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Ben "The Hosk" Hosking

Ben "The Hosk" Hosking

4 months ago

The Yellow Cat Test Is Typically Failed by Software Developers.

More on Technology

Waleed Rikab, PhD

Waleed Rikab, PhD

1 month ago

The Enablement of Fraud and Misinformation by Generative AI What You Should Understand

Recent investigations have shown that generative AI can boost hackers and misinformation spreaders.

Generated through Stable Diffusion with a prompt by the author

Since its inception in late November 2022, OpenAI's ChatGPT has entertained and assisted many online users in writing, coding, task automation, and linguistic translation. Given this versatility, it is maybe unsurprising but nonetheless regrettable that fraudsters and mis-, dis-, and malinformation (MDM) spreaders are also considering ChatGPT and related AI models to streamline and improve their operations.

Malign actors may benefit from ChatGPT, according to a WithSecure research. ChatGPT promises to elevate unlawful operations across many attack channels. ChatGPT can automate spear phishing attacks that deceive corporate victims into reading emails from trusted parties. Malware, extortion, and illicit fund transfers can result from such access.

ChatGPT's ability to simulate a desired writing style makes spear phishing emails look more genuine, especially for international actors who don't speak English (or other languages like Spanish and French).

This technique could let Russian, North Korean, and Iranian state-backed hackers conduct more convincing social engineering and election intervention in the US. ChatGPT can also create several campaigns and various phony online personas to promote them, making such attacks successful through volume or variation. Additionally, image-generating AI algorithms and other developing techniques can help these efforts deceive potential victims.

Hackers are discussing using ChatGPT to install malware and steal data, according to a Check Point research. Though ChatGPT's scripts are well-known in the cyber security business, they can assist amateur actors with little technical understanding into the field and possibly develop their hacking and social engineering skills through repeated use.

Additionally, ChatGPT's hacking suggestions may change. As a writer recently indicated, ChatGPT's ability to blend textual and code-based writing might be a game-changer, allowing the injection of innocent content that would subsequently turn out to be a malicious script into targeted systems. These new AI-powered writing- and code-generation abilities allow for unique cyber attacks, regardless of viability.

OpenAI fears ChatGPT usage. OpenAI, Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology, and Stanford's Internet Observatory wrote a paper on how AI language models could enhance nation state-backed influence operations. As a last resort, the authors consider polluting the internet with radioactive or misleading data to ensure that AI language models produce outputs that other language models can identify as AI-generated. However, the authors of this paper seem unaware that their "solution" might cause much worse MDM difficulties.

Literally False News

The public argument about ChatGPTs content-generation has focused on originality, bias, and academic honesty, but broader global issues are at stake. ChatGPT can influence public opinion, troll individuals, and interfere in local and national elections by creating and automating enormous amounts of social media material for specified audiences.

ChatGPT's capacity to generate textual and code output is crucial. ChatGPT can write Python scripts for social media bots and give diverse content for repeated posts. The tool's sophistication makes it irrelevant to one's language skills, especially English, when writing MDM propaganda.

I ordered ChatGPT to write a news piece in the style of big US publications declaring that Ukraine is on the verge of defeat in its fight against Russia due to corruption, desertion, and exhaustion in its army. I also gave it a fake reporter's byline and an unidentified NATO source's remark. The outcome appears convincing:

Worse, terrible performers can modify this piece to make it more credible. They can edit the general's name or add facts about current wars. Furthermore, such actors can create many versions of this report in different forms and distribute them separately, boosting its impact.

In this example, ChatGPT produced a news story regarding (fictional) greater moviegoer fatality rates:

Editing this example makes it more plausible. Dr. Jane Smith, the putative author of the medical report, might be replaced with a real-life medical person or a real victim of this supposed medical hazard.

Can deceptive texts be found? Detecting AI text is behind AI advancements. Minor AI-generated text alterations can upset these technologies.

Some OpenAI individuals have proposed covert methods to watermark AI-generated literature to prevent its abuse. AI models would create information that appears normal to humans but would follow a cryptographic formula that would warn other machines that it was AI-made. However, security experts are cautious since manually altering the content interrupts machine and human detection of AI-generated material.

