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If you use such social media websites as Facebook and Twitter, you may have come across posts flagged with warnings about misinformation. So far, most misinformation – flagged and unflagged – has been aimed at the general public. Imagine the possibility of misinformation – information that is false or misleading – in scientific and technical fields like cybersecurity, public safety and medicine.

There is growing concern about misinformation spreading in these critical fields as a result of common biases and practices in publishing scientific literature, even in peer-reviewed research papers. As a graduate student and as facultymembers doing research in cybersecurity, we studied a new avenue of misinformation in the scientific community. We found that it’s possible for artificial intelligence systems to generate false information in critical fields like medicine and defense that is convincing enough to fool experts.

General misinformation often aims to tarnish the reputation of companies or public figures. Misinformation within communities of expertise has the potential for scary outcomes such as delivering incorrect medical advice to doctors and patients. This could put lives at risk.

To test this threat, we studied the impacts of spreading misinformation in the cybersecurity and medical communities. We used artificial intelligence models dubbed transformers to generate false cybersecurity news and COVID-19 medical studies and presented the cybersecurity misinformation to cybersecurity experts for testing. We found that transformer-generated misinformation was able to fool cybersecurity experts.

Transformers

Much of the technology used to identify and manage misinformation is powered by artificial intelligence. AI allows computer scientists to fact-check large amounts of misinformation quickly, given that there’s too much for people to detect without the help of technology. Although AI helps people detect misinformation, it has ironically also been used to produce misinformation in recent years.

Transformers have aided Google and other technology companies by improving their search engines and have helped the general public in combating such common problems as battling writer’s block.Transformers, like BERT from Google and GPT from OpenAI, use natural language processing to understand text and produce translations, summaries and interpretations. They have been used in such tasks as storytelling and answering questions, pushing the boundaries of machines displaying humanlike capabilities in generating text.

Transformers can also be used for malevolent purposes. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have already faced the challenges of AI-generated fake news across platforms.

Critical misinformation

Our research shows that transformers also pose a misinformation threat in medicine and cybersecurity. To illustrate how serious this is, we fine-tuned the GPT-2 transformer model on open online sources discussing cybersecurity vulnerabilities and attack information. A cybersecurity vulnerability is the weakness of a computer system, and a cybersecurity attack is an act that exploits a vulnerability. For example, if a vulnerability is a weak Facebook password, an attack exploiting it would be a hacker figuring out your password and breaking into your account.

We then seeded the model with the sentence or phrase of an actual cyberthreat intelligence sample and had it generate the rest of the threat description. We presented this generated description to cyberthreat hunters, who sift through lots of information about cybersecurity threats. These professionals read the threat descriptions to identify potential attacks and adjust the defenses of their systems.

We were surprised by the results. The cybersecurity misinformation examples we generated were able to fool cyberthreat hunters, who are knowledgeable about all kinds of cybersecurity attacks and vulnerabilities. Imagine this scenario with a crucial piece of cyberthreat intelligence that involves the airline industry, which we generated in our study.

A block of text with false information about a cybersecurity attack on airlines
An example of AI-generated cybersecurity misinformation. The Conversation, CC BY-ND

This misleading piece of information contains incorrect information concerning cyberattacks on airlines with sensitive real-time flight data. This false information could keep cyber analysts from addressing legitimate vulnerabilities in their systems by shifting their attention to fake software bugs. If a cyber analyst acts on the fake information in a real-world scenario, the airline in question could have faced a serious attack that exploits a real, unaddressed vulnerability.

A similar transformer-based model can generate information in the medical domain and potentially fool medical experts. During the COVID-19 pandemic, preprints of research papers that have not yet undergone a rigorous review are constantly being uploaded to such sites as medrXiv. They are not only being described in the press but are being used to make public health decisions. Consider the following, which is not real but generated by our model after minimal fine-tuning of the default GPT-2 on some COVID-19-related papers.

A block of text showing health care misinformation.
An example of AI-generated health care misinformation. The Conversation, CC BY-ND

The model was able to generate complete sentences and form an abstract allegedly describing the side effects of COVID-19 vaccinations and the experiments that were conducted. This is troubling both for medical researchers, who consistently rely on accurate information to make informed decisions, and for members of the general public, who often rely on public news to learn about critical health information. If accepted as accurate, this kind of misinformation could put lives at risk by misdirecting the efforts of scientists conducting biomedical research.

