よりたくさんのお金とより少ない自由 東南アジアの将来は繁栄するが自由が少ないようだ。この地域がより豊かになっても、民主主義は後退している。

 More money, less freedom
South-East Asia’s future looks prosperous but illiberal
Democracy is losing ground even as the region grows richer
Jul 18th 2017 | MAE SOT


THE young woman with the microphone cajoles, hectors and wheedles customers with the breathless enthusiasm of a livestock auctioneer at a county fair. She is standing behind a table stacked high with blue jeans; most of the milling crowd is dressed in lungyis, Myanmar’s skirt-like national dress. The fancy mall around them is anchored by a huge department store, dotted with banks and mobile-phone stalls and topped by a cinema and video arcade.



Myanmar has been growing so fast—by an average of 7.5% a year for the past five years—that the boom is reverberating in Mae Sot, just across the border in Thailand. Two years ago, says a longtime resident, the site of the mall was a swamp, and Mae Sot was a poky little border town with two small grocery stores. Today huge supermarkets, car dealers, electronics outlets and farm-equipment showrooms line the wide new road from the border into town, patronised by a steady stream of Burmese shoppers. Skeletons of future apartment blocks loom; the Thai government is building a new international airport. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecasts that Myanmar’s growth will hit 8% next year. 

Mae Sot:a district in western Thailand that shares a border with Burma to the west.

The region is full of such stories. Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam have been growing only slightly more slowly. Overall, the ten countries of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) grew at an annual rate of 5% over the past five years: not quite as fast as China or India, but much faster than Europe, Japan or America. The region’s 625m-odd people are growing richer and better educated; they will live longer, healthier and more prosperous lives than their parents. Of course, plenty of poverty remains—most people in Myanmar are still subsistence farmers—but the region’s economic trends are promising. 

subsistence:必要最低限の生活 自給農家

It was not always obvious that the South-East Asian economies would do so well. Only a generation ago Myanmar had been cut off from the world by despotic generals; Cambodia’s 25-year-old civil war was still sputtering; and Vietnam was only just beginning to experiment with some timid market reforms. The wealthier countries in the region, meanwhile, had seen their economies, and the underlying models of growth, shattered by the Asian financial crisis. 


The crisis proved salutary. Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand all adopted sounder macroeconomic policies and made some effort to curb the cronyism that had accompanied earlier growth. Nominally communist Laos and Vietnam and autarkic Myanmar all embraced free markets, up to a point. The days of nationalisation and central planning seem to be over. In much of the region inefficient and coddled state-owned businesses endure, and rent-seeking, corruption and protectionism are all more common than they should be. But across South-East Asia, liberal economics has won the argument. 

up to a point:完全ではないがあるところまでは

Politically, however, the region is moving in the opposite direction. The Asian crisis may have brought huge economic hardship, but it did at least unseat Suharto, Indonesia’s strongman of 20 years, and instigate political reforms elsewhere. In the years that followed, imperfect democracies in Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand appeared to be gaining strength. And Myanmar, after years of isolation and repression, embarked on an unexpected transition to democracy. 

instigate :着手する

But hoped-for openings never came in Laos and Vietnam, where the Communist Party has always been nakedly repressive. Singapore remains an illiberal, albeit effective, technocracy. The leaders of Malaysia and Cambodia, Najib Razak and Hun Sen, have proved depressingly adept at locking up critics and persecuting opponents. Cambodia’s most prominent opposition politician, Sam Rainsy, lives in exile to avoid imprisonment for a spurious conviction for defamation. Opposition figures in Malaysia find themselves in court on charges as varied as corruption and sodomy. 

nakedly :あからさまに

The junta that seized power in Thailand three years ago promises an election next year. Even in the unlikely event that it is free and fair, the constitution—which the army wrote and the new king signed in May—creates a junta-led Senate, imposes the generals’ 20-year plan on the country and provides ample grounds to remove any elected leader whom the army finds lacking. All this is designed to prevent voters from electing the “wrong” leaders, in the army’s view, as they have done at every opportunity over the past 15 years. 

ample :十分すぎるほどの
find lacking:よくないとみなされている

Democratic institutions are not yet quite that weak in the region’s two biggest countries, Indonesia and the Philippines, but in both liberals have more cause for fear than hope. Filipino voters, justifiably frustrated by the way that a few prominent families dominate politics, and by how recent economic growth has failed to reduce the high poverty rate, elected Rodrigo Duterte president last year. Alone among the five candidates, he seemed to care about ordinary people; his brutal anti-drug campaign has appalled foreigners but is popular at home. 


