Berkeley Engineering: UC Berkeley professor influences Facebook’s efforts to combat deepfakes . “Hany Farid, a Berkeley professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, was one of the researchers Facebook approached last year. The company ultimately invested $7.5 million with Berkeley, Cornell University and the University of Maryland to develop technology to spot the deepfakes. In a brief interview, Farid, who has a joint appointment at the School of Information, said manipulated videos, which often portray politicians and celebrities saying or doing things they didn’t do, pose a serious threat to society.”
Berkeley Library News: Rock ‘n’ roll, clowns, and Roberta Flack: An inside look at a massive new collection of music photography at The Bancroft Library. “Looking through the photographs is like flipping through stacks of vinyl at Amoeba Music, a satisfying exercise in nostalgia. Scanning through the folders, you’ll see Judy Collins, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, and so many in between… The photographs, 60,000 in all, make up the Howard Brainen photo archive. A recent gift to Bancroft, the archive is a time machine into a moment in music history, offering a glimpse into the local scene and the larger-than-life figures who came through the Bay Area.” It’s worth reading the article just to see the pictures included with it.
CNET: Adobe AI can spot facial manipulations in Photoshop. “In a world filled with manipulated photos, deepfakes and even totally fake human faces, Adobe says it’s working on an artificial intelligence tool to spot fake images. Citing ‘the ethical implications’ of Photoshop, Adobe partnered with researchers from the University of California at Berkeley to work on the issue.”
Berkeley News: New online strategy game advances the science of nuclear security. “Love military strategy games like Risk and Diplomacy? Try SIGNAL, a new online game that lets you satisfy your appetite for virtual global domination while simultaneously helping researchers understand the risks of real-world nuclear conflict.”
University of California: UC Berkeley students investigate war crimes using social media. “A ‘super-experimental’ lab launched at the University of California, Berkeley in 2016 to teach students to mine social media for potential human rights violations and war crimes today is producing a new generation of human rights investigators — and they’re being scooped up by employers including Amnesty International, The New York Times, the BBC and the International Criminal Court.”
Berkeley Library: Just use it: Change in UC Berkeley Library permissions policy lowers barriers for researchers. “Driven in part by a desire to track the use of their collections, for decades, many museums, archives, and libraries — including the UC Berkeley Library — have required researchers get their approval and, sometimes, pay for permission to include excerpts or images in their scholarship. With the aim of fostering a more researcher-friendly environment, a progressive new policy across all of UC Berkeley’s libraries does away with these hurdles, making it easier for scholars to use a trove of Library materials in their publications.”
Berkeley: CalLands maps cropland ownership across California. “To build the CalLands’ interactive website, Luke Macaulay and Van Butsic — both assistant UC Cooperative Extension specialists based in UC Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management — combined satellite-generated maps of land cover created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture with publicly available land ownership records. Next, they anonymized ownership identity and pulled data from all 58 California counties to include parcels of land larger than five acres. The result is a database that features 543,495 privately-owned properties across the state, creating a data-rich map of crops and ownership boundary lines in every county.”