In William Gibson’s novel Zero History, a key character dons the ugliest T-shirt in the world – a ridiculous-looking garment that magically renders the wearer invisible to CCTV.
Now, as states across the world deploy artificially intelligent surveillance systems to track, trace and monitor citizens, we may find ourselves wearing ugly T-shirts of our own. Researchers at Northeastern University, MIT and IBM have designed a top printed with a kaleidoscopic patch of colour that renders the wearer undetectable to AI. It’s part of a growing number of "adversarial examples" – physical objects designed to counteract the creep of digital surveillance.
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