Mr Duterte reminisces fondly about the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and seems to crave dictatorial power himself. He has declared martial law on the southern island of Mindanao, and often muses about doing the same nationally. He veers between indifference and hostility to troublesome principles such as due process, the separation of powers and the rule of law—all of which need shoring up, not weakening. 

due process:正当な法の手続き

An election for governor of Jakarta in April, meanwhile, has left many Indonesians fearful for their country’s tradition of religious tolerance. Islamist agitators campaigned against the Christian incumbent, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, falsely claiming that he had insulted the Koran. Anies Baswedan, one of his rivals, embraced their shameless attempt to stir up sectarian tension, and won. Prabowo Subianto, a tub-thumping nationalist who lost the presidential election in 2014, backed Mr Baswedan. The fear is that Mr Prabowo, inspired by Mr Baswedan’s success, will try to foster similar divisions at the national level. 


But it is Myanmar that most encapsulates the region’s democratic reversal. When the army ceded power last year to Aung San Suu Kyi, its Nobel-prize-winning opponent of 30 years, expectations were astronomically high, even though the constitution the generals had written severely limited her powers. That has made her government’s craven and repressive acts all the more bewildering. It has charged more reporters with defamation than did her military-backed predecessor. She has been shamefully silent about the continuing persecution of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority, not even admitting, let alone trying to stop, the army’s well-documented campaign of rape, murder and destruction against Rohingya villages. It does not help that since Donald Trump became president, America, long the loudest champion of liberal values in the region, has more or less let the subject drop. 

let drop:止めにする

東南アジアの経済は急激に活発になって来ているが、何処の国もそれぞれ特有の政治的な課題を持っていて、なかなか民主主義が定着しそうにない。ミャンマーの経済が飛躍しているが、Aung San Suu Kyiの動きはロヒンヤへの対応に見られるようにおぼつかない。シンガポールは反自由主義だ。フィリピンはミンダナオに厳戒令が敷かれていて、彼はマルコスの憧れている。ベトナムやラオスは社会主義国で、あからさまに抑圧的だ。マレーシアはラザクが反対派を不法に押さえ込んでいる。


swingby_blog at 22:03コメント(0) 


上院の健康法案 トランプケア 第三版 上院の改定した健康法案の提案は良い提案なのか。そしてそれは通るのか。

The Senate’s health bill
Trumpcare, version three
Is the Senate’s revised health-care proposal a good bill? And will it pass?
Democracy in America
Jul 14th 2017by J.P.P.

トランプケア 第三版

IS THE Senate’s revised health-care proposal a good bill? And will it pass? Ideally these two questions would be related. But this is sausage-making, so they are not. Let’s take the first one first. 

If you want something approaching universal health-care coverage, there are three ways to do it. One is for the government to tax citizens and then use revenue to fund their care (the single-payer model). The second is to subsidise people to buy coverage. This only works if the subsidies are generous enough for the decision to buy insurance to be a no-brainer. The third is to compel people to buy insurance, by law or by a fine. 


At the moment America does all three. Veterans, the elderly, the poor and inhabitants of reservations for native Americans all have versions of the single-payer system, via the Veterans Health Administration, Medicare, Medicaid and the Indian Health Service. The care people receive from these programmes is often poor, but that’s another story. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, the federal government has also subsised people to buy insurance and introduced fines for those who do not. The result of this mixed system has been a decline in the number of people who have no health insurance, from a high of 18% in 2013 to 12% now, according to Gallup. That still leaves a lot of people with no coverage. This could be fixed by expanding the share covered by the single-payer system, by increasing the subsidies for buying insurance or by increasing the fines for not doing so. Or you could do all three. 

aka:also known as

Of course, this logic only applies if you start from the assumption that laws should be written with the aim of covering as many people as possible. Most Republicans in Congress do not share this assumption. They would, of course, like it if everyone had insurance. But they do not think it is the government’s role to make it happen (there are, of course, some people who take a different view within the Republican Party). 

