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tv   Click  BBC News  April 28, 2019 12:30pm-1:01pm BST

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hello, this is bbc news with me, rebecca jones. the headlines. he has run quicker than anyone else here, including himself, in london.
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in the last few minutes eliud kipchoge has won the london marathon for a fourth time. the kenyan won in the second fastest time ever. britain's sir mo farah finished fifth. britain's fracking tsar quits after six months in thejob. natascha engel says ministers are paying too much attention to a small but noisy environmental lobby. a woman is shot dead and three people are injured at a synagogue in california. police are questioning a 19—year—old man who they say opened fire with an assault rifle. conservative party chairman, brandon lewis, says he still hopes the uk won't have to take part in next months european elections. security fears in sri lanka has lead to church services being cancelled — a week after easter suicide bombings by islamist militants killed more than 250 people. now on the bbc news channel — it's time for click.
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this week: setting the record straight, lunar cities, and flying elephants. possession of illegal drugs comes with consequences. and until recently, americans caught carrying marijuana could have earned a conviction. but now, recreational use of the drug has been decriminalised in some states, and those previously convicted can ask for their records to be expunged. the problem is, it has been a slow, lengthy and expensive process, forcing less wealthy individuals to have to live with
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their criminal records. but now, an artificially intelligent algorithm is helping those who want to wipe the slate clean. dave lee has been investigating. antony turner co—owns a tiny cafe just outside the city of los angeles. it's a remarkable turnaround for a man whose teenage years left him with a number of convictions, that eventually saw him sent to prison for 12 years. some of the charges were related to cannabis, and many years on, his criminal record still greatly affects his daily life. if you have been convicted of a crime in the county of los angeles in the state of california, you can't get a dog walker‘s license, you can't fly a drone. i can never adopt kids. my son, at 15 years old, i can't coach his little league team because i am a convicted felon. at the weekends, anthony runs what are known
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as expungement clinics. these are places where members of the community can go to get free assistance in removing or reducing their criminal record. this one is funded by a new law that californians passed in 2016 that made cannabis legal for everyone in the state. as part of that law, people who were convicted of marijuana offences that would no longer be illegal can now apply to have them scrubbed from their record. clinics like this are of course vital, but they are also obviously really inefficient. people have to come to the building, they have to meet with lawyers who are working for free over the weekend, and they have to fill in a bunch of forms, which takes a long time. that's why in san francisco they have been working on a way to take this entire process and make it automated. code for america is a non—profit organisation that brings silicon valley thinking to government technology. engineers here have created an incredible algorithm that is able to quickly scrape past marijuana
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cases and automatically find criminal records that are eligible to be expunged. the estimates are it takes an attorney between 20—30 minutes to review a criminal record. in some instances it can be 15 minutes. in any case, that's one record reviewed in 15 minutes. leveraging our technology, the da can review thousands of records in just a couple of minutes. in an unprecedented and groundbreaking move, the technology was adopted by san francisco's district attorney. in a matter of minutes, 9,362 eligible cases, dating as far back as 1975, were identified and will soon be expunged by a judge. we created this war on drugs, we harmed many communities throughout the years, and when i say "we" i am talking about the criminaljustice system and society in general, and ifeel that we have an obligation to right that wrong.
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so this is a process that i felt was important to reduce the marginalisation we have created. at code for america there is hope that this type of technology can be applied not only to the justice system, but to other areas where americans, particularly poor americans, need help fast. we have got a lot of people in the country right now who need a real safety net, they need to get bounced back when they hit a hard spot, and they need the criminaljustice system not to pull them down into a cycle of what can become persistent poverty and incarceration. earlier this month los angeles county announced it too would begin using code for america's algorithm. it is expected that as many as 50,000 people in this region alone might quickly have their records cleared. by having certain things on your record it closes doors to more opportunities, and by expunging them it might reopen those doors. i want to get this off, get clean, do what i have to do
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and have a better life, i guess you can say, than what i do now. it makes me feel a lot better than i am not a felon. it is not a complete solution, campaigners say, but it is being seen as one major step in the right direction. courts are overwhelmed, judges are overwhelmed, das are overwhelmed, and these algorithms can actually streamline that process. i mean, they are reading 500,000 lines of data in under 90 seconds. we live in a technological age, this is the way that we are supposed to be doing business, and if it streamlines government, saves taxpayers money and makes us safe? it's a no—brainer. having a criminal past is complicated, and controversial. no algorithm will be able to solve the wider societal disagreements about how to handle those who break the law, even laws that no longer exist. not everyone believes criminal records should be removed. i say to those who feel that it is tough luck...
