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      The secret lives of porn addicts: ‘I am meticulous about covering my tracks’

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Tuesday, 2 July - 04:00

    As pornography use soars, some men feel their behaviour is moving from a compulsion to an addiction. They describe how this affects their health, happiness and relationships

    Tony is in his 50s and recently did a rough calculation of how much of his life he has spent looking at pornography. “The result was horrifying,” he says. It was eight years. “I can barely think about it. The sense of failure is intense.”

    Tony saw his first “hardcore” film on VHS in the 1980s when he was 12. In his 20s, he connected to the internet for the first time, which turned his habit into a “full-blown addiction”. Over the past 30 years, he has just about managed to maintain a double life: he works in a caring profession, is friends with men and women, has had relationships. But there is a part of him he keeps entirely hidden.

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      British female politicians targeted by fake pornography

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Monday, 1 July - 19:40

    Leading politicians victimised by online material including AI deepfakes, investigation finds

    British female politicians have become the victims of fake pornography, with some of their faces used in nude images created using artificial intelligence.

    Political candidates targeted on one prominent fake pornography website include the Labour deputy leader, Angela Rayner; the education secretary, Gillian Keegan; the Commons leader, Penny Mordaunt; the former home secretary, Priti Patel; and the Labour backbencher Stella Creasy, according to Channel 4 News . Many of the images have been online for several years and attracted hundreds of thousands of views.

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      Russian pranksters reveal odes to Putin were translations of Nazi verse

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Monday, 1 July - 16:16

    Patriotic poems published under invented name of Gennady Rakitin were embraced as examples of ‘Z-poetry’

    The patriotic poetry of Gennady Rakitin has won him quite a following in Russia over the past year. His odes to Vladimir Putin and emotive verses in support of Russia’s war in Ukraine drew appreciation on social media and even the occasional honourable mention in Russian poetry prizes.

    But Rakitin’s admirers did not realise one thing – the 18 poems published under his name were in fact Russian translations of Nazi verses penned in the 1930s and 1940s.

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      Smudgy chins, weird hands, dodgy numbers: seven signs you’re watching a deepfake

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Monday, 1 July - 11:00


    Look out for surplus fingers, compare mannerisms with real recordings and apply good old-fashioned common sense and scepticism, experts advise

    In a crucial election year for the world, with the UK, US and France among the countries going to the polls, disinformation is swirling around social media.

    There is much concern about deepfakes, or artificial intelligence-generated images or audio of leading political figures designed to mislead voters, and whether they will affect results.

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      The best theatre to stream this month: Shakespeare v the Tories, Mel C’s dance show and more

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Monday, 1 July - 05:00

    This month’s picks include a Starlight Express intro for kids, a rollicking wedding play at the National and an explosive hour of dance

    Micheál Mac Liammóir’s 1960 solo show interweaved the private and public lives of Oscar Wilde with excerpts from the great Irish wit’s oeuvre. Alastair Whatley – who directed The Importance of Being Earnest a few years ago – recently performed Mac Liammóir’s monologue at Reading Rep. A recording of that production, directed by Michael Fentiman, is available on Original Online from 1 July .

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      ‘We wanted to change the norm on smartphone use’: grassroots campaigners on a phone-free childhood

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Sunday, 30 June - 10:00 · 1 minute

    Most UK children have their own phone by the age of 11. But what if we didn’t give them one? A group of parents wants their kids to enjoy a phone-free childhood – and their numbers are growing

    Last year, Daisy Greenwell and Clare Fernyhough, longtime friends who have eight- and nine-year-old daughters, began having drawn-out conversations about smartphones. Rumours were swirling that children in their daughters’ classes were asking for their own and both Greenwell and Fernyhough were apprehensive about the knock-on effect. If their daughters’ friends owned smartphones, wouldn’t their daughters eventually demand them, too? And what might happen then? Talking to the parents of children who already owned smartphones only helped to increase their concern. “They told us about kids disappearing into their screens,” Greenwell said recently. “They don’t want to hang out with family any more. They don’t want to go outside.” A local teacher told Greenwell he was able to speak with his daughter only when the wifi was turned off. “And these are the lighter problems,” she said.

