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NEWSLETTER: The Creative AI newsletter

a newsletter about the digital video supply chain

MEDIA: Money for nothing: copyright law, YouTube, and the future of music [Part I]  to earn the US minimum wage, an artist needs 610,465 streams on Spotify per month.

PRIVACY: Personalized Advertising is an Oxymoron or: How We Forgot That Minority Report Was A Dystopian Vision

TV DATA: How Netflix drives culture, in one chart [Recode]

NETWORK: PeerTube 1.0: the free/libre and federated video platform (

NETWORK: Data mining has revealed previously unknown Russian Twitter troll campaigns (

NETWORK: Solid is a new decentralized identity platform from WWW Creator Tim Berners-Lee which provides a mechanism for users to own and better control the usage of their data. [solid]

OBIT: Gone too soon –  What I loved about Paul Allen [Bill Gates]

HUMOR: New Social-Media User Guidelines  [New Yorker]

ART:  Robots Love Music at Museum Speelklok,  Robot Love exhibition, Eindhoven.


Photo mdg – sequence series, ‘gotham 18’ 

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Ed note:  Jury duty this week, next to voting its one of the best ways to participate in the democracy.   

MAN-MACHINE:  ABOT  The Anthropomorphic Robot Database   The ABOT (Anthropomorphic roBOT) Database is a collection of real-world anthropomorphic robots that have been created for research or commercial purposes. Currently, our core collection features more than 250 robots.

MAN-MACHINE:  RI Seminar: Bertram F. Malle : What People See in a Robot: A New Look at Human-Like Appearance . [YouTube]

MAN-MACHINE: The Crisis of Intimacy in the Age of Digital Connectivity [lareviewofbooks] the essence of the human will become what is not information, and the essence of intimacy will be in sharing what cannot be shared over the networks. Secret names have always stood at the center of what is holy.

INFO-SEC: (video talk )Bruce Schneier: “Click Here to Kill Everybody”| [YouTube] Talks at Google Computer security professional, privacy specialist and writer Bruce Schneier discusses “Click Here to Kill Everybody”, his latest book exploring the risks and security implications of our new, hyper-connected era.

INFO-SEC: Smart Home Surveillance: Governments Tell Google’s Nest To Hand Over Data 300 Times “People who use Nest must be told that very private information about what is happening in their homes is being recorded and could be shared, without prior notice, with law-enforcement when it obtains proper legal process.

ART:  Orbital Reflector site, video and this reflector shot Trevor Paglen: Orbital Reflector, co-produced and presented by the Nevada Museum of Art,   Why I care,  right nexus of art, eng and space. – “Making Visible The Invisible” is also straight up perfect.   Launching soon.

MUSIC/AI:  Piano Genie – Piano Genie allows anyone to improvise on the piano.


Moral Laryngitis”

” federation (identity)”

Photo :  MDG –  Sequence Series ‘Runway 22R’ 

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INTERNET: Internet Relay Chat turns 30—  [ArsTechnica]

INTERNET: FCC: court it has no “legal authority” over net neutrality rules  [ArsTechnica]

MUSIC: IFPI Music Consumer Insight Report 2018  (PDF)

INFO-SEC:  Publicly Available Tools Seen in Cyber Incidents Worldwide Alert (AA18-284A)

DATA: Are Influencers Overrated? []

AI:  Applying Deep Learning to Metastatic Breast Cancer Detection [ai.googleblog]

BOOK: Spreadsheet of Steven Pinker’s book recommendations []

ART: Contemporary Art Star Brian Donnelly Mixes High and Low [WSJ]

MACHINE LEARNING: From Media to Meaning: Classic Machine Learning, [youtube]
– Model-Based Machine Learning Book (  





Image : MDG sequential series / Whitney- Programed show. Oct 18

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SERVICE: Google One (subscription service) Expanded storage, access to experts, and more — all in one shareable plan.  The biggest news here is –  wait for it,-  people you can access!  .Get direct access to people who speak fluent Google. If you need help with our products and services, our team of experts is here for you.

PRIVACY: Stop Saying Privacy Is Dead [Evan Selinger] As privacy scholar Josh Fairfield says, while some dismiss privacy concerns by saying they have nothing to hide, we shouldn’t accept that argument from anyone wearing clothes.

