Industry News [Week of October 19]

This is the regular weekly post where I share updates about things happening in gaming, machine learning, audio, or frankly anything that catches my eye and seems relevant to share or discuss here. Let’s hop right in!

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar joined several professional streamers earlier this week to play the newly hot game “Among Us.” It was a very popular event, though an interesting choice for career politicians to select a game from the ‘social deception’ genre. I’ve heard a lot of commentary about how this speaks to the future of politicians engaging with their audience, but honestly I think Joe Biden’s island on Animal Crossing is a better depiction of that – while AOC’s broadcast got lots of viewers, nobody learned anything at all about her or Representative Omar’s policies or beliefs. It might influence who votes for them, but it probably shouldn’t.

Similar to the DeepNude network which appeared and was quickly shut down a while back, a new machine learning tool has appeared on certain sections of the web which can be used to reproduce an image of any woman…without her clothes. Needless to say, there are a tremendous number of ethical problems here – not even questions, just things that are obviously and unequivocally bad – but one in particular which has drawn extra attention here is that the software draws no lines around age, which means it is being used frequently on underage women as well. I normally wouldn’t actually even want to signal-boost the existence of this sort of software, but unfortunately it’s going to be something we need to find a way to combat sooner rather than later, so it’s probably important to be aware of the danger.

That’s all for this week! As always, any thoughts or feedback are welcome. Stay safe, healthy, and sane, all!

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