Apple’s iCloud Photo Scanning Technology Explained

So that’s what it’s all about, I think, is that Apple is about to take a step forward for privacy i.e. they are going to encrypt iCloud from end to end, but to do so they had to exclude this technically complex exception for child pornography. And if I were Apple’s PR team, I would have made all of this child sexual abuse material a footnote to the ad that I’m encrypting iCloud end to end, but it looks like for some reason they rolled it out in the other order and maybe i wanted to show governments around the world, or at least the us government look, we’ve created a way to spot these terrible ones abusive content, even when we encrypt iCloud. So now we are going to do it. Now you can’t complain when we enable this really strong encryption for all of our cloud storage.

MC: Andy, thanks for walking us through this. It’s clear to me now how it all works and I’m sure all listeners feel the same.

AG: Perfect.

MC: Let’s take a break. And when we come back, we will make our recommendations.


MC: Very well, welcome back. This is the last part of our show, where we go over our recommendations for things our listeners might enjoy. Andy, you’re our guest, so you have to go first. What’s your recommendation?

AG: Well, I hope you’re okay. I actually have two recommendations. I have a highbrow recommendation and I have a lowbrow recommendation. My Intellectual Recommendation is a book I just read by Patrick Radden Keefe from The New Yorker. It’s called Empire of Pain, and it is really this incredible and very fat volume that is the whole story of the Sackler family. This family that essentially created the opioid epidemic. I think it’s fair to say that by running this little pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharma, and just popularizing the use of Oxycontin in America. And as they even describe it a bit like raining pills on everyone in the country and making millions of people addicted to this incredibly harmful drug. And it’s just a wonderfully narrated and told epic book. It’s kind of like the estate, i.e. showing the estate, but over several generations and with this incredible underlying historical value, like, very high impact.

MC: Ah, very cool.

AG: My lowbrow recommendation. I know Lauren is a Peloton fan, I believe, or at least a Peloton review, a review. I do not know.

LG: Cult member.

AG: Cult member, yeah. I have like my own janky Peloton type setup where I put my bike on a trainer and then I like to watch really violent movies on an iPad. And I recently watched Mortal combat, new Mortal combat in this setup and it was just a little gross. And there was just a minimum of fuss between the people hitting each other and tearing off limbs and thorns and so forth. So here is. This is my second recommendation.

LG: Who Needs Cody Rigsby When You Have Mortal combat?

MC: Is Cody part of the peloton?

LG: Obviously.

MC: Obviously yes.

LG: I love it, Andy.

MC: It’s awesome. Lauren, what’s your recommendation?

LG: My recommendation is an incredible story by Vauhini Vara in The Believers Magazine. This week it’s called “Ghosts”. We’ll add a link to it in the show’s notes. And she basically reached out to OpenAI, which we talked about in WIRED before, and OpenAI developed this machine learning model called GPT-3 that has gained a lot of attention lately. And basically what it lets you do is plug in texts and it spits out text for you, it writes things for you in a very human way. And Vauhini’s story is that his sister died when they were young, when they were both in high school. And although she’s, you know, a professional writer, she writes about how she was never really able to write honestly about her sister’s death and how traumatic it was for her. And so, what she did was she used GPT-3 to like to start the story sections.

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