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what they should do is look into themselves and ask themselves, would they have have wanted to be forgiven for their lives, have they ever asked for forgiveness, because that is what you are doing with society. you are asking notjust for a specific person's forgiveness, you are asking the world to forgive you. that was anthony turner talking to dave lee. when was the last time you wrote a letter — actually handwrote one? i know, right? it is all about tippy—tappy typing these days, isn't it. well, 0mar mehtab has been looking at a way machine learning could help write things for you, in your own script. but is it good enough to fool the human eye? is my handwriting really that bad? yes. yeah, it is. (laughs). meet hemingway. this little robot is doing something that i hate — writing a letter.
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but this one is particularly special, because it is doing it in my style of handwriting. this is writing in exactly my style. and the way hemingway here learnt how to write in my style was i sent this piece of paper and with a sample text. this took me 15 minutes to write, hemingway can do it in two. after sending through my written text, the handwriting company scans it and put it through its machine learning algorithm to figure out how i write my letters. so the interesting thing about our tech is we mimic what humans do. humans are completely unique, every time you write a character it is going to be a tiny bit different, and we pick up on those nuances, so our technology will learn how you do those and will also mimic all the variation you apply to this, and generate more on top of it. it is notjust printing the words on paper, it is applying pressure at certain points where i apply pressure.
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it is being able to do that. the g, i do a g like that without a curl at the bottom, so does this. just subtle little things, it has got it down to a t. this is wicked, look at that. it's all very impressive, and even if i write underneath the robot's lines, you can see the results are very similar. there are small details like little flicks of the pen that set mine apart. but why would anyone want a handwritten letter nowadays? so it might seem a bit counterintuitive, but the noise — you get so many emails a day, and you barely read half of them. it is about cutting through that noise and adding a personal touch. so we work with big political organisations, they send them out, hotels use it for adding a personal touch, or maybe even your exams. to see how convincing this robot really is, i have brought in graphologist adam brand to see if he can tell which is which. the bottom one is written by a human being.
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the top one is mechanical. 0h! laughs. yeah, that is me. was it easy to tell which one was which? it has got the spacing right, it's got the angles right, it has got the form right, but what it is fundamentally missing is the fluency. the little nick there and there. what can you tell from my handwriting about me? there is some lovely things going on here, the sensitivity, the fluency, the need for information, the mental enthusiasm. does it mean that everything you can tell with my handwriting you can't tell from theirs? you can tell a lot from theirs, but in terms of actual identification, it lacks soul. is there potential for misuse as it currently stands? there are security problems, clearly. but it is too easy to pick up the fact that one is mechanical and the other is by a human being. you know, you are the first ever
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person that has been positive about my handwriting. the handwriting company plans to improve the system so in future you can print your handwritten letters at home, tell your smart home assistant to write something up, and even write with a particular emotion, like light and flowing for happy, and intense pressure for angry. but until then, it is cursed with my cursive. hello and welcome to the week in tech. it was the week that the launch of the samsung bendable galaxy fold phone was delayed after early reviewers flipped out over faulty display screens. google alphabet subsidiary wing aviation is flying high, becoming the first drone delivery service to be certified by the us federal aviation administration, the faa. and the uk government has reportedly approved the supply of some equipment from chinese company huawei for use in the new 5g data network. some ministers have raised concerns
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about the decision and its effect on national security, but huawei has consistently denied that its work poses any risk of espionage or sabotage. vodafone was the uk's worst mobile network provider for the 8th year in a row according to survey from consumer group which. vodafone issued a statement apologising to customers, saying "we are working hard to understand the issue and what more we can do." virtual network provider giffgaff came top. tesla has reported a loss of over £500 million for the first three months of the year. it is also opening an investigation after this video appearing to show a model s vehicle exploding in shanghai was shared on a chinese social platform weibo. and finally a trio of autonomous robots are floating in a most peculiar way, doing astronauts‘ chores in space. meet honey, queen and bumble — these are astrobees, spent to the international space station where they will be busy — i bet they wish they were up there with buzz aldrin.
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the year is 2040. welcome to moon valley, the newest city in the universe. home to 1,000 people — builders, engineers, farmers, doctors — and every year, over 10,000 more come to visit. sounds great, doesn't it? which leaves me with just one important question. how on earth did we get here? moon valley is the vision of someone we have met before. japanese company ispace were one of the companies competing for the google x prize, which offered $20 million for the first team to land a rover on the moon by the end of march 2018. no—one managed to be ready in time but several of the projects are still ongoing.