    Neither Greenwell nor Fernyhough wanted to buy smartphones for their children until they turned 16 (preferably they wouldn’t own them until much later). But they could feel pressure mounting. In the UK, 91% of 11-year-olds have a smartphone – it became common remarkably quickly for children to be given a phone when they began secondary school – and 20% of children own them by the time they are four. (The average age for a UK child to receive their first smartphone is around nine.) With grim acceptance, secondary school parents told Greenwell, “It’s the worst, it’s so, so bad, but there’s no choice” – they couldn’t find a way to prevent their children from having something all of their friends already owned. Both Greenwell and Fernyhough felt trapped; for their daughters, secondary school loomed on the horizon. “We thought, ‘What can we do about it?’” Greenwell told me. “Shall we not get one? But what if everyone else gets one and our children are the only ones without?”

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      Eternal You review – thought-provoking look at new AI product for the grieving

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Sunday, 30 June - 10:00 · 1 minute

    A disturbing documentary explores tech’s questionable ability to bring digital ‘comfort’ to the bereaved

    Death is a booming business. For one thing, it’s inevitable. For another, it brings a uniquely vulnerable and receptive market for any product that promises to numb the grief. Enter artificial intelligence. This thought-provoking and bang-up-to-the-minute documentary explores a morally questionable use of AI: the digital afterlife business, tech that recreates the personality (and in some cases speaking voice and even the likeness) of deceased individuals, designed to offer “comfort” to the bereaved. It’s the kind of technology that exists on the knife-edge between thrilling innovation and cynical recklessness. We meet a mother from South Korea who is introduced to an avatar of her daughter through a VR headset; a woman whose “chats” with her late boyfriend take on an unsettlingly demonic quality when the AI tells her that he’s “in hell” and threatens to haunt her. These posthumous AI avatars are, one interviewee says, simultaneously a precision-tooled product and also the perfect salesperson for that product. It’s hard not to watch this without a mounting sense of dread and a suspicion that a fairly significant Rubicon has been crossed.

    • In UK and Irish cinemas now

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      Closing the Stanford Internet Observatory will edge the US towards the end of democracy | John Naughton

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Saturday, 29 June - 15:00

    The organisation responsible for monitoring digital falsehoods is reportedly being wound down after pressure from Republicans and conspiracy theorists

    For most of us, the word “medium” means “ a channel or system of communication, information, or entertainment ”. For a biologist, though, the term means something rather different : “the nutrient solution in which cells or organs are grown”. But there are times when the two conceptions fuse, and we’re living in one such time now.

    How come? All developed societies have a media ecosystem, the information environment in which they exist. Until comparatively recently that ecosystem was dominated by print technology. Then, in the mid-20th century, broadcast (few-to-many) technology arrived, first as radio and later as television, which, from the 1950s to the 1990s, was the dominant communication medium of the age. And then came the internet and the technologies it has spawned, of which the dominant one is the world wide web.

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      AI scientist Ray Kurzweil: ‘We are going to expand intelligence a millionfold by 2045’

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Saturday, 29 June - 15:00

    The Google futurist talks nanobots and avatars, deepfakes and elections – and why he is so optimistic about a future where we merge with computers

    The American computer scientist and techno-optimist Ray Kurzweil is a long-serving authority on artificial intelligence (AI). His bestselling 2005 book, The Singularity Is Near , sparked imaginations with sci-fi like predictions that computers would reach human-level intelligence by 2029 and that we would merge with computers and become superhuman around 2045, which he called “the Singularity”. Now, nearly 20 years on, Kurzweil, 76, has a sequel, The Singularity Is Nearer – and some of his predictions no longer seem so wacky. Kurzweil’s day job is principal researcher and AI visionary at Google. He spoke to the Observer in his personal capacity as an author, inventor and futurist.

    Why write this book?
    The Singularity Is Near talked about the future, but 20 years ago, when people didn’t know what AI was. It was clear to me what would happen, but it wasn’t clear to everybody. Now AI is dominating the conversation. It is time to take a look again both at the progress we’ve made – large language models (LLMs) are quite delightful to use – and the coming breakthroughs.

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