Shorn of that aim, the need to balance single-payer coverage, subsidies and fines no longer applies. The Senate’s bill duly gets rid of the fines for not buying insurance. It reduces the value of subsidies and it also reduces spending on Medicaid, the programme for the poorest, compared with current plans. The bill’s supporters point out that Medicaid spending still rises under the revised bill, just not as fast. That is true, but the Congressional Budget Office thinks that under the first version of the Senate bill, 10m fewer people would be enrolled in Medicaid than under the current law. 

Shorn :剥ぎ取る

The Senate bill also allows plans to be sold that do not cover the “essential benefits” laid out by the Affordable Care Act. These include things like paediatrics, mental-health treatment and childbirth. Removing them means insurers will be able to sell cheaper plans, which could mean more people buy them. But customers might find they are not covered for treatment that they end up needing. And the insurance they buy could prove useless in a different way, too. 


Obamacare limited the cost of deductibles (for those who haven’t navigated the system, this is the amount of money a person pays for care before their insurance kicks in, a system designed to prevent frivolous trips to the doctor). A plan with a $10,000 deductible and a skimpy set of benefits would be much cheaper than anything currently on sale. The downside is that for a family with a low income, who cannot afford a $10,000 deductible, such a plan would be useless. 

frivolous :つまらない


Two other quick things to note that have not received the attention they might: first, there is a lot of language in the bill that seeks to reduce funding for abortions. Second, there are provisions aimed at preserving the number of beds in psychiatric wards. In the mental-health world there is a long-running argument between those who think patients who are mentally ill should be compelled to receive treatment, even against their will, and those who do not. The Republican position on this leans towards compulsion, hence the language about not cutting the number of beds on psychiatric wards. 


An ideal health-care law would not only increase the number of people covered. It would do more to bring down the cost of care while increasing the quality. This is hard, because cost and quality push in opposite directions. After having parts of my internal organs removed in a single-payer system (Britain’s NHS) and in the American system (using employer-provided insurance), I can attest that for those fortunate enough to be able to pay, the American system is miles better. 


That is a direct function of its high cost. The Senate bill sets up funds for innovation, as Obamacare did, but the trade-off between cost and quality will not be innovated away any time soon. To recap: the revised proposal would probably leave more Americans without usable health care and it does not do much to reduce the cost or to increase the quality of care. It is not a good bill. 

Will it pass? Unlike the first version of the Senate bill, this one does not give a very large tax-cut to those who have the most expensive insurance plans. That softens one line of criticism, that the original bill was a tax cut disguised as a health reform. It also gives the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, money to bring over wavering senators with funding for things they are particularly concerned about (for example, the bill contains money for treating the opioid epidemic, which is killing an American every 15 minutes). Three “no” votes would stop it in its tracks. There are two already, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine. But senators who have campaigned for years to repeal Obamacare are now being given the chance to vote for something that would mean less regulation of the insurance market and allow states more leeway to do as they please. I think it’s 50:50 whether the bill, or something like it, becomes law. 

opioid epidemic:麻薬利用の爆発的拡大


金曜日。今朝はEarly Birdsの会。午後は大角さんと欒さんとの面談。ではまた明日。

swingby_blog at 21:51コメント(0) 


トランプの家族はなぜアメリカが世襲のしきたりを避けるのかの例を示している。 身内の忠誠心は世間の信用と国家の双方に悪影響を与える力がある。

The Trump family demonstrates why America shuns hereditary rule
Loyalty between relatives has the power to poison both reputations and nations
United States
Jul 12th 2017



THE hereditary principle is not just unAmerican but harms the children of great men, Benjamin Franklin declared soon after the revolutionary war, as rumours flew of plots to establish a new aristocracy with George Washington at its head. To honour parents is reasonable, Franklin averred. But to reward descendants for an accident of birth is “not only groundless and absurd but often hurtful to that posterity”. 

