Smut slinger dreams of AI software to create hardcore flicks with your face – plus other machine-learning news

Your need-to-know


Roundup It's a long weekend in England and Wales, with many Reg vultures taking time out and making the most of what's left of the quiet August month.

We haven't forgotten you, though, so here's a roundup of artificial intelligent software related tidbits.

Oh dear, a porn company wants to monetize the deepfakes craze: Hey, remember when internet perverts used AI to stitch famous people's faces onto the bodies of smut flicks, and generate X-rated vids of celebs, dubbed "deepfakes"? It sparked outrage, with people freaking out over this direction of deep-learning technology, and how it could be used by people with little or no coding background to craft almost believable bogus porno. Tools emerged to detect faked vids.

Well, now porn biz Naughty America wants to sell this sort of caper to horny netizens. You have to swear you're uploading footage of your own face – and not an ex-girlfriend or a stranger's – pulling various expressions of pleasure. The service then spits out a realistic-looking saucy scene with you pasted into it.

Naughty America is also offering other options such as photoshopping performers so it looks as though they’re going at it in any room of your choice. Maybe your room? Maybe you with someone else in your room? To stop this being abused, the smut slinger promises to ensure it has the consent of everyone pictured – and as we all know, it's completely trivial to check...

Right now, it sounds as though Naughty America is doing fancy editing, automated and customized for its punters, rather than full-on AI, all while, ahem, riding the deepfakes bandwagon. But, y'know, it could be the start of something new. The biz is looking to use AI to improve its output, such as making adult stars say your name during, well, you get the idea. “It’s exciting,” CEO Andreas Hronopoulos told Variety. “We see customization and personalization as the future.”

Facebook AI researchers and NYU team up to study MRI: Eggheads at Facebook and New York University in the US have announced a new project: fastMRI.

The goal is to work out how AI can be used to speed up magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. At the moment, it can take roughly 15 minutes to more than an hour, depending on how much body tissue needs to be scanned, which is longer than X-ray and CT scans. There are many benefits to shortening MRI scans: for example, more people can be seen; the technology can be used to replace CT and X-ray scans, thus reducing the amount of ionizing radiation patients and doctors are exposed to; and it's easier to lie still for a few minutes than an hour or so.

NYU has amassed about three million MRI images of knees, brains and livers to train convolutional neural networks built by Facebook. MRI scanners work by building up an internal picture of the body, slice by slice of 2D images. Collecting more slices during a scan generates a more accurate 3D model, although it takes longer to complete the scan. Taking fewer 2D slices, and using an AI to fill in the gaps, will reduce the time taken in an MRI machine.

“Using AI, it may be possible to capture less data and therefore scan faster, while preserving or even enhancing the rich information content of magnetic resonance images. The key is to train artificial neural networks to recognize the underlying structure of the images in order to fill in views omitted from the accelerated scan,” according to Facebook’s blog post.

Nvidia's DGX-2 NVswitch-eroo: Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang introduced the DGX-2 as the “world’s largest GPU” at Nv's annual GPU Technology Conference earlier this year. The DGX-2 system is actually made up 16 V100 GPUs each with 32GB of memory, as well as two 24-core Xeon CPUs, 1.5TB of DDR4 DRAM memory, and 30TB of NVMe storage. It maxes out at two petaFLOPS of performance.

What makes the DGX-2 act as a single GPU is the way that all 16 are connected. Nvidia has posted a explanation this month, describing how its NVSwitch chips together act as a crossbar to hook up all the GPU chips in the box at once, using NVLink as the interconnect. Any two GPUs in the 16-chip cluster can talk to each other using NVLink at 300GB/s via the network of NWSwitch chips, which is faster than going over the PCIe bus.

AI translation is good for business: Academics have found that machine translation is good for attracting international customers on e-commerce platforms.

The paper emitted by the National Bureau of Economic Research in America this month reports that there was a 17.5 per cent increase in exports on eBay due to folks using the website's electronic translators. The boffins at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Washington State University, in the US, analyzed English to Spanish interactions using eBay Machine Translation (eMT) on the cyber-souk, a language translation system integrated onto the platform.

“Specifically, we find that efforts to remove language barriers provide substantial increases to market efficiency as well as platform profit,” the paper's authors stated in their work.

It’s not too surprising. It’s easier to find items if eBay expands the search across various descriptions written in different languages. Users are more likely to buy things if they can see the item’s information, such as its brand, size, color, etc, in their own language.

It’s interesting to think about see how machine translation could affect other sites. What if El Reg articles could be effectively translated without having to resort to Google Translate, and thus millions of people from non-English-speaking countries showed up. Just imagine the comments.

Just in case you missed it… Open AI entered its bots into The International, the biggest tournament for the esports video game Dota 2 – but it called it quits after its agents lost two matches in a row against skilled humans.

