All posts tagged: giveaways

Tax giveaways, rent caps and childcare: what the manifestos would mean for your finances | Money

Tax giveaways, rent caps and childcare: what the manifestos would mean for your finances | Money

The manifestos are out, and every party fighting for your vote in the general election has included promises that could have an impact on your personal finances. How much of your earnings you take home, what the state pension will be worth, and how easy it will be to get on the housing ladder are among the key policy battles. We’ve looked at the pledges in the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties’ manifestos on these and other key areas. Tax Conservatives They are offering another 2p off the main class 1 national insurance contributions (Nics) paid by workers, taking the rate to 6% by 2027, and the abolition of class 4 Nics paid by the self-employed. (This year the government cut class 1 Nics from 10% to 8%, while class 2 – also paid by the self-employed – was axed.) There will be no increase in income tax or VAT. Labour The party promises taxes will be “kept as low as possible” for “working people” (it does not define this group), adding that “we …

How to spot a deepfake: the maker of a detection tool shares the key giveaways | Artificial intelligence (AI)

How to spot a deepfake: the maker of a detection tool shares the key giveaways | Artificial intelligence (AI)

You – a human, presumably – are a crucial part of detecting whether a photo or video is made by artificial intelligence. There are detection tools, made both commercially and in research labs, that can help. To use these deepfake detectors, you upload or link a piece of media that you suspect could be fake, and the detector will give a percent likelihood that it was AI-generated. But your senses and an understanding of some key giveaways provide a lot of insight when analyzing media to see whether it’s a deepfake. While regulations for deepfakes, particularly in elections, lag the quick pace of AI advancements, we have to find ways to figure out whether an image, audio or video is actually real. Siwei Lyu made one of them, the DeepFake-o-meter, at the University of Buffalo. His tool is free and open-source, compiling more than a dozen algorithms from other research labs in one place. Users can upload a piece of media and run it through these different labs’ tools to get a sense of whether …

UK should invest in green economy instead of tax giveaways, study shows | Green economy

UK should invest in green economy instead of tax giveaways, study shows | Green economy

The UK should invest £26bn a year in a low-carbon economy to revive prosperity instead of planning tax giveaways that will only lead to further stagnation, leading economists have advised. Investing in energy infrastructure, transport, innovation in new technologies such as AI, and the natural environment would boost the UK’s economy rapidly, the research found. Public investment at that level would be likely to generate about twice as much accompanying investment from the private sector, and would quickly pay off in higher productivity, efficiency savings, economic growth and carbon reductions, according to a major paper by Lord Stern, a former chief economist of the World Bank, and colleagues from the London School of Economics. Current government plans to stifle investment, by contrast, would lead to a “continuation of stagnant productivity and weak economic growth”. The findings are strikingly similar to the commitments made repeatedly by Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, to invest £28bn a year in a “green prosperity plan”. Those commitments have come under sustained attack from the Tories, and are now to be …

Putin offers unconvincing giveaways in a desperate bid to make up for killing the Ukraine grain deal

Putin offers unconvincing giveaways in a desperate bid to make up for killing the Ukraine grain deal

The second Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg on July 27 and 28 was predictably overshadowed by the war in Ukraine – and especially Russia’s refusal to agree an extension of the Black Sea grain deal, which expired earlier in the month. Russia’s decision was widely condemned at the time – including by the Kenyan government, which called it “a stab in the back”. Russia’s efforts to woo African leaders are part of the Kremlin’s broader efforts to extend its influence across the global south. The summit in St Petersburg, however, could not gloss over the limited success Russia has had in achieving this aim, nor the darker side of such efforts – including the weaponisation of food, and Russia’s support for some of the most repressive regimes in Africa. At the summit, Moscow presented its attempts to extend its influence across the continent with seemingly eye-catching plans for investment in cultural and educational exchanges and economic diplomacy. This was evident in Vladimir Putin’s speech: Russia’s president praised – among other things – growing trade links, …