Honestly I have no appetite to post my usual stream of banal distractions. With the ever-present sound of helicopters circling in the near distance, it all seems so small. I know that’ll change, but not right now.
Right now I found a lot to ponder & admire in this speech from Atlanta rapper Killer Mike. I think it’d be well worth your time to consider as well.
I’m a huge fan of Preet Bharara and his indispensable podcast, so it was a real pleasure to hear our old Adobe collaborator Dr. Hany Farid discuss the world of deepfakes, weaponized imagery, and what we can do about it. I think you’ll find it really interesting & valuable.
Back in 2011, my longtime Photoshop boss Kevin Connor left Adobe & launched a startup (see NYT article) with Prof. Hany Farid to help news organizations, law enforcement, and others detect image manipulation. They were ahead of their time, and since then the problem of “fake news” has only gotten worse.
This purchase is made up of a 1,600-megawatt (MW) package of agreements and includes 18 new energy deals. Together, these deals will increase our worldwide portfolio of wind and solar agreements by more than 40 percent, to 5,500 MW—equivalent to the capacity of a million solar rooftops. Once all these projects come online, our carbon-free energy portfolio will produce more electricity than places like Washington D.C. or entire countries like Lithuania or Uruguay use each year.
Our latest agreements will also spur the construction of more than $2 billion in new energy infrastructure, including millions of solar panels and hundreds of wind turbines spread across three continents. In all, our renewable energy fleet now stands at 52 projects, driving more than $7 billion in new construction and thousands of related jobs.
Hey, if you’ll send Russians your selfie + eternal permission to use your likeness, why not give up your darkest secrets in exchange for a pony picture? Pony Points!! (begins at 4:04, appropriately, in case the embed below doesn’t take you there to start)
Particularly as the uncle of a little dude who uses a wheelchair, this news makes me very happy & proud:
Google announced this morning via blog post that it has partnered with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to give away 100,000 Home Mini units to people living with paralysis. The news is designed to mark the 29th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed into law on this day in 1990.
There’s a form on Google’s site for people who qualify and their caregivers. Interested parties must live in the United States to receive a unit.
What if speech impediments were no impediment to interacting with devices & making oneself understood? Google researchers (the crew behind the amazing Live Transcribe) have been working with folks affected by ALS, deafness, & other conditions to make their speech & even voice utterances work well with computers & other humans. Take a look:
Given my experience with my deaf son, who uses cochlear implants, lip-reading, and sign language to communicate with others, I can tell you that these apps—unlike certain misguided Microsoft accessibility efforts, like Cortana screeching during Windows Setup—address real-world problems that impact many, many people. And that they are, thus, both well-intentioned and truly useful. Bravo, Google.
We found that in general the new GPU backend performs 2–7x faster than the floating point CPU implementation for a wide range of diverse deep neural network models.
A preview release is available now, with a full open source release planned for the near future.
I often note that I came here five (five!) years ago to “Teach Google Photoshop,” and delivering tech like this is a key part of that mission: enable machines to perceive the world, and eventually to see like artists & be your brilliant artistic Assistant. We have so, so far to go, and the road ahead can be far from clear—but it sure is exciting.