A scientific way to better understand conspiracy theories

A scientific way to better understand conspiracy theories

This links to an interesting scientific article published in February 2022. The report provides a relevant and updated view on how to handle “conspiracy theories”.

“Findings show that the majority of studies lack a definition of conspiracy theories and fail to conceptually delineate conspiracy theories from other forms of deceptive content. We also found that while the field employs a variety of methodological approaches, most studies have focused on individual, “mainstream” social media platforms, “Western” countries, English-language communication, and single conspiracy theories.”

Conspiracy theories are “alternative explanations of historical or ongoing events claiming that people or groups with sinister intentions are engaged in conspirational plotting have permeated online communication, news media coverage, popular culture and political rhetoric”.

If you have encountered a believer of such theories you will know: A debate with people who believe such theories can be quite stressful – usually it is not a discussion but quickly turns into a war over who is right.

The scientific article explores the evolution of such topics in an online environment and provides an overview of the research on this topic, including recommendations towards future scientific analysis.

“For a long time, conspiracy theories were perceived as harmless phenomena that were “silly and without merit” (Keeley, 1999: 109) or only existed as “‘soft’ beliefs” (Sunstein and Vermeule, 2009: 220) that people quietly kept but rarely acted upon.”

But, especially during the COVID-19 years the world witnessed a rising influence of such views and a high visibility of groups supporting such theories on almost all social networks.

Profound changes in the media and platform ecosystem and particularly the advent of social media platforms, which have enabled faster communication about and dissemination of conspiratorial narratives, have changed this, however. Thus, the last few decades have seen a plethora of “high-profile conspiracy theorizing” (Uscinski, 2018: 233) around topics such as vaccination, climate change, the 9/11 attacks (Mahl et al., 2021), or, most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic (Zeng and Schäfer, 2021).
The article provides an overview of current research on the topic, research orientations and recommendations on how to conduct future research.

Source:
Conspiracy Theories in online environments: An interdisciplinary literature review and Agenda for future research

By Daniela Mahl, Mike S. Schäfer 3, and Jing Zeng

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Five Minute Blockchain Newsletter Nr. 57

Five Minute Blockchain Newsletter Nr. 57

Five Minute Blockchain – No. 57

13.06.2023

Estimated reading time: 3 mins 42 seconds



Quote of the Week

Science Fiction writer Ted Chiang in an interview with the Financial Times: What could be a better word to describe “artificial intelligence”?

Chiang’s main objection, a writerly one, is with the words we choose to describe all this. Anthropomorphic language such as “learn”, “understand”, “know” and personal pronouns such as “I” that AI engineers and journalists project on to chatbots such as ChatGPT create an illusion. This hasty shorthand pushes all of us, he says — even those intimately familiar with how these systems work — towards seeing sparks of sentience in AI tools, where there are none.

“There was an exchange on Twitter a while back where someone said, ‘What is artificial intelligence?’ And someone else said, ‘A poor choice of words in 1954’,” he says. “And, you know, they’re right. I think that if we had chosen a different phrase for it, back in the ’50s, we might have avoided a lot of the confusion that we’re having now.”

So if he had to invent a term, what would it be? His answer is instant: applied statistics.


TRUST


“Platforms have given up on 2020 lies”

Spreaders of misinformation get their accounts re-activated for several reasons. This looks problematic from the outside because wrong statements and views will be amplified again. In other news: Twitter is currently negotiating with Google Cloud services; in principle, they want to change a contract. This, though, will affect all kinds of services Twitter uses, for example, to avoid spam or other malicious content.

Platformer


CONTENT


Management versus users: The big fight over at Reddit

These days thousands of Reddit communities are not reachable. Their administrators, all volunteers, have taken the communities “private”.

The reason for the move is that Reddit plans to charge for the use of its API. The changes were announced in April and will become effective by June 30, 2023.

Before usage of the API was free, which led to the creation of some successful apps, providing access to Reddit users using mobile phones.

Those apps, one example being Apollo, will now stop working. Based on preliminary calculations, they would have to pay up to $20 million per year to Reddit. On the other side, the company says that the external apps are not helping to make any money (e.g., through advertising) and that they even cost money, based on the need to maintain the API and other parts of the software.

