Tech Tent: Fake videos stir distrust

Supasorn Suwajanakorn Image copyright Bret Hartman/TED
Image caption At the TED conference, Google engineer Supasorn Suwajanakorn demonstrated the AI-faked video

We have already had to wake up to fake news - will we soon have to stop trusting video and audio news too as artificial intelligence makes it easier to create convincing fakes?

On Tech Tent this week we look at the advances in technology which allow you to get anybody to say anything, and explore their implications.

It was a video featuring Barack Obama talking about a character from the hit movie Black Panther, and then making a crude remark about Donald Trump, which raised new concerns about this subject. It was not of course genuine - the actor Jordan Peele's voice had been synced to the lips of the former US president.

The video was created by Buzzfeed using software called FakeApp, a freely available tool which has also been used to superimpose the faces of celebrities into porn videos. The exercise was designed to get people thinking about the threat posed by these techniques,

Prof Dame Wendy Hall, one of the authors of a UK government report on artificial intelligence, explains what is making this fakery possible: "It's what's happening generally with AI - the development of new techniques, deep learning algorithm techniques that can learn from data, in this case video data." She says this is "quite scary".

Read full article Tech Tent: Fake videos stir distrust

Tech Tent: Questions for Zuckerberg and Cambridge

Mark Zuckerberg Image copyright Reuters

It was a two-day interrogation with dozens of questions - some of them acute, some of them rambling, a few quite bizarre.

On the Tech Tent podcast this week, we zero in on what Mark Zuckerberg failed to answer during his US congressional appearances, about just how much data Facebook collects - and the control users have over it.

Read full article Tech Tent: Questions for Zuckerberg and Cambridge

Cambridge University saw 'no issue' with Facebook research

Facebook logo Image copyright Reuters

The academic at the centre of Facebook's data scandal has hit back at Mark Zuckerberg's suggestion that "something bad" might be going on at Cambridge University.

Dr Aleksandr Kogan, who collected data for Cambridge Analytica, told the BBC that Facebook should be investigating commercial uses of its data, not focusing on academic research.

Read full article Cambridge University saw 'no issue' with Facebook research

Tech Tent: Facebook in a scrape over data

Podcast available now

What have we learned about what happens when we share our data with Facebook?

On this week's Tech Tent podcast, we look at the new revelations and consider the impact on the company and its users.

Read full article Tech Tent: Facebook in a scrape over data

Microsoft gambles on a quantum leap in computing

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionWATCH: What is quantum computing?

In a laboratory in Copenhagen, scientists believe they are on the verge of a breakthrough that could transform computing.

A team combining Microsoft researchers and Niels Bohr Institute academics is confident that it has found the key to creating a quantum computer.

Read full article Microsoft gambles on a quantum leap in computing

Tech Tent: Facebook's quiz question

Podcast available now

What happens when you take part in a Facebook quiz? As the row grows over how much data the social media giant is sharing, Tech Tent explores what marketers can mine from our answers to their questions.

This whole controversy began with a personality quiz. It was designed by a psychology researcher, who collected the data from it for Cambridge Analytica four years ago. Facebook says it has since made it much harder for apps like this to scoop up data without consent.

Read full article Tech Tent: Facebook's quiz question

If I’ve got your number, so has Facebook

Facebook on smartphone Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Facebook logs data from unexpected places

Suddenly lots of people are waking up and asking themselves questions about Facebook. How much data am I sharing with the social media giant? Did I really give permission for it to be collected and stored?

And, even more seriously, have I handed over my friends' data to be stored on some Californian server?

Read full article If I’ve got your number, so has Facebook

Tech Tent: Facebook's data privacy crisis

Podcast available now

What have we learned this week about the dangers of sharing our lives on Facebook - and can we now take back control?

This week's Tech Tent explores how the biggest crisis in the social media company's history has unfolded - and asks what might happen next. Will Facebook really change its ways, or will regulators have to step in and make it be more transparent about how it uses our data?

Read full article Tech Tent: Facebook's data privacy crisis

Facebook data - as scandalous as MPs’ expenses?

Mark Zuckerberg Image copyright AFP
Image caption Data about Facebook users is gathered and shared all the time say industry experts

The gathering storm over how millions of Facebook profiles were apparently exploited for political purposes raises all sorts of questions about how our data is used.

But already some in the data and marketing industries are pouring cold water on the story which the Guardian's Carole Cadwalladr has pursued with such admirable vigour.

Read full article Facebook data - as scandalous as MPs’ expenses?

Tech Tent: Facebook and Google police their platforms

Podcast available now

How far should the two mightiest web giants go to police the content they enable?

This week Google acted to ban crypto-currency advertising, while Facebook banned a far-right group.

Read full article Tech Tent: Facebook and Google police their platforms