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BBC Presenter’s Image Featured in Advert After Firm Fooled by AI-Generated Voice

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A peculiar voice caught their attention—it sounded familiar, but as time passed, it began to drift inconsistently.
Liz Bonnin, a renowned science presenter known for her Irish accent on the BBC, found herself unexpectedly featured in online advertisements for insect repellent spray. The twist? She had never agreed to endorse such a product.
The source of this confusion? An AI-generated voice message supposedly granting permission for the ad campaign, but with an accent that seemed to morph throughout the recording.
Bonnin’s management team uncovered the deception after spotting her image in the unauthorized ads. While the attempt was aimed at an insect repellent spray, Bonnin expressed relief that it wasn’t something more unpleasant.
Howard Carter, CEO of Incognito, the company behind the scheme, claimed to have received convincing voice messages from someone he believed to be Bonnin. Despite initial suspicions about the legitimacy of the Facebook profile reaching out to him, Carter was persuaded by a series of messages that seemingly confirmed Bonnin’s involvement.
The impersonator provided Carter with contact information, including details supposedly from the Wildlife Trusts, a charity with which Bonnin is associated. Negotiations proceeded through various digital channels, and a contract, allegedly signed by Bonnin, sealed the deal.
However, further attempts to communicate with Bonnin went unanswered, and the campaign launched without her consent. Only after the fact did Carter realize he had been deceived.
Bonnin lamented the violation of her likeness and emphasized the importance of vigilance in such situations. She urged caution when approached outside of professional channels.
AI experts analyzed the voice note and confirmed its likely artificial origin, noting inconsistencies in accent and speech patterns. Bonnin viewed the incident as a cautionary tale, highlighting the need for better regulation of AI technologies.
Incognito, acknowledging the deception, reported the incident to authorities and apologized for any harm caused. The BBC declined to comment, and the Wildlife Trusts refrained from issuing a statement.
Source: theguardian.com

 
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Valmet enters joint venture with Körber to advance the digital offering to the tissue industry

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Valmet and Körber have on May 29, 2024, reached a joint venture agreement to further strengthen FactoryPal, a venture of Körber. FactoryPal is a software developed for tissue converting operations that improves shopfloor manufacturing performance and productivity.
According to the joint venture agreement, Valmet will become the majority shareholder of FactoryPal, and FactoryPal will continue operating as an own legal entity under the existing FactoryPal brand. The addition of FactoryPal will further strengthen Valmet’s offering of advanced Industrial Internet solutions and digital services to support customers in the tissue industry. The joint venture follows Valmet’s acquisition of Körber’s Business Area Tissue that was completed in November 2023.
FactoryPal software empowers tissue mill teams to achieve seamless operations by generating and utilizing high quality data combined with state-of-the-art user experience and advanced artificial intelligence (AI). FactoryPal acts as a trusted co-pilot on the shop floor.
“Valmet has a unique end to end offering for tissue producers, from stock-preparation and tissue machines to rewinders, converting and packaging lines, as well as services and automation systems. We see FactoryPal as an excellent addition that will provide performance optimization, not only for converting operations, but eventually also for the entire tissue making process,” says Petri Rasinmäki, Business Line President, Paper, Valmet.
“By setting up this powerful partnership, FactoryPal will be able to advance its product development with extensive machinery and paper making knowledge. This will empower us to deliver further innovative digital solutions across the entire tissue value chain, evolving the product to one of the leading AI-copilot solutions in the industry,” states Dr. Nadja Hatzijordanou, CEO of FactoryPal.
Currently, there are 55 employees working for FactoryPal in Germany, Portugal, Italy, the USA and Brazil. The set up of the joint venture is subject to customary closing conditions. The closing of the agreement is estimated to occur at earliest on August 1st, 2024.
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EU Policy. AI Office set-up announced, Lucilla Sioli to be in charge