Though users’ protests are loud and clear, it is unlikely that the API charges will change. The main reason is that Reddit is preparing for an IPO.

Reuters (Explainer)

Coindesk

Wired


BLOCKCHAIN


Swift explores blockchain interoperability to remove friction from tokenised asset settlement

Swift, the global financial transactions network, aims to overcome the fragmentation of multiple blockchains, specifically for institutional investors.

“In capital markets, there’s a growing view that blockchain technology has the potential to generate efficiencies, reduce costs and open up opportunities for some parts of the industry. For example, private markets have historically been dependent on legacy systems and processes, which add costs and deter investment. By rationalising operations and settlement processes, blockchain could attract more investors into the private markets and ultimately increase liquidity.”

Swift Press Release


Venture company Andreessen Horowitz opens crypto-focused office in London

The move is partially understood as a reaction after the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Binance and Coinbase in the U.S. The expectation is that in London, where many financial institutions have headquarters, regulatory clarity for crypto assets might be achieved faster than in the U.S. This could lead to start-ups and even established companies in the crypto market moving to the U.K.

Quote from Axios: “If they can get regulatory clarity soon in the U.K., I think you’ll see U.S. companies move there and new companies start there,” says Chris Dixon, who founded and leads Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto practice (known as a16z crypto).

Axios


$43 million funding for Gensyn, a blockchain-based marketplace for compute power

London-based Gensyn, a blockchain-based marketplace protocol connecting compute power buyers and sellers, announced a $43 million Series A fundraising today.

A16z Crypto led the round alongside CoinFund, Canonical Crypto, Protocol Labs, Eden Block, Maven 11 and various angel investors.

The Block


Short Links

  • Robin Hood to delist Solana, Cardano & Polygon tokens after SEC describes them as securities (Web3isjustgoinggreat)
  • Former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton on Enforcement Actions: Crypto Should Be Treated With ‘Nuance’ (Bitcoin.com)
  • Binance Labs and FunPlus lead a $6.6 million investment in Fusionist – the platform has a community of 800,000 people. (The Block)
  • Tencent backs Aave’s decentralised social networking protocol, Lens (Ledger Insights)

Thank you for reading. If you have questions or suggestions, please get in touch with us via info@trublo.eu.


Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash


Five Minute Blockchain Newsletter Nr. 56

Five Minute Blockchain Newsletter Nr. 56

Five Minute Blockchain – No. 56

01.06.2023

Estimated reading time: 6 min 12 sec



Quote of the Week

“Mitigating the risk of extinction from A.I. should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks, such as pandemics and nuclear war.”

One-sentence statement signed by AI experts, published on the Center for AI Safety webpage. LINK


TRUST


AI experts warn about AI

This week’s big trust/content/tech topic is puzzling: Why would experts warn about the potential threats of AI? After all, this is the technology they are working on, in a race one against the other to make the technology better.

Essentially, founders like Sam Altman urge that AI platforms should be regulated. Another idea is that AI platforms should be required to have a license to operate from a government agency which has yet to be established.

The New York Times ($)

BBC

Ars Technica


CONTENT


Google rolls out AI/LLM powered “Search Generative Experience” to some users.

As announced during the recent Google Event I/O 2023, users who have signed up for the Search Labs program can now use “Search Generative Experience” (SGE) – a Google search supported by AI.

The key idea of SGE is to support users with “longer, multistep searches. These queries might not necessarily be answered by one website.

Below is an illustrative example of how this could work:

“Maybe you’re starting to map out a decision that you’d typically need to break down into smaller parts, like ‘Learning ukulele vs guitar.’ Search will provide an AI-powered snapshot so you can get help understanding what factors to consider.”

9to5 Google


BabyLM Challenge aims to create powerful AI with small language models

ETH Zurich and others are part of a particular challenge to perform research towards small but effective language models for AI. This is interesting because large current models can only operate with extensive cloud resources. Smaller models could be easier to handle while still providing lots of output.