The stakes were high, OpenAI took a big risk showcasing its technology in public, and we're told learned a lot from the experience, which can be used to further train and develop its machine-learning software.

We covered the first match right here, and the second one over here in more detail. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Florida's content-moderation law kept on ice, likely unconstitutional, court says
    So cool you're into free speech because that includes taking down misinformation

    While the US Supreme Court considers an emergency petition to reinstate a preliminary injunction against Texas' social media law HB 20, the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday partially upheld a similar injunction against Florida's social media law, SB 7072.

    Both Florida and Texas last year passed laws that impose content moderation restrictions, editorial disclosure obligations, and user-data access requirements on large online social networks. The Republican governors of both states justified the laws by claiming that social media sites have been trying to censor conservative voices, an allegation that has not been supported by evidence.

    Multiple studies addressing this issue say right-wing folk aren't being censored. They have found that social media sites try to take down or block misinformation, which researchers say is more common from right-leaning sources.

    Continue reading
  • US-APAC trade deal leaves out Taiwan, military defense not ruled out
    All fun and games until the chip factories are in the crosshairs

    US President Joe Biden has heralded an Indo-Pacific trade deal signed by several nations that do not include Taiwan. At the same time, Biden warned China that America would help defend Taiwan from attack; it is home to a critical slice of the global chip industry, after all. 

    The agreement, known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), is still in its infancy, with today's announcement enabling the United States and the other 12 participating countries to begin negotiating "rules of the road that ensure [US businesses] can compete in the Indo-Pacific," the White House said. 

    Along with America, other IPEF signatories are Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Combined, the White House said, the 13 countries participating in the IPEF make up 40 percent of the global economy. 

    Continue reading
  • 381,000-plus Kubernetes API servers 'exposed to internet'
    Firewall isn't a made-up word from the Hackers movie, people

    A large number of servers running the Kubernetes API have been left exposed to the internet, which is not great: they're potentially vulnerable to abuse.

    Nonprofit security organization The Shadowserver Foundation recently scanned 454,729 systems hosting the popular open-source platform for managing and orchestrating containers, finding that more than 381,645 – or about 84 percent – are accessible via the internet to varying degrees thus providing a cracked door into a corporate network.

    "While this does not mean that these instances are fully open or vulnerable to an attack, it is likely that this level of access was not intended and these instances are an unnecessarily exposed attack surface," Shadowserver's team stressed in a write-up. "They also allow for information leakage on version and build."

    Continue reading
  • A peek into Gigabyte's GPU Arm for AI, HPC shops
    High-performance platform choices are going beyond the ubiquitous x86 standard

    Arm-based servers continue to gain momentum with Gigabyte Technology introducing a system based on Ampere's Altra processors paired with Nvidia A100 GPUs, aimed at demanding workloads such as AI training and high-performance compute (HPC) applications.

    The G492-PD0 runs either an Ampere Altra or Altra Max processor, the latter delivering 128 64-bit cores that are compatible with the Armv8.2 architecture.

    It supports 16 DDR4 DIMM slots, which would be enough space for up to 4TB of memory if all slots were filled with 256GB memory modules. The chassis also has space for no fewer than eight Nvidia A100 GPUs, which would make for a costly but very powerful system for those workloads that benefit from GPU acceleration.

    Continue reading
  • GitLab version 15 goes big on visibility and observability
    GitOps fans can take a spin on the free tier for pull-based deployment

    One-stop DevOps shop GitLab has announced version 15 of its platform, hot on the heels of pull-based GitOps turning up on the platform's free tier.

    Version 15.0 marks the arrival of GitLab's next major iteration and attention this time around has turned to visibility and observability – hardly surprising considering the acquisition of OpsTrace as 2021 drew to a close, as well as workflow automation, security and compliance.

    GitLab puts out monthly releases –  hitting 15.1 on June 22 –  and we spoke to the company's senior director of Product, Kenny Johnston, at the recent Kubecon EU event, about what will be added to version 15 as time goes by. During a chat with the company's senior director of Product, Kenny Johnston, at the recent Kubecon EU event, The Register was told that this was more where dollars were being invested into the product.

    Continue reading
  • To multicloud, or not: Former PayPal head of engineering weighs in
    Not everyone needs it, but those who do need to consider 3 things, says Asim Razzaq

    The push is on to get every enterprise thinking they're missing out on the next big thing if they don't adopt a multicloud strategy.

    That shove in the multicloud direction appears to be working. More than 75 percent of businesses are now using multiple cloud providers, according to Gartner. That includes some big companies, like Boeing, which recently chose to spread its bets across AWS, Google Cloud and Azure as it continues to eliminate old legacy systems. 

    There are plenty of reasons to choose to go with multiple cloud providers, but Asim Razzaq, CEO and founder at cloud cost management company Yotascale, told The Register that choosing whether or not to invest in a multicloud architecture all comes down to three things: How many different compute needs a business has, budget, and the need for redundancy. 

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022