AdTech/MarTech

Personalized Politics

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We have entered the age of personalized politics, and it is very important for us to understand what that means. In practice, there are as many candidates in the 2020 presidential race as there are voters with online access in the United States. Every candidate is a customized persona created specifically for us by a complex set of algorithms that very few people fully understand. This means we are all test subjects in an unprecedented sociopolitical experiment that, quite frankly, scares the hell out of me.

Mark Zuckerberg and President Trump

Zuck On The Hill

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Mr. Zuckerberg went to Washington yesterday for private meetings with the President and several lawmakers. The meetings were private and Mr. Zuckerberg did not answer questions about specifics. However, according to the WSJ, Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) challenged Facebook’s CEO saying, “Prove that you’re serious… sell WhatsApp, and sell Instagram.” There is only hearsay […]

Motorola India Android TV

Motorola is making Android TVs too

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It’s becoming a trend for smartphone brands to release TVs, as OnePlus, Xiaomi and now Motorola are doing it. OnePlus is due to unveil its own Smart TV this month, so Motorola effectively beat it to the punch. With all the hoopla around Apple TV+ (the service), I think it’s important to remember that Google’s […]

I do not exist

Online Dating in a World of Deepfakes

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Facebook is getting into the dating game. Deepfakes are getting better and better. Put them both together and they present a potential reality as sinister as it is deceitful. Imagine online dating in a world replete with deepfakes.

Google

Google faces a new antitrust probe by 50 attorneys general

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Fifty attorneys general are joining an investigation into Google over possible antitrust violations according to the initiative’s leader, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. I understand both the desire and the need for our government to get a handle on the issues surrounding data privacy, but think about this… let’s say that the outcome is a […]

Zao

China’s Red-Hot Face-Swapping App Provokes Privacy Concern

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It has been just a week since my essay, Deepfakes 2.0: The Sequel Is Even Scarier. Now, Bloomberg is reporting about Zao, a next-generation deepfake facial replacement tool (a la FaceApp) that is taking China by storm (details below). When you see the results of this “anyone can do it at the tap of a […]

Can You Trust Your Trusted Sources?

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Whether it’s because of schadenfreude, morbid curiosity, or simple human nature, the journalistic trope “If it bleeds, it leads” never disappoints. And because anyone who creates content – which is now everyone – is in a never-ending battle for everyone else’s attention, the enduring misalignment of incentives and outcomes raises the question: Whom can you trust?

DeepNudes

Deepfakes 2.0: The Sequel Is Even Scarier

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For about 200,000 years, we have relied on our eyes and ears to separate truth from lies and fact from fiction. Even if we ignore the rise of fake news, technology is on the verge of making it impossible to know if what we are seeing and hearing is real or fake. Here’s a roundup of what’s new, what’s next, and what you can expect in time for the 2020 election.