The New York Times ($)

BabyLM Challenge (Github)


How Adobe adds “product” to AI

The big tech and software companies are racing to react to generative AI. Last week Adobe introduced its offering, called Firefly. The software enables the generation of images and is part of the well-established Photoshop. Firefly enables “generative fill”, providing many new options for visuals and pictures.

Benedict Evans on how this is different from other offerings.

“Adobe made a very successful shift to subscription SaaS in the last decade. Now it’s trying the same with generative AI, launching a de novo image generation product in Firefly and adding generative features to Photoshop.

The more generally important part of this, I think, is the move to add interface, control and product to the prompt: instead of typing 50 words into a box and waiting to see what you get, there are options and switches to give you some control.”

Adobe Firefly

Examples of how Firefly can be used (Thread on Twitter)


Was Google Bard trained on Gmail data? Yes, no, maybe?

Asked what data was used for training, Bard, the AI software from Google, recently replied to a user that Gmail data was used. This might have been a case of AI hallucination, where platforms make up answers. But even the potential use of (private) Gmail data set off a flurry of comments and articles, as many users and journalists would consider this a breach of privacy … and trust. Google wanted to ensure that Bard was not trained in using Gmail data and that the software was “hallucinating” in this particular answer. But the honest answer is a bit more complicated. A good write-up of the whole situation can be found under the link.

Skiff


Apple App Store generated $1.1 trillion of commerce in 2022

Apple released a study with data about the amount and type of revenue generated globally in the App Store. To this end, the company commissioned a research firm for a report, which can be downloaded for free.

The numbers are very, very high. $1.1 trillion (Europe, long ladder = one billion)

“Apple says its App Store ecosystem generated $1.1 trillion in developer billings and sales in 2022, 90% of which was commission-free — a metric it likes to tout to downplay the growing complaints about the high cost of doing business on a marketplace that generally takes a 15% to 30% commission on in-app purchases and paid downloads, with some exceptions.

This $1.1 trillion breaks down as $910 billion in total billings and sales from the sale of physical goods and services, $109 billion from in-app advertising and $104 billion for digital goods and services.”

In 2019 the full-year revenue was “only” $519 billion (Europe: Milliard), which means the figure doubled during the pandemic.

TechCrunch

Apple Press Release

Analysis Group (PDF)


An app for short attention spans

Web Roulette, a mobile web browser app for iOS built for the short attention spans of the TikTok era. With the debut version out now, you can add your favorite websites or choose from its suggestions, then swipe through the sites to see what’s new or shake the app for a surprise web page when boredom strikes.”

TechCrunch


Digital nomads are a new type of tourist but with some adverse effects on local communities

Cities from Canggu to Medellín are welcoming tech workers, but locals complain they’re being priced out.

Rest of World


BLOCKCHAIN


Fireside Chat: A Twitter competitor with (potentially) 45 million users

A key element and difference to Twitter are rewards for good entries:

“Created by Pi Network and dubbed Fireside Forum, the initially text-based social platform is enlisting a model where users can spend tokens rewarding and elevating posts they like or invest them in penalizing the posts they don’t. The company’s aim is the Pi Network model will help suppress content considered spam, misleading, toxic or all of the above.”

The Block


White Paper from World Economic Forum suggests ways to regulate Crypto

Here is a new approach to creating trust and some form of regulation for crypto assets:

“The World Economic Forum (WEF) recently published a white paper titled “Pathways to the Regulation of Crypto-Assets: A Global Approach,” advocating for a collaborative approach towards crypto regulation on a global scale. The white paper highlights the unique challenges and necessary considerations regarding the regulation of crypto-assets. Considering the borderless, open-source, decentralized nature of these digital currencies, their regulation requires a delicate balance between preventing harm, protecting users, and promoting innovation.”

World Economic Forum – Pathways to the Regulation of Cryptoe-Assets: White Paper


Tokenization gains popularity in finance, elsewhere

“Asset tokenization is increasingly being tested to improve costly capital markets operations like securities issuance. New York-based Fireblocks, which helps businesses create and manage digital assets, believes tokenization will enjoy exponential adoption over the next two years, as early-adopter businesses start to experience the very tangible benefits.”