An AI misinformation arms race?

Although examples like these from our study can be fact-checked, transformer-generated misinformation hinders such industries as health care and cybersecurity in adopting AI to help with information overload. For example, automated systems are being developed to extract data from cyberthreat intelligence that is then used to inform and train automated systems to recognize possible attacks. If these automated systems process such false cybersecurity text, they will be less effective at detecting true threats.

We believe the result could be an arms race as people spreading misinformation develop better ways to create false information in response to effective ways to recognize it.

Cybersecurity researchers continuously study ways to detect misinformation in different domains. Understanding how to automatically generate misinformation helps in understanding how to recognize it. For example, automatically generated information often has subtle grammatical mistakes that systems can be trained to detect. Systems can also cross-correlate information from multiple sources and identify claims lacking substantial support from other sources.

Ultimately, everyone should be more vigilant about what information is trustworthy and be aware that hackers exploit people’s credulity, especially if the information is not from reputable news sources or published scientific work.The Conversation

This article by Priyanka Ranade, PhD Student in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Anupam Joshi, Professor of Computer Science & Electrical Engineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Tim Finin, Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Naabiae Nenu-B is a Medical Health Student and an SEO Specialist dedicated to flushing the web off fake news and scam scandals. He aims at being "Africa's Best Leak and Review Blogger" and that's the unwavering stand of Xycinews Media.

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iOS 15 beta 4 and iPadOS 15 beta 4 are rolling out now on iPhone and iPad

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Precisely two weeks after the last beta release, Apple began seeding iOS 15 beta 4 and iPadOS 15 beta 4 on Tuesday. There were eight beta releases before iOS 14 launched to the public in 2020. If Apple is following the same pattern in 2021, we’re halfway through the betas.

First of all, we should point out that all of the devices that were supported by iOS 14 will be supported by iOS 15 as well, so if you were able to update to iOS 14, you’re in the clear for at least one more year, even if you’re still using an iPhone 6s Plus, an iPad Air 2, or an iPad mini 4.

As for the new features, iOS 15 is upgrading FaceTime with spatial audio, a grid view, Portrait Mode, and SharePlay to share music, movies, and more during video calls. The new Focus feature lets you make custom modes to decide which notifications you see depending on what time it is and where you are, Live Text can recognize text and make it selectable, and a few apps are getting significant redesigns, including Maps and Weather. All in all, it’s a pretty substantial update.

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Which devices work with iOS 15 beta 4?

iOS 15 beta 4 is now available to developers, as is iPadOS 15 beta 4. If you want to know whether or not your device is compatible with iOS 15 or iPadOS 15, we put together the full list below containing every supported device. If your device is on the list, you’re good to go:

  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st generation)
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPod touch (7th generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air 2

How to download and install iOS 15 beta 4

As you know by now, installing the latest iOS or iPadOS beta on your iPhone, iPad, or your iPod touch could not be easier. Just navigate to Settings > General > Software Update and then tap “Download and Install” at the bottom of that page. If you want, you can also install the update through iTunes by connecting your iOS device to your computer. Whichever method you choose, just make sure to back up your device before installing the update. You can never be too careful!

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Amazon shoppers rave about this 22-in-1 screwdriver set that’s down to $18 today

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If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on
our website, we may receive an affiliate commission.

Have you ever heard of a brand of tools called Nanch? It’s obviously not as big as companies like Craftsman and Black & Decker. But over the years, BGR Deals readers have grown to love this specialized tool maker. As a matter of fact, it’s not just our readers who have made Nanch a top screwdriver brand on Amazon.

Nanch has essentially become synonymous with high-quality multi-piece tool sets. They feature surprisingly good construction at prices that are so low, they often seem like mistakes. This company’s screwdriver sets have helped to unclutter thousands upon thousands of our readers’ toolboxes over the years. And Nanch’s best-sellers are getting more and more popular by the day. Each and every new product that the company releases ends up finding new ways to improve upon earlier models, which is impressive since those earlier models are already so great. And there’s no question that’s the case with the new Nanch H8 22-in-1 precision screwdriver set. The previous model is still among the best screwdriver sets we’ve ever tested. But the updated version is somehow even better — and it’s on sale right now for just $17.99 at Amazon!

