Intel Promises 96 Percent Accuracy with New Deepfake Filter

Intel has debuted FakeCatcher, touting it as the first real-time deepfake detector. capable of determining whether digital video has been altered to change context or meaning. Intel says FakeCatcher has a 96 percent accuracy rate and returns results in milliseconds by analyzing the “blood flow” of pixel patterns, a process called photoplethysmography (PPG) that Intel borrowed from medical research. The company says potential use cases include social media platforms screening to prevent uploads of harmful deepfake videos and helping global news organizations to avoid inadvertent amplification of deepfakes. Continue reading Intel Promises 96 Percent Accuracy with New Deepfake Filter

Cerebras Supercomputer Calculates at 1 Exaflop per Second

Cerebras Systems has unveiled its Andromeda AI supercomputer. With 13.5 million cores, it can calculate at the rate of 1 exaflop — roughly one quintillion (1 followed by 18 zeroes) operations — per second using a 16-bit floating point format. Andromeda’s brain is built of 16 linked Cerebras CS-2 systems, AI computers that use giant Wafer-Scale Engine 2 chips. Each chip has hundreds of thousands of cores, but is more compact and powerful than servers that use standard CPUs, according to Cerebras, which is making Andromeda available for commercial and academic research. Continue reading Cerebras Supercomputer Calculates at 1 Exaflop per Second

Meta Says Its AI-Compressed Audio Codec Beats MP3 by 10x

Meta Platforms says its vision for the metaverse will rely heavily on compression technology “to deliver high-quality, uninterrupted experiences for everyone.” With that in mind, it’s trained its Fundamental AI Research (FAIR) lab on developing “hypercompression” solutions. First up is EnCodec, an audio technology it says compresses at 64 kbps, with no loss in quality, and at 10 times the efficiency of MP3. The EnCodec protocol has the potential to  greatly improve the sound and reliability of speech over low-bandwidth (like when your mobile phone is only getting one bar). It also works for music. Continue reading Meta Says Its AI-Compressed Audio Codec Beats MP3 by 10x

TiVo Study: Consumers Average About 10 Streaming Services

TiVo has released research indicating the average number of video services used by consumers is 9.86, up from 8.8 a year ago and approaching double-digits for the first time in history. The gain is largely due to increased adoption of free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) services, also known as ad-supported video on demand (AVOD), which account for 32 percent of the overall share of video services used by consumers in 2022, up from 26 percent as of Q4 2021. According to the TiVo Video Trends Report, the average consumer is now using three ad-based video-on-demand services. Continue reading TiVo Study: Consumers Average About 10 Streaming Services

TikTok Parent ByteDance Sees Losses Rise but Shows Profit

An expansion push for short-form video service TikTok has proven costly for parent ByteDance, which saw losses triple to more than $7 billion in 2021, according to an internal document leaked from the private company. ByteDance revenue grew by almost 80 percent in 2021, to $61.7 billion, and the company did manage to eke out an operating profit for Q1 2022, reports say, a significant benchmark. TikTok crossed the one billion subscriber threshold in less than five years — faster than any other social media firm. The company’s latest stock buyback plan puts its market valuation at $300 billion. Continue reading TikTok Parent ByteDance Sees Losses Rise but Shows Profit

Consumer Study Finds Bundling Is Key to Streaming Success

Winners in the current streaming wars will be companies that diversify beyond a single programming vertical, checking boxes that include movies, series, news, sports and video games, according to a new survey, “What Will They Pay For? The Mind of The Modern Subscriber,” from Consumer Insights, the research division of Publisher’s Clearing House. According to the report, the answer is movies and scripted TV (39 percent), trailed by sports (12 percent), followed closely by music and podcasts (11 percent). At 10 percent, “other” is a category to keep an eye on, the study’s authors advise. Continue reading Consumer Study Finds Bundling Is Key to Streaming Success

EU’s AI Act Could Present Dangers for Open-Source Coders

The EU’s draft AI Act is causing quite a stir, particular as it pertains to regulating general-purpose artificial intelligence, including guidelines for open source developers that specify procedures for accuracy, risk management, transparency, technical documentation and data governance, well as cybersecurity. The first law on AI by a major regulator anywhere, the proposed AI Act seeks to promote “trustworthy AI,” but some are critical that as written the legislation could hurt open efforts to develop AI systems. The EU is seeking industry input as the proposal heads for a vote this fall. Continue reading EU’s AI Act Could Present Dangers for Open-Source Coders

Nvidia and Stanford Develop Downsized Holographic Glasses

Engineers at Nvidia have teamed with Stanford University researchers to develop a virtual reality headset that looks and feels more like a regular pair of eyeglasses, according to a research paper presented at SIGGRAPH 2022. The “Holographic Glasses” can depict scenes in full-color 3D holographic images using optical lenses that are just 2.5mm thick. The so-called “pancake lenses” not only have a slimmer profile, but also offer a 200-degree field of view and the potential for resolution that is virtually unlimited and can be “cranked up” at will. Continue reading Nvidia and Stanford Develop Downsized Holographic Glasses