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The Commission has announced the establishment of a new unit tasked with overseeing the implementation of the AI Act.
Lucilla Sioli, currently serving as Director for AI and Digital Industry within the European Commission, will lead the newly formed AI Office, as announced by the EU executive today (29 May). Sioli, an EU official since 1997, brings extensive experience to her new role.
The AI Office, a reorganization of an existing unit dedicated to AI within the Commission, will comprise five main departments, each headed by a director responsible for ensuring compliance with the AI Act. With a total staff of 140, including experts in technology, law, and policy, the office plans to recruit around 80 additional personnel.
These departments will focus on key areas such as regulation and compliance, safety, excellence and robotics, AI for societal good, and innovation. Additionally, two advisors will provide expertise on scientific approaches and international affairs.
Contrary to previous expectations, the EU executive has expedited the approval of internal restructuring, with appointments and unit establishment scheduled to take effect on 16 June.
The AI Office, an internal department within the Commission, will oversee the enforcement of regulations governing general-purpose AI systems and serve as the central coordinating body for AI policy across the EU. It will collaborate with other departments within the EU executive, its agencies, companies, and the 27 Member States.
As the AI Act is set to officially enter into force in June, companies are gearing up to meet compliance deadlines. Prohibited practices specified in the AI Act will face bans starting in November, with general-purpose AI rules coming into effect in May 2025, followed by obligations for high-risk systems in three years.
The AI Board, comprising the 27 national regulators, will convene for its inaugural meeting in June to assist the AI Office in harmonizing regulations. Member states will have twelve months to appoint formal regulatory authorities before attending these initial meetings.
Recruitment for the AI Office is underway, with the Commission seeking experts from national administrations, as well as legal, policy, and technology professionals, through a recent call for applications.
Source: euronews.com
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Oneida County officials discuss artificial intelligence

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Artificial intelligence (AI) has evolved significantly from its early days, prompting local officials and experts to engage with residents of Oneida County to dispel misconceptions and discuss its implications.
At a recent gathering hosted at Mohawk Valley Community College’s Rome Campus, State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-Rome, and Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. convened with four experts to offer insights into AI.
The panel included:

Anthony Martino, director of Northeast Cybersecurity and Forensics Center at Utica University,
Charles Green, co-founder and CEO of Assured Information Security, Inc.,
Dr. Andy Drozd, president and chief scientist at ANDRO Computational Solutions,
LLC, and Stephen Acquario, Executive Director of New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC).

Griffo highlighted New York’s ambition to become a hub for AI research and development, stressing the importance of understanding AI’s implications for potential legislation. Picente echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the need to safeguard communities and individuals affected by AI.
The discussion delved into defining AI, with Martino cautioning against the indiscriminate labeling of technology as AI. Drozd described AI as a technology capable of processing vast amounts of data and delivering contextual and useful insights within seconds. Green underscored AI’s historical development and its current applications, particularly in large language models like ChatGPT.
While acknowledging AI’s transformative potential, the panel recognized the importance of data quality, as AI is only as effective as the data it’s fed. They highlighted AI’s role in personalizing online experiences and automating tasks like data analysis for government agencies.
However, concerns were raised regarding data privacy and intellectual property rights, with residents expressing apprehension about data collection and usage by AI systems. Martino and Drozd discussed emerging concepts around personal intellectual property and data ownership.
Regarding AI’s role in education, Drozd highlighted the availability of plagiarism detection services tailored for AI-generated content. Picente shared observations of AI-generated content inaccuracies, emphasizing the importance of monitoring AI applications.
While acknowledging AI’s benefits, Griffo and Picente stressed the need for responsible AI deployment, particularly in government services. They advocated for cautious monitoring of AI advancements and prioritized its use in enhancing operational efficiency at the county and local level.
In conclusion, the discussion underscored the need for informed dialogue and proactive measures to harness AI’s potential while mitigating risks and ensuring equitable access to its benefits.
Source: eu.uticaod.com
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