Blockdata


SAP to start NFT platform

“SAP sees NFTs as an extension of digital twins where the twin is a promo item, a ticket for an event, or can be redeemed for physical goods.”

An initial trial has been done with a German retailer in the area of customer loyalty:

One of the companies that SAP has worked with to build the solution is Tchibo, the German coffee shop and online retailer with more than 1,000 stores and revenues of more than €3 billion.

… As a trial, Tchibo minted 1,000 NFTs on the Polygon blockchain for its Royalty Club. Some Golden NFTs were redeemable for small prizes.

Ledger Insight


Short Links


Thank you for reading. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact us via info@trublo.eu.

Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Five Minute Blockchain Newsletter Nr. 55

Five Minute Blockchain Newsletter Nr. 55

Five Minute Blockchain – No. 55

16.05.2023

Estimated reading time: 7 min 55 seconds



QUOTE OF THE WEEK:


TRUST


Transparency and safety: European Parliament preparing a set of rules for AI and surveillance technology

In the past, rulings and regulations for new technologies lagged, sometimes for years. But with Artificial Intelligence (AI), things seem to move faster. Last week two committees of the European Parliament adopted a draft of far-ranging rules for the use of AI and surveillance technology.

Once approved, these could become the “world’s first rules on Artificial Intelligence”. The rules include the right to complain about AI systems and provide a handle for system changes. Another element is the proposed ban on “biometric surveillance, emotion recognition, predictive policing AI systems.”

In a press release, European Parliament said the goal is to ensure a human-centric and ethical development of AI in Europe.

“MEPs aim to ensure that AI systems are overseen by people, are safe, transparent, traceable, non-discriminatory, and environmentally friendly.”

“AI systems with an unacceptable level of risk to people’s safety would be strictly prohibited, including systems that deploy subliminal or purposefully manipulative techniques, exploit people’s vulnerabilities or are used for social scoring (classifying people based on their social behaviour, socio-economic status, personal characteristics).”

Below is a list of technologies and practices which would be banned under the future EU rules:

  • “Real-time” remote biometric identification systems in publicly accessible spaces;
  • “Post” remote biometric identification systems, with the only exception of law enforcement for the prosecution of serious crimes and only after judicial authorization;
  • Biometric categorisation systems using sensitive characteristics (e.g. gender, race, ethnicity, citizenship status, religion, political orientation);
  • Predictive policing systems (based on profiling, location or past criminal behaviour);
  • Emotion recognition systems in law enforcement, border management, workplace, and educational institutions; and
  • Indiscriminate scraping of biometric data from social media or CCTV footage to create facial recognition databases (violating human rights and right to privacy).

European Parliament Press Release

TechCrunch


Google deploys pass keys

Google is extending the roll-out of pass keys to all Google accounts. This is part of a broader move away from hackable/often insecure “12345” passwords, with similar pushes towards more security expected from Apple, Microsoft and others.

From a Google Press Release:

Passkeys are a new way to sign in to apps and websites. They’re both easier to use and more secure than passwords, so users no longer need to rely on the names of pets, birthdays or the infamous “password123.” Instead, passkeys let users sign in to apps and sites the same way they unlock their devices: with a fingerprint, a face scan or a screen lock PIN. And, unlike passwords, passkeys are resistant to online attacks like phishing, making them more secure than things like SMS one-time codes.”

Google


Conference: Future of AI

On 29 June 2023, Horizon Europe research projects AI4media, AI4Trust, TITAN and vera.ai – in cooperation with the European Commission – host a one-day event focusing on various facets of Artificial Intelligence and the disinformation landscape. Full title: Meet the Future of AI: Countering Sophisticated & Advanced Disinformation.

Registration


CONTENT


Media company Vice files for bankruptcy

The media start-up was once valued at $5,7bn but had recently seen less revenue from digital advertising. The company websites will keep operating until a buyer is found.

“Investments from media titans like Disney and shrewd financial investors like TPG, which spent hundreds of millions of dollars, will be rendered worthless by the bankruptcy, cementing Vice’s status among the most notable bad bets in the media industry.”