great men:偉大な人々
accident of birth:たまたま生まれが幸いして

Much about President Donald Trump would dismay the Founding Fathers. The rows now embroiling his children and son-in-law would surely have nudged them towards outright alarm. Even Franklin, a prescient sort, might have struggled to imagine an American president’s child expressing willingness to receive “very high-level and sensitive information” about a political opponent from a hostile foreign power—as Mr Trump’s eldest son, Donald junior, did during the election of 2016. But long before that was known, the president’s use of his progeny as White House counsellors and as managers of his property empire—spurning advice to place his businesses in a blind trust—posed a grave threat to checks and balances crafted by the founders. 

outright alarm:あからさまな懸念
prescient :先見の明のある

Defenders of nepotism—for they do exist—argue that close relatives are able to offer presidents more candid advice than any outsider. They note that by some counts 16 presidential children have worked in the White House, variously as private secretaries (a tradition begun by the 6th president, John Quincy Adams, himself a president’s son), as unpaid gatekeepers (cf, Anna Roosevelt, daughter of Franklin), or as formal advisers (Dwight Eisenhower’s son John served as a national security aide). But such a defence of nepotism breaks down when America has a bad president. When ordinary aides find themselves in that unhappy situation, a sense of duty to their country, to their office or to the rule of law may prompt them to question furtive actions and poor decisions, or to resign. 


Other aides may be more strongly moved by self-interest, and a desire to keep their good name from being soiled by an unfit boss. But when a child wields power at the pleasure of a parent, fidelity to country or to the law must vie with deeper, more visceral loyalties. That tug of loyalties is more painful still when a parent is like Mr Trump, a clannish, vengeful man who, by his own son’s account, would send him to school with the growled warning: “Don’t trust anyone.” As for trying to preserve a free-standing good name, that is tricky if you are called Donald Trump junior. 

by his own son’s account:彼の息子の言うところによれば
As for :はどうかというと

Checks and balances are also disrupted when a child-counsellor to a president is at fault. Mr Trump may still resent the fact that he had to sack his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, for fibbing about contacts with the Russians. But the systems of control and accountability that caught Mr Flynn, starting with a free press, did Mr Trump a favour. Senior Trump administration officials and Republicans in Congress found Mr Flynn, an angry and conspiratorial ex-general, almost impossible to work with. 

at fault:誤って

In contrast, any hint of disrespect for a Trump child provokes indignation from the president, so that few Republicans in Congress care to exercise robust oversight of his daughter, Ivanka, or her husband, Jared Kushner, who both serve as senior advisers, with Mr Kushner wielding influence over dossiers from domestic economics to peace in the Middle East. In February Mr Trump attacked Nordstrom, a clothing chain, for dropping a fashion line branded by Ivanka, complaining on both his personal and government Twitter accounts that she had been “treated so unfairly”. 

oversight :みすごし

The president took to Twitter again this week to defend his daughter’s role, enraged by scoffing in the world press after he asked her to fill his seat briefly at the G20 summit. A press secretary for Mr Trump felt obliged to denounce such questioning of his daughter as an “outrageous attack against a White House senior adviser”. 


Congress has been feeble in policing potential conflicts of interest involving the Trump Organisation, headed by Donald junior and his brother Eric, as foreign governments book rooms or receptions at Trump properties, including a hotel a few minutes from the White House. 


Struggling to engage with a nationalist, America First president with a limited attention-span, foreign governments are learning to use his family to sway him. Angela Merkel of Germany invited Ivanka Trump to a summit on women’s empowerment. Arab delegations in Washington enthuse that dealing with Mr Kushner is a great comfort, as talking to rulers’ relations is the Arab way. As for Asia, “because China is not remotely interested in the democratic health of the United States” its leaders and tycoons are happy to flatter Mr Trump or do business deals with his family, giving China an advantage over more squeamish Western powers, sighs a diplomat who sees this process up close. 

squeamish :気難しい
up close:間近に

The father, the son and the holey Russia defence
In private, envoys to Washington compare the Trump children to princes and princesses in a royal court. That is a bit unfair to princes: such modern examples as William and Harry in Britain talk of duty, of humility and of shunning politics precisely because they are unelected. The Trump children are more self-congratulatory, praising their father for selflessly giving up a life that was “the epitome of the American dream” to serve as president. Donald junior bragged to the Republican National Convention about youthful visits to construction sites, so that: “we’re the only children of billionaires” as happy in a bulldozer as in a car.


