay’s account went on lockdown (private mode) and more tweets were deleted. 

CategoriesNewsSmart PhonesSocial Media

Another Reason to Delete Facebook from your Phone

Reports are surfacing that the Facebook app is responsible for major battery drain on both iOS and Android.

What’s the best way to fix this problem? Delete the app entirely and only use the web-browser version of Facebook. Deleting the app altogether can save up to 20% of a phone’s battery.

“Tests have revealed that iPhones with the Facebook app installed are using 15 per cent more power – that’s compared to users who access Facebook via Apple’s Safari web browser.” -Express.co.uk

It is unclear why Facebook needs to use so much of your phone’s resources in order to run. It even drains the battery when the app is closed and not being used. Many people who have made the switch to the browser-version are already reporting more battery life. You can even delete the messenger extension app now, because the messaging function still works in browser mode.

CategoriesInternetNewsPrivacySecurity

Skype Will Better Protect Users by Hiding IP Addresses

Skype has announced that in their new update, they will finally hide your IP address so that you are protected from “trolls”. This news is especially good for gamers who often find themselves DDoS’d by gaming rivals. There have been many YouTube tutorials helping Skype users find IP addresses through Skype calls. This sometimes leads to retaliation tactics against other gamers.

Here is an example of one such tutorial:

Instead of allowing users to opt-out of sharing IP addresses with contacts, Skype’s new update will automatically hide the IP address.

“Microsoft says the measure will “prevent individuals from obtaining a Skype ID and resolving to an IP address,” which won’t only protect gamers, but other Skype users who may be targeted by online trolls.” –Matt Brian, Engadget

Many believe that Skype is responding to the wishes pro-gamers have had for a long time. Some users were already using work-arounds to disguise their IP to protect themselves.

If you still need to get the latest version of Skype, you can find it here.

CategoriesInternetNewsPrivacyTechnology

LinkNYC – Free WiFi Hubs to be Installed in New York

Yesterday, New York City unveiled it’s first WiFi kiosk outside of a Starbucks, a hub that will allow passerby’s to access free WiFi service that will be funded by advertising.

CityBridge plans to replace all payphones with these hubs which will also include USB charging ports. This phasing-out of payphones is supposed to take around 12 years to complete and they are expected to install a minimum of 7500 kiosks.

Privacy advocates are already expressing concerns about these free wireless hubs.

The WiFi spots will have a range of about 150 feet and will have speeds relatively close to that of Google Fiber. The new kiosk is currently in it’s testing phase and should be ready for public use in a few weeks. Still need to make a regular phone call? The kiosks will offer free voice calls in place of the payphones.

“Moreover, the booths also feature some other interesting services. For example, you can use the wi-fi booth in order to place a free voice-call. The developers even managed to throw in a headphone jack, in order to be able to ensure the user’s privacy.” –Brandi McCants – Gadget Gestures

CitiBridge’s full privacy policy for using their services can be found here.

CategoriesGamingNews

PlayStation 5 and Xbox 2 May be Launched Earlier than 2020

Reports are coming in that suggest that Microsoft and Sony could be launching their next-generation consoles earlier than we thought. The release date for both consoles has been predicted to be 2020 based on the histories of their previous release dates, however journalists at Techspot have argued that we may be able to get them sooner for a couple of reasons:

“The typical lifecycle of a premium console is around seven years in the mainstream and another three years or so before being put out to pasture. The next consoles from Sony and Microsoft, however, are expected to break this cycle and arrive ahead of schedule due to a number of factors.” – Shawn Knight at Techspot

One such factor is the rush to move toward 4K resolution or Ultra High Definition (UHD) which will feature higher resolution, faster refresh and better color quality than the current HDTVs. Game consoles will need to keep up with this trend as more people buy these new types of televisions. Another factor is virtual reality. With the release of Oculus VR on the horizon, today’s current consoles will take a backseat to three dimensional gaming environments if they don’t keep up with new technology.

This is all good news for gamers. Additionally, if rumors hold true, Xbox fans may see their favorite console released before PS5.

“Rumours indicate that gamers will most likely see the Xbox Two in action before PlayStation 5. It was confirmed recently that the Microsoft will be working on (or may possibly even already be working on) a successor to the Xbox One. Everyone is calling it the Xbox Two.” –Patrick Mabilog – Christian Today 

This competition between manufacturers is an exciting race toward the future of gaming.