The New York Times ($)


Employees at Microsoft like the new training videos as much as a Netflix series

Training videos are usually dull – you must watch them, but it is not easy. Someone or a team at Microsoft has found a better way: Training videos that are so interesting and well-done that people like to see them.

The series is called “Trust Code” and is now in its 7th season. The main character is played by an aspiring actor named Devin Badoo- a star, at least among many of the 220.000 Microsoft workers:

“For employees at most companies, sitting through training videos every year is about as welcome as a toothache. “Trust Code,” with its recurring characters and end-of-season cliffhangers, is redefining the genre. Since launching in 2017, it has inspired watch parties, viral memes and T-shirts with Mr. Badoo’s image.”

The Wall Street Journal


AI Update

Last week Google had its big annual developer conference and launched several significant updates for AI technology in the search platform.

Here are three links to get you a quick update here:

Google shows AI features coming to Search, including an AI-powered “snapshot” that summarizes search results with links to sites “corroborating” the information

Google makes Bard available in English in 180 countries and territories, promises AI image generation from Adobe and integration with services like Instacart

Google launched a dedicated Labs page where users can sign up to test Google’s early ideas for features and products, including Search and Workspace AI tools.


Nearly half of YouTube views in the US are on TVs

YouTube is growing. There is a new generation of content creators, resulting in a constant flow of exciting video content for almost any interest and niche. The audience has noticed YouTube is on its way as an even bigger competitor to traditional TV.

“Internal data indicate that close to 45% of overall YouTube viewing in the U.S. today is happening on TV screens”.

The Information


BLOCKCHAIN


Blockchain Large Language Models

How to use blockchain as a tool for intrusion detection:

“This paper presents a dynamic, real-time approach to detecting anomalous blockchain transactions. The proposed tool, BlockGPT, generates tracing representations of blockchain activity and trains from scratch a large language model to act as a real-time Intrusion Detection System.”

Arxiv


The Crypto Trash Moat

A big question: To what extent are crypto platforms used for crime?

There can only be estimates: “Any conversation about crypto and crime needs to disclose that, according to the folks with the data, less than 1% of total crypto transactions can be tied to illicit use – at least that’s what Chainalysis reports.”

What is going on a lot in crypto and elsewhere are “confidence games”, where criminals lure people into paying for something (often as an investment) and then trick them out of their money.

In 2022 the US Department of Justice named cybersecurity expert Eun Young Choi as the first director of the “National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET)”. The department seems to focus on “smaller issues” like social media scams, fraudsters and darknet misuse”.

Instead of major headline-drawing scandals like FTX and 3AC, Choi’s department seems primarily focused on relatively smaller issues like social media scammers, darknet misuse and online fraudsters – an activity that’s rarely discussed openly but which exists as a sort of background hum for anyone spending time on Crypto Twitter and Discord. (Paul Dylan-Ennis, a frequent contributor to CoinDesk, calls this crypto’s “trash moat …)”

The amounts of money the NCET and other US departments are securing are substantial:

While scams like these often only damage a single victim at a time, it can still be big money. NCET, along with other agencies, booked upwards of $112,000,000 from busting six such U.S.-based scams. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates $3.31 billion was stolen from people in 2022 through investment fraud, with crypto-related scams accounting for more than a third (~$2.57 billion) of that figure. Worse than just money lost, the proliferation of confidence games – which require bad actors to cultivate long-term relationships and build trust with their marks – has tainted crypto’s reputation.

Coindesk


Thank you for reading. If you have questions or suggestions, please get in touch with us via info@trublo.eu.

Five Minute Blockchain Newsletter Nr. 54

Five Minute Blockchain Newsletter Nr. 54

Five Minute Blockchain – No. 54

09.05.2023

Estimated reading time: 7 min 55 seconds



QUOTES OF THE WEEK:

“Given the proliferation of AI models being released these days, do we need a sort of Linnean system (i.e. kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species) to classify and make sense of the space?”


Situational awareness: The discussion about trustable content is as relevant as ever. However, the focus has shifted from decentralised blockchain architecture towards anticipating the many changes of “new” content coming through generative AI. So many areas of work might be affected. But what are the risks, and what are the market effects?

