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Good morning.

We’re covering Europe’s fight against the coronavirus, restriction breaches in Britain and President Trump’s lavish treatment of Israel.

The U.S. decision to lift the parole restrictions on Jonathan Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel in the 1980s, will free him to move to Israel, where he is viewed as a hero. It is also one of the many gifts from the Trump administration to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.

There are now businesses that sell fake people. If you just need a couple fake people — for characters in a video game, or to make your company website appear more diverse — you can get their photos for free on a website. These simulated people are also used by spies to infiltrate the intelligence community, right-wing propagandists who hide behind fake profiles and online harassers who troll their targets with a friendly visage.

But they’re not quite perfect. Our A.I. system repeatedly made the same small mistakes as it generated new faces. Earrings, for example, might look similar but often may not exactly match. Abstract or blurry backgrounds are often giveaways.

“It was pretty interesting to set up our own A.I. system and generate hundreds of faces to see how it’s done,” Jeremy wrote. “This story explores how good the technology is getting and how you can spot the fakes.”


That’s it for this briefing. Wishing you a great start to the week.

— Natasha


Thank you
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected]

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about the pandemic in a rural area of the U.S.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Place for books (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• A few contenders for Oxford’s 2020 Word of the Year: “Blursday” (which captures the way the week blends together), “covidiot” (you know who you are) and “doomscrolling” (who, me?).
• Because words with harmful connotations have been baked into tech communication, The Times is re-examining the language we use to describe our technology.

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