How to Prepare

Cyber security and IT workers can research and use generative AI models to fight spear fishing and extortion. Governments may also launch MDM-defence projects.

In election cycles and global crises, regular people may be the most vulnerable to AI-produced deceit. Until regulation or subsequent technical advances, individuals must recognize exposure to AI-generated fraud, dating scams, other MDM activities.

A three-step verification method of new material in suspicious emails or social media posts can help identify AI content and manipulation. This three-step approach asks about the information's distribution platform (is it reliable? ), author (is the reader familiar with them? ), and plausibility given one's prior knowledge of the topic.

Consider a report by a trusted journalist that makes shocking statements in their typical manner. AI-powered fake news may be released on an unexpected platform, such as a newly created Facebook profile. However, if it links to a known media source, it is more likely to be real.

Though hard and subjective, this verification method may be the only barrier against manipulation for now.

AI language models:

How to Recognize an AI-Generated Article ChatGPT, the popular AI-powered chatbot, can and likely does generate medium.com-style articles.

AI-Generated Text Detectors Fail. Do This. Online tools claim to detect ChatGPT output. Even with superior programming, I tested some of these tools. pub

Why Original Writers Matter Despite AI Language Models Creative writers may never be threatened by AI language models.

Techletters

Techletters

16 days ago

Using Synthesia, DALL-E 2, and Chat GPT-3, create AI news videos

Combining AIs creates realistic AI News Videos.

Combine different AIs. Image by Lukas from Pixabay.

Powerful AI tools like Chat GPT-3 are trending. Have you combined AIs?

The 1-minute fake news video below is startlingly realistic. Artificial Intelligence developed NASA's Mars exploration breakthrough video (AI). However, integrating the aforementioned AIs generated it.

  • AI-generated text for the Chat GPT-3 based on a succinct tagline

  • DALL-E-2 AI generates an image from a brief slogan.

  • Artificial intelligence-generated avatar and speech

This article shows how to use and mix the three AIs to make a realistic news video. First, watch the video (1 minute).

Talk GPT-3

Chat GPT-3 is an OpenAI NLP model. It can auto-complete text and produce conversational responses.

Try it at the playground. The AI will write a comprehensive text from a brief tagline. Let's see what the AI generates with "Breakthrough in Mars Project" as the headline.

Open AI / GPT-3 Playground was used to generate a text based on our headline.

Amazing. Our tagline matches our complete and realistic text. Fake news can start here.

DALL-E-2

OpenAI's huge transformer-based language model DALL-E-2. Its GPT-3 basis is geared for image generation. It can generate high-quality photos from a brief phrase and create artwork and images of non-existent objects.

DALL-E-2 can create a news video background. We'll use "Breakthrough in Mars project" again. Our AI creates four striking visuals. Last.

DALL-E-2 AI was used to generate a background image based on a short tagline.

Synthesia

Synthesia lets you quickly produce videos with AI avatars and synthetic vocals.

Avatars are first. Rosie it is.

Synthesia AI was used to generate a moving avatar.

Upload and select DALL-backdrop. E-2's

Add DALL-E-2 background to Synthesia AI.

Copy the Chat GPT-3 content and choose a synthetic voice.

Copy text from GPT-3 to Synthesia AI.

Voice: English (US) Professional.

Select synthetic voice in Synthesia AI.

Finally, we generate and watch or download our video.

Synthesia AI completes the AI video.

Overview & Resources

We used three AIs to make surprisingly realistic NASA Mars breakthrough fake news in this post. Synthesia generates an avatar and a synthetic voice, therefore it may be four AIs.

These AIs created our fake news.

  • AI-generated text for the Chat GPT-3 based on a succinct tagline

  • DALL-E-2 AI generates an image from a brief slogan.

  • Artificial intelligence-generated avatar and speech

Clive Thompson

Clive Thompson

1 month ago

Small Pieces of Code That Revolutionized the World

Few sentences can have global significance.

Photo by Chris Ried on Unsplash

Ethan Zuckerman invented the pop-up commercial in 1997.

He was working for Tripod.com, an online service that let people make little web pages for free. Tripod offered advertising to make money. Advertisers didn't enjoy seeing their advertising next to filthy content, like a user's anal sex website.