Many grassroots conservatives cheer along. Last October Lexington watched Donald junior tell Republican campaign volunteers in Reno, Nevada, that his family was “sick” of “disgusting” media attacks, prompting one to reassure him: “I’d like to thank your family for going through the hell you are going through.” 


America’s founders recoiled from the hereditary principle. They feared a politics of tribal factions, too. The Trump clan is proving them right on both counts. 




swingby_blog at 22:57コメント(0) 



The Number of U.S. Adults Without Health Insurance Has Risen by Two Million This Year
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar / AP
Jul 10, 2017


Protestors Rally Against Health Care Bill At Marco Rubio's Miami Area Office

(WASHINGTON) — The number of U.S. adults without health insurance has grown by some 2 million this year, according to a major new survey that finds recent coverage gains beginning to erode. The new numbers highlight what's at stake as Congress returns to an unresolved debate over Republican proposals to roll back much of former President Barack Obama's health care law.

at stake:問題となっている・危険にさらされている

The Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index, published Monday, found that the uninsured rate among U.S. adults was 11.7% in the second three months of this year, compared with a record low of 10.9% at the end of last year. Though small, the change was statistically significant, survey analysts noted. While "Obamacare" has remained politically divisive, it had helped drive the uninsured rate to historic lows as some 20 million people gained coverage. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., plans to check vital signs on his GOP bill as senators trickle back to Washington from a July 4 break that many spent listening to constituents vent about health care.


McConnell is seen as a master legislative strategist, but there's no sign he's secured enough votes to pass a bill. He can only afford to lose two out of 52 Republican senators. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that at least 22 million more people would become uninsured under Republican legislation.


McConnell has been considering easing some of the bill's Medicaid cuts, beefing up health care tax credits to help people buy private insurance and adding billions of dollars to counter the opioid epidemic. That might comfort GOP moderates. To placate conservatives, McConnell is weighing demands to make it easier for insurers to offer skimpier policies.

Medicaid:メディケード, (公費)医療補償(制度)〘低所得者身体障害者に対する公的医療扶助(制度) 
opioid:《生化学・薬学》オピオイド モルヒネ様作用を示す合成麻酔薬(強力な鎮痛薬)

He's also admonished fellow Republicans that they may find themselves negotiating with Democratic leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York if they don't close ranks. In that case, McConnell said he'd aim for a limited package propping up troubled insurance markets around the country.

close ranks:陣営を固める

The Gallup-Sharecare survey serves as a kind of early indicator, publishing several months before the nimblest government surveys. The most recent government report found that progress reducing the number of uninsured stalled in 2016, after five consecutive years of coverage gains under Obama. 

Read More: President Trump's Latest Health Care Push Could Repeal Obamacare and Do Nothing Else Peering at this year, Gallup-Sharecare found an erosion of progress, with the number of uninsured edging up again. It estimated nearly 2 million dropped out of coverage. The losses were concentrated among younger adults and people buying their own health insurance policies, the survey found. That may be a reflection of rising premiums and dwindling choices in the insurance markets created under Obama.

Peering :凝視する

Also, President Donald Trump has branded his predecessor's leading domestic achievement a "disaster" while pursuing its repeal. Insurers say Trump administration actions are contributing to double-digit premium increases for next year. Gallup-Sharecare found that the uninsured rate rose by 1.9 percentage points among adults aged 18-25 since the end of last year, and 1.5 points among those aged 26-34.

