Home Technology Hardware This Week in Technology: Deepfakes, Toyota, and More

This Week in Technology: Deepfakes, Toyota, and More


Facebook To Ban Deepfakes

Facebook announced plans to remove artificially changed videos, called deepfakes, from the website. The videos are computer-generated clips, designed to look real. They also use real people, like celebrities or politicians, in the videos. They often impose their faces on other people’s bodies, making it look like they are doing something they actually haven’t.

Facebook said that it would remove the deepfakes, as people don’t usually edit them in an easily recognizable way. They would also remove any video that misled a viewer into thinking that a person in a video said words they did not actually say. In addition, both Facebook staff and independent fact-checkers will flag the videos. However, the policy won’t apply to obvious parody or satirical videos.

Totoya To Build Prototype City In Japan

Toyota announced plans to create a ‘prototype city of the future’ in Japan on Monday. They plan to build it at the base of Japan’s Mt. Fuji, power it with hydrogen fuel cells, and have it function as a laboratory. The laboratory will research autonomous cars, “smart homes”, and AI, amongst other technologies. Toyota revealed its plan, named “Woven City”, at CES 2020.

“It’s hard to learn something about a smart city if you are only building a smart block,” James Kuffner, chief executive officer for the Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development, said. Overall, Toyota wants the project to create a safer, cleaner, more fun city. They also want the city to help teach cities around the world similar philosophies.

Plant-Based Pork Launched By Impossible Foods

Impossible Foods, creator of the Impossible Burger, launched a new plant-based pork substitute at CES 2020. They said they hope to appeal to a larger global audience, as pork is the most consumed meat in the world. In addition, the first product to feature the food, the Impossible Sausage, will launch next week at 67 Burger King locations across the country.

Impossible Foods hopes that the product will let them into the Chinese markets. “Now we’re accelerating the expansion of our product portfolio to more of the world’s favorite foods,” said Patrick Brown, Impossible Foods’ founder and chief executive. “We won’t stop until we eliminate the need for animals in the food chain and make the global food system sustainable.”

Uber Partners With Hyundai On Electric Air Taxi

Rideshare company Uber and carmaker Hyundai teamed up to develop electric air taxis. They are the latest companies to join the race to ease traffic by small, self-flying vehicles. “We’ve been making steady progress toward a goal of launching Uber Air by 2023,” Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate, said. Uber and Hyundai have both given different timelines for the project, however. Hyundai expects the vehicles to be completed by 2028.

Sony Announces Electric Car Concept

Electronics giant Sony announced an electric car concept at CES 2020. The vehicle, named the Vision S, features Sony’s sensors and in-car entertainment technologies. It also could aid assisted-driving systems in future vehicles. However, Sony did not announce any plans to sell it to the public.