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the israeli team recently did reach the moon but crashed into the surface. and as i found out when i visited their new headquarters in tokyo, ispace also haven't given up their lunar ambitions. in fact they have expanded them. we have already made a completed rover, so we have moved to the lander development. ispace has secured extra funding to put japan's first lander on the moon. deployed by a spacex rocket, the first one will orbit the moon in 2020, and the second in 2021 will land and deploy two rovers onto the lunar surface. this is the control station for the rover. you have all your readouts here, you've got what the camera can see here, and weirdly, these are the control units, they are just off—the—shelf modular units which seem to stick together like this.
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you have your speed, the distance you want it to travel here, the direction you want it to go there, so you set all those parameters up and then you press the big button there, and the rover does what you asked it. then, as long as you haven't put it down a crater or something, you can do the next step. i hope they put some markings on these controls before the mission. as with all space projects, the first few missions will take small steps to test their technology, but all this extra investment is probably due to what ispace plans to do next. so hang on, there is a lunar cave? yes. and you are going to go towards the entrance of the lunar cave? yes. what's in the lunar cave? this is a new discovery, very recent. we still don't know what is inside. oh, my goodness, it could be anything! yes. but it is properly going to be rocks? yeah, sure. laughs.
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it has recently been discovered that there could be a network of lunar underground tunnels that were once filled with lava, and that these lava tubes could be accessed through caves or skylights at the bottom of craters. these permanently dark, cold areas could contain ice, and ispace plans to use two rovers tethered together to go find it. by using many networked robots to locate and then mine the ice, ispace is proposing to use electrolysis to mass produce rocket fuel. this could create a whole industry on the moon which could then be used as a base to reach further into the solar system. we believe that the moon is going to be the stepping stone for further space development. and in order to create such a world, we believe we need to create an economy in space. even the first steps
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are fraught with difficulty. for example, those first rovers, should they successfully reach the moon, will have to work quickly. a lunar day lasts 1a earth days, after which there are 1a earth days of darkness and temperatures so low, that they won't survive until the next dawn. but when it comes to space, these are the sorts of challenges that pioneers relish and they certainly haven't stopped ispace from shooting for the moon. now then, blockbuster film season is fast approaching so we thought we'd look at the amazing effort that went into creating the world of one of the big children's films of the year, dumbo. this is tim burton's reimagined take on a disney classic where some of the individual frames took 36 hours to render.
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and now, introducing our world—famous flying elephant! i think initially when i came onboard, my focus was, what's dumbo going to look like, what are the practical considerations as well as the design considerations, how does tim really want to realise him as a character? even though tim wanted something that was completely photo—real, his unusual design wasn't going to sit well within a perfectly real world so we chose not to shoot location, we shot everything on stage, controlled the lighting and the set design, it was very important that we created not only this beautiful downtrodden character for the movie with the sort of unusual proportions but he also lived in a world that was equally designed to suit his character and look as well. dumbo's animation is incredibly subtle, it's very contained and most of his emotion is read either through his eyes or a subtlety in the body language
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so you are seeing quite a lot of work to sort of find the look and while we were filming, we were do everything we can to make sure we get as much in camera as possible and the suit is provided for the kids to stroke but to make that interaction work, we added cgi hay on top of him so they are brushing his hands, it's something to knock off and when we first meet dumbo and he tumbles out of the train carriage, we had a starting point from a stunt performer rolling down the ramp but ultimately we had to create a large volume of hay for him to interact with and slide off his head and body. similarly, water interaction, we did a combination of generating a lot of computer—generated foam and water elements to sit over our dumbo and a number of practical elements against foam elements, against black which we could then add
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to in the final process. welcome to the medici family circus where anything is possible! notjust dumbo but the adult elephant in the show, they all require an extensive rigging process so the animation team, they firstly have a really good skeletal structure that they can move the joints around and allow them to move as naturally as possible, but there are also all the muscles on top of the skeleton and the skin, which all has to interact. one of the key things i wanted to make sure we did was to really capture the subtlety of motion you get in elephant skin which is incredibly loose and stretchy, the way it expands, it creates all these different patterns of wrinkles and some of the details really important
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to capture and we ended up having to embark on a whole new way of creating a sort of skin simulation for want of a better word. right wing. check. left wing. check. prepare for take—off! fa ntastic stuff. now then, i've come to east london where i'm about to make my own great escape. hi, welcome to 0therworld. would you like to come with me? looking nothing at all like an episode of black mirror, this is a virtual reality arcade with a difference. step in one of the 1a pods, put on the garb, and you will be transported to 0therworld.
