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Posts Tagged ‘Nuku Tau’

Ka hao te Rakatahi
The dodgy world of deepfakes

A big step up from simply “fake news”, a deepfake is a particular kind of manipulative media in the form of doctored videos. Deepfakes present real challenges to democracy and our electoral process, especially at the hands of those with the money to drive influence.

The term “deepfake” is a combination of the words “fake” and “deep”, as in “deep learning”, an Artificial Intelligence function. Using deep learning, a machine can analyse thousands of images and recordings, and use this to convincingly transpose one face over another in a recording. This creates increasingly hard-to-spot videos of deception. Increasingly, believable-looking videos are depicting people doing and saying things they have never said or done. It’s sometimes described as “Photoshop on steroids”.

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Ka hao te Rakatahi
Caring for our planet

I was born on the cusp of the second millennium. As a child, the stuffed huia birds at the Canterbury Museum captured my imagination. The idea of “extinction” – something being here and then not – fascinated me. Extinction happened in the past, when people were careless because they did not have the knowledge that we have today … or so I thought as an 8-year-old.

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Never make assumptions

Mental health awareness was huge in 2018, which was fantastic. It’s no secret the classic New Zealand culture of hypermasculinity and keeping a stiff upper lip is a fertile breeding ground for all sorts of mental health woes. Publicity campaigns and heightened general awareness of the issue can only be a good thing.

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The Wisdom of Drug Testing

I write this article the day after the University of Canterbury Students’ Association Tea Party, a big dress-up-themed party on Ilam Fields where students drink in the sun and dance to bands and bass. A few friends asked me if I had put on any sunscreen. I replied that I was a “hearty brown boy” and didn’t need to, so naturally I’m pretty red – sunscreen, water, food, break-out spaces, and support workers were all provided to those smart enough to use them. All told, everyone had a great day. However, one thing was missing – drug testing kits. And by that I mean kits to check that drugs are not cut with dangerous chemicals, rather than kits to test whether you’ve been taking drugs.

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Debating the Treaty

The treaty has a historically inconsistent role in New Zealand’s constitution and remains on uncertain ground. We need to understand its constitutional role in the colonial era, and the period of change from 1975 to 1985 that has so heavily influenced our Ngāi Tahu world today.

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Reading between the lines

Divisive media is the key to my story here, and I’m sure that’s something everyone can see when they’re reading the papers or scrolling through Facebook feeds.

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Thoughts on te reo and the Green Party policy

The place of te reo was a hot topic this election. With the Green Party promising compulsion, Labour giving a watered-down version of the same thing, and National predictably shoehorning it in with other languages as an optional choice, it’s hard to see what will actually happen with the nation’s Indigenous language in terms of legislation.

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