PRIVACY: Big Brother Watch Privacy Report (PDF) [brotherwatch]The chilling effect resulting from extensive surveillance in 2018 Britain affects us all. Our report demonstrates the breadth of those targeted by the UK Govt. – Schoolchildren – Workers – Welfare claimants – Journalists – Lawyers – Activists – Migrants 

BLOCKCHAIN:  Gary Cohn has joined fledgling fintech firm Spring Labs. [FT].. developing ways to use the blockchain to allow lenders and data providers to exchange credit and identity information more efficiently,

CRYPTO: Criticism Should be Welcome: Roubini Crypto Edition  []

BOOK: Haruki Murakami Says He Doesn’t Dream. He Writes. [NYT]  What do you dream about?I don’t dream, except maybe once or twice a month — or maybe I dream more but I don’t remember the dream at all. But I don’t have to dream, because I can write.

BOOK: Leonard Cohen The Flame: Poems Notebooks Lyrics Drawings.  [NPR] Poem...Kayne West Is Not Picasso [Twitter Moments]

INFO-SEC Internet Hacking Is About to Get Much Worse  [NYT] We can no longer leave online security to the market….These are problems that the market will not fix. Buyers can’t differentiate between secure and insecure products, so sellers prefer to spend their money on features that buyers can see.

TV/VIDEO: asiCast 84: Innovations in television and video . [mp3] .  As the technologies transforming all communications have converged, we need to revise our understanding of viewing behaviours.

MUSIC: Playlist Shuffle – [GITHUB] Novel approach at shuffling a looping sequence.  compares various ways of generating a shuffled looping sequence, measuring statistics on the distance between duplicate entries. The application example of a music album (~12 songs) being played in a loop is not as contemporary as it used to be. This paper disregard that an easy way out of the problem is to add more songs, such that the shuffled sequence never needs to loop in one listening session.

MUSIC: Music industry hails passage of the Music Modernization Act  [LA TIMES] Guarantees that writers of pre-1972 songs receive federal copyright protection,

CLASS:  MIT 6.S974 Decentralized Applications, Fall 2018; A preliminary schedule and reading list for 6.S974, Decentralized Applications  Paper List + Schedule


Photo credit (m.ghuneim)  Ugo Rondinone work from .. KNOCK KNOCK: Humour in Contemporary Art in a former Peckham Road Fire Station.

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DISCOURSE: Removing Additional Inauthentic Activity from Facebook  [Facebook]Facebook takes down pages spreading fake news and clickbait  [FT]  The disinformation included false stories spread about Christine Blasey Ford Facebook removed 559 pages and 251 accounts, including Right Wing News, which had more than 3.1m followers, Resistance, with 240,000 followers, and Reverb Press, with 816,000.

PRIVACY: Equity and Digital Privacy in NYC    []  Anyone interested in the digital welfare of NYC communities should take a hard look at how cities collect, control, and share out data that is collected from the public, in public spaces. Yet the City also has a responsibility to protect residents from digital risks and harms emerging from their contracts with franchisees for private home internet service.\

BLOCKCHAIN: DHS Science & Technology Directorate Flowchart – Do you need a share consistent data store? [IMG] I recommend this Vinton G Cerf  – Simple Flowchart 

INFO-SEC:  Joint report on publicly available hacking tools [PDF] [National Cyber Security Centere]

MAN-MACHINE: The Pentagon’s Push to Program Soldiers’ Brains [theatlantic] The mission is to make human beings something other than what we are, with powers beyond the ones we’re born with.

MAN-MACHINE: Atlas does parkour [youtube] control software uses the whole body including legs, arms and torso, to marshal the energy and strength for jumping over the log and leaping up the steps without breaking its pace. Atlas uses computer vision to locate itself with respect to visible markers on the approach to hit the terrain accurately.

CONFERENCE: DIGITAL ART #MIRA2018  Barcelona’s digital arts festival 8-10 November: Strong lineup 

CONFERENCE: PRIVACY Reconfiguring Anonymity 

VIDEO ART:  Tony Oursler : Tear of The Cloud  [Oct 10, 2018 – Oct 31, 2018 7 – 10PM, Tuesday–Sunday Riverside Park South / Hudson River]   Five digital projections superimposed onto the landmarked 69th Street Transfer Bridge Gantry, the surrounding landscape, and the flowing water of the Hudson River itself. These spectral images combine with an evocative soundscape to create a dramatic experience that transforms Riverside Park each night.

