Deep Fakes for Text

I attended a talk recently where they discussed how the capacity to produce deep faked video would affect our capacity to trust what we’re seeing as evidence in the media and in the court systems.  At that discussion, some mentioned that perhaps the textual media would then retain some form of advantage in the credibility game…


Researchers, scared by their own work, hold back “deepfakes for text” AI


Automated meeting notes

So – would you let somebody listen in to all your meetings to stop having to take your own notes?

voicea – Turn talk into action

What forms of informal or formal permissions will we need to establish as we start having automated systems that could be listening in to our every conversation and producing notes?

Open Source Telepresence

We have tested the Double Robotics telepresence robot in the past, but I’m trying to avoid going down a bit of an open source telepresence rabbit hole today.  Documenting some sites and code to explore later…

Double Robotics: Double gives you a physical presence at work or school when you can’t be there in person. (not open-source)

warp-os: open-source telepresence robot operating system

Building a Telepresence Robot Based on an open-source Robot Operating System and Android

OhmniLabs Launches First Open Telepresence Robotics Platform

Telepresence Robot

Willow Garage Creates Awesome Open Source Telepresence Robots

world’s cheapest telepresence robot project


Autonomous Delivery

George Mason is sharing the details of an automated food delivery service on campus.

A fleet of Starship Robots

These are the same bots that had at one point been slated to be navigating Austin’s streets.  Good to see Starship Technologies still plugging away at the problem.

Still curious how we could use the work in this area to change the way libraries transport our volumes around our campuses.

update 2019-02-04:

Adding a link to Amazon Scout:

Meet Scout: Field testing a new delivery system with Amazon Scout.

And also to LG CLOI:

A robot that actively engages with people, providing information
and services such as escort, ordering, delivery, shopping and cleaning.

EVTradinPost has been placed on hold

Dear friends –

It has come to my attention that the primary use of the EVTradinPost’s systems have come to be for people to post scam listings or to try and defraud sellers. The platform I was using offers no tools to assist in managing that situation and even if it did – I have been clear – this is a side, passion project for me. While this is a painful decision, I must acknowledge that I have no time to spend worrying about what people are posting and I absolutely don’t want to be spending my personal funds to sponsor fraud and scams.   As such – I have shut the site down while I decide what to do next with it.

If the site was useful to you in the time it was up – I am glad.

Best – /Aaron Choate

Collective Efficacy

Just adding a note to myself for a topic to dig into at some point.  – Collective Efficacy but mentioned in a way as to be less controlling as the definition found on the wikipedia page.

A Google Talk that is worth listening to:


Will self-driving tests have a benefit for pedestrians and bicyclists?

Autonomous Vehicle Testing

I was on my weekly bike ride through downtown as I noticed the new signs warning that the autonomous vehicle testing will be taking place in downtown Austin, TX.  Was it a coincidence that I was able to ride through the 3rd street corridor in the bike lane in one smooth reasonably timed swoop?  Or… will the city be taking this as an opportunity to use the bond funding we passed to place some well timed additional effort into making the light timing and traffic flows predictable and free flowing?  Getting things as predictable as possible would help reduce the problem set a bit for this initial testing as well as making life easier for the humans in this system.

Here’s hoping it was intentional.

Project Loon Taking the Next Step

It appears that Google has decided to see if Loon can become a real thing.

Alphabet spins drone and internet balloon projects into independent companies

Alphabet’s Loon and Wing are now more than just ‘projects’

Spinning projects out of Google-X into their own divisions holds no guarantee that they will succeed, but it is encouraging to see Google placing more behind its internet connectivity projects.  You might have seen the news about the ability for these systems to adapt and provide emergency coverage in the wake of the Puerto Rico devastation.

Project Loon delivers internet to 100,000 people in Puerto Rico

FWIW – Drone delivery (Wing)is an interesting spin out too.  I would have thought that this use case would have needed more time in the incubator.   But, perhaps that’s the strategy, prove the technology and then spin them out as projects quickly to see if they find their use cases.