Zuckerman's boss wanted a solution. Wasn't there a way to move the ads away from user-generated content?

When you visited a Tripod page, a pop-up ad page appeared. So, the ad isn't officially tied to any user page. It'd float onscreen.

Here’s the thing, though: Zuckerman’s bit of Javascript, that created the popup ad? It was incredibly short — a single line of code:

window.open('http://tripod.com/navbar.html'
"width=200, height=400, toolbar=no, scrollbars=no, resizable=no, target=_top");

Javascript tells the browser to open a 200-by-400-pixel window on top of any other open web pages, without a scrollbar or toolbar.

Simple yet harmful! Soon, commercial websites mimicked Zuckerman's concept, infesting the Internet with pop-up advertising. In the early 2000s, a coder for a download site told me that most of their revenue came from porn pop-up ads.

Pop-up advertising are everywhere. You despise them. Hopefully, your browser blocks them.

Zuckerman wrote a single line of code that made the world worse.

A photo of the cover of “You Are Not Expected To Understand This”; it is blue and lying on its side, with the spine facing the viewer. The editor’s name, Torie Bosch, is in a green monospaced font; the title is in a white monospaced font

I read Zuckerman's story in How 26 Lines of Code Changed the World. Torie Bosch compiled a humorous anthology of short writings about code that tipped the world.

Most of these samples are quite short. Pop-cultural preconceptions about coding say that important code is vast and expansive. Hollywood depicts programmers as blurs spouting out Niagaras of code. Google's success was formerly attributed to its 2 billion lines of code.

It's usually not true. Google's original breakthrough, the piece of code that propelled Google above its search-engine counterparts, was its PageRank algorithm, which determined a web page's value based on how many other pages connected to it and the quality of those connecting pages. People have written their own Python versions; it's only a few dozen lines.

Google's operations, like any large tech company's, comprise thousands of procedures. So their code base grows. The most impactful code can be brief.

The examples are fascinating and wide-ranging, so read the whole book (or give it to nerds as a present). Charlton McIlwain wrote a chapter on the police beat algorithm developed in the late 1960s to anticipate crime hotspots so law enforcement could dispatch more officers there. It created a racial feedback loop. Since poor Black neighborhoods were already overpoliced compared to white ones, the algorithm directed more policing there, resulting in more arrests, which convinced it to send more police; rinse and repeat.

Kelly Chudler's You Are Not Expected To Understand This depicts the police-beat algorithm.

About 25 lines of code that includes several mathematical formula. Alas, it’s hard to redact it in plain text here, since it uses mathematical notation

Even shorter code changed the world: the tracking pixel.

Lily Hay Newman's chapter on monitoring pixels says you probably interact with this code every day. It's a snippet of HTML that embeds a single tiny pixel in an email. Getting an email with a tracking code spies on me. As follows: My browser requests the single-pixel image as soon as I open the mail. My email sender checks to see if Clives browser has requested that pixel. My email sender can tell when I open it.

Adding a tracking pixel to an email is easy:

<img src="URL LINKING TO THE PIXEL ONLINE" width="0" height="0">

An older example: Ellen R. Stofan and Nick Partridge wrote a chapter on Apollo 11's lunar module bailout code. This bailout code operated on the lunar module's tiny on-board computer and was designed to prioritize: If the computer grew overloaded, it would discard all but the most vital work.

When the lunar module approached the moon, the computer became overloaded. The bailout code shut down anything non-essential to landing the module. It shut down certain lunar module display systems, scaring the astronauts. Module landed safely.

22-line code

POODOO    INHINT
    CA  Q
    TS  ALMCADR

    TC  BANKCALL
    CADR  VAC5STOR  # STORE ERASABLES FOR DEBUGGING PURPOSES.

    INDEX  ALMCADR
    CAF  0
ABORT2    TC  BORTENT

OCT77770  OCT  77770    # DONT MOVE
    CA  V37FLBIT  # IS AVERAGE G ON
    MASK  FLAGWRD7
    CCS  A
    TC  WHIMPER -1  # YES.  DONT DO POODOO.  DO BAILOUT.

