Last Week in AI #103

AI-powered coronavirus screening, banning deepfake porn, and more!

Mini Briefs

Georgia Startup Races to Complete AI-powered Voice Screening Tool to Crush COVID-19

As we deal with the continuing pandemic, one of the most important tools that experts have argued should be in our toolbox is fast a fast testing and tracing setup. In a public-private partnership, Georgia-based BRAVE Innovations wants to help solve the testing problem. By gathering 15-second voice samples of a short, scripted prompt at COVIDvoice.net, BRAVE intends to refine its app to immediately identify if someone is likely to have been infected with COVID-19. This app can serve as a useful early warning system for donors who provide contact information and help us return to public spaces more safely.

Deepfake porn is ruining women’s lives. Now the law may finally ban it

One of the most horrid applications of deepfake technology has been to generating pornographic content. Since the technology is advanced enough to create convincing images of people, it can be used to create explicit images involving a person without that person's consent. Deepfakes have received attention for their political dangers and have even been used for political purposes, but Sensity AI, a research company that has tracked online deepfake videos since 2018, found that 90% to 95% of them are noncnsensual porn, and that 90% of that is of women. But movements in the US and UK are working to ban nonconsensual deepfake porn, and these efforts could help in the fight against other image-based sexual violence. Deepfakes put an incredibly powerful tool in the hands of people who are willing to commit violence against women, but there seems to be pressure and momentum in the direction of properly dealing with the issue.

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