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"TikTok is part of China’s cognitive warfare campaign", says researcher Nita Farahany (theguardian.com)

"We [...] need to raise public awareness of the risks associated with digital platforms and neurotechnology devices by giving the public concrete information about the risks to themselves and national security. Educating users about potential dangers and promoting digital literacy will empower individuals to make informed...


Douyin promotes STEM


Not only TikTok: France bans also Twitter, Instagram, Netflix and other apps from government staff phones (techxplore.com)

The move follows similar restrictions on TikTok in democratic countries amid fears about the popular video-sharing app's Chinese connections. But the French decision also encompassed other platforms widely used by government officials, lawmakers and President Emmanuel Macron himself.


I fully agree, but a lot of officials across many countries might have a different opinion as they are using such apps.

We have seen the ban of Microsoft 365 and Google in some European countries for government devices of late, infrastructure companies like Huawei and ZTE are banned, now come these apps. I think that's a good direction. But, yes, it's hard to understand why these things need an official ban.


The bans are exclusively for government-issued devices. I wouldn't welcome a ban for private uses as which apps you're using should not be your government's business (and yes, we also have strict rules for work phones).

Venezuela, China, Biden and extraterrestrials: the disinformation of AI becomes widespread (techxplore.com)

Doctored videos of US President Joe Biden warning of aliens, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky snorting cocaine, or US musician Eminem attacking Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador - the use of deep fakes and AI-generated audio-visuals to spread false information is increasingly getting normal, and "usually...

'Suspicion Machines': When Artificial Intelligence Can Ruin Your Life (lighthousereports.com)

Governments all over the world are using their citizens' personal data -from someone’s children’s travel history to machine-made guesses about who someone sleeps with- and combine them into 'fraud risk scores'. How these algorithms work is largely hidden from the public, but they are already transforming once...


The study quoted in the article is largely based on an investigation in the Dutch city of Rotterdam which is obviously using these algorithms. What is not mentioned, though, is that in 2020 a Dutch court ruled that a government system that uses artificial intelligence to identify potential welfare fraudsters is illegal:

Privacy groups, the Netherlands' largest trade union federation and several Dutch citizens sued the government after SyRI was introduced in 2014... They argued the system violates human rights because it [...] created a "surveillance regime" that disproportionately targeted poorer citizens.


Very interesting, thanks for this :-)

The Breadth of the Fediverse (eff.org)

A comment by the EFF: "People coming from Twitter tend to think of the fediverse as a Twitter-replacement [...] but that’s only a fraction of its potential. The question isn’t if the fediverse can replace Twitter ... With enough momentum the fediverse can be the fabric of the social web, incorporating existing systems like...


I'd agree with @jabberati here that ChatGPT is not (yet?) a threat to software engineers. Although these tools are impressive, they appear to produce inefficient (though not necessarily incorrect) code. This means that you still need human coders when you want to build something really complex. Having that said, I'm wondering whether this tech has the potential to make a programmer's work a bit easier.


Register an account and click "Make a contribution" (although you don't). You should receive an email confirming that you successfully booked a ticket. (The only thing I don't understand is that a site like opencollective.com is using Cloudflare if I may say so.)


There is not (yet) a program for tge event unfortunately.

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