Engineers around the world are releasing products and prototypes that enable machine impersonation of voices and the manipulation of audio and video, "making it increasingly easy to impersonate anyone you want with amazing accuracy," the MIT Technology Review reports.

The latest inventions:

  • Startup Lyrebird recently released that enables computer-generated recordings of anyone, after hearing just 1 minute of speech.
  • Researchers at Stanford University are developing a program called Face2Face that enables the manipulation of video footage to change a subject's facial expressions.
  • Researchers from Lyrebird and Face2Face say creating realistic images from scratch is now possible, and video will be soon.

Why it matters: We will all have to be more skeptical of pictorial, audio, and video evidence, including fake news. Lyrebird founders argue that our justice system in particular must reevaluate the dependability of evidence like audio or video recordings.

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Mergers and acquisitions make a comeback

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A slew of high-profile headlines led by Microsoft's expected acquisition of social media video app TikTok helped bring the Nasdaq to another record high on Monday.

Why it matters: The mergers-and-acquisitions market looks like it's bouncing back, joining the revived credit and equity markets as well as the market for new public companies through IPOs and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).

U.S. Chamber of Commerce warns of racial inequality for small businesses

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Attitudes and beliefs about racial inequality are changing quickly as protests and media attention have helped highlight the gaps in opportunity between white- and minority-owned businesses in the United States.

Driving the news: A new survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife provided early to Axios shows a 17-point increase in the number of small business owners who say minority-owned small businesses face more challenges than non-minority-owned ones.

BP's in the red, slashing its dividend and vowing a greener future

Photo: Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images

BP posted a $6.7 billion second-quarter loss and cut its dividend in half Tuesday while unveiling accelerated steps to transition its portfolio toward low-carbon sources.

Why it matters: The announcement adds new targets and details to its February vow to become a "net-zero" emissions company by mid-century.