Story Spotlight

Person of Interest - Control's Office

Sometimes even science fiction can't keep up with technological developments...

Consider the excellent Person of Interest, a television show that over four seasons (the fifth and final season began last night) has had a long and fascinating story arc exploring the impact of artificial intelligences on our world, especially in the context of surveillance and law enforcement. In the final episode of season 4 - which aired around a year ago -, one scene has the character 'Control' placing cell phones in a sound-proof box, to stop the artificial intelligence named 'Samaritan' from hearing the content of her discussion by hijacking the cell's microphone.

Turns out that may have been a touch naive, especially coming from someone in her position. Because in real life, a couple of months earlier at TED 2015), researcher Abe Davis demoed software that allowed him and his team to reconstruct audio of an event, purely from video taken (ie. no audio required at all) on an off-the-shelf camera. They did so by creating algorithms that looked for tiny movements in objects in the environment (on the order of micrometres, invisible to the human eye and even a fraction of a pixel). As 'sound' is actually air vibration perceived by our ears, the micro-movements captured by the video can be used to reconstruct the air vibrations that caused them.

Subtle motion happens around us all the time, including tiny vibrations caused by sound. New technology shows that we can pick up on these vibrations and actually re-create sound and conversations just from a video of a seemingly still object. But now Abe Davis takes it one step further: Watch him demo software that lets anyone interact with these hidden properties, just from a simple video.

Watch the amazing demonstration below:

While Samaritan would surely employ such a system in its 'sousveillance' arsenal, Davis does point out that there are other applications as well, including creating an actual '3D model' of an object and its natural movements, simply by capturing its subtle motion.



Daily News Scan

(Posted by red pill junkie on Thursday, May 5th)

With so many people feeling this means the end of the world is nigh, just remember: *Every day* is the end of the world for someone, somewhere.

  • Brave New World: Biotech company granted ethical permission to use stem sell technology to stimulate the nervous system of brain-dead patients.
  • Bernardo Kastrup: You're being subtly deceived (again) by that recent LSD study.
  • IBM is letting anyone play with their quantum computer --anyone that knows HOW quantum computing works, that is.
  • When robots are instruments of male desire.
  • The self-powered camera is one of this year's Invention Award winners.
  • The good news: Ancient DNA reveals ancestry and migration history of modern Europeans.
  • The bad news: Rising seas are swamping our archeological heritage.
  • Global warming is slowly suffocating our oceans.
  • In order to control wild carp populations, Australians are giving them herpes. Wait, what?!
  • Planet 9 just got weirder.
  • Oh look, Canada will have its 1st National Public Hearing on UFOs. I wonder what kind of 'experts' they'll gather…
  • Sonic boom drama over Doncaster: Typhoon jets intercepting AirFrance airliner, or dogfight with UFO rising from the North Sea? You be the judge!
  • Turkish witness photographs oval UFO.
  • The things you learn by setting up a Google news alert for the word "Satanic."
  • Economic inequality between first class passengers and the rest of us lowly plebes, is the #1 cause of 'air rage' --that and the f$#%in baby crying on seat D27!!
  • Red Pill of the Day: Screenwriter issues formal apology for penning the script of Dragon Ball: Evolution. And you thought Majin Buu was the biggest redemption story in the whole saga!

Thanks to my uncle Juan Ramón. Buen viaje, tío!

Quote of the Day:

"Maybe this world is another planet's hell."

~Aldous Huxley

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