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Meta to fight AI-generated fake news with ‘invisible watermarks’

Meta will make use of a deep-learning model to apply watermarks to images generated with its AI tool, which would be invisible to the human eye.

Social media giant Meta (formerly Facebook) will include an invisible watermark in all images it creates using artificial intelligence (AI) as it steps up measures to prevent misuse of the technology.

In a Dec. 6 report detailing updates for Meta AI — Meta’s virtual assistant — the company revealed it will soon add invisible watermarking to all AI-generated images created with the "imagine with Meta AI experience." Like numerous other AI chatbots, Meta AI generates images and content based on user prompts. However, Meta aims to prevent bad actors from viewing the service as another tool for duping the public.

Like numerous other AI image generators, Meta AI generates images and content based on user prompts. The latest watermark feature would make it more difficult for a creator to remove the watermark.  

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Co-creator of Facebook’s Diem Details Plans for Making Bitcoin (BTC) a Global Payment Network

Co-creator of Facebook’s Diem Details Plans for Making Bitcoin (BTC) a Global Payment Network

The co-creator of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project Diem is now planning to lead the creation of a global payments network using Bitcoin (BTC). In a new interview on CNBC Squawk Box, David Marcus, who is the co-founder and CEO at Lightspark, says that his Bitcoin-based payments startup building on the Lighting Network is attempting to create […]

The post Co-creator of Facebook’s Diem Details Plans for Making Bitcoin (BTC) a Global Payment Network appeared first on The Daily Hodl.

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Meta’s assault on privacy should serve as a warning against AI

Facebook was the worst thing to happen to user privacy over the last two decades. Artificial intelligence could be the worst thing to happen in the days ahead.

In an increasingly AI-driven world, blockchain could play a critical role in preventing the sins committed by apps like Facebook from becoming widespread and normalized.

Artificial intelligence platforms such as ChatGPT and Google’s Bard have entered the mainstream and have already been accused of inflaming the political divide with their biases. As foretold in popular films such as The Terminator, The Matrix and most recently, Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One, it’s already become evident that AI is a wild animal we’ll likely struggle to tame.

From democracy-killing disinformation campaigns and killer drones to the total destruction of individual privacy, AI can potentially transform the global economy and likely civilization itself. In May 2023, global tech leaders penned an open letter that made headlines, warning that the dangers of AI technology may be on par with nuclear weapons.

Related: Girlfriends, murdered kids, assassin androids — Is AI cursed?

One of the most significant fears of AI is the lack of transparency surrounding its training and programming, particularly in deep learning models that can be difficult to expropriate. Because sensitive data is used to train AI models, they can be manipulable if the data becomes compromised.

In the years ahead, blockchain will be widely utilized alongside AI to enhance the transparency, accountability and audibility concerning its decision-making process.

For instance, when training an AI model using data stored on a blockchain, the data’s provenance and integrity can be ensured, preventing unauthorized modifications. Stakeholders can track and verify the decision-making process by recording the model’s training parameters, updates and validation results on the blockchain.

With this use case, blockchain will play a leading role in preventing the unintentional misuse of AI. But what about the intentional? That’s a much more dangerous scenario, which, unfortunately, we’ll likely face in the coming years.

Even without AI, centralized Big Tech has historically aided and abetted behavior that profits by manipulating both individuals and democratic values to the highest bidder, as made famous in Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal. In 2014, the “Thisisyourdigitallife” app offered to pay users for personality tests, which required permission to access their Facebook profiles and those of their friends. Essentially, Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica to spy on users without permission.

The result? Two historic mass-targeted psychological public relations campaigns that had a relatively strong influence on both the outcomes of the United States presidential election and the United Kingdom’s European Union membership referendum in 2016. Has Meta (previously Facebook) learned from its mistakes? It doesn’t look like it.

In July, Meta unveiled its latest app, Threads. Touted as a rival to Elon Musk’s Twitter, it harvests the usual data Facebook and Instagram collect. But — similar to TikTok — when Threads users signed up, they unwittingly gave Meta access to GPS location, camera, photos, IP information, device type and device signals. It’s a standard practice of Web2 to justify such practices, touting that “users agreed to the terms and conditions.” In reality, it would take an average of 76 working days to read every privacy policy for each app used by a standard internet user. The point? Meta now has access to almost everything on the phones of over 150 million users.