One thought: How can this be an opportunity for the EU? Currently, the perspective is that most future technologies will come from a few substantial-tech companies (Open AI/Microsoft, Google, etc.) But a big part of using AI is how it is deployed, how it is regulated and how the technology is used for economic growth. This week a senior Google engineer wrote an internal memo that open-source AI could outpace both Google and Microsoft and lead to a much broader, new tech world in the next ten to twenty years.


TRUST


“Sparks of General Intelligence”

Noteworthy: A scientific article concludes that the newest version of GPT-4 shows “sparks of “artificial general intelligence” or, in short, AGI. The researchers conclude:

“We demonstrate that, beyond its mastery of language, GPT-4 can solve novel and difficult tasks that span mathematics, coding, vision, medicine, law, psychology and more, without needing any special prompting. Moreover, in all of these tasks, GPT-4’s performance is strikingly close to human-level performance, and often vastly surpasses prior models such as ChatGPT. Given the breadth and depth of GPT-4’s capabilities, we believe that it could reasonably be viewed as an early (yet still incomplete) version of an artificial general intelligence (AGI) system.”

ARXIV


AI can fool voice verification systems

Exclusive by The Guardian:

“Using just four minutes of audio, a Guardian Australia journalist was able to generate a clone of their own voice and was then able to use this, combined with their customer reference number, to gain access to their own Centrelink self-service account.”

Background:

Centrelink and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) both give people the option of using a “voiceprint”, along with other information, to verify their identity over the phone, allowing them to then access sensitive information from their accounts.

The Guardian


NPR (National Public Radio): Elon Musk threatened to reassign NPR’s Twitter account

In an unprompted email to an NPR reporter, Elon Musk asked if NPR planned to start posting on Twitter again, “or should we reassign @NPR to another company?”

Comment from “Daring Fireball” on this story:

“This is a shakedown, pure and simple. What a message to big brands and celebrities: stop posting to Twitter, and they’ll reassign your longstanding username.

It’s bizarre that Musk thinks this might prompt NPR to start posting to Twitter again when the only rational reaction is to feel assured that walking away from Twitter was the right move.”

NPR

Daring Fireball


Twitters Verification Fiasco might end in a US court

Before the Elon Musk take-over, Twitter provided a blue verification checkmark to users with many followers, journalists and celebrities. Then the company tried to make verification a subscription business, but interest was low. Then many celebrities got their blue checks back, which created the impression that the stars did, in fact, pay – which was not the case. Wired reports that giving such an impression for marketing is forbidden in the US.

Wired UK


How Google AMP Ruined the Trust of Publishers in the Company

In 2015 Google started a new standard called “Accelerated Mobile Pages” AMP. The key idea was to speed up news content to load faster for quick display in search results, specifically on mobile devices. As of 2023, the technology has, by and large, faded away. Publishers do not care, and even Google seemingly has given up on AMP.

Why?

“…AMP came with huge tradeoffs, most notably around how all those webpages were monetised. AMP made it harder to use ad tech that didn’t come from Google, fraying the relationship between Google and the media so severely that AMP became a crucial component in an antitrust lawsuit filed just five years after its launch in 2020 by 17 state attorneys general, accusing Google of maintaining an illegal monopoly on the advertising industry.

The Verge


CONTENT


Spotify cleans thousands of AI-made songs

The music streaming platform found AI-made songs connected to potentially fraudulent listening numbers. If successful such as deception would mean that Spotify would have to pay real money for fake listening.

Financial Times


Learn Prompting

Before forming an opinion about generative AI, we should start using the new technology. The goal should be to determine what the technology does well and where the limits are. Wired US has a list of links pointing to resources where you can learn:

Learn Prompting (free)
Free course teaching how to write prompts at different levels.

How to take your prompts to the next level (Wired)
Comprehensive article with examples of how to enhance prompts.

Inside my head

Run by technologist Linus Ekenstam, it features a host of useful AI-related material, covering tutorials on getting the optimum results from these tools and crafting the smartest prompts”. (Substack, some posts free, some only for a subscription.)


