jm + ethics   16

Ethics - Lyrebird
'Lyrebird is the first company to offer a technology to reproduce the voice of someone as accurately and with as little recorded audio. [..] Voice recordings are currently considered as strong pieces of evidence in our societies and in particular in jurisdictions of many countries. Our technology questions the validity of such evidence as it allows to easily manipulate audio recordings. This could potentially have dangerous consequences such as misleading diplomats, fraud and more generally any other problem caused by stealing the identity of someone else.

By releasing our technology publicly and making it available to anyone, we want to ensure that there will be no such risks. We hope that everyone will soon be aware that such technology exists and that copying the voice of someone else is possible. More generally, we want to raise attention about the lack of evidence that audio recordings may represent in the near future.'
lyrebird  audio  technology  scary  ethics 
4 weeks ago by jm
Remarks at the SASE Panel On The Moral Economy of Tech
Excellent talk. I love this analogy for ML applied to real-world data which affects people:
Treating the world as software promotes fantasies of control. And the best kind of control is control without responsibility. Our unique position as authors of software used by millions gives us power, but we don't accept that this should make us accountable. We're programmers—who else is going to write the software that runs the world? To put it plainly, we are surprised that people seem to get mad at us for trying to help. Fortunately we are smart people and have found a way out of this predicament. Instead of relying on algorithms, which we can be accused of manipulating for our benefit, we have turned to machine learning, an ingenious way of disclaiming responsibility for anything. Machine learning is like money laundering for bias. It's a clean, mathematical apparatus that gives the status quo the aura of logical inevitability. The numbers don't lie.


Particularly apposite today given Y Combinator's revelation that they use an AI bot to help 'sift admission applications', and don't know what criteria it's using: https://twitter.com/aprjoy/status/783032128653107200
culture  ethics  privacy  technology  surveillance  ml  machine-learning  bias  algorithms  software  control 
october 2016 by jm
In Wisconsin, a Backlash Against Using Data to Foretell Defendants’ Futures - The New York Times
More trial-by-algorithm horrors:
Company officials say the algorithm’s results are backed by research, but they are tight-lipped about its details. They do acknowledge that men and women receive different assessments, as do juveniles, but the factors considered and the weight given to each are kept secret.

“The key to our product is the algorithms, and they’re proprietary,” said Jeffrey Harmon, Northpointe’s general manager. “We’ve created them, and we don’t release them because it’s certainly a core piece of our business. It’s not about looking at the algorithms. It’s about looking at the outcomes.”

That secrecy is at the heart of Mr. Loomis’s lawsuit. His lawyer, Michael D. Rosenberg, who declined to be interviewed because of the pending appeal, argued that Mr. Loomis should be able to review the algorithm and make arguments about its validity as part of his defense. He also challenges the use of different scales for each sex.

The Compas system, Mr. Rosenberg wrote in his brief, “is full of holes and violates the requirement that a sentence be individualized.”
ethics  compas  sentencing  wisconsin  northpointe  law  trial-by-algorithm  algorithms 
june 2016 by jm
LinkedIn called me a white supremacist
Wow. Massive, massive algorithm fail.
n the morning of May 12, LinkedIn, the networking site devoted to making professionals “more productive and successful,” emailed scores of my contacts and told them I’m a professional racist. It was one of those updates that LinkedIn regularly sends its users, algorithmically assembled missives about their connections’ appearances in the media. This one had the innocent-sounding subject, “News About William Johnson,” but once my connections clicked in, they saw a small photo of my grinning face, right above the headline “Trump put white nationalist on list of delegates.” [.....] It turns out that when LinkedIn sends these update emails, people actually read them. So I was getting upset. Not only am I not a Nazi, I’m a Jewish socialist with family members who were imprisoned in concentration camps during World War II. Why was LinkedIn trolling me?
ethics  fail  algorithm  linkedin  big-data  racism  libel 
may 2016 by jm
Social Network Algorithms Are Distorting Reality By Boosting Conspiracy Theories | Co.Exist | ideas + impact
In his 1962 book, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America, former Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin describes a world where our ability to technologically shape reality is so sophisticated, it overcomes reality itself. "We risk being the first people in history," he writes, "to have been able to make their illusions so vivid, so persuasive, so ‘realistic’ that they can live in them."
algorithms  facebook  ethics  filtering  newsfeed  conspiracy-theories  twitter  viral  crazy 
may 2016 by jm
The Moral Failure of Computer Scientists - The Atlantic
Phillip Rogaway, a professor of CS at UC Davis, contends that computer scientists should stand up against the construction of surveillance states built using their work:
Waddell: In your paper, you compare the debate over nuclear science in the 1950s to the current debate over cryptography. Nuclear weapons are one of the most obvious threats to humanity today — do you think surveillance presents a similar type of danger?

