The Download: Ukraine claims it’s using facial recognition to identify dead Russian soldiers

Clearview AI claims to be the world’s “largest facial network”, compiled from a database of over 10 billion images scraped from publicly available websites, including social media profiles for use by consumers, including law enforcement agencies.

Ukrainian authorities are sending messages to relatives urging them to come and collect the bodies, Fedorov told Reuters, adding that the percentage of soldiers claimed by families through the software was “high”.

The exact number of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine is unknown. While the Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged that 498 of its troops had been killed in early March, US and Ukrainian officials estimated that the total death toll was significantly higher. Yesterday, NATO released estimates that up to 40,000 Russian soldiers had been killed, wounded, taken prisoner or missing.

– Ryanon Williams

Does China also want to know how the epidemic started?

An international group of scientists says it has zeroed in on the live animal and seafood market in the city of Wuhan where the epidemic began. However, information on China’s wildlife trade is extremely difficult to obtain, and the Chinese authorities are reluctant to help. In fact, they actively thwart further learning efforts, spreading the now widely accepted theory among the Chinese population that the Covid-19 came from the US.

It all raises a crucial question: will we ever find out how the epidemic started? And does China want to know? And while the original invention is undoubtedly political, is it also driven by stereotypes?

If you want to know more, tune in to the fourth episode of our podcast series, Curious Consciousness, which talks about the epidemic and its origins. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you usually go for audio.

Must read

I used the internet to find out some of the most fun / important / scary / compelling stories about technology today.

1 How do we want Putin to lose the Ukraine war?
Things are really bad now. They can get worse. (Wired $)
+ Today marks one month since the war began. (The Guardian)
+ NATO is doubling its military presence on its eastern front(NYT)
+ Russia and the US advance each other’s lies on the far-right war(NYT)
+ Russia’s attacks on civilian targets have destroyed everyday life in Ukraine. (NYT)

2 How to talk to your children about paramacrisis
You don’t have to lie, but complete honesty is not always the best policy. (The Guardian)
+ Young people are being pushed back against the Climate Doom, which they say is another form of denial. (NYT)
+ That weird, nuanced worry? It doesn’t seem like a vibe shift, but a world of perpetual chaos. (buzzfeed)

3 Israel blocks Ukraine from buying Pegasus spyware
Fear will make Russia angry. (WP)

4 Lapsus $ Hex British teenager discovered
Wow. He doesn’t know what to do. (Bloomberg 2)
+ These are the Russian cyber attacks that the West fears the most(BBC)

5 Facebook is all-in on remote working
It must be one of a kind, because its management is now spread all over the world. (WSJ)
+ Instagram now lets you view your feeds in chronological order. (Mashable)

6 It may be time to shine for a small nuclear reactor
They are designed to be cheap, fast and less financially risky to build. (Economist)
+ Higher gas prices are making Americans more interested in electric cars(WSJ)

7 A new crypto project called ApeCoin appears
For all the talk of decentralization and democratization, these projects definitely choose to give the first and foremost benefit to the people inside. (The Verge)
+ Some roller derby skaters tried to start an NFT project. The wider community had none of that. (Vox)

Shopping in 8 Metawors can be fun
Luxury goods are already being copied on virtual platforms. (CNET)

The man who invented 9 GIFs has died
But no, it’s not pronounced ‘gif’. (The Verge)

10 Can You Teach People to Be Happy?
It seems! But only if they want to teach. (Wired $)

Quote of the day

“It simply came to our notice then. There is no place to hide. “

Aingwild Bode, a researcher on autonomous weapons at the University of Southern Denmark, tells the Washington Post what will happen to the newly erupted ‘kamikaze’ drones in Ukraine, as both Russian and Ukrainian forces have begun deploying them.

We can still have good things

A place for relaxation, pleasure and distraction in these strange times. (Any ideas? Drop me a line or tweet me.)

+ Although it is only five seconds long, this video distributes on many levels.
+ Tons of brilliant travel planning fodder.
+ This sounds like my kind of inquiry.
+ An excellent list of songs that come within two minutes. Surprisingly, none of them have a punk track.
+ Stressed? Have you ever tried to dip your head in icy water? No, seriously …
+ Margaret Atwood’s Dream Dinner Party. And speaking of novelists, they will be thrilled to know that we are all reading more
+ The photos in this New York Times section about Mexican stone carvings are wonderful.

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