    TC  DOWNFLAG
    ADRES  STATEFLG

    TC  DOWNFLAG
    ADRES  REINTFLG

    TC  DOWNFLAG
    ADRES  NODOFLAG

    TC  BANKCALL
    CADR  MR.KLEAN
    TC  WHIMPER

This fun book is worth reading.

I'm a contributor to the New York Times Magazine, Wired, and Mother Jones. I've also written Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World and Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds. Twitter and Instagram: @pomeranian99; Mastodon: @clive@saturation.social.

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Erik Engheim

Erik Engheim

10 months ago

You Misunderstand the Russian Nuclear Threat

Many believe Putin is simply sabre rattling and intimidating us. They see no threat of nuclear war. We can send NATO troops into Ukraine without risking a nuclear war.

I keep reading that Putin is just using nuclear blackmail and that a strong leader will call the bluff. That, in my opinion, misunderstands the danger of sending NATO into Ukraine.
It assumes that once NATO moves in, Putin can either push the red nuclear button or not.
Sure, Putin won't go nuclear if NATO invades Ukraine. So we're safe? Can't we just move NATO?

No, because history has taught us that wars often escalate far beyond our initial expectations. One domino falls, knocking down another. That's why having clear boundaries is vital. Crossing a seemingly harmless line can set off a chain of events that are unstoppable once started.
One example is WWI. The assassin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand could not have known that his actions would kill millions. They couldn't have known that invading Serbia to punish them for not handing over the accomplices would start a world war. Every action triggered a counter-action, plunging Europe into a brutal and bloody war. Each leader saw their actions as limited, not realizing how they kept the dominos falling.

Nobody can predict the future, but it's easy to imagine how NATO intervention could trigger a chain of events leading to a total war. Let me suggest some outcomes.
NATO creates a no-fly-zone. In retaliation, Russia bombs NATO airfields. Russia may see this as a limited counter-move that shouldn't cause further NATO escalation. They think it's a reasonable response to force NATO out of Ukraine. Nobody has yet thought to use the nuke.
Will NATO act? Polish airfields bombed, will they be stuck? Is this an article 5 event? If so, what should be done?

It could happen. Maybe NATO sends troops into Ukraine to punish Russia. Maybe NATO will bomb Russian airfields.

Putin's response Is bombing Russian airfields an invasion or an attack? Remember that Russia has always used nuclear weapons for defense, not offense. But let's not panic, let's assume Russia doesn't go nuclear.

Maybe Russia retaliates by attacking NATO military bases with planes. Maybe they use ships to attack military targets. How does NATO respond? Will they fight Russia in Ukraine or escalate? Will they invade Russia or attack more military installations there?
Seen the pattern? As each nation responds, smaller limited military operations can grow in scope.

So far, the Russian military has shown that they begin with less brutal methods. As losses and failures increase, brutal means are used. Syria had the same. Assad used chemical weapons and attacked hospitals, schools, residential areas, etc.
A NATO invasion of Ukraine would cost Russia dearly. “Oh, this isn't looking so good, better pull out and finish this war,” do you think? No way. Desperate, they will resort to more brutal tactics. If desperate, Russia has a huge arsenal of ugly weapons. They have nerve agents, chemical weapons, and other nasty stuff.

What happens if Russia uses chemical weapons? What if Russian nerve agents kill NATO soldiers horribly? West calls for retaliation will grow. Will we invade Russia? Will we bomb them?

We are angry and determined to punish war criminal Putin, so NATO tanks may be heading to Moscow. We want vengeance for his chemical attacks and bombing of our cities.
Do you think the distance between that red nuclear button and Putin's finger will be that far once NATO tanks are on their way to Moscow?

We might avoid a nuclear apocalypse. A NATO invasion force or even Western cities may be used by Putin. Not as destructive as ICBMs. Putin may think we won't respond to tactical nukes with a full nuclear counterattack. Why would we risk a nuclear Holocaust by launching ICBMs on Russia?

Maybe. My point is that at every stage of the escalation, one party may underestimate the other's response. This war is spiraling out of control and the chances of a nuclear exchange are increasing. Nobody really wants it.