In comes AI. If the after-effects of the Cambridge Analytica scandal warranted concerns, can we even begin to comprehend the impacts of a marriage between this invasive surveillance and the godlike intelligence of AI?

The unsurprising remedy here is blockchain, but the solution isn’t as straightforward.

Related: The absurd AI mania is coming to an end

One of the main dangers of AI rests in the data it can collect and then weaponize. Regarding social media, blockchain technology can potentially enhance data privacy and control, which could help mitigate Big Tech’s data harvesting practices. However, it’s unlikely to “stop” Big Tech from taking sensitive data.

To truly safeguard against the intentional dangers of AI and ward off future Cambridge Analytica-like scenarios, decentralized, preferably blockchain-based, social media platforms are required. By design, they reduce the concentration of user data in one central entity, minimizing the potential for mass surveillance and AI disinformation campaigns.

Put simply, through blockchain technology, we already have the tools needed to safeguard our independence from AI at both the individual and national levels.

Shortly after signing the open letter to governments on the dangers of AI in May, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman published a blog post proposing several strategies for responsible management of powerful AI systems. They involved collaboration among the major AI developers, greater technical study of large language models and establishing a global organization for AI safety.

While these measures make a good start, they fail to address the systems that make us vulnerable to AI — namely, the centralized Web2 entities such as Meta. To truly safeguard against AI, more development is urgently required toward the rollout of blockchain-based technologies, namely in cybersecurity, and for a genuinely competitive ecosystem of decentralized social media apps.

Callum Kennard is the content manager at Storm Partners, a Web3 solutions provider based in Switzerland. He’s a graduate of the University of Brighton in England.

This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

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Thailand threatens Facebook over crypto scams and other fraudulent ads

Thailand’s digital minister said he would seek a court order to shut Facebook in the country unless it takes action on the alleged scams.

Thailand is planning to seek a court-issued shutdown order against Facebook unless it takes steps to deal with alleged investment and crypto scam ads on its platform.

On Aug. 21, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) stated over 200,000 people had been duped by Facebook ads that touted crypto scams, investing in fake businesses and faked government agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Popular tactics used by the scammers included crypto investment and trading scams, MDES claimed. Some ads also allegedly used images of celebrities and well-known financial figures along with promises of up to 30% daily returns to lure people into the schemes.

MDES Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn said the ministry had been in talks with and sent a letter to the Meta-owned platform over the issue but claimed it's failing to screen advertisers.

Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn at an Aug. 21 press conference regarding the ministry’s planned court action against Facebook. Source: MDES

The ministry is currently gathering evidence of the scam ads which it said numbered over 5,300 — at the end of the month, it’s ready to ask a court to shut down Facebook within seven days.

Related: Hong Kong’s crypto stance: Execs weigh in on Web3 in the region

The ministry warned on how such scams typically operate saying consumers should be wary of promises of high and guaranteed returns along with ads using images of well-known figures.

Investments that pressure or give incentives to quickly invest with limited offers should also be approached with caution as well as businesses or platforms with no verifiable information.

Cointelegraph contacted Meta but did not immediately receive a response.

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Meta to launch AI chatbots with personalities to retain users: Report

As the Big Tech giant Meta focuses on retaining its users it plans to launch a number of AI-powered chatbots with different personalities and functions.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, plans to release artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots with human-like personalities as it focuses on user retention efforts, according to a report from the Financial Times. 

On Aug. 1 the FT reported that people close to the matter said prototypes of the chatbots have been underway with the final products being able to hold discussions with users at a human level.

The range of chatbots will be able to display different personalities and are expected to be released as early as next month, according to the report.

Sources close to the matter say that Meta staffers have dubbed the chatbots as “personas” and that these bots take the form of different characters. Another person with knowledge of the plans said the company has already explored one bot that speaks like the former United States president Abraham Lincoln and another for travel advice that speaks like a surfer.

According to the sources from the FT, the purpose of the chatbots will be both to offer recommendations and new search functionality, along with being a “fun product for people to play with.”

Cointelegraph has contacted Meta for further comment on the matter and has received no response at the time of writing. 

Related: Meta and Microsoft launch open-source AI model Llama 2

The FT source said that the company may automate checks on the chatbots’ outputs to ensure accuracy and avoid rule-breaking speech. 