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DATA:  More than 9 million broken links on Wikipedia are now rescued [Internet Archive Blogs]

ART-DATA: Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018 [Whitney] establishes connections between works of art based on instructions, spanning over fifty years of conceptual, video, and computational art. The pieces in the exhibition are all “programmed” using instructions, sets of rules, and code, but they also address the use of programming in their creation

DARPA: 60 Years of Challenges and Breakthroughs [DARPAtv] This short documentary debuted at DARPA’s 60th anniversary symposium, D60, which took place Sept. 5-7, 2018, at Gaylord National Harbor, Oxon Hill, Maryland.

STREAMING: Pushing the limits of streaming technology [Google Blog] streaming such graphically-rich content that requires near-instant interaction between the game controller and the graphics on the screen” ( Streaming the game not the play. -ed “)

PROGRAMING: Inform: Past, Present, Future [Emily Short] This is the talk and slides from the June 2018 London IF meetup, held at Elephant Studios in London South Bank University on 9 June 2018. I was invited to speak about Inform, past, present and future

MACHINE LEARNING:  Large Scale GAN Training for High Fidelity Natural Image Synthesis [ARXIV] Despite recent progress in generative image modeling, successfully generating high-resolution, diverse samples from complex datasets such as ImageNet remains an elusive goal. To this end, we train Generative Adversarial Networks at the largest scale yet attempted, and study the instabilities specific to such scale

INFOSEC: Voice Phishing Scams Are Getting More Clever [krebsonsecurity]

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INFO-SEC:  Voting Machine Used in Half of U.S. Is Vulnerable to Attack, Report Finds This never gets old, just keeping it current.  BBC today –  US mid-terms: Hackers expose ‘staggering’ voter machine flaw –  and this DEF CON report on vulnerabilities in US election infrastructure [pdf] (

LIVE: #BITS18  Listen in .

DATA: This is what filter bubbles actually look like– MIT

SERVICE:  Project Atlas 
Project Atlas will connect the BitTorrent peer-to-peer network and the TRON blockchain network via a set of bittorrent protocol extensions, a custom token, and an in-client token economy to address existing limitations and open a new borderless economy for exchanging value for computer resources on a global scale.

ADDRESS:  Plus Codes   [Google] like a street address for people or places that don’t have one. looks like a regular address, but with a short code where the street name and number would be. These addresses exist for any location, even for places where there are no roads.

LAW: California the first state with an Internet of Things cybersecurity law:  The bill, SB-327 . They also just signed nation’s strictest net neutrality rules into law 

CULTURE (LOW) : Save Elon  from the SEC Bikini . This bikini swimsuit is designed for fashionable women; stylish and personalized. Because of an advance heat sublimation technique, it will not fade in water.”

PAPER SOURCES: Distillthe arXivFermat’s LibrarySci-Hub

ART NYC: In ‘The Mile-Long Opera,’ All the High Line’s a Stage [NYT]

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STRATEGY: How Apple Thrived in a Season of Tech Scandals [NYT]  “by selling phones rather than advertising”

CHINA: Ex-Google Employee Urges Lawmakers to Take On Company [NYT]

PRIVACY: Proposing a framework for data protection legislation [GOOGLE]

DISCOURSE: Code of Practice on Disinformation [eu]

INFOSEC: Facebook Is Giving Advertisers Access to Your Shadow Contact Information  [GIZMODO]  File under of course this was happening – what are you, new?

INFOSEC: Securing DNS across all of my devices with Pi-Hole + DNS-over-HTTPS + [ScottHelme]

ART: Whitney Museum of American Art New Acquisitions (Sept. 2017 —Sept. 2018) [Scribed] 25 Mitch Epstein photographs

INSTAGRAM: The Existential Void of the Pop-Up ‘Experience’ . [NYT]

AI: Litigating Algorithms: Challenging Government Use of Algorithmic Decision Systems [PDF]

AI ART : Quasimondo  Mario Klingemann, Artist    – Alternative Face v1.1 


LEXICON:  “stau sleptons.”  Theoretical supersymmetric particle called “stau sleptons.” Stau sleptons are supersymmetric versions of a Standard Model particle called the tau lepton. The “S” is for “supersymmetric” (really).

PRIAVACY:  How does the surveillance state harm democratic society?   [Big Brother Watch PDF]

Synthetic Manipulated Media Pt III

Ripe receptors in manipulated media swarms, architected to move men to action. 

This is the third in a series of posts on the media turn from human generated media to media that is algorithmically generated.  Specifically addressing synthetic manipulated media.

Points discussed this far.