Fear, anger, and resentment cause it. If Putin and his inner circle decide their time is up, they may no longer care about the rest of the world. We saw it with Hitler. Hitler, seeing the end of his empire, ordered the destruction of Germany. Nobody should win if he couldn't. He wanted to destroy everything, including Paris.

In other words, the danger isn't what happens after NATO intervenes The danger is the potential chain reaction. Gambling has a psychological equivalent. It's best to exit when you've lost less. We humans are willing to take small risks for big rewards. To avoid losses, we are willing to take high risks. Daniel Kahneman describes this behavior in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow.

And so bettors who have lost a lot begin taking bigger risks to make up for it. We get a snowball effect. NATO involvement in the Ukraine conflict is akin to entering a casino and placing a bet. We'll start taking bigger risks as we start losing to Russian retaliation. That's the game's psychology.

It's impossible to stop. So will politicians and citizens from both Russia and the West, until we risk the end of human civilization.

You can avoid spiraling into ever larger bets in the Casino by drawing a hard line and declaring “I will not enter that Casino.” We're doing it now. We supply Ukraine. We send money and intelligence but don't cross that crucial line.

It's difficult to watch what happened in Bucha without demanding NATO involvement. What should we do? Of course, I'm not in charge. I'm a writer. My hope is that people will think about the consequences of the actions we demand. My hope is that you think ahead not just one step but multiple dominos.

More and more, we are driven by our emotions. We cannot act solely on emotion in matters of life and death. If we make the wrong choice, more people will die.

Read the original post here.

Pat Vieljeux

Pat Vieljeux

6 months ago

Your entrepreneurial experience can either be a beautiful adventure or a living hell with just one decision.

Choose.

Bakhrom Tursunov — Unsplash

DNA makes us distinct.

We act alike. Most people follow the same road, ignoring differences. We remain quiet about our uniqueness for fear of exclusion (family, social background, religion). We live a more or less imposed life.

Off the beaten path, we stand out from the others. We obey without realizing we're sewing a shroud. We're told to do as everyone else and spend 40 years dreaming of a golden retirement and regretting not living.

“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” - Shannon L. Alder

Others dare. Again, few are creative; most follow the example of those who establish a business for the sake of entrepreneurship. To live.

They pick a potential market and model their MVP on an existing solution. Most mimic others, alter a few things, appear to be original, and end up with bland products, adding to an already crowded market.

SaaS, PaaS, etc. followed suit. It's reduced pricing, profitability, and product lifespan.

As competitors become more aggressive, their profitability diminishes, making life horrible for them and their employees. They fail to innovate, cut costs, and close their company.

Few of them look happy and fulfilled.

How did they do it?

The answer is unsettlingly simple.

They are themselves.

  • They start their company, propelled at first by a passion or maybe a calling.

  • Then, at their own pace, they create it with the intention of resolving a dilemma.

  • They assess what others are doing and consider how they might improve it.

  • In contrast to them, they respond to it in their own way by adding a unique personal touch. Therefore, it is obvious.

Originals, like their DNA, can't be copied. Or if they are, they're poorly printed. Originals are unmatched. Artist-like. True collectors only buy Picasso paintings by the master, not forgeries, no matter how good.

Imaginative people are constantly ahead. Copycats fall behind unless they innovate. They watch their competition continuously. Their solution or product isn't sexy. They hope to cash in on their copied product by flooding the market.

They're mostly pirates. They're short-sighted, unlike creators.

Creators see further ahead and have no rivals. They use copiers to confirm a necessity. To maintain their individuality, creators avoid copying others. They find copying boring. It's boring. They oppose plagiarism.

It's thrilling and inspiring.

It will also make them more able to withstand their opponents' tension. Not to mention roadblocks. For creators, impediments are games.

Others fear it. They race against the clock and fear threats that could interrupt their momentum since they lack inventiveness and their product has a short life cycle.

Creators have time on their side. They're dedicated. Clearly. Passionate booksellers will have their own bookstore. Their passion shows in their book choices. Only the ones they love.

The copier wants to display as many as possible, including mediocre authors, and will cut costs. All this to dominate the market. They're digging their own grave.