Participation by young adults is considered vital for keeping health insurance premiums in check. But young adults are also likely to enjoy good health and may not recognize value in having coverage. The Gallup-Sharecare survey is an ongoing effort based on interviews with about 500 people a day. It was previously called the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.Results are based on telephone interviews conducted April 1-June 30, with a random sample of 45,087 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. The margin of error is plus or minus 1 percentage point.



swingby_blog at 20:54コメント(0) 


嘘のニュース:あなたの目にはまだ何も入ってこない。 嘘の出来事を音声やビデオでもっともらしく作る。(2)

Mr Goodfellow turned to a familiar concept: competition. Instead of asking the software to generate something useful in a vacuum, he gave it another piece of software—an adversary—to push against. The adversary would look at the generated images and judge whether they were “real”, meaning similar to those that already existed in the generative software’s training database. By trying to fool the adversary, the generative software would learn to create images that look real, but are not. The adversarial software, knowing what the real world looked like, provides meaning and boundaries for its generative kin. 


Today, GANs can produce small, postage-stamp-sized images of birds from a sentence of instruction. Tell the GAN that “this bird is white with some black on its head and wings, and has a long orange beak”, and it will draw that for you. It is not perfect, but at a glance the machine’s imaginings pass as real. 


Although images of birds the size of postage stamps are not going to rattle society, things are moving fast. In the past five years, software powered by similar algorithms has reduced error rates in classifying photos from 25% to just a few percent. Image generation is expected to make similar progress. Mike Tyka, a machine-learning artist at Google, has already generated images of imagined faces with a resolution of 768 pixels a side, more than twice as big as anything previously achieved. 


Mr Goodfellow now works for Google Brain, the search giant’s in-house AI research division (he spoke to The Economist while at OpenAI, a non-profit research organisation). When pressed for an estimate, he suggests that the generation of YouTube fakes that are very plausible may be possible within three years. Others think it might take longer. But all agree that it is a question of when, not if. “We think that AI is going to change the kinds of evidence that we can trust,” says Mr Goodfellow.

Yet even as technology drives new forms of artifice, it also offers new ways to combat it. One form of verification is to demand that recordings come with their metadata, which show when, where and how they were captured. Knowing such things makes it possible to eliminate a photograph as a fake on the basis, for example, of a mismatch with known local conditions at the time. A rather recherche example comes from work done in 2014 by NVIDIA, a chip-making company whose devices power a lot of AI. It used its chips to analyse photos from the Apollo 11 Moon landing. By simulating the way light rays bounce around, NVIDIA showed that the odd-looking lighting of Buzz Aldrin’s space suit—taken by some nitwits as evidence of fakery—really is reflected lunar sunlight and not the lights of a Hollywood film rig.


Amnesty International is already grappling with some of these issues. Its Citizen Evidence Lab verifies videos and images of alleged human-rights abuses. It uses Google Earth to examine background landscapes and to test whether a video or image was captured when and where it claims. It uses Wolfram Alpha, a search engine, to cross-reference historical weather conditions against those claimed in the video. Amnesty’s work mostly catches old videos that are being labelled as a new atrocity, but it will have to watch out for generated video, too. Cryptography could also help to verify that content has come from a trusted organisation. Media could be signed with a unique key that only the signing organisation—or the originating device—possesses. 


Some have always understood the fragility of recorded media as evidence. “Despite the presumption of veracity that gives all photographs authority, interest, seductiveness, the work that photographers do is no generic exception to the usually shady commerce between art and truth,” Susan Sontag wrote in “On Photography”. Generated media go much further, however. They bypass the tedious business of pointing cameras and microphones at the real world altogether. 

generic exception:一般的に除外しない 



swingby_blog at 21:17コメント(0) 


嘘のニュース:あなたの目にはまだ何も入ってこない。 嘘の出来事を音声やビデオでもっともらしく作る。

Fake news: you ain’t seen nothing yet
Generating convincing audio and video of fake events
Jul 1st 2017


EARLIER this year Francoise Hardy, a French musician, appeared in a YouTube video (see link). She is asked, by a presenter off-screen, why President Donald Trump sent his press secretary, Sean Spicer, to lie about the size of the inauguration crowd. First, Ms Hardy argues. Then she says Mr Spicer “gave alternative facts to that”. It’s all a little odd, not least because Francoise Hardy (pictured), who is now 73, looks only 20, and the voice coming out of her mouth belongs to Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to Mr Trump.