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i find myself on an island where i am free to wander about. i'm sliding down the slide. i like the way that you walk in this game. you squeeze your triggers and then you just do a walking motion with your hands. being in your own private pod means the environment is controllable and as you wander into different climates, a rumble pad under your feet and heat lamps and fans which subtly change the temperature make this a multisensory experience. you can feel the heat on the back of my head now because i'm facing away from the sun. i do like that. put simply, 0therworld is a way to play many different vr games all in one place. from frantic shoot—em—ups to more serene experiences. but instead of choosing them from a menu, here, you wander the islands, just as you wander around a themepark looking for different rides. the idea is that you don'tjust walk
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around this landscape, you find these pods and inside each one is a vr game so i'm going into one called space pirate trainer. there are 16 games currently available and in the future, the 0therworld team will allow you to convert points won in—game into real—world tokens to spend on the bar. and although i think my performance is definitely something that belongs behind closed doors, it's also possible share your experience with your friends in other pods. laughing in other pod. i want to know what they're doing in that other pod! now, 0therworld is not finished and it's not locked down. it's in continual development in the slightly less glamorous workshop just around the corner. we are always going to bring improvements or taking away features that people don't like, or fixing things, and it's this very
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fluid development we have an active sandbox literally around the corner of customers going in and using it all day. with £1 million worth of investment so far, 0therworld certainly looks the part but as one of the first vr arcades in the uk, it's probably too early to tell if it can keep enough people coming through its doors to keep things afloat. i think vr can be good in a limited sense in the home but to gain the full experience it's like going to a proper cinema and that's what we're trying to do, we are giving people the space in which to play and is well we are up raiding the vr experience and that is what those extrasensory effects, the heat the rumble given. it will be massive. laughing in other pod. oh, my goodness. that's it from 0therworld. don't forget, we live on social media. you'll find us there throughout the week on facebook, instagram, youtube and twitter at @bbcclick.
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see you soon and if you need me, i'll be in my pod. overall, a much calmer day compared with yesterday but still a keen breeze across some parts of england, especially eastern counties through this afternoon, keeping things in the chilly side. this is the remnants of storm hanna as it decayed over the north sea but as it decayed over the north sea but as you can see, cloud spilling into the west. a lot of it high cloud but across northern ireland, devon and cornwall, the closest i can. some
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parts staying dry. a dry scene across the rest of scotland, england except for one or two showers across the south—east. things cooler along the south—east. things cooler along the coast but in the midlands, 15, 16 the high, up on these values quite substantially and while we see rain arriving on the east through the afternoon, into the western fringes of scotland, much of scotla nd fringes of scotland, much of scotland dry. 16, 17 possible across the grampians and highlands. feeling very pleasant with the sun on your back, still a keen breeze down the north sea coast for a time but easing through tonight and across the eastern counties, mist and fog around to take us into tomorrow morning. lots of cloud in the west, patchy rain and drizzle edging into western scotland and north—west wales by this stage, keeping the temperature at around 7—9, but eastern scotland and the north—east of england, the temperature dropping into single figures so a chilly
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start to the morning commute. monday with a big weather front to the west, not making much on roads eastwards and if anything could notch westwards again, but scotland may be damp to start with, same for north wales but rain and drizzle not out of the question then northern ireland and devon and cornwall, the temperature around 11—13. away from that, the mist and fog clears, good sunny spells. could be higher still into tuesday, bright or fresh start, clouding over from the west, parts of wales and northern ireland prone to pick your outbreaks of showery rain but sunny moments further east, 17-20 rain but sunny moments further east, 17—20 possible. the temperature close to where it should be for this time of year, dry weather with a few showers to be aware of.
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this is bbc news. the headlines at 1:00pm. britain's fracking tsar quits after six months in thejob, blaming ministers for paying too much attention to the environmental lobby. from within, you can't do very much, and it means at the moment, when you have government in such terrible paralysis, you do have to do something as dramatic as this in order to have your voice heard. a woman is shot dead and three people are injured at a synagogue in california. police are questioning a 19—year—old man. still hoping britain won't take part in next month's european elections — the conservative party chairman, brandon lewis. security fears in sri lanka sees church services cancelled — a week after more than 250 people were killed in the


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