Rogaway: I do. It’s of a different nature, obviously. The threat is more indirect and more subtle. So with nuclear warfare, there was this visually compelling and frightening risk of going up in a mushroom cloud. And with the transition to a state of total surveillance, what we have is just the slow forfeiture of democracy.
ethics  cryptography  crypto  surveillance  politics  phillip-rogaway  morals  speaking-out  government 
december 2015 by jm
Can we have medical privacy, cloud computing and genomics all at the same time?
Today sees the publication of a report I [Ross Anderson] helped to write for the Nuffield Bioethics Council on what happens to medical ethics in a world of cloud-based medical records and pervasive genomics.

As the information we gave to our doctors in private to help them treat us is now collected and treated as an industrial raw material, there has been scandal after scandal. From failures of anonymisation through unethical sales to the care.data catastrophe, things just seem to get worse. Where is it all going, and what must a medical data user do to behave ethically?

We put forward four principles. First, respect persons; do not treat their confidential data like were coal or bauxite. Second, respect established human-rights and data-protection law, rather than trying to find ways round it. Third, consult people who’ll be affected or who have morally relevant interests. And fourth, tell them what you’ve done – including errors and security breaches.
ethics  medicine  health  data  care.data  privacy  healthcare  ross-anderson  genomics  data-protection  human-rights 
february 2015 by jm
Of Course 23andMe's Plan Has Been to Sell Your Genetic Data All Along
Today, 23andMe announced what Forbes reports is only the first of ten deals with big biotech companies: Genentech will pay up to $60 million for access to 23andMe's data to study Parkinson's. You think 23andMe was about selling fun DNA spit tests for $99 a pop? Nope, it's been about selling your data all along.

testing  ethics  dna  genentech  23andme  parkinsons  diseases  health  privacy 
january 2015 by jm
When data gets creepy: the secrets we don’t realise we’re giving away | Technology | The Guardian
Very good article around the privacy implications of derived and inferred aggregate metadata from Ben Goldacre.
We are entering an age – which we should welcome with open arms – when patients will finally have access to their own full medical records online. So suddenly we have a new problem. One day, you log in to your medical records, and there’s a new entry on your file: “Likely to die in the next year.” We spend a lot of time teaching medical students to be skilful around breaking bad news. A box ticked on your medical records is not empathic communication. Would we hide the box? Is that ethical? Or are “derived variables” such as these, on a medical record, something doctors should share like anything else?
advertising  ethics  privacy  security  law  data  aggregation  metadata  ben-goldacre 
december 2014 by jm
Game Devs on Gamergate (with images, tweets)
Welp, that's the end of my reading The Escapist. this is fucked up. 'these people say that this is a hate movement, but let's see what these white supremacists and serial harassers have to say'
ethics  gaming  journalism  the-escapist  gamergate  misogyny  sexism 
october 2014 by jm
The problem with OKCupid is the problem with the social web
This is why it really stings whenever somebody turns around and says, "well actually, the terms you've signed give us permission to do whatever we want. Not just the thing you were afraid of, but a huge range of things you never thought of." You can't on one hand tell us to pay no attention when you change these things on us, and with the other insist that this is what we've really wanted to do all along. I mean, fuck me over, but don't tell me that I really wanted you to fuck me over all along.

Because ultimately, the reason you needed me to agree in the first place isn't just because I'm using your software, but because you're using my stuff. And the reason I'm letting you use my stuff, and spending all this time working on it, is so that you can show it to people. I'm not just a user of your service, somebody who reads the things that you show it to me: I'm one of the reasons you have anything that you can show to anyone at all.
users  web  facebook  okcupid  terms-of-service  jason-kottke  privacy  a-b-testing  experiments  ethics 
august 2014 by jm
Facebook Doesn't Understand The Fuss About Its Emotion Manipulation Study
This is quite unethical, and I'm amazed it was published at all. Kashmir Hill at Forbes nails it:
While many users may already expect and be willing to have their behavior studied — and while that may be warranted with “research” being one of the 9,045 words in the data use policy — they don’t expect that Facebook will actively manipulate their environment in order to see how they react. That’s a new level of experimentation, turning Facebook from a fishbowl into a petri dish, and it’s why people are flipping out about this.


