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Category Archives: E-Records

AI can now create any image in seconds, bringing wonder and danger

Washington Post: “Since the research lab OpenAI debuted the latest version of DALL-E in April, the AI has dazzled the public, attracting digital artists, graphic designers, early adopters, and anyone in search of online distraction. The ability to create original, sometimes accurate, and occasionally inspired images from any spur-of-the-moment phrase, like a conversational Photoshop, has startled even jaded internet users with how quickly AI has progressed. Five months later, 1.5 million users are generating 2 million images a day. On Wednesday, OpenAI said it removed its waitlist for DALL-E, giving anyone immediate access. The introduction of DALL-E has triggered an explosion of text-to-image generators. Google and Meta quickly revealed that they had each been developing similar systems, but said their models weren’t ready for the public. Rival start-ups soon went public, including Stable Diffusion and Midjourney, which created the image that sparked controversy in August when it won an art competition at the Colorado State Fair. The technology is now spreading rapidly, faster than AI companies can shape norms around its use and prevent dangerous outcomes. Researchers worry that these systems produce images that can cause a range of harms, such as reinforcing racial and gender stereotypes or plagiarizing artists whose work was siphoned without their consent. Fake photos could be used to enable bullying and harassment — or create disinformation that looks real.

Historically, people trust what they see, said Wael Abd-Almageed, a professor at the University of Southern California’s school of engineering. “Once the line between truth and fake is eroded, everything will become fake,” he said. “We will not be able to believe anything.” OpenAI has tried to balance its drive to be first and hype its AI developments without accelerating those dangers. To prevent DALL-E from being used to create disinformation, for example, OpenAI prohibits images of celebrities or politicians. OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman justifies the decision to release DALL-E to the public as an essential step in developing the technology safely…”

The Best VPNs to Protect Yourself Online

Wired: It won’t solve all of your privacy problems, but a virtual private network can make you a less tempting target for hackers. “A virtual private network (VPN) is like a protective tunnel you can use to pass through a public network, protecting your data from outside eyes. Whether you’re worried about hiding your browsing… Continue Reading

FCC Targeting and Eliminating Unlawful Text Messages

“The Federal Communications Commission today proposed new rules to fight back against malicious robotext campaigns. The agency will take public comment on ideas to apply caller ID authentication standards to text messaging and require providers to find and actively block illegal texts before they get to consumers…The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released today proposes and… Continue Reading

GAO – Federal Agencies Lack Senior Leadership to Effectively Implement Privacy Programs

EPIC: “A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, prepared in consultation with privacy experts including EPIC Senior Counsel John Davisson, canvassed 24 federal government agencies and found that most have failed to fully implement statutory privacy requirements. The GAO found that despite the massive amount of personally identifiable information (PII) collected by these agencies and the… Continue Reading

Lawless Surveillance

Friedman, Barry, Lawless Surveillance (February 1, 2022). 97 N.Y.U. L. Rev. (2022), NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 22-28, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4111547 “Here in the United States, policing agencies are engaging in mass collection of personal data, building a vast architecture of surveillance. License plate readers collect our location information. Mobile… Continue Reading

This site tells you if photos of you were used to train the AI

Tech Crunch: “Deepfakes, AI-generated porn and a thousand more innocent uses — there’s been a lot of news about neural network-generated images. It makes sense that people started getting curious; were my photos used to train the robots? Are photos of me in the image-generating training sets? A brand new site tries to give you… Continue Reading

U.S. Agencies Are Buying Access to Bulk Internet Records

Gizmodo – “Sen. Ron Wyden urged inspectors general at three departments to investigate the military’s purchases of large swaths of data: “Multiple military intelligence offices have paid a data broker for access to internet traffic logs, which could reveal the online browsing histories of U.S. citizens, Sen. Ron Wyden said in a letter Wednesday, citing… Continue Reading

Tracked: How colleges use AI to monitor student protests

The Dallas Morning News, Arijit (Ari) D. Sen [subscription or online database access. Note – they are also making public nearly 3,000 documents, covering more than 56,000 pages from these schools]: “The pitch was attractive and simple. For a few thousand dollars a year, Social Sentinel offered schools across the country sophisticated technology to scan… Continue Reading

Privacy Rights Under the Constitution: Procreation, Child Rearing, Contraception, Marriage, and Sexual Activity

CRS Legal Sidebar – Privacy Rights Under the Constitution: Procreation, Child Rearing, Contraception, Marriage, and Sexual Activity, September 14, 2022: “A line of Supreme Court cases establishes that the U.S. Constitution guaranteesa person’s ability to make certain decisions in matters related to procreation, child rearing, contraception, marriage (including interracial marriage and same-sex marriage), and consensual… Continue Reading

GAO: Congress Should Enact Comprehensive Privacy Legislation

EPIC.org: “The Government Accountability Office yesterday released a snapshot of its recent work on consumer data. The GAO’s work shows that (1) consumer scores pose risks; (2) facial recognition technology raises consumer privacy and accuracy concerns; and (3) additional federal authority over internet privacy could enhance consumer protection. The GAO recommended that Congress implement consumer… Continue Reading