Hundreds of journalists reacted with indignation when well-wishers urged them to ‘learn to code’ in response to a round of firings at mainstream media companies like Buzzfeed and Huffington Post.
In an alarming development, it appears that it may be too late- as segments of computer code are already learning how to create journalism in their place.
A video of a computerized AI program introducing itself as a news anchor has been published by China’s Xinhua News.
The reality of a literal non-player character introducing itself as a television anchor left many feeling alarmed and uncomfortable.
The Chinese AI ‘journalist’ appears relatively indistinguishable from an actual flesh-and-blood news anchor, possessing lifelike body language and facial features. Such a development attests to the increasing sophistication of “deep fakes” and other AI programs meant to realistically simulate human behavior.
If implemented in the west, programs like Xinhua’s AI journalist could mean further job losses in America’s media and journalism industry. Such a development would come with a hint of tragic irony, as liberals employed by mainstream media companies have been known to respond dismissively to the plight of working-class Americans facing job loss and reduced economic prospects due to automation.
Unfortunately, many mainstream figures within the journalism and media industry are unwilling to take the problem seriously, at least until it becomes clear that automation will affect their own career prospects, not just coal miners in Appalachia or truck drivers throughout America. Major social media platforms such as Twitter continue to feed journalists comforting lies, to the extent that suggesting they learn to code on Twitter will be met with an immediate ban for “targeted harassment.”
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8Chan Founder is Wanted for ‘Cyberlibel’ for Allegedly Maligning Current Owner of the Free Speech Site
Current 8Chan owner Jim Watkins has accused the site’s founder Fredrick Brennan of “cyberlibel.”
The Philippines has issued a warrant for the arrest of 8chan founder Fredrick Brennan after the man to whom he sold the controversial free speech website accused him of committing “cyberlibel.”
The Pasig City Regional Trial Court Branch 158 issued a warrant on Wednesday for the arrest of Brennan, his lawyer Alexander Acain Jr. confirmed to CNN Philippines. Acain says he will recommend for his client to return to the Philippines from the United States and post bail but is not sure if Brennan will heed his advice.
These charges have resulted from a complaint made by current 8Chan owner Jim Watkins, who bought the site from Brennan, after Brennan made tweets referring to Watkins as “senile” and “incompetent.” Brennan is being charged under the country’s Cybercrime Prevention Act.
“They are a malicious imputation of senility on the part of [Watkins,] a condition, status or circumstance tending to cause dishonor, discredit or contempt of [him,]” Pasig City Assistant Prosecutor Juliene Raymond Cabanacan said in an eight-page resolution issued on January 2 and received by Brennan’s attorneys last week.
Brennan, who is disabled and confined to a wheelchair, faces between 6 and 12 years in prison if he is ultimately convicted of the charges. He has become a vocal critic of how Watkins has handled 8Chan since he took full control over the site in 2016.
“I’ve tried to understand so many times why he keeps it going, and I just don’t get it,” Brennan said last year. “After Christchurch, after the Tree of Life shooting, and now after this shooting, they think this is all really funny.”
“Shutting it down, having these chan sites pushed underground, it wouldn’t totally stop these kinds of things from happening. But it wouldn’t happen every few months,” Brennan added.
Watkins, however, has contended that 8Chan is integral in the fight for global free speech and vows to keep the website up in some form to allow anonymous discussion on the Internet to continue.
“It is actually sinister behavior. Ours is one of the last independent companies that offer a place you may write down your thoughts free from having to worry about whether they are offensive to one group or another,” Watkins said after the media blamed 8Chan for enabling mass shootings.
“Power consolidation of the media beginning as radio and TV stations were gobbled up by a few strong and rich companies is now moving at a breakneck pace through the internet. It will effectively silence the masses and leave them with no place to voice their messages,” he added.
8Chan re-branded to 8kun in Nov. 2019 and was restored to the internet after being denied service by their DNS provider Cloudflare, which allows pedophiles to use their services to propagandize about the virtues of raping kids.
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