Shocking stuff. We need a new social publishing platform, built on ethical, open systems.
ethics  facebook  privacy  academia  depression  feelings  emotion  social-publishing  social  experimentation  papers 
june 2014 by jm
The Ethics of Autonomous Cars
Sometimes good judgment can compel us to act illegally. Should a self-driving vehicle get to make that same decision?
ethics  stories  via:chris-horn  the-atlantic  driving  cars  law  robots  self-driving-vehicles 
october 2013 by jm
Swansea measles outbreak: was an MMR scare in the local press to blame?
Sixteen years ago, journalists had a much easier job assembling "balanced" stories about MMR in south Wales. When I wrote about the measles outbreak last week, I suggested that it was related to Andrew Wakefield's discredited 1998 Lancet research, but the Swansea contagion seems more likely to be the result of a separate scare a year earlier in the South Wales Evening Post. Before 1997, uptake of MMR in the distribution area of the Post was 91%, and 87.2% in the rest of Wales. After the Post's campaign, uptake in the distribution area fell to 77.4% (it was 86.8% in the rest of Wales).
That's almost a 14% drop where the Post had influence, compared with less than 3% elsewhere. In the dry wording of the BMJ, "the [South West Evening Post] campaign is the most likely explanation". In other words, what we can see in Swansea is the local effect of local reporting‚ in all probability, just a taster of what happens when the news irresponsibly creates unfounded terror.

[...] The 1997 coverage focused on a group of families who blamed MMR for various ailments in their children, including learning difficulties, digestive problems and autism‚ none of which have been found to have any connection with the vaccine.
The Post's coverage was at the time deemed a success, and in 1998 it won a prize for investigative reporting in the BT Wales Press Awards. That year, the SWEP ran at least 39 stories related to the alleged dangers of MMR. And yes, it's true that the paper never directly endorsed non-vaccination. What it did do was publicise the idea of "vaccine damage" as a risk, one that parents would then likely weigh up against the risk of contracting measles, mumps or rubella.
And this went beyond the reporting of parental anxieties‚ it was part of the Post's editorial line. One article is entitled "Young bodies cannot take it". The all-important "journalistic balance" was constantly available, thanks to campaigning parents and their solicitor Richard Barr. (It was Barr who engaged Wakefield for a lawsuit, leading to the "fishing expedition" research that became the Lancet paper.) They were happy to provide a quote on the dangers of the "triple jab", which health authorities were then obliged to rebut politely.
The Post also seemed to downplay the risk of measles, reporting on 6 July 1998 that "not a single child has been hit by the illness‚ despite a 13% drop in take-up levels". It's not parents who should feel embarrassed by the Swansea measles outbreak: some may have acted from overt dread at the prospect of harming their child, and some simply from omission, but all were encouraged by a press that focused on non-existent risks and downplayed the genuine horror of the diseases MMR prevents. The shame belongs to journalists: those of the South West Evening Post who allowed themselves to be recruited in the service of a speculative lawsuit, and any who let a specious devotion to "balance" overrule a duty to tell the truth.
south-wales  wales  mmr  health  vaccination  scares  journalism  ethics  disease  measles  south-wales-evening-post 
april 2013 by jm
Meet the nice-guy lawyers who want $1,000 per worker for using scanners | Ars Technica
Great investigative journalism, interviewing the legal team behind the current big patent-troll shakedown; that on scanning documents with a button press, using a scanner attached to a network. They express whole-hearted belief in the legality of their actions, unsurprisingly -- they're exactly what you think they'd be like (via Nelson)
via:nelson  ethics  business  legal  patents  swpats  patent-trolls  texas  shakedown 
april 2013 by jm
Please don’t hesitate to contact me - a rant about Powwow Water
brilliant encounter between an inept UK water-cooler supplier, the cluetrain, and the Streisand effect
funny  law  streisand-effect  legal-threats  prfail  pr  powwow  water  uk  water-coolers  blogging  ethics  fail  from delicious
september 2009 by jm

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