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Science

College students use AI to decode ancient scroll burned in Mount Vesuvius

“Some of these texts could completely rewrite the history of key periods of the ancient world."

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 C.E., it buried entire cities in volcanic materials. While Pompeii is the most famous site affected by the natural disaster, the nearby villa of Herculaneum was also laid to waste—including over 800 precious scrolls found inside Herculaneum’s library, which were carbonized by the heat, making them impossible to open and recover their contents.

Which brings us to the Vesuvius challenge, started by computer scientist Brent Seales and entrepreneurs Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross in March 2023. The contest would award $1 million in prizes to whoever could use machine learning to successfully read from the scrolls without damaging them.

On February 5, the prize-winning team was announced.
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Teddy Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Joe Biden and Barack Obama all having a laugh.

Like it or not, we’ve recently entered the age of artificial intelligence, and although that may be scary for some, one guy in Florida thinks it’s a great way to make people laugh. Cam Harless, the host of The Mad Ones podcast, used AI to create portraits of every U.S. president looking “cool” with a mullet hairstyle, and the results are hilarious.

The mullet is a notorious hairdo known as the "business in the front, party in the back" look. It's believed that the term "mullet" was coined by the rap-punk-funk group Beastie Boys in 1994.

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Keanu Reeves deepfakes are impressively real.

Even if they're not sold on him as an actor, people in general love Keanu Reeves as a person. With his down-to-earth vibe and humble acts of kindness, the Canadian star is just a genuinely good guy. Appreciating Keanu Reeves is like an inviolable law of the universe or something.

So it's understandable that people would be eager to follow Reeves on social media—except there's one problem. He has made it clear he doesn't use it.

Some people who come across an "Unreal Keanu" video on TikTok, however, are being duped into thinking he does, despite multiple disclaimers—including the account name—that it's not really his account.

The @unreal_keanu account has more than 8 million followers, some of whom appear to think they're following the actual actor. Whoever owns the account shares fun little video creations with "Keanu Reeves" in various relatable scenarios. He never speaks, so there's no voice to compare to the real deal, but his face and body are a darn good dupe.

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Science

Dyslexic plumber gets a life-changing boost after his friend built an app that texts for him

It uses AI to edit his work emails into "polite, professional-sounding British English."

via Pixabay

An artist's depiction of artificial intelligence.

There is a lot of mistrust surrounding the implementation of artificial intelligence these days and some of it is justified. There's reason to worry that deep-fake technology will begin to seriously blur the line between fantasy and reality, and people in a wide range of industries are concerned AI could eliminate their jobs.

Artists and writers are also bothered that AI works on reappropriating existing content for which the original creators will never receive compensation.

The World Economic Forum recently announced that AI and automation are causing a huge shake-up in the world labor market. The WEF estimates that the new technology will supplant about 85 million jobs by 2025. However, the news isn’t all bad. It also said that its analysis anticipates the “future tech-driven economy will create 97 million new jobs.”

The topic of AI is complex, but we can all agree that a new story from England shows how AI can certainly be used for the betterment of humanity. It was first covered by Tom Warren of BuzzFeed News.

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