Content Curation

The latest example of AI’s evolving role, the Pegasus spyware, and what a ‘retweet’ and a ‘quote tweet’ are


Information remains a powerful weapon, even more, in the circumstances around the world these days.


AP | Portugal Tech Language Solutions' content curation not only aims to disseminate knowledge, by embracing this important role, we also take the selection of the best and most valid content in multiple areas very seriously.


The latest example of AI’s evolving and expanding role 


In May, as part of an otherwise unremarkable corporate strategy meeting, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida made an interesting announcement. The company’s artificial intelligence research division, Sony AI, would be collaborating with PlayStation developers to create intelligent computer-controlled characters. 

“By leveraging reinforcement learning,” he wrote, “we are developing game AI agents that can be a player’s in-game opponent or collaboration partner.” Reinforcement learning is an area of machine learning in which an AI effectively teaches itself how to act through trial and error. In short, these characters will mimic human players. To some extent, they will think. This is just the latest example of AI’s evolving and expanding role in video game development.





I have discovered what a ‘retweet’ and a ‘quote tweet’ is


A leading opposition MP from Fiji is delighting new social media followers with his wide-eyed discovery of Twitter, even as the country is experiencing heightened political tensions.

Pio Tikoduadua, who is the president of the National Federation Party, announced on Monday that while his Twitter account had been created a while ago, it had been run by his staff until now.

Tikoduadua’s tweets, which include questions to followers about how notifications work on Twitter, as well as courteous replies to criticism, have offered respite from the political tension, as well as considerable amusement.

“This is my first week of actively using it,” he wrote. “I have discovered what a ‘retweet’ and a ‘quote tweet’ is. I hope to engage with you more! God Bless Fiji.”

Since then, Tikoduadua has been documenting his parliamentary engagements, as well as his faltering attempts to use the platform, bringing joy to followers, despite the political ructions that have come to the fore in Fiji this week.


The malicious utility called Pegasus


A few days ago, it became known that the malicious utility called Pegasus, created by the Israeli company NSO Group for law enforcement agencies and intelligence services, is widely used to spy on residents of different countries secretly.

According to information security specialists, at least 50 thousand devices have been infected around the world. This number does not seem remarkably high, but Pegasus is very dangerous - it allows you to take full control of the smartphone, secretly read correspondence, wiretap phone conversations, view photos and videos.

Information security experts believe that this spyware is used for targeted surveillance. It infects not random devices but only smartphones belonging to specific people whose activities are of interest to those who control this software. Each Pegasus license costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, so surveillance is mainly carried out on those with valuable information (for example, politicians, business leaders or journalists of major publications).


Although the Pegasus case has become very popular in the news recently, hundreds of other spy apps continue to run silently and spy on their victims.


Although the Pegasus case has become very popular in the news recently, hundreds of other spy apps continue to run silently and spy on their victims. Many programs operate in a gray area posing as parental control or other legitimate applications. Be careful, practice good digital hygiene, and stay safe.

The Pegasus spyware has been in the news over the last week, with many people fearing the NSO Group-made malware could be hiding on their phones. Pegasus is even more scary because it is invisible and difficult to detect and remove. But it might be becoming a bit easier to detect the spyware, because iVerify has added the capability to detect Pegasus to its smartphone app.


Instagram makes under-16s' accounts private


Instagram has made new under-16s' accounts private by default so only approved followers can see posts and "like" or comment.

Tests showed only one in five opted for a public account when the private setting was the default, it said.

And existing account holders would be sent a notification "highlighting the benefits" of switching to private.

But Instagram also said it was pushing ahead with new apps for under-13s, despite a backlash from some groups.

"The reality is that they are already online and, with no foolproof way to stop people from misrepresenting their age, we want to build experiences designed specifically for them, managed by parents and guardians," parent company Facebook said.

Although it was also developing artificial-intelligence systems to find and remove under-age accounts.



Can better tech make video meetings less excruciating?


On most video conference calls, only one person gets to speak at a time. It's a deliberate, designed feature of platforms such as Zoom.

But as Professor Susan D Blum's linguistic anthropology class found out, it makes having a natural conversation practically impossible.

The problem is that Zoom, and other tools like it, only amplify one speaker's voice at a time - a deliberate feature of these platforms.

Remote working will likely remain in place for some time, at least to some extent. So, will the technology that facilitates working from home improve?

"We always read transcripts out loud," she says, referring to her students at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. The class exercise involves reading different parts of a dialogue together, exactly as they were spoken. That means overlapping at the end of some sentences, just like in casual conversation.

A spokeswoman for Zoom says the platform uses various innovations to help meetings flow well, including noise suppression technology that removes background sounds, such as typing and paper rustling, or even dogs barking, to improve the audio.


Working 9-to-5 is an antiquated relic from the past


The standard 9-to-5 workweek is now up for change.  The pandemic-induced, remote-work, year-and-a-half experiment has proven to be an undisputed success. Corporations, such as Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google, saw record profits. The stock market has hit all-time highs. Studies show that employees worked longer hours way into the night and during weekends. Their productivity was—without question—phenomenal.

Since remote work has shown that it is beneficial for both workers and management, it makes sense to see what other standardly accepted practices need to be adjusted. Why is it necessary to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., five days a week, in a sterile cubicle farm with harsh fluorescent lights, little access to window views, sitting in uncomfortable chairs, poor ventilation and its either too hot or cold?





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