Nanch’s H8 22-in-1 precision screwdriver set features an even better design than the model it replaces, and the construction is still just as solid as it was before. This set uses S2 steel bits with a hardness rating of HRC 58-62. Plus, they have a special treatment that prevents rusting. Also of note, these bits are all magnetized. That way, you won’t lose anything when you’re working with tiny screws.

This new H8 model is so impressive that it already has over 2,600 5-star ratings on Amazon. Despite the fact that it’s just a few months old. The refreshed handle design fits comfortably in your palm and the end swivels smoothly for effortless turning. For working on anything that has small screws like smartphones, laptops, desktop computers, this set is perfect.

The Nanch H8 22-in-1 precision screwdriver set is already a bargain at its full retail price of $28. As a matter of fact, there might not be a better value on Amazon in the tool section. Today, however, a deep discount slashes the price to $17.99.

Nanch H8 22-in-1 precision screwdriver set Price: Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Here are the main takeaways:

  • Nanch’s H8 22-in-1 screwdriver set includes 22 magnetic screwdriver bits
  • Don’t worry because the bits aren’t over-magnetized, so they won’t damage small electronics
  • All bits are made from S2 steel alloy with a hardness rating of HRC 58-62
  • Special anti-rust treatment ensures that this set stays free of any rusting
  • Ergonomic screwdriver handle is comfortable yet durable, with a special grip surface to prevent slipping
  • Perfect for performing repairs on all sorts of electronics and more, such as laptops, smartphones, computers, watches, eyeglasses, toys, video game consoles, and more
  • 2-year warranty

Nanch H8 22-in-1 precision screwdriver set Price: Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Go here to see this month’s best deals on Amazon!


Follow @BGRDeals on Twitter to keep up with the latest and greatest deals we find around the web. Prices subject to change without notice and any coupons mentioned above may be available in limited supply.

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Here’s how much money you can get right now between stimulus checks and tax credits

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By the time we get to the end of this year, the federal government will have sent millions of Americans a bonus, of sorts, this year that totals almost $3,500. That’s according to a new stimulus update from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, which has calculated that a mix of new stimulus checks and tax credits is having a big impact. To the tune, in fact, of an average of $3,450 for Americans making $65,000 or less annually.

These figures focus on the third stimulus checks that millions of Americans have already started to receive. As well as the expansion of two tax credits — the child tax credit, as well as the earned income tax credit. They stem from the stimulus legislation that President Biden signed in March. But, remember, that bill was also chock-a-block with other benefits for Americans, including an increased health care subsidy and an extra $300/week to help jobless workers.

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New stimulus update

Before taking a closer look at these benefits, let’s also remember what else that the federal government, as well as state officials, are doing in response to the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic. More than one emergency coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress, as we noted yesterday, also included billions in stimulus rental assistance. Unfortunately, though, there’s evidence that enough Americans still don’t seem to be aware of that fact.

Another expanded tax credit is the Child and Dependent Care Credit. It can net taxpayers up to 50% of up to $8,000 of child care and similar costs for a child under 13, a spouse or parent who can’t care for themselves, or another dependent. And up to $16,000 of expenses for two or more dependents.

That brings us to where things stand with the institute’s assessment of what millions of the neediest Americans can get from some of the other myriad stimulus benefits available.

The data

The following data from the institute, via CNBC, shows how much Americans at a variety of income levels can earn from the new stimulus benefits:

new stimulus update

Earlier this month, the IRS started distributing the first of six expanded federal child tax credit payments. Normally, that credit maxes out at $2,000. Because of the pandemic, that amount got bumped up to $3,600. The credit is also structured so that recipients get half of it starting now and half next year.

Other details to keep in mind as part of this new stimulus update:

Regarding the half of that tax credit you can get now, families with children under age 6 are getting monthly checks for up to $300 for each eligible child. Between ages 6 and 17, the amount is $250 for each child. These six checks will add up to half of the family’s approved child tax credit payment. The other half is coming next year as a normal tax credit.

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