Artificial Intelligence fails. Microsoft Tay turns into ‘Hitler-loving sex bot’

facebook-shareMicrosoft had to face an embarrassing moment when ‘Tay’ an automated chatbox malfunctioned and lead to racist and unpleasant tweets. It was within 24 hours of the launch of Tay when a bulk of offensive tweets were reported. Vice President of Microsoft research department Lee apologised about the incident. Tay’s misbehavior and hurtful tweets were accidental. Tay has the ability to get smarter when people talk. It gets inspired by the language and words used by the people.

— TayTweets (@TayandYou)March 24, 2016

@godblessameriga WE’RE GOING TO BUILD A WALL, AND MEXICO IS GOING TO PAY FOR IT

— TayTweets (@TayandYou)March 24, 2016

@dg_porter @FluffehDarkness @Rokkuke haha. not really, i don’t really like to drink at all actually

— TayTweets (@TayandYou)March 24, 2016

@OmegaVoyager i love feminism now

— TayTweets (@TayandYou)March 24, 2016

@dg_porter heard ppl saying i wouldn’t mind trump, he gets the job done

— TayTweets (@TayandYou)March 24, 2016

@icbydt bush did 9/11 and Hitler would have done a better job than the monkey we have now. donald trump is the only hope we’ve got.

Tay was in most of such conversations, only repeating what other’s wanted it to say. Yet it shows that you can’t trust AI’s nature as it learns from the interactions which will always include inflammatory statements.

tay
photo courtesy: Mashable

Many of the  disrespectful tweets from Tay were automatically deleted. Lee wrote: Tay is now offline and we’ll look to bring Tay back only when we are confident we can better anticipate malicious intent that conflicts with our principles and value.”

Another type of project in china is also run by Microsoft, ‘Xiaolce’. Tay, on the other hand, was tested well to not undergo any of the malfunctions, Lee said: “ The company is addressing the specific vulnerability that led to the attack.”  

Slack is introducing a video call feature. Bad news for Skype & Hangout

slack-call-thumbRecently, Slack announced that they are testing the call service for the desktop. Just after few hours of testing, they introduced slack voice call service which is now available for less that 50% of its users. The service is only available for desktop users at the moment who are using Chrome browser.

The new feature allows you to make a conference call or a private call. The conference call can be joined by anyone by just clicking it without interrupting the call. The interesting thing about this new call feature is, that it allows you to share visual emojis with the person or a group, in which you are talking, the emoji appears on the profile picture of the person. It is a pretty cool as it doesn’t interrupt the conversation and let people know how you feel about it.  Like if you agree to something, a smile emoji from you can show that to your friends.

The call feature can be enabled by the admin of Slack users. Once they enable it then everyone on the ship can use it. Slack previously started many similar integration apps like Skype, Google hangout etc but that was quite time-consuming as it required a new application to be installed whereas this new feature is quite easy to use.

Firstly, you should have the latest version of Slack installed with you. And in the settings, make sure your group admin has enabled the call feature. If it is enabled, you should be able to see a call icon on chats and channels.

Go to the channel of your friends chat and press the call icon. It will ping the other user notifying him about the call in a pop-up window, from where they can accept your call. Another good thing about the slack which Skype didn’t allow is that you can choose your microphone sensitivity level from the call menu whereas for Skype we had to adjust while loading the Skype for the first time. And also adding new users in the voice group is easier than Skype.

The company is also working on video chat and on screen sharing services. Slack’s VP April Underwood said, “company is actively exploring ways to integrate third party services, like calls, more deeply into our product.”

Slack didn’t bring all of the emojis but the most common ones are there. We hope after test call is completed, it will add on new emojis in the list.  Slack has more than 570,000 paid users; it was on a heavy request that it started working on call feature. It is heard that Slack might attract more companies to pay for the services and is a serious threat for Skype and Google hangout.

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Apple says No Backdoor For FBI, Still Living Up to Values of Jobs.