This development comes as Meta has allocated major efforts toward user retention. During its 2023 second-quarter earnings call on July 26, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about the company’s latest product and Twitter rival, Threads.

He said that he is “seeing more people coming back daily than I’d expected.” It was in this call Zuckerberg said Meta was primarily focused on Threads user retention. The earnings call also revealed another $3.7 billion invested into metaverse development.

The introduction of accessible chatbots also means an opportunity to collect large amounts of user data. OpenAI, the maker of the viral AI chatbot ChatGPT, has been hit with a class-action lawsuit over alleged data theft via its own bots. 

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EU watchdog targets crypto ads on Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, Twitter

The largest European consumer rights group alleges crypto marketers on popular social networks use misleading promotion, exposing consumers to serious harm.

On June 8, the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) — an umbrella group for 46 independent consumer organizations from 32 countries — published a report titled: “Hype or harm? The Great Social Media Crypto Con.“ In the 20-page document, the group states that consumers are not fully aware of the risks associated with crypto.

The report draws examples from Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and TikTok, calling them “key players” in crypto advertising. In the case of Facebook, it notes that crypto advertisements skirt rules, forbidding the promotion of non-licensed financial platforms. The announcement stated:

"TikTok, Instagram, Twitter & YouTube are responsible for allowing misleading advertisements of crypto to multiply through ads & influencers. This is an unfair commercial practice, exposing consumers to serious harm (loss of significant amounts of money)."

With Twitter, the report nods at Elon Musk’s move to instate Doge, a mascot for Dogecoin, despite the platforms’ own prohibition of any crypto ad. BEUC also mentions so-called “finfluencers” as “an important source of information” for a younger audience.

Related: EU officials want all AI-generated content to be labeled

Despite the single national regulators' efforts to combat misleading promotion, the problem still lacks a complex approach. According to the report, there is already a legal base to take EU-level measures — an Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD), and there is a body to lead the enforcement — an EU Consumer Protection Cooperation Network (CPC Network):

“The problem continues to be addressed at national level mainly while it would require a common approach by the CPC Network acting collectively on the basis of the UCPD and targeting the platforms used for the promotion of crypto assets and related services.”

The report calls for the CPC-Network to request that social media platforms implement stricter conditions in their advertising policies, include in their Terms of Use a prohibition for influencers to promote crypto products and submit reports to the European Commission about the effectiveness of the measures put in place. 

Meanwhile, in France, the Senate approved an amendment allowing registered crypto companies to hire social media influencers for advertising and promotional purposes.

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Instagram to reportedly launch text-based app to rival Twitter

The upcoming app will maintain a Twitter-like centralized feed, allowing users to view content such as text, images and videos shared by followers and recommended accounts.

In a secret meeting with select creators, Instagram’s parent company, Meta, reportedly revealed its plan to launch a text-based conversation app. The leaked screenshots of the alleged upcoming app show a user interface similar to Twitter.

Instagram’s plan to rival Twitter was uncovered by Lia Haberman, an influencer marketing and social media marketing teacher at the University of California, Los Angeles Extension. According to Haberman, although the text-based app is built on top of Instagram, it is decentralized and will function as a separate app. The app will also be compatible with other decentralized social media apps like Mastodon, allowing users to reach more audiences.

The upcoming app will maintain a Twitter-like centralized feed, allowing users to view content such as text, images and videos shared by followers and recommended accounts. Each text-based post will be limited to a word count of 500 characters.

Screenshots of Instagram’s new text-based app. Source: Twitter

While the app rivaling Twitter will function independently of Instagram, creator controls and account safety features, such as blocked accounts and keywords, will carry over to the new app.

Bloomberg reporter Sarah Frier reportedly confirmed the development of Instagram’s Twitter-like app from insiders. Meta first confirmed plans to develop a standalone decentralized social network in March when it said, “We’re exploring a standalone decentralized social network for sharing text updates. We believe there’s an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests.”

Related: Meta pulling the plug on NFTs across Instagram and Facebook

With a vision to impart further decentralization in the internet, TBD — a division of Jack Dorsey’s fintech company Block — announced a Web5 decentralized web platform that aims to introduce “decentralized identity and data storage” to applications.

