The Obtain: AI objectification, and SBF charged


That is in the present day’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a day by day dose of what’s happening on the earth of expertise.

The viral AI avatar app Lensa undressed me—with out my consent

When Melissa Heikkilä, our senior AI reporter, tried the brand new viral AI avatar app Lensa, she hoped to get outcomes just like different colleagues at MIT Expertise Assessment, who obtained life like but flattering avatars—suppose astronauts, and fierce warriors. As a substitute, she obtained tons of nudes. Out of the generated 100 avatars, 16 have been topless, whereas one other 14 depicted her in extraordinarily skimpy garments and overtly sexualized poses.

Melissa has Asian heritage. Lots of the avatars have been of generic Asian girls clearly modeled on anime or video-game characters, or, most certainly, porn. One other colleague with Chinese language heritage obtained related outcomes: reams and reams of pornified avatars.

Lensa’s hypersexualization of Asian girls is unfortunately unsurprising. Its outcomes are generated utilizing Steady Diffusion, an AI mannequin that pulls from a large open-source information set compiled by scraping pictures from the web. However the issue runs deeper than the coaching information. Learn the total story.

The way it feels to be sexually objectified by an AI

You’ll be able to learn extra of Melissa’s ideas on Lensa’s avatars reflecting sexist and racist stereotypes in The Algorithm, her weekly AI e-newsletter. In it, she displays on the way it made her really feel when the mannequin returned extra life like portrayals of her when she advised it she was male, and what the problems with Lensa inform us about AI extra broadly. Learn the total story.

Join to obtain the Algorithm in your inbox each Monday.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you in the present day’s most enjoyable/vital/scary/fascinating tales about expertise.

1 Sam Bankman-Fried has been charged with fraud
US authorities say the FTX founder’s plan was to defraud traders proper from the beginning. (The Verge)
+ Bankman-Fried’s Stanford Regulation Faculty professor dad and mom are additionally below scrutiny. (NYT $)
+ The US Division of Justice is split over whether or not to cost Binance, too. (Reuters
+Efficient altruism devotees are livid on the founder. (Vox)

2 Limitless clear power could possibly be on the horizon
The US Division of Power is poised to verify {that a} fusion response has created a internet power achieve for the primary time in the present day. (WP $)
+ Scientists have been attempting to make the breakthrough occur for nearly 100 years. (The Atlantic $)

3 Twitter has dissolved its Belief and Security Council
At a time when it arguably wants it greater than ever. (TechCrunch)
+ Twitter is taking part in round with blue, gold and grey test marks, for some motive. (Vox)
+ The corporate is auctioning off fancy chairs from its gutted HQ. (Motherboard)
+ Twitter’s potential collapse might wipe out huge information of latest human historical past. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

4 CRISPR gene modifying has slowed Alizheimer’s development in mice
If utilized to people, the approach could show much more efficient. (New Scientist $)

5 AI is trying to find EV metals 
In concept, it might make mining extra environment friendly and fewer damaging. (Wired $)
+ Machine studying might vastly velocity up the seek for new metals. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

6 China is readying a rescue package deal for its chip sector
To the tune of $143 billion. (Reuters)
+ Beijing has filed a grievance towards US semiconductor restrictions. (WSJ $)
+ Europe’s chip trade continues to be taking part in catch up. (FT $)
+ Corruption is sending shock waves by way of China’s chipmaking trade. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

7 India’s gig staff are going through a bleak future
Many individuals took the roles as a final resort. Now they’re caught with them. (Remainder of World)

8 What it’s prefer to fake to be an AI chatbot 
In different phrases, an individual pretending to be a pc pretending to be an individual. (The Guardian)

9 The Pizza Rat video continues to be making its creator cash 🍕🐀
Seven years after it initially went viral. (Insider $)

10 The thumb drive has a surprisingly dramatic origin story
Together with patent disputes, account falsification, and a jail sentence. (IEEE Spectrum)

Quote of the day

“FTX operated behind a veneer of legitimacy Mr. Bankman-Fried created…that veneer wasn’t simply skinny, it was fraudulent.”

—Gurbir Grewal, director of the US enforcement division, lays out the fees towards Sam Bankman-Fried, experiences ABC Information.

The large story

Why it’s so laborious to make tech extra various

June 2021

Tracy Chou has an extended historical past of working to show Silicon Valley’s range points. As an engineer at Pinterest, she revealed a broadly circulated weblog publish calling for tech corporations to share information on what number of girls labored on their engineering crew, and picked up their responses in a public database that exposed how homogeneous many technical groups at high corporations nonetheless have been. 

A couple of yr later, she began an organization referred to as Block Get together that targets on-line harassment by giving Twitter customers extra management over which tweets seem of their feed and mentions.

Right here, we test in with Chou, who relies in San Francisco, to study extra about what it takes to make change within the tech sector and what entrepreneurs like her are up towards. Learn the total story.

We will nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction in these bizarre occasions. (Obtained any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ That is cool—NASA is engaged on a robotic arm to resist temperatures of minus-280 levels.
+ Why Welsh language music is having a second proper now—cwl!
+ The key to turning into a greater multitasker? Taking notes.
+ How three intrepid girls set a climbing file scaling the Rayu route in northern Spain.
+ I want a bread hotter in all of my radiators, stat.


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