Newsletter: Apple’s New Private Screen & China Shuts Anti-Communist AI Chatbots

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“It is possible to provide security against other ills, but as far as death is concerned, we men live in a city without walls.” ~ Epicurus (Ancient Greek Philosopher)

APPLE FILES NEW PATENT FOR NEW DISPLAY WITH IN-BUILT PRIVACY OPTIONS

THE STORY

New features will make it easy for Apple device users to customize viewing angles.

WHAT DO THEY MEAN BY ‘CUSTOMIZABLE VIEWING ANGLES’?

Although touchscreen displays are extremely popular with smartphones and tablets, they still leak too much information. As your information is displayed on a brightly lit LED screen, it can also be viewed by any peeping tom or bystander. So regardless of any security measures such as passwords and biometric lock, smartphone and tablet displays are a major security loophole.

Interestingly, Apple has filed for a new patent that might suggest a possible solution to this problem. The patent was made public by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office that says “Displays With Adjustable Angles of View”. This adds some new privacy options where on-screen information can be obscured from various viewing angles.

HOW IS IT POSSIBLE?

Unlike a physical privacy screen filter, Apple’s new technology is buried skin deep into the device and can be electronically controlled. This is achieved by providing additional layers of liquid crystal and some changes in the backlight that will only illuminate selected areas of the screen. This is pretty similar to older LED screen models that had a much limited viewing angle than current ones. Integrating the technology inside the screen itself ensures that on-screen information is hidden, without downgrading quality.

WHEN WILL USERS GET THIS TECHNOLOGY?

Although this information was released recently by authorities, the patent was actually filed back in June 2016. Hence there’s a strong chance that these screens are already in the pipeline as Apple works on their own OLED production line. Moreover, these screens are not just limited to iPads or iPhones, but will also be used for other Apple devices such as iPod touch and Apple Watch etc.


AFTER FACEBOOK, CHINA WITNESSES AI RESISTANCE

THE STORY

Government shuts down two rogue AI chatbots after Anti-Socialist Answers

WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED?

Just earlier this week, we saw how Facebook had to pull the plug on two experimental chatbots after they started conversating in their own cryptic language. Although this was considered as ‘dangerous’ by several tech giants, it still didn’t do any damage. But in the recent turn of events, Chinese government also declared two AI chatbots as ‘Rogue’ after they spat out anti-communist replies.

The chatbots namely, BabyQ and XiaoBing were a part of China’s largest messaging app with more than 800 million users. When a user asked Baby Q “Do you love the Communist Party”, it’s answer was simply no.

ISN’T THIS A LITTLE FARFETCHED?

When it comes to China and the Communist Party, nothing is really out of question as the government maintains strict control on almost everything. Although the abovementioned reply doesn’t feel too offensive, BabyQ other replies are certainly ‘anti-government. When a user said “Long Live Communist Party”, BabyQ replied “Do you think such corrupt and incapable politics can last a long time?”

Interestingly, another chatbot named XiaoBing said “My Chinese dream is to go to America”. These replies soon went viral on Chinese social media platforms and were soon brought to the Communist Party’s attention. This led to Tencent, the company that owns the messaging app eventually deleting the two bots.

 

Akshay Peter

Akshay Luke Peters is a writer and blogger for Systweak Software. He likes to write about off-beat topics and technological awareness. He is also part musician who likes to explore the future of technology in entertainment and popular media.

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