San Francisco News

Why Dunkin’ and Lego rebrands succeeded – but X missed the mark

Matthew Pittman, University of Tennessee Twitter has swapped the fluffy bird that used to symbolize the social media platform for a spindly black X. Ditching the company’s well-known logo and changing its name to a letter often associated with danger, death and the unknown is only the latest user-aggravating step CEO Elon Musk has taken since he bought Twitter in October 2022 for US$44 billion. But it’s the most visually jarring one. The reaction has mainly been a mix of ambivalence, ridicule and scorn. For the most part, longtime Twitter users are unhappy at what they perceived as another unnecessary

Read More »

AI scam calls imitating familiar voices are a growing problem – here’s how they work

Oliver Buckley, University of East Anglia Scam calls using AI to mimic voices of people you might know are being used to exploit unsuspecting members of the public. These calls use what’s known as generative AI, which refers to systems capable of creating text, images or any other media such as video, based on prompts from a user. Deepfakes have gained notoriety over the last few years with a number of high-profile incidents, such as actress Emma Watson’s likeness being used in a series of suggestive adverts that appeared on Facebook and Instagram. There was also the widely shared –

Read More »

Why Meta’s Threads app is the biggest threat to Twitter yet

Lisa M. Given, RMIT University The launch of social media app Threads as a competitor to Twitter is a game-changer. Meta, which also owns Facebook and Instagram, launched the new platform yesterday, ahead of schedule. Threads was welcomed almost immediately – especially by hordes of Twitter users that have watched in dismay as their beloved platform crumbles in the hands of Elon Musk. In less than 24 hours, Threads attracted some 30 million users. And with Meta already having more than two billion Instagram users who can directly link their accounts to it, Threads’ user base will grow fast. With

Read More »

AI is an existential threat – just not the way you think

Nir Eisikovits, UMass Boston The rise of ChatGPT and similar artificial intelligence systems has been accompanied by a sharp increase in anxiety about AI. For the past few months, executives and AI safety researchers have been offering predictions, dubbed “P(doom),” about the probability that AI will bring about a large-scale catastrophe. Worries peaked in May 2023 when the nonprofit research and advocacy organization Center for AI Safety released a one-sentence statement: “Mitigating the risk of extinction from A.I. should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks, such as pandemics and nuclear war.” The statement was signed by many key

Read More »