Pew: YouTube Most Popular with Teens, Followed by TikTok

YouTube is the most popular social media platform among teens, with 95 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds saying they use the service, according to the Pew Research study “Teens, Social Media and Technology 2022.” TikTok is currently ranked second, with a 67 percent teen buy-in, according to the study, followed by Instagram (62 percent) and Snapchat (59 percent). While neither YouTube nor TikTok were on the Pew ranking when the previous survey was released in 2015, Facebook fell precipitously — from first to fifth place — with 32 percent of teens onboard in 2022, versus 71 percent seven years ago. Continue reading Pew: YouTube Most Popular with Teens, Followed by TikTok

Biden Signs Bill to Boost Chip Production and Supply Chains

President Biden signed the expansive $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act into law yesterday. The legislation includes $52.7 billion in subsidies and tax credits to help strengthen U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, research and workforce development. In addition to revitalizing domestic manufacturing efforts, the package intends to “create good-paying American jobs, strengthen American supply chains, and accelerate the industries of the future,” explains the White House. The measure is also part of larger effort by the federal government to combat the growing influence of China, especially involving tech sectors and the potential impact to security and privacy. Continue reading Biden Signs Bill to Boost Chip Production and Supply Chains

Meta’s New Sphere AI Tool Filters Web Content for Accuracy

Meta Platforms has unveiled Sphere, an AI-powered tool designed to verify open web content. “Building on Meta AI’s research and advancements, we’ve developed the first model capable of automatically scanning hundreds of thousands of citations at once to check whether they truly support the corresponding claims,” Meta says, noting that Sphere has “a dataset of 134 million public webpages — an order of magnitude larger and significantly more intricate than ever used for this sort of research.” Sphere is open sourced, which means third parties may be able to tailor its fact-checking algorithms for specialized use, such as legal, medical and architectural. Continue reading Meta’s New Sphere AI Tool Filters Web Content for Accuracy

Streaming Ads That Play While TVs Are Off a Costly Problem

Some streaming platforms are continuing to stream TV commercials even after viewers turn off their sets, costing brands an estimated $1 billion per year in wasted fees, according to new research. The news comes as streaming gains in popularity and premium services like HBO Max, Disney+ and Netflix dabble in ad-supported streaming tiers. A study by iSpot.tv and GroupM indicates roughly 17 percent of television ads playing through connected streaming devices are playing on a dark TV set, which is possible because when regular TVs are turned off that action isn’t always conveyed through HDMI ports. Continue reading Streaming Ads That Play While TVs Are Off a Costly Problem

Nvidia and Stanford Co-Develop World’s Thinnest VR Headset

In the run-up to SIGGRAPH 2022, August 8-11 at the Vancouver Convention Center, Nvidia is unveiling some splashy designs, including what is described as the world’s thinnest VR glasses (just 2.5mm). Developed in conjunction with Stanford University, the team says the new VR headset can easily be modified to achieve a 120-degree diagonal field-of-view (though the initial prototypes are much narrower in scope). The lightweight glasses provide a true holographic display but can also display flat images. Most current VR headsets achieve depth by converging flat images for a stereoscopic view. Continue reading Nvidia and Stanford Co-Develop World’s Thinnest VR Headset

Study Finds Consumers Embraced Voice Shopping Last Year

Voice shopping over smart devices rose to 45.2 million in 2021, a 120 percent increase in three years, reflecting a 30 percent compound annual growth rate according to Voicebot Research, which tracks use of voice-assisted devices. The analytics firm found that 20.5 million U.S. adults had used voice to shop for a product at least once in 2018. That figure rose to 45.2 million in 2021. However, the firm found that general-use smartphone voice assistants — such as those from Apple (Siri), Amazon (Alexa) and Google — declined 2.8 percent among U.S. adults in 2021. Continue reading Study Finds Consumers Embraced Voice Shopping Last Year

Intel Powers Up EU Chip Plans with $19 Billion German Plant

Intel unveiled plans to invest an initial $19 billion to construct new leading-edge semiconductor fab mega-sites in Magdeburg, Germany; an R&D and design hub in France; and R&D, manufacturing and foundry facilities in Ireland, Italy, Poland and Spain. The plan could see as much as $88 billion invested “along the entire semiconductor value chain” in the EU over the decade, according to the Santa Clara-based chipmaker, which says it wants to introduce a next-generation chip ecosystem while offsetting reliance on Asia for a more “resilient supply chain.” Continue reading Intel Powers Up EU Chip Plans with $19 Billion German Plant