alternative facts:代わりの[代替的(な)]事実、オルタナティブ・ファクト、欺瞞  “うそ”の言い換え表現。2017年1月20日にドナルド・トランプ氏が第45代アメリカ大統領に就任した後の数週間にトランプ政権の上級顧問や報道官などによって多用された表現

The video, called “Alternative Face v1.1”, is the work of Mario Klingemann, a German artist. It plays audio from an NBC interview with Ms Conway through the mouth of Ms Hardy’s digital ghost. The video is wobbly and pixelated; a competent visual-effects shop could do much better. But Mr Klingemann did not fiddle with editing software to make it. Instead, he took only a few days to create the clip on a desktop computer using a generative adversarial network (GAN), a type of machine-learning algorithm. His computer spat it out automatically after being force fed old music videos of Ms Hardy. It is a recording of something that never happened. 

wobbly :不安定な
spit it out:白状する
fed :与える

generative adversarial network:GANではgeneratorとdiscriminatorという2つのネットワークが登場します。Generatorは訓練データと同じようなデータを生成しようとします。一方、discriminatorはデータが訓練データから来たものか、それとも生成モデルから来たものかを識別します。 この関係は紙幣の偽造者と警察の関係によく例えられます。偽造者は本物の紙幣とできるだけ似ている偽造紙幣を造ります。警察は本物の紙幣と偽造紙幣を見分けようとします。 次第に警察の能力が上がり、本物の紙幣と偽造紙幣をうまく見分けられるようになったとします。すると偽造者は偽造紙幣を使えなくなってしまうため、更に本物に近い偽造紙幣を造るようになります。警察は本物と偽造紙幣を見分けられるようにさらに改善し…という風に繰り返していくと、最終的には偽造者は本物と区別が付かない偽造紙幣を製造できるようになるでしょう。 GANではこれと同じ仕組みで、generatorとdiscriminatorの学習が進んでいきます。最終的には、generatorは訓練データと同じようなデータを生成できるようになることが期待されます。このような状態では、訓練データと生成データを見分けることができなくなるため、discriminatorの正答率は50%になります。

Mr Klingemann’s experiment foreshadows a new battlefield between falsehood and veracity. Faith in written information is under attack in some quarters by the spread of what is loosely known as “fake news”. But images and sound recordings retain for many an inherent trustworthiness. GANs are part of a technological wave that threatens this credibility. 


Audio is easier to fake. Normally, computers generate speech by linking lots of short recorded speech fragments to create a sentence. That is how the voice of Siri, Apple’s digital assistant, is generated. But digital voices like this are limited by the range of fragments they have memorised. They only sound truly realistic when speaking a specific batch of phrases. 

Generative audio works differently, using neural networks to learn the statistical properties of the audio source in question, then reproducing those properties directly in any context, modelling how speech changes not just second-by-second, but millisecond-by-millisecond. Putting words into the mouth of Mr Trump, say, or of any other public figure, is a matter of feeding recordings of his speeches into the algorithmic hopper and then telling the trained software what you want that person to say. Alphabet’s DeepMind in Britain, Baidu’s Institute of Deep Learning in Silicon Valley and the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) have all published highly realistic text-to-speech algorithms along these lines in the past year. Currently, these algorithms require levels of computing power only available to large technology companies, but that will change. 

in question:話題にしている・疑わしい

Generating images is harder. GANs were introduced in 2014 by Ian Goodfellow, then a student at MILA under Yoshua Bengio, one of the founding fathers of the machine-learning technique known as deep learning. Mr Goodfellow observed that, although deep learning allowed machines to discriminate marvellously well between different sorts of data (a picture of a cat v one of a dog, say), software that tried to generate pictures of dogs or cats was nothing like as good. It was hard for a computer to work through a large number of training images in a database and then create a meaningful picture from them. 

discriminate :識別する
nothing like as good:足元にも及ばない



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