Tom Simonite
Tom Simonite
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A Startup Will Nix Algorithms Built on Ill-Gotten Facial Data

A Startup Will Nix Algorithms Built on Ill-Gotten Facial Data

San Francisco face-recognition startup Everalbum won a $2 million contract with the Air Force to provide “AI-driven access control.” Monday, another arm of the US government dealt the company a setback. The Federal Trade Commission Everalbum had agreed to settle charges that it had applied face-recognition technology to images uploaded to a photo app without users’ permission and retained them after telling users they would be deleted. The startup used millions of the photos to develop technology offered to government agencies and other customers under the brand .Paravision, as the company...

Jan 12
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The Dark Side of Big Tech’s Funding for AI Research

The Dark Side of Big Tech’s Funding for AI Research

Google researcher Timnit Gebru said she was fired by the company after managers asked her to retract or withdraw her name from a research paper, and she objected. maintains that she resigned, and Alphabet CEO said in a company memo on Wednesday that he would investigate what happened.The episode is a pointed reminder of tech companies’ influence and power over their field. AI underpins lucrative products like Google’s search engine and Amazon’s virtual assistant . Big companies pump out influential research papers, fund academic conferences, compete to hire top researchers, and own the data...

Dec 10
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New York City Proposes Regulating Algorithms Used in Hiring

New York City Proposes Regulating Algorithms Used in Hiring

barred the humans who made hiring decisions from discriminating on the basis of sex or race. Now, software often contributes to those hiring decisions, helping managers screen résumés or interpret .That some tech experts and civil rights groups, who cite evidence that algorithms can replicate or magnify biases shown by people. In 2018, Reuters reported that that filtered résumés based on past hiring patterns because it discriminated against women.Legislation proposed in the New York City Council seeks to update hiring discrimination rules for the age of algorithms. would require companies...

Jan 8
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New York City proposes regulating algorithms used in hiring

New York City proposes regulating algorithms used in hiring

In 1964, the barred the humans who made hiring decisions from discriminating on the basis of sex or race. Now, software often contributes to those hiring decisions, helping managers screen résumés or interpret .That some tech experts and civil rights groups, who cite evidence that algorithms can replicate or magnify biases shown by people. In 2018, Reuters reported that that filtered résumés based on past hiring patterns because it discriminated against women.Legislation proposed in the New York City Council seeks to update hiring discrimination rules for the age of algorithms. would...

Jan 10
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Lawmakers take aim at insidious digital “dark patterns”

Lawmakers take aim at insidious digital “dark patterns”

In 2010, British designer Harry Brignull coined a handy new term for an everyday annoyance: , meaning digital interfaces that subtly manipulate people. It became a term of art used by privacy campaigners and researchers. Now, more than a decade later, the coinage is gaining new, legal, heft.come in many forms and can trick a person out of time or money, or into forfeiting personal data. A common example is the digital obstacle course that springs up when you try to nix an online account or subscription, such as for streaming TV, asking you repeatedly if you really want to cancel. A 2019...

Jan 30
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A Prominent AI Ethics Researcher Says Google Fired Her

A Prominent AI Ethics Researcher Says Google Fired Her

researcher Timnit Gebru received disturbing news from a senior manager. She says the manager asked her to either retract or remove her name from a research paper she had coauthored, because an internal review had found the contents objectionable.The paper discussed ethical issues raised by recent advances in AI technology that , which has said is important to the . Gebru says she objected because the process was unscholarly. On Wednesday she said she was fired. A Google spokesperson said she was not fired but resigned, and declined further comment.Gebru’s the incident Wednesday night...

Dec 3
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When AI Sees a Man, It Thinks 'Official.' A Woman? 'Smile'

When AI Sees a Man, It Thinks 'Official.' A Woman? 'Smile'

women by their appearance. Turns out, computers do too. When US and European researchers fed pictures of congressmembers to ’s cloud image recognition service, the service applied three times as many annotations related to physical appearance to photos of women as it did to men. The top labels applied to men were “official” and “businessperson”; for women they were “smile” and “chin.”“It results in women receiving a lower status stereotype: that women are there to look pretty and men are business leaders,” says Carsten Schwemmer, a postdoctoral researcher at GESIS Leibniz Institute for the...

Nov 19
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The Tech Antitrust Problem No One Is Talking About

The Tech Antitrust Problem No One Is Talking About

building political pressure for antitrust scrutiny of major tech companies, this month Congress and the US government delivered. The House Antitrust Subcommittee released a report accusing of monopolistic behavior. The Department of Justice against Google alleging the company prevents consumers from sampling other search engines.The new fervor for tech antitrust has so far overlooked an equally obvious target: US broadband providers. “If you want to talk about a history of using gatekeeper power to harm competitors, there are few better examples,” says Gigi Sohn, a fellow at the Georgetown...

Oct 29
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How an Algorithm Blocked Kidney Transplants to Black Patients

How an Algorithm Blocked Kidney Transplants to Black Patients

the US suffer more from chronic diseases and receive inferior health care relative to white people. Racially skewed math can make the problem worse. Doctors often make life-changing decisions about patient care based on that interpret test results or weight risks, like whether to perform a particular procedure. Some of those formulas factor in a person’s race, meaning patients’ skin color can affect access to care.A of patients in the Boston area is one of the first to document the harm that can cause. It examined the effect on care of a widely used but controversial formula for estimating...

October 26, 2020
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This Researcher Says AI Is Neither Artificial nor Intelligent

This Researcher Says AI Is Neither Artificial nor Intelligent

to portray as a precise and powerful tool for good. Kate Crawford says that mythology is flawed. In her book , she visits a lithium mine, an warehouse, and a 19th-century phrenological skull archive to illustrate the natural resources, human sweat, and bad science underpinning some versions of the technology. Crawford, a professor at the University of Southern California and researcher at , says many applications and side effects of AI are in urgent need of regulation.Crawford recently discussed these issues with WIRED senior writer Tom Simonite. An edited transcript follows.WIRED: Few...

Apr 26
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