Every day 90-year-old Japanese grandma Hamako Mori flexes her fingers to keep them nimble. Not for knitting or needlepoint, but to stay in shape for playing video games. The pensioner known as “Gamer Grandma” spends three or more hours a day battling monsters and going on missions in the virtual worlds of her favourite games, and even has a popular YouTube channel for her fans. “I’m passionate about playing games every day,” the white-haired widow told AFP in an interview conducted by videochat. “Every day is an enjoyable day,” she said, describing eviscerating onscreen foes as a fantastic stress reliever.
We use chatbots often to answer simple questions when using customer service or booking a doctor’s appointment. But with the rise of chatbots, are we certain that the bot we are speaking to is a valid bot, or one designed to phish for our vital information and use it with bad intentions? The rise of chatbots means that the internet is expected to evolve from a space primarily for use by humans to an ecosystem in which humans and non-humans interact in complex ways. Formed “by four foreigners at MIT,” New York, NY-based design and research studio Foreign Objects has launched Bot or Not.The tool aims to raise awareness about the risks unchecked chatbots pose for society — from more powerful forms of surveillance to increased scams and exploitation. The central idea behind Bot Or Not, is an AI that mimics real humans.
If you’ve waded into Twitter timelines for security and privacy advocates over the past five days, you’ve no doubt seen Zoom excoriated for its plans to enable end-to-end encrypted video conferencing solely for paying customers. Zoom’s millions of non-paying users won’t receive the protection so that the company can monitor meetings for child-abuse activity and other types of illegal and disturbing content, executives said. The move is certainly a departure from some platforms that already offer end-to-end encryption. Signal, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp all offer the protection to all users, though few if any pay for the services. Few video conferencing services offer end-to-end encryption. Like Zoom, its competitors that do offer end-to-end crypto generally do so only for select users.
China Telecom Corp’s 728.HK U.S. unit urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) not to revoke the company’s nearly two-decade old authorization to provide international telecommunications services to and from the United States. The filing late Monday came after the U.S. Justice Department and other agencies in April asked the FCC to revoke the authorization of China Telecom (Americas), the U.S. subsidiary of a People’s Republic of China (PRC) state-owned telecommunications company, citing national security concerns. China Telecom (Americas) filing called the government’s claims “unfounded” and argued the FCC should not revoke its right to operate in the United States “based solely on foreign policy concerns in the absence of any evidence whatsoever of specific misconduct.”
A fake decryptor for the STOP Djvu Ransomware is being distributed that lures already desperate people with the promise of free decryption. Instead of getting their files back for free, they are infected with another ransomware that makes their situation even worse. While ransomware operations such as Maze, REvil, Netwalker, and DoppelPaymer get wide media attention due to their high worth victims, another ransomware called STOP Djvu is infecting more people then all of them combined on a daily basis. With over 600 submissions a day to the ID-Ransomware ransomware identification service, STOP ransomware is the most actively distributed ransomware over the past year.
The backlash to facial recognition among governments is extending to corporate heavyweights. IBM chief Arvind Krishna has sent a letter (via Axios and CNBC) to Congress revealing that the company has exited its “general purpose” facial recognition business. The company “firmly opposes” use of the technology for surveillance, racial profiling and “violations of basic human rights and freedoms,” according to Krishna. Instead, he suggested that now was the moment for a “national dialogue” on not only how facial recognition should be used, but whether or not it should be used at all. The CEO contended that AI was a “powerful tool” for law enforcement, but that its use had to be kept in check with audited tests for bias. He also pushed for technology that improved accountability and transparency, such as body cameras.