Invisible, targeted infrared light can fool facial recognition software into thinking anyone is anyone else

mostlysignssomeportents:

A group of Chinese computer scientists from academia and industry have published a paper documenting a tool for fooling facial recognition software by shining hat-brim-mounted infrared LEDs on the user’s face, projecting CCTV-visible, human-eye-invisible shapes designed to fool the face recognition software.

The tactic lets the attacker specify which face the categorizer should “see” – the researchers were able to trick the software into recognizing arbitrary faces as belonging to the musician Moby, the Korean politician Hoi-Chang and others.

Their experiment draws on the body of work on adversarial examples: blind spots in machine-learning models that can be systematically discovered and exploited to confuse these classifiers.

The gadget used in their attack is not readily distinguishable from a regular ball-cap, and the attack only needs a single photo of the person to be impersonated in order to set up the correct light patterns. It worked with a 70% success rate used in a “white-box” attack (where the classifier is well understood), and they believe they could migrate this to a “black-box” attack (where the classifier’s workings are a secret) using a technique called “Particle Swarm Optimization.”

https://boingboing.net/2018/03/26/the-threaten-from-infrared.html

“The establishment of the Chancery of Westminster in the 1430’s set standard spellings for official state documents. In…

allthingslinguistic:

“The establishment of the Chancery of Westminster in the 1430’s set standard spellings for official state documents. In particular, the use of ‘I’ in preference to ‘ich’ and a variety of other usages of the first person pronoun. The spelling of other words such as ‘land’ (the ‘lond’ of Chaucer) also became standardized in the modern form, alongside words like 'such,’ 'right,’ 'not,’ 'but,’ 'these,’ 'shall,’ 'should,’ and 'could’. The influence of Chancery Standard was keenly felt in the quest to develop Standard English. The East Midlands dialect had gained cultural dominance over the other dialects and flowed in through the political, commercial and cultural 'triangle’ that joined London, Oxford and Cambridge. However, the advent of the printing press and mass publication necessitated further developments in the standardization process. The Chancery clerks had adopted the East Midland variants, and this naturally rubbed off on the London print houses. Some choices made by printers seem to have been quite arbitrary, however. For example, the adoption of the Northern dialect form 'they,’ 'their’ and 'them’ for plural and possessive pronouns, when the more common Southern dialect favoured 'hi,’ 'hir’ and 'hem’ (although this may have been simply to create a clear distinction with singular pronouns such as 'he,’ 'her’ and 'him’). …Early proof readers must have had a near-impossible task, as books often contained multiple variations of spellings of the same word. Particular confusion centred on the use of double vowels and consonants; for example, 'booke’ and 'boke’ and 'fellow,’ 'felow’ and 'felowe’. …Punctuation was another area in which usage and forms gradually became more standardized through printed language. Full stops became common at the end of sentences, and the convention of using capital letters for proper nouns and at the beginning of sentences became commonplace.”

— “The Story of English: How an Obscure
Dialect Became the World’s Most-Spoken Language” (via mostly-history)

“The establishment of the Chancery of Westminster in the 1430’s set standard spellings for official state documents. In…

allthingslinguistic:

“The establishment of the Chancery of Westminster in the 1430’s set standard spellings for official state documents. In particular, the use of ‘I’ in preference to ‘ich’ and a variety of other usages of the first person pronoun. The spelling of other words such as ‘land’ (the 'lond’ of Chaucer) also became standardized in the modern form, alongside words like 'such,’ 'right,’ 'not,’ 'but,’ 'these,’ 'shall,’ 'should,’ and 'could’. The influence of Chancery Standard was keenly felt in the quest to develop Standard English. The East Midlands dialect had gained cultural dominance over the other dialects and flowed in through the political, commercial and cultural 'triangle’ that joined London, Oxford and Cambridge. However, the advent of the printing press and mass publication necessitated further developments in the standardization process. The Chancery clerks had adopted the East Midland variants, and this naturally rubbed off on the London print houses. Some choices made by printers seem to have been quite arbitrary, however. For example, the adoption of the Northern dialect form 'they,’ 'their’ and 'them’ for plural and possessive pronouns, when the more common Southern dialect favoured 'hi,’ 'hir’ and 'hem’ (although this may have been simply to create a clear distinction with singular pronouns such as 'he,’ 'her’ and 'him’). …Early proof readers must have had a near-impossible task, as books often contained multiple variations of spellings of the same word. Particular confusion centred on the use of double vowels and consonants; for example, 'booke’ and 'boke’ and 'fellow,’ 'felow’ and 'felowe’. …Punctuation was another area in which usage and forms gradually became more standardized through printed language. Full stops became common at the end of sentences, and the convention of using capital letters for proper nouns and at the beginning of sentences became commonplace.”

— “The Story of English: How an Obscure
Dialect Became the World’s Most-Spoken Language” (via mostly-history)

African tools push back the origins of human technological innovation

Not all researchers supported the view that modernity arose outside of Africa. Writing at the turn of the millennium, archaeologists Sally McBrearty and Allison Brooks complained that this view was Eurocentric and brought about by a profound under-appreciation of the depth and complexity of the African archaeological record. They argued that components of the “human revolution” were to be found in the African Middle Stone Age some 280,000-50,000 years ago. Now, two decades later, Brooks and her colleagues have presented well-dated evidence from the Olorgesailie Basin in Kenya that places the evolution of some of these behaviours much further back in time. They highlight technological change at around 300,000 years ago that likely occurred in response to the effects of long-term, global environmental and climatic change.

via https://phys.org/news/2018–03-african-tools-human-technological.html

“I’ve often struggled to pinpoint the difference between a tool and a machine; it’s not simply a question of scale or…

deleuzenotes:

“I’ve often struggled to pinpoint the difference between a tool and a machine; it’s not simply a question of scale or complexity. Still, the tool and the machine constitute two different branches in the philosophy of technology. For instance Heidegger wrote about tools but had much less to say about machines. Deleuze, for his part, was obsessed with machines, leaving tools by the wayside. Overall, ergodic machines are interesting from a philosophical point of view, given how philosophy tends to privilege presence and being. Categories like energy, heat, power, change, motion, evolution, or process tend to get second billing in philosophy, if they’re addressed at all. To promote them to primary billing, as Foucault did, or Whitehead, or Nietzsche, is something of a radical gesture.”

Anti-Computer | Alexander R. Galloway (via notational)