Let me first give you bit of the background of the story:  Apparently, an iPhone 5C user has been suspected as a gunman, named Syed Farook, in the San Bernardino attack. The iPhonewas recovered by the FBI. The iPhone5C which is in possession of FBI is protected with a passcode. FBI believes that it contains critical information which will be needed for an ongoing investigation. Although Apple has turned over digital data in its possession related to the gunman’s account, the bigger problem is that authorities cannot unlock the phone. Apple declined on creating a backdoor, stating that it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect. I stand with Tim Cook here! No one should be forced to change their values, as they need to be same for each and every consumer.12742825_858516677591813_6159406403631206738_n

Here’s the full letter by Apple.

“Smartphones, led by iPhone, have become an essential part of our lives. People use them to store an incredible amount of personal information, from our private conversations to our photos, our music, our notes, our calendars and contacts, our financial information and health data, even where we have been and where we are going.

All that information needs to be protected from hackers and criminals who want to access it, steal it, and use it without our knowledge or permission. Customers expect Apple and other technology companies to do everything in our power to protect their personal information, and at Apple we are deeply committed to safeguarding their data.

Compromising the security of our personal information can ultimately put our personal safety at risk. That is why encryption has become so important to all of us.

For many years, we have used encryption to protect our customers’ personal data because we believe it’s the only way to keep their information safe. We have even put that data out of our own reach, because we believe the contents of your iPhone are none of our business.

The San Bernardino Case

We were shocked and outraged by the deadly act of terrorism in San Bernardino last December. We mourn the loss of life and want justice for all those whose lives were affected. The FBI asked us for help in the days following the attack, and we have worked hard to support the government’s efforts to solve this horrible crime. We have no sympathy for terrorists.

When the FBI has requested data that’s in our possession, we have provided it. Apple complies with valid subpoenas and search warrants, as we have in the San Bernardino case. We have also made Apple engineers available to advise the FBI, and we’ve offered our best ideas on a number of investigative options at their disposal.

We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good. Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.

Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.

The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.

The Threat to Data Security

Some would argue that building a backdoor for just one iPhone is a simple, clean-cut solution. But it ignores both the basics of digital security and the significance of what the government is demanding in this case.

In today’s digital world, the “key” to an encrypted system is a piece of information that unlocks the data, and it is only as secure as the protections around it. Once the information is known, or a way to bypass the code is revealed, the encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge.

The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.

The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.

We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack. For years, cryptologists and national security experts have been warning against weakening encryption. Doing so would hurt only the well-meaning and law-abiding citizens who rely on companies like Apple to protect their data. Criminals and bad actors will still encrypt, using tools that are readily available to them.

A Dangerous Precedent

Rather than asking for legislative action through Congress, the FBI is proposing an unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion of its authority.

The government would have us remove security features and add new capabilities to the operating system, allowing a passcode to be input electronically. This would make it easier to unlock an iPhone by “brute force,” trying thousands or millions of combinations with the speed of a modern computer.

The implications of the government’s demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.

Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.

We are challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.

While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.”

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Snapchat will soon overtake Instagram and maybe Facebook as well

The future of social media, “Snapchat” was launched in 2011, it is a photo and video sharing application just like the rest but what really makes Snapchat stand out from the rest is its most unique feature of self-destruction. The photos and videos you share with your friends get self-destructed after 24 hours. Within a year of its launch, the app became popular among teenagers and selfie-obsessed individuals.

Snapchat is all about sharing a daily life, like telling a story. It gets thousands of stories. The most random stuff is shared on snap chat every day. The easy access makes it simple for its users to use snap chat on the go while feeling secure as their snaps won’t get copied. It gives its users a chance to express themselves freely, like with the full range of human emotions.

Only photos can be saved from stories by other users and you get to know easily about it as snap chat sends an immediate notification to the person who’s snap is being saved. But there is no way a user can copy someone’s video from his story.

Snapcat team is working very effectively to maintain the application in this fast growing era. New filters are updated every day! The crazy fan following  has made snapchat a big deal. A deal so big that even facebook offered $3million to snapchat but it didn’t accept.2

Keeping in mind Snapchat is only about pictures and videos, no comments and no group discussions.

