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AI can create photos, paint pictures, write books. Would you realize that? Try it out.


Artificial intelligence can produce deceptively real photos, paint pictures and apparently even write books, for example about Barack Obama. Would you recognize the computer generated works? Try it out.

suppose you were to write a biography of a famous person, what title would you give her?

How about the scheme "first name last name book"?

It might not sound very original, but it would have an advantage: Your audience would find it quickly.

After all, it is exactly according to this pattern that it searches the Internet, be it via search engine or directly on Amazon.

For this reason, at least I strongly assume, the 61-page-thin "Barack Obama Book" made it into the 100 best-selling books on last week, despite the ex-president's 751-page memoir, which is also brand new have a much more tempting title "A Promised Land" (here is an excerpt).

But the story that »Slate« discovered is not only about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but above all about AI, i.e. so-called artificial intelligence.

Reporter Dan Kois writes, “I don't think the Barack Obama Book was written by a human being.

But I think the AI ​​that spat it out wrote some very reasonable things about Obama. "

He has no real proof, the alleged publisher or author of the book, University Press, has not responded.

But Kois entered text excerpts in GLTR, which stands for Giant Language Model Test Room, developed by two German researchers in the USA, among others.

In simple terms, GLTR shows which words in a sentence or paragraph would be typical for an AI and which would be atypical.

The result of Kois' test spoke quite clearly in favor of an AI book about Obama.

Even Kois himself found passages that were so soulless or simply written in a strange way that he did not believe in a human author.

Icon: enlarge

Computer art: The artist Anna Ridler had an AI painted tulips


Which brings me to the very core of this newsletter: Would you recognize an AI's work of art if you saw it?

A text written by a computer?

A portrait photo of a person who doesn't exist?

A deepfake video of a scene that never happened?

Practice it!

Firstly, you will learn how advanced the technology is, and secondly, you will train yourself a media competence that is becoming increasingly important.

Third, the puzzles and tests are pretty fun.

Here are my link tips:

  • In this article, the New York Times demonstrates how to identify computer-generated portrait photos.

  • In this exercise developed by Microsoft, among others, you will learn to recognize deepfakes.

  • In this quiz, »BuzzFeed« asks which of each three headings were texted by an AI.

  • And here ABC News lets you guess which works of art are man-made and which come from software.

Strange digital world: laptop stand from the hardware store

Icon: enlarge Photo: Patrick Beuth

I finally needed a real laptop stand in the home office, so far the computer was either on an Assange biography or a fairy tale book.

But in the online trade, the fancy versions were too expensive for me and the cheap ones too ugly.

So I looked for DIY instructions on YouTube and found what I was looking for at Felix Bahlinger, who had a funny idea in 2013: five metal pipes with threads and six angles make for an almost steampunk laptop stand, total price around 15 euros.

I have now recreated it.

But I think it can be done even better with color or decorations.

If you have a creative suggestion, write to me at - I'm curious.

External links: three tips from other media

  • “The state and its hackers” (four minutes to read)

    Where high-performance computers try to crack passwords in the basement: Jannis Brühl from the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” visited the Central Office for Information Technology in the Security Sector, Zitis for short.

  • »Denmark helps NSA spy on Danes« (six minutes to read)

    Similar to the German Federal Intelligence Service, Denmark's foreign intelligence service also cooperates with the NSA.

    And there, too, things apparently happened that were at least legally questionable, as Kai Biermann writes in Die Zeit.

  • »DeepMind's Journey from Games to Fundamental Science« (Podcast, English, 45 minutes)

    Conversation with a genius: Azeem Azhar interviews Demis Hassabis, CEO and co-founder of DeepMind, the laboratory that is now part of Google and researches artificial intelligence.

    Also easy to understand for beginners.

Get through the week well.

Your Patrick Beuth

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2020-11-23

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