  • Is ‘synthetic media’ a proper description for this type of media
  • Round-up of existing papers and discussions taking place.
  • Posit that the immediate term potential to be disruptive, destructive?

Why this is important

Video has the power to be a form of control and life changing force. Media that has deception as a core capability takes on increased importance.

In this post I would like to take a look at adjunct technology and how it might fit with synthetic manipulated media. Following up with a post that addresses potential course corrections that might improve potential outcomes.   

This algorithmically generated media that can deceive the viewer impacts both encoding and decoding of images. Visual interpretation one of the most primary human functions. 

As the saying goes… if our life were a 24 hour clock,  humans learned to read at 11:59PM. We are visual beings.

This is not even wolf in sheep’s clothing territory,  this is a wolf dressed as a dragon. (one of the reasons we should name it correctly)

We see more colours of green because it helped protect us from being eaten as early humans. Our visual acuity is a mechanism for survival.  If these systems of visual trust are disrupted the implications will be significant.

Todays digital landscape

Concern is this: synthetic manipulated media comes at a time when several other capabilities and behaviors are all hitting critical mass and the alignment of all these in the wrong hands is dangerous.

Everyday we see low-grade high-impact propaganda or information warfare campaigns. Couple this with synthetic media and current digital swarm behavior – driven by a divided tribal society and individual psychological targeting.  This formula sets up a perfect storm for infection.

Some of these digital environmental and human conditions include:

  • Cultural tribalism
  • Psychographic targeting
  • Media literacy/human receptivity
  • Synthetic manipulated media
  • Social networks
  • Swam behaviors
  • ML/AI

The term  ‘Cat and mouse”  game is the phrase used to speak around the issues that both law and tools are playing catch up ball- true to form falling behind significant technology developments.  We do not have the time for the solve to play out as the immediate term impact will be foundational

Swarm behavior

Have spent good bit of ink on ‘swarm behavior’ in digital spaces.  This is the ingredient that both acts as an accelerator and potential incubator that pushes false information to mainstream media channels.   It happens fast and is places that are not immediately seen. Often by the time a swarm hits critical mass its to late –  everyone who participated in it becomes infected in some manner.

There are analogs to look to: the fairness doctrine in TV, or the fact that you can’t just slap a hundred dollar bill down on a copier as potential frameworks or laws that can moderate technology preventing disruptive becoming destructive.  That’s the line in the sand we all seem to ignore until technology eats part of us in its evolution.

As someone who loves design,  the above diagram is a visual horror show it should only serve to illustrate a potential threat scenario  vs wow with visual brilliance. Please someone re-design this – please

Synthetic Manipulated Media (Part II)

This post purpose is to hold a mirror up to the current landscape and point to some of the information, discussions and positions being put forth.  It will also start to make clear the parts that allow for a perfect storm to form.

In reading through the amazing work addressing synthetic manipulated media (using all three terms until a proper descriptor emerges)  There are some comprehensive discussions and deep dives taking place.

Betaworks always digging into our next digital destination had a discussion “A Session at betaworks Studios Hosted by John Borthwick & Vivian Schiller”  They have posted the deck used to drive the discussion  I am sorry to have missed this session and will be sure and keep an eye out  and not miss the next one. John and Vivian’s attention to this can only benefit us all.

There are also solution scenarios being modeled.  

Specifically the excellent work from by Sam Gregory from Witness in a series of blogs on the emerging and potential malicious uses of so-called “deepfakes” and other forms of AI-generated “synthetic media” and how we push back to defend evidence, the truth and freedom of expression. The first in the blog series can be accessed here.

When I saw Mr Gregory speak he was comprehensive in scope and very balanced in the view ahead.  When he polled the room on where we all stood from; fear -to – ‘everything’s fine’. I was towards the fear end of the line. (no shocker there). However at the end when we all regrouped our positions after his talk,  there was more center clustering. When we pushed the timeline out ten years – the edges disappeared.

So one area of immediate focus might be the short term window between capability now and a needed constructive framework.  How do we avoid the destructive aspects of this type of media in this gap.

My concern is this: synthetic manipulated media comes at a time when several other capabilities and behaviors are all hitting critical mass and the alignment of all these in the wrong hands is dangerous.

Some of these digital environmental and human conditions include:

  • Cultural tribalism
  • Psychographic targeting
  • Media literacy/human receptivity
  • Synthetic manipulated media
  • Social networks
  • Swam behaviors