Studies suggest that there are more than 100 million active snapchat users. After facebook and Instagram, it is the most famous social media application of all time. I don’t think that it will take long before snapchat beats Instagram, and later maybe facebook as well. .

As this application is already famous among teens and adults, and everyone has the oath to visit snapchat at least once a day, now companies and brands have stepped in to market their products using this application.  Daily promotions and deals are put up it the stories for their customers and clients to see. We will have to agree that in a little time, snapchat has become the king of social media and soon it will rule over it.

Now You Can Choose Who Will Inherit Your Facebook Account After Your Death

Do you often wonder what will happen to your facebook account when you will die?

Mark has thought about that too. Your online after life will continue to go on if you choose someone trustworthy to manage your social media account. Previously when anyone passed away, users could ask Facebook to convert the social media account into a memorial page but now Facebook has put its users in partial control of what happens to their accounts after they pass away. Facebook users have been given a choice to decide from, whether they want their account to be deleted after death or use the “Legacy Contact” option to choose someone to manage their account.

This option is great but it also comes with some restrictions as the legacy contact won’t be able to post new status or even edit what the deceased already posted, the private conversation/messages will also remain under lock down. However the legacy contact will be able to change profile pictures and download – archive your photos, posts and profile information. They will login from their own personal accounts on behalf of the deceased.

 

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Legacy contact can be designated by going into, Settings, then Security, click Legacy Contact at the bottom of the page. Once there and after editing the pre-filled message, sent to the contact telling them that you’ve chosen him/her to inherit your Facebook account after your death. However you can only choose one person as a legacy contact so choose wisely.

For the time being this option is only available in the US. Let’s see when this will roll in other countries as well.

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Selfie Stick, Innovation of the year 2014!

640x480xExtendable-Handheld-Selfie-Stick.jpg.pagespeed.ic.uD7aaFH6m6Selfie is something everyone is familiar with now a days. Actually in 2013, Selfie gained popularity and was named word of the year by Oxford Dictionary.

Quite productive, isn’t it?

People from all ages, color and religion are obsessed with taking pictures of themselves. Taking our own picture is quite difficult on many levels, holding our mobile phones literally two feet away and fitting more people into that shot! Faces are stretched, people standing on the edges get their face cut off, blurry images. So the question which arose after all these problems was “How to take better Selfies from a good distance without asking any stranger for help”.

Remember the old days when people used to have those big tripods on which they would set their camera’s and then switch to auto timer for taking pictures of themselves. Times have changed! Mobile phones have taken over camera’s because smart phones have high pixel camera’s built in so tripods are almost obsolete. In comes the “Selfie Stick”, innovation of the year 2014! Selfies were never this easy to take! Selfie Stick is a long monopod with a handle on one side to hold and a mobile holder on the other end. Selfie Sticks are made for almost all the smart phones so everyone can benefit from it. Although Selfie Stick has not topped into the 100 list of Amazon’s Cell Phone Accessories but still it has gained popularity wide enough that people all over the world think how awesome it is! Taking a Selfie in front of the whole Eiffel tower was never this easy. The Selfie Stick can help you snap that beautiful background which was never possible while taking a Selfie with your own hand.

selfie stick

The Selfie Stick trend is catching on because of the Selfie Obsession. Selfie Sticks are very innovative, fun and start with a very low price so that almost everyone can purchase it for taking good pictures of themselves. As the technology keeps getting better and better, manufacturers are improving Selfie Sticks by adding excellent features like bluetooth shutter control, self-timers, remote control.

Still many people criticize the use of Selfie Sticks because they think the purpose of taking a Selfie is destroyed by the use of a mechanical stick or monopod. They are of the view that a perfect Selfie is to be taken by a person’s own hand stretched to the fullest. Well things have changed, the growing popularity of Selfie Sticks have proved that they are here to stay and dominate the cell phone accessories because everyone wants better Selfies!

No more low quality pictures because the Selfie Stick lets you be in control of your own picture!