The bookseller is just one example. I could give you tons of them.

Closing remarks

Entrepreneurs might follow others or be themselves. They risk exhaustion trying to predict what their followers will do.

It's true.

Life offers choices.

Being oneself or doing as others do, with the possibility of regretting not expressing our uniqueness and not having lived.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”. Oscar Wilde

The choice is yours.

Crypto Zen Monk

Crypto Zen Monk

9 days ago

How to DYOR in the world of cryptocurrency

RESEARCH

We must create separate ideas and handle our own risks to be better investors. DYOR is crucial.

The only thing unsustainable is your cluelessness.

DYOR: Why

  • On social media, there is a lot of false information and divergent viewpoints. All of these facts might be accurate, but they might not be appropriate for your portfolio and investment preferences.

  • You become a more knowledgeable investor thanks to DYOR.

  • DYOR improves your portfolio's risk management.

My DYOR resources are below.

Messari: Major Blockchains' Activities

New York-based Messari provides cryptocurrency open data libraries.

Major blockchains offer 24-hour on-chain volume. https://messari.io/screener/most-active-chains-DB01F96B

Chains Activity providced by Messari

What to do

Invest in stable cryptocurrencies. Sort Messari by Real Volume (24H) or Reported Market Cap.

Coingecko: Research on Ecosystems

Top 10 Ecosystems by Coingecko are good.

https://www.coingecko.com/en/categories

What to do

Invest in quality.

  • Leading ten Ecosystems by Market Cap

  • There are a lot of coins in the ecosystem (second last column of above chart)

CoinGecko's Market Cap Crypto Categories Market capitalization-based cryptocurrency categories. Ethereum Ecosystem www.coingecko.com

Fear & Greed Index for Bitcoin (FGI)

The Bitcoin market sentiment index ranges from 0 (extreme dread) to 100. (extreme greed).

How to Apply

See market sentiment:

  • Extreme fright = opportunity to buy

  • Extreme greed creates sales opportunity (market due for correction).

https://alternative.me/crypto/fear-and-greed-index/Trend of FGI over a period of time. https://alternative.me/crypto/fear-and-greed-index/

Glassnode

Glassnode gives facts, information, and confidence to make better Bitcoin, Ethereum, and cryptocurrency investments and trades.

Explore free and paid metrics.

Stock to Flow Ratio: Application

The popular Stock to Flow Ratio concept believes scarcity drives value. Stock to flow is the ratio of circulating Bitcoin supply to fresh production (i.e. newly mined bitcoins). The S/F Ratio has historically predicted Bitcoin prices. PlanB invented this metric.

https://studio.glassnode.com/metrics?a=BTC&m=indicators.StockToFlowRatio

Utilization: Ethereum Hash Rate

Ethereum miners produce an estimated number of hashes per second.

https://studio.glassnode.com/metrics?a=ETH&m=mining.HashRateMean

ycharts: Hash rate of the Bitcoin network

https://ycharts.com/indicators/bitcoin_network_hash_rate

TradingView

TradingView is your go-to tool for investment analysis, watch lists, technical analysis, and recommendations from other traders/investors.

https://www.tradingview.com/markets/cryptocurrencies/ideas/

Research for a cryptocurrency project

Two key questions every successful project must ask: Q1: What is this project trying to solve? Is it a big problem or minor? Q2: How does this project make money?

Each cryptocurrency:

  • Check out the white paper.

  • check out the project's internet presence on github, twitter, and medium.

  • the transparency of it

  • Verify the team structure and founders. Verify their LinkedIn profile, academic history, and other qualifications. Search for their names with scam.

  • Where to purchase and use cryptocurrencies Is it traded on trustworthy exchanges?

  • From CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap, we may learn about market cap, circulations, and other important data.

The project must solve a problem. Solving a problem is the goal of the founders.

Avoid projects that resemble multi-level marketing or ponzi schemes.

Your use of social media

  • Use social media carefully or ignore it: Twitter, TradingView, and YouTube

Someone said this before and there are some truth to it. Social media bullish => short.

Your Behavior

Investigate. Spend time. You decide. Worth it!

Only you have the best interest in your financial future.