ShinyShiny snippets: Pope Francis in puffer jacket was (not surprisingly) a deep fake

pic of the pope in a puffy coat
On March 25, 2023, a photo that appeared to show 86-year-old
Pope Francis out and about in a fashionable white puffer jacket went viral on social media. As many who saw it suspected, it was actually a deepfake image created via artificial intelligence (AI). It originally appeared on Reddit in the r/midjourney subreddit. Midjourney is an app that generates images from natural-language prompts (much like DALL-E, another well-known AI image-generating app). Many Midjourney experimenters share their creations in the subreddit. The image below was part of a gallery comprising four different views of the pope in a puffy coat. Snopes 

Parts of the source code which underpins multi-billionaire Elon Musk’s social media platform have been leaked online, Twitter says. It says the code was posted on GitHub, a Microsoft-owned service where software developers share code. It has now been taken down after Twitter requested its removal. “GitHub does not generally comment on decisions to remove content. However, in the interest of transparency, we share every DMCA [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] takedown request publicly,” a GitHub spokesperson told the BBC. 

Twitter’s value has more than halved since Elon Musk’s $44bn (£36bn) takeover in November, according to a leaked internal memo. In a memo to Twitter staff, the billionaire suggested that the social media company is now worth around $20bn based on stock awards granted to employees. The decision to write off around 55pc of its price tag, first reported by The Information, comes after technology valuations collapsed last year and tech companies, including Twitter, sacked thousands of staff as growth stalled. Telegraph 

Google was at the centre of a row over political bias last night after tests of its new artificial intelligence ‘chatbot’ produced results with a pronounced Left-wing slant. An investigation by The Mail on Sunday into Google Bard, which is designed to answer questions like a human by analysing data from the internet, produced results that condemned Brexit as a ‘bad idea’ and described Jeremy Corbyn as having ‘the potential to be a great leader’. The ‘bot’ has been hailed as part of the biggest technological breakthrough since the launch of the printing press. But early results have caused alarm among senior Conservatives. Daily Mail 

Tractors are commonly sold to farmers at agricultural fairs and announced in the trade press. But machinery makers are falling over themselves to get a slice of a much more unlikely advertising vehicle: the Farming Simulator video game. The developers, Giants Software, now receive hundreds of queries a year from manufacturers of equipment – from tractors and combine harvesters to trailers, balers and seed drills – about how they can feature in the game, where players create their own virtual farm. The Guardian 

Apple recently held a demo presentation of its alleged Reality Pro headset for the company’s top 100 executives, ahead of the expected official announcement at WWDC in June. That’s according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, at least, who notes in their latest Power On newsletter that the company event – held just last week in the Steve Jobs Theater – was designed to rally support around the upcoming platform. Some senior Apple executives have seemingly been given a preview of the headset every year since 2018, though this latest peek was apparently much more “polished, glitzy and exciting”. Wareable


Chris Price