26 May 2022
Google has shown off an artificial intelligence system that can create images based on text input. The idea is that users can enter any descriptive text and the AI will turn that into an image. The company says the Imagen diffusion model, created by the Brain Team at Google Research, offers "an unprecedented degree of photorealism and a deep level of language understanding."
This isn't the first time we've seen AI models like this. OpenAI's DALL-E (and its successor) generated headlines as well as images because of how adeptly it can turn text into visuals. Google's version, however, tries to create more realistic images.
Like DALL-E, Imagen is not available to the public. Google doesn't think it's suitable as yet for use by the general population for a number of reasons. For one thing, text-to-image models are typically trained on large datasets that are scraped from the web and are not curated, which introduces a number of problems.
Imagen is not (yet?) available to the public - but you can have a play! Go HERE, scroll about 60% of the way down the page to the section headed "State-of-the-art text-to-image", then select various (albeit limited) parameters to vary the image. Cool, but somewhat scary - think of the implications... Here's one I prepared earlier:
24 May 2022
According to government statistics, 50% of cars broke the speed limit on motorways between January and March this year. Even more worryingly, on 30 mph roads, 56% of cars broke the speed limit.
Almost four in five (79%) drivers admit to having broken the speed limit at some point. And more than two in five (42%) have been caught doing it.
With so much misinformation and confusion, we decided to set the record straight regarding speed cameras. We spoke to GoSafe – Wales’s road casualty reduction partnership.
Meanwhile in other news: in North Wales, road users are being warned that by warning others of mobile speed cameras they risk being fined up to £1,000. So, not at all an income generation measure then?...
23 May 2022
We want a safer, cleaner, greener countryside for us all to enjoy. The UK Government should bring in a total ban on sky lanterns in England and Wales without delay.
Every year up to 200,000 sky lanterns are released in the UK. These floating flames are highly dangerous.
• Start wildfires
• Kill animals
• Destroy food growing in fields
• Set homes and buildings alight
And the litter they leave in their wake is a blight on our beautiful countryside.
The threat posed by sky lanterns is greater during the summer months. As the weather becomes warmer and drier, the risk of wildfire increases. More animals live out in the fields and could eat fallen lanterns, potentially leading to injury and even death. That’s why action is needed now.
So far 174 councils out of 333 across England and Wales have voluntarily banned sky lanterns but this only covers the land they own. We know that the UK Government is listening and this issue is on the political agenda.
A total ban would mean that sky lanterns cannot be launched from anywhere in England and Wales.
Germany, Austria and Brazil have already implemented a ban. It is time for us to do so, too.
Sign this petition to Jo Churchill MP, the minister with responsibility for sky lanterns, and show her you support a total ban.
20 May 2022
Even in a nation riddled by decades of ethnic and religious conflict where thousands of Christians have been killed, the incident has sparked uproar. But this outrage has mostly been confined to Nigeria itself; much of the Western world turns a blind eye to the horrors unfolding in Africa.
In the last year, more Christians have been killed for their faith in Nigeria than anywhere else in the world combined. In 2021, at least 6,000 Christians died for their religion; eight in ten were Nigerians, often at the hands of jihadists. Read more...