A generative ML model for icons.

Scientific paper on how to use a generative AI model to generate Icons.

LINK


Analysis: The costs of training LLMs

Training AI platforms means you need to have a big budget for computing resources.

Navigating the High Cost of AI Compute”:

“…We’ve seen many companies spend more than 80% of their total capital raised on compute resources! In this post, we try to break down the cost factors for an AI company. The absolute numbers will of course change over time, but we don’t see immediate relief from AI companies being bound by their access to compute resources.”

Andreessen Horowitz


Google is expected to demonstrate new AI platforms this week

At Google I/O, the search company will present PaLM 2, the latest AI development platform. PaLM 2 will include more than 100 languages, according to internal documents viewed by CNBC. The new AI platform will be used for coding, math, creative writing and analysis.

CNBC


Adobe Firefly AI

Adobe Firefly is a new offering bringing the capabilities of generative AI to Adobe software products. Firefly enables users to generate images and text effects from descriptions, and Adobe says the platform is trained content licensed or out of copyright.

Adobe


IBM introduces WatsonX, its own AI platform

“IBM, like pretty much every tech giant these days, is betting big on AI. At its annual Think conference, the company announced IBM Watsonx, a new platform that delivers tools to build AI models and provides access to pre-trained models for generating computer code, text and more.”

TechCrunch


Amazon buys search engine “Snackable AI”.

The technology will be used for podcast projects, enabling the discovery of people, topics, etc.

TechCrunch


BLOCKCHAIN


Visa: “Learning by Doing” critical for the long-term success of digital currencies

“Visa has developed a programmable finance platform designed to help Brazilian farmers better negotiate contracts.”

Blockworks

“…Visa presented its solution for the Banco Central do Brasil’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) competition, the Real Digital LIFT Challenge. The prototype consists of a programmable finance platform for small and medium-sized businesses (particularly farmers), which allows tokenising sale contracts into NFTs and auctioning them to global investors. Microsoft, Sinqia, and Agrotoken were also part of the submission.”

Ledger Insights


Mastercard introduces Crypto Credentials to increase trust in blockchain technology.

“Mastercard says Crypto Credential has been developed to “establish a set of common standards and infrastructure that will help attest trusted interactions among consumers and businesses using blockchain networks”.

The standards will help users verify blockchain-based transactions, with Mastercard also providing the technology necessary for those wishing to interact across Web3 environments. The firm says trust is “critical” if blockchain is to reach its full potential, while a lack of robust protections and standards has often eroded the trust of consumers, businesses and governments.”

Fintech Futures


Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Deloitte and other companies will use a blockchain platform to link financial applications.

Digital Asset has developed the system, which will be called Canton Network.

A group of firms including Goldman Sachs Group Inc, MicrosoftCorp, Deloitte and Cboe Global Markets Inc are joining a new blockchain system aimed at linking disparate institutional applications, potentially encouraging broader adoption of distributed ledger technology in financial markets.

Coindesk
Bloomberg ($)


Everledger bankrupt

Everledger was an Australian company that hoped to use blockchains to track provenance of diamonds, other precious gems, fine wines, and other luxury goods. Things apparently didn’t pan out, though, when an investor’s planned funding fell through and the company was placed into voluntary administration.

Everledger had in the past raised US$37 million in funding. AUD$3 million (~US$2 million) of that funding came from the Australian government’s blockchain grants program in 2021.

Web3 is going just great


SHORT LINKS

  • Italy lifts ban on ChatGPT after data privacy improvements (Deutsche Welle)
  • With Sandbox and Decentraland looking static, crypto investors are looking for other credible alternatives (Crypto News Flash)
  • PayTM, India’s leading mobile payment platform, reported a surge in revenue and reduced its losses by 57%. (TechCrunch)
  • Goldman Sachs found that 62% of family offices are neither invested nor interested in crypto. In 2021 the percentage of wealthy people not interested in crypto was much lower, at 39%. (The Block)
  • “You can now create a shitcoin in less than 23 seconds” (Cointelegraph)

Thank you for reading. If you have questions or suggestions, please get in touch with us via info@trublo.eu.