for W3c validation
Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive.
A Nixon Deepfake, a ‘Moon Disaster’ Speech and an Information Ecosystem at Risk
Anne says: I recently talked about deepfakes being used in corporate training and mentioned their use in other contexts, such as political and conspiracy theories. Well, this one is mesmerising! It was created by MIT using a real speech written for President Nixon in 1969 if Apollo 11 hadn’t come back from the moon. You can watch the video here (~35 minutes).
Aside from the “recreation” of President Nixon, the process for developing the AI-generated Nixon, delivering his real speech is so real. If you watch the video, there are some questions at the end to see if you can identify which aspects were real and which were fake (or AI-generated). Even though I knew the story, knew it was fake, I thought some of the real footage was AI, and some of the AI was real. Easily tricked!
There’s details about the process the MIT team and their collaborators followed to create the newsreel and how their learnings have contributed to the advancement of AI-generated deepfakes. But for me, having been convincingly deceived by what was real or fake footage, it raises concerns about how conspiracy theorists (thinking of anti-moon landing directly) could develop persuasive footage to support their ideas.
Right now, with information overload, #fakenews, alternative facts and a world that is struggling to come to terms with what’s being termed the “new normal”, it feels like we will need to be particularly vigilant for these types of deepfakes surfacing and being presented as authentic footage of past scenarios.
Shirking from home
Jakkii says: Props to the editor for this one, as I wanted to read this piece as soon as I saw the headline.
Though employers fear “shirking from home,” decades of research have shown that flexible work policies offer numerous benefits, says Nicholas Bloom, a professor of economics at Stanford University.
This is a good read on distractions and working from home during the pandemic. It discusses some of the history of working from home and, as the quote above says, the research that has shown that flexible work policies, pre-corona, offered numerous benefits to both businesses and their employees. It offers some discussion and anecdotes from people about the challenges of being focused and succumbing to distractions while working from home that we’ve all faced. Then, thankfully, it takes a look at the context: we are doing this all through the prism of crisis – this is not business as usual.
The meandering minds of remote workers around the world probably has less to do with working from home than the context in which we’re doing it — a once-in-a-century mass casualty event — says Larry Rosen, a professor emeritus of psychology at California State University Dominguez Hills and an expert in the science of distraction.
We’ve talked about this before, and there’s really no end in sight for talking about this as we continue to live in a pandemic-affected world. Businesses are trying to work out the whats, whens and hows of a return to the physical workplace and whether that will involve an ongoing hybrid model with remote working kept in the mix; and employees are still juggling life in a pandemic with work in a pandemic. That’s obviously true for people living in lockdown mark II, but it’s also true for people who are living in communities in stages 3 or 4 of ‘reopening’. We’re all doing the best we can, and even outside a pandemic we all have better days than others, times when we struggle, times when we wish our focus was better, times we wish we weren’t being distracted – even by colleagues in the office. And in workplaces where back to back meetings all day every day is the norm – whether in person or now via video – maybe we wish for space, for time, for room to breathe and work and to just think.
The use of time to just think about things seems to be severely underrated in far too many organisations, with an underappreciation and lack of understanding about how non-busy time helps us be more creative, and proper time out can help us be more productive and effective. But whatever we might wish for, maybe what we need when we’re working from home is a bit more compassion, a bit more understanding, and a bit more room to manage our days however we need to in order to fit life and work together in a pandemic – and beyond.
Perhaps what looks like shirking is really just coping – and don’t we all need to cope?
Around the house
I blush when I think about all of us back in March. The crafts! The bread! Tiger King! Sending each other cutie pie Marco Polos! It’s like thinking about yourself in seventh grade
— Alison Bennett (@bennettleigh) July 22, 2020
Jakkii says: Things aren’t looking great lately here in Australia, or parts of it at least, with Coronavirus containment. Some of us are still in lockdown, some of us could end up back there. And for those of us who are in later stages of reopening, we all know things aren’t the same and for many of us that still means more time at home than pre-corona. So, as we have done for a while now, we bring you a list of a few things you can do from home each week to help keep you entertained.
And when you do go out – in your mask – make sure you keep smiling.
- Get a whiff of the scent of our lives
- Here’s a list of what to stream this month
- Follow these 5 art accounts on Instagram for a little culture
- Watch these 20 must-see documentaries to explain the world in 2020
- Everyone’s a foodie now: what does it mean to be a foodie in the modern age?
- Treat your ears with Pitchfork’s favourite video game music of the last 20 years
Good morning to everyone who woke up and immediately moved half of the items they had on today’s to-do list to tomorrow’s to-do list.
— Akilah Green (@akilahgreen) July 21, 2020
good afternoon pic.twitter.com/YX6ZLTmgeS
— Taffy Brodesser-Akner (@taffyakner) July 27, 2020
The top 12 states to live in pic.twitter.com/Zz03sjDKu0
— Terrible Maps (@TerribleMaps) July 28, 2020
I’m just a girl, standing in front of a self-checkout, screaming that there’s no unexpected item in the bagging area.
— Abby Heugel (@AbbyHasIssues) July 20, 2020
The news is so disturbing and anxiety inducing so to relax my husband and I are watching The Shining
— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) July 13, 2020
The worst part of working from home is having my wife hear all the work jargon I use. I told someone I’d be “out of pocket this afternoon.” She asked me what that meant and I told her I literally have no idea.
— skoog (@Skoog) July 9, 2020
Misinformation Friday Five
- Stop saying Facebook is ‘too big to moderate’
- Twitter shares content moderation plans, highlights contrast with Facebook
- Facebook says removing viral COVID-19 misinformation video ‘took longer than it should have’
- How Trump and his son helped make a COVID-19 conspiracy theorist go viral in a matter of hours
- The Portland protests are a war zone – but only on the internet
COVID-19 Friday Five
- Forrester identifies five pandemic-induced trends that will change business and technology over the next decade
- COVID-19: Implications for business
- The pandemic is changing work friendships
- Face masks: How they protect you and when to use them (and how to know if your homemade mask works)
- Record low passenger numbers due to COVID
Work Friday Five
- HBR Big Idea series on WFH – starts with Do we really need the office?
- The elements of a robust digital workplace
- Everyone’s sad and getting sadder
- How to work for a boss who has a new idea every 5 minutes
- This company’s new 2-sentence remote work policy is the best I’ve ever heard
Tech Friday Five
- The Big Tech hearings won’t lead to real change. That’s okay.
- Returning to the workplace with wearable tech, robots and QR codes
- In the new age of remote work, people under 30 might finally kill email
- 20 years ago, Steve Jobs built the ‘coolest computer ever’. It bombed
- Atlassian and Culture Amp alumni launch Pyn and bag $3 million to improve how companies communicate with remote workers
Social Media Friday Five
- Twitter Trends Are a Crime Against Me, the President, Tweets President
- Facebook bought Instagram to neutralize a competitor, emails show
- Twitter’s security: who’s got the keys? (Years before big hack, Twitter contractors reportedly spied on celebs, including Beyoncé)
- A permanent nightmare’: Pinterest moderators fight to keep horrifying content off the platform
- Here’s why you’re being added to Twitter lists all of a sudden
Corona Business Insights Podcast
Why are workers experiencing higher levels of fatigue and stress and what strategies can be used to increase motivation?
As COVID-19 sets out to change the world forever, join Sandra Peter and Kai Riemer as they think about what’s to come in the future of business.
Professor Maree Teesson and Dr Lexine Stapinski from the University of Sydney’s Matilda Centre discuss how to cope psychologically, emotionally, physically and economically with the pandemic