To facilitate this decentralized web experience, TBD’s web5 platform will introduce several key components and employ the use of decentralized identifiers.

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Chatgpt ‘Is the New Crypto,’ Meta Says Malware Actors Exploit AI Craze

Chatgpt ‘Is the New Crypto,’ Meta Says Malware Actors Exploit AI CrazeA growing number of malware creators are now taking advantage of the significant interest in Chatgpt to lure victims, Facebook owner Meta has noticed. According to its head of information security, the AI-based chatbot is “the new crypto” for bad actors and the social media giant is preparing for various abuses. Malware Inspired by Chatgpt […]

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Meta SEC filing reveals debt securities offering plans

The Facebook parent company filed a prospectus that says it may offer and sell debt securities from time to time.

Tech giant Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatApp, submitted a new filing to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for new debt shelf offerings. 

The big tech company filed the prospectus on May 1 in which it said that it “may, from time to time, offer and sell debt securities in one or more series.” The statement continued, saying each time a debt security is sold, it will issue a new “prospectus supplement” containing the “specific terms of the debt securities offered.”

Debt shelf offerings, or debt securities, are a provision that grants the issuer (i.e., Meta) the ability to register a new issue of securities without the need to sell the entire issue at once.

Additionally, the filing stated that debt securities may be offered and sold to or via “underwriters, brokers, dealers, or agents as designated from time to time, directly to one or more other purchasers, or through a combination of such methods."

The filing did not disclose the exact amount of debt securities being offered.

Related: Google Ads data: $4M stolen through crypto phishing URLs

Shelf offerings have the potential to be helpful to investors, by occasionally giving insights into a company’s game plan for raising capital. On the other hand, because new shares could also potentially negatively impact the price of current shares.

On Twitter, the community responded by trying to connect the dots to Meta’s recent spending on AI development and buybacks as a potential reason for the new alternative funding sources. 

This filing also comes shortly after Meta released its latest earnings report in which it revealed a nearly $4 billion loss from its metaverse unit. This loss follows a deficit of $14 billion over the last year with Zuckerberg anticipating more to come in 2023. 

Nonetheless, sources close to the company recently shared that the company offers its metaverse developers salaries of anywhere from $500,000 to 1 million a year.

In August 2022, Meta raised $10 billion in its first-ever bond offering to fund share buybacks and business investments.

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Elon Musk threatens Microsoft with suit, claims AI trained on Twitter data

The Twitter chief alleged Microsoft scraped information from the platform to train its AI and sell the data to others.

Microsoft has been threatened with a suit from Tesla and Twitter chief Elon Musk who claimed the Big Tech firm “illegally” trained its artificial intelligence (AI) on Twitter data.

On April 19, Musk tweeted that it was “lawsuit time” in response to a post reporting that Microsoft would cease supporting Twitter on April 25 across its online social advertising tools, Smart Campaigns and Multi-platform.

The Twitter boss alleged Microsoft “trained illegally using Twitter data” implying the firm mined user tweets to help train its AI-powered applications.

Microsoft didn’t explain why it was winding down Twitter support although Twitter’s API fees skyrocketed from $0 to $42,000 a month and in some cases are priced upwards of $200,000 per month according to a March report from Wired.

Musk made further allegations that Microsoft is “demonetizing” Twitter data by removing advertisements and “then selling our data to others.”

Microsoft’s decision to ditch Twitter means its customers will lose access to their Twitter accounts through its tools in addition to being able to create, manage, view and schedule Tweets.

Microsoft has scrapped Twitter advertisements from its Multi-platform. Source: Microsoft

Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn remain available to Microsoft customers, its website states.

Related: Microsoft Azure Marketplace integrates on-ramp to blockchain data

Microsoft’s decision comes a few months after Twitter stopped providing free access to the Twitter API for versions 1.1 and 2.

Academics have been hit hard by the huge price swing. Over 17,500 academic papers have been based on Twitter data since 2020. Now they’ve been largely priced out.

Cointelegraph contacted Microsoft, who declined to comment on Musk’s claims and its decision to scrap Twitter ads support.

The software company is now reportedly developing its own AI chips to power ChatGPT to deal with the rising development costs for in-house and OpenAI projects.

Microsoft is the second largest company in the world by market cap behind Apple, with a $2.15 trillion valuation according to Google Finance.

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