jm + technology   20

Artificial intelligence is ripe for abuse, tech researcher warns: 'a fascist's dream' | Technology | The Guardian
“We should always be suspicious when machine learning systems are described as free from bias if it’s been trained on human-generated data,” Crawford said. “Our biases are built into that training data.”

In the Chinese research it turned out that the faces of criminals were more unusual than those of law-abiding citizens. “People who had dissimilar faces were more likely to be seen as untrustworthy by police and judges. That’s encoding bias,” Crawford said. “This would be a terrifying system for an autocrat to get his hand on.” [...]

With AI this type of discrimination can be masked in a black box of algorithms, as appears to be the case with a company called Faceception, for instance, a firm that promises to profile people’s personalities based on their faces. In its own marketing material, the company suggests that Middle Eastern-looking people with beards are “terrorists”, while white looking women with trendy haircuts are “brand promoters”.
bias  ai  racism  politics  big-data  technology  fascism  crime  algorithms  faceception  discrimination  computer-says-no 
10 days ago by jm
Chatbot that overturned 160,000 parking fines now helping refugees claim asylum | Technology | The Guardian
The original DoNotPay, created by Stanford student Joshua Browder, describes itself as “the world’s first robot lawyer”, giving free legal aid to users through a simple-to-use chat interface. The chatbot, using Facebook Messenger, can now help refugees fill in an immigration application in the US and Canada. For those in the UK, it helps them apply for asylum support.
government  technology  automation  bots  asylum  forms  facebook 
15 days 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
E-Voting in Estonia needs to be discontinued
After studying other e-voting systems around the world, the team was particularly alarmed by the Estonian I-voting system. It has serious design weaknesses that are exacerbated by weak operational management. It has been built on assumptions which are outdated and do not reflect the contemporary reality of state-level attacks and sophisticated cybercrime. These problems stem from fundamental architectural problems that cannot be resolved with quick fixes or interim steps. While we believe e-government has many promising uses, the Estonian I-voting system carries grave risks — elections could be stolen, disrupted, or cast into disrepute. In light of these problems, our urgent recommendation is that to maintain the integrity of the Estonian electoral process, use of the Estonian I-voting system should be immediately discontinued.
internet  technology  e-voting  voting  security  via:mattblaze  estonia  i-voting  russia  cybercrime 
june 2016 by jm
East of Palo Alto’s Eden
What if Silicon Valley had emerged from a racially integrated community?

Would the technology industry be different? 

Would we?

And what can the technology industry do now to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past?


Amazing article -- this is the best thing I've ever read on TechCrunch: the political history of race in Silicon Valley and East Palo Alto.
racism  politics  history  race  silicon-valley  palo-alto  technology  us-politics  via:burritojustice 
january 2015 by jm
How “Computer Geeks” replaced “Computer Girls"
As historian Nathan Ensmenger explained to a Stanford audience, as late as the 1960s many people perceived computer programming as a natural career choice for savvy young women. Even the trend-spotters at Cosmopolitan Magazine urged their fashionable female readership to consider careers in programming. In an article titled “The Computer Girls,” the magazine described the field as offering better job opportunities for women than many other professional careers. As computer scientist Dr. Grace Hopper told a reporter, programming was “just like planning a dinner. You have to plan ahead and schedule everything so that it’s ready when you need it…. Women are ‘naturals’ at computer programming.” James Adams, the director of education for the Association for Computing Machinery, agreed: “I don’t know of any other field, outside of teaching, where there’s as much opportunity for a woman.”
history  programming  sexism  technology  women  feminism  coding 
november 2014 by jm
Yes, Isis exploits technology. But that’s no reason to compromise our privacy | Technology | The Observer
From the very beginning, Isis fanatics have been up to speed on [social media]. Which raises an interesting question: how come that GCHQ and the other intelligence agencies failed to notice the rise of the Isis menace until it was upon us? Were they so busy hoovering metadata and tapping submarine cables and “mastering the internet” (as the code name of one of their projects puts it) that they didn’t have time to see what every impressionable Muslim 14-year-old in the world with an internet connection could see?
gchq  guardian  encryption  nsa  isis  technology  social-media  snooping  surveillance 
november 2014 by jm
Prototype
Prototype is a brand new festival of play and interaction. This is your chance to experience the world from a new perspective with removable camera eyes, to jostle and joust to a Bach soundtrack whilst trying to disarm an opponent, to throw shapes as you figure out who got an invite to the silent disco, to duel with foam pool noodles, and play chase in the dark with flashlights. A unique festival that incites new types of social interaction, involving technology and the city, Prototype is a series of performances, workshops, talks, and games that spill across the city, alongside an adult playground in the heart of Temple Bar.


Project Arts Centre, 17-18 October. looks nifty
prototype  festivals  dublin  technology  make  vr  gaming 
september 2014 by jm
Screen time: Steve Jobs was a low tech parent
“This is rule No. 1: There are no screens in the bedroom. Period. Ever.”
screen-time  kids  children  tv  mobile  technology  life  rules  parenting 
september 2014 by jm
Paul Graham and the Manic Pixie Dream Hacker
Under Graham’s influence, Mark [Zuckerberg], like many in Silicon Valley, subscribes to the Manic Pixie Dream Hacker ideal, making self-started teenage hackers Facebook’s most desired recruiting targets, not even so much for their coding ability as their ability to serve as the faces of hacking culture. “Culture fit”, in this sense, is one’s ability to conform to the Valley’s boyish hacker fantasy, which is easier, obviously, the closer you are to a teenage boy.

Like the Manic Pixie Dream Girl’s role of existing to serve the male film protagonist’s personal growth, the Manic Pixie Dream Hacker’s job is to embody the dream hacker role while growing the VC’s portfolio. This is why the dream hacker never ages, never visibly develops interests beyond hardware and code, and doesn’t question why nearly all the other people receiving funding look like him. Like the actress playing the pixie dream girl, the pixie dream boy isn’t being paid to question the role for which he has been cast.

In this way, for all his supposed “disruptiveness”, the hacker pixie actually does exactly what he is told: to embody, while he can, the ideal hacker, until he is no longer young, mono-focused, and boyish-seeming enough to qualify for the role (at that point, vested equity may allow him to retire). And like in Hollywood, VCs will have already recruited newer, younger ones to play him.
hackers  manic-pixie-dream-girl  culture-fit  silicon-valley  mark-zuckerberg  paul-graham  y-combinator  vc  work  investment  technology  recruitment  facebook  ageism  equality  sexism 
january 2014 by jm
We're sending out the wrong signals in bid to lure the big data bucks - Independent.ie
Simon McGarr on Ireland's looming data-protection train-crash.
Last week, during the debate of his proposals to increase fees for making a Freedom of Information request, Brendan Howlin was asked how one of his amendments would affect citizens looking for data from the State's electronic databases. His reply was to cheerfully admit he didn't even understand the question. "I have no idea what an SQL code is. Does anyone know what an SQL code is?"

Unlike the minister, it probably isn't your job to know that SQL is the computer language that underpins the data industry. The amendment he had originally proposed would have effectively allowed civil servants to pretend that their computer files were made of paper when deciding whether a request was reasonable. His answer showed how the Government could have proposed such an absurd idea in the first place.

Like it or not – fair or not – these are not the signals a country that wanted to build a long-term data industry would choose to send out. They are the sort of signals that Ireland used to send out about Financial Regulation. I think it's agreed, that approach didn't work out so well.
foi  ireland  brendan-howlin  technology  illiteracy  sql  civil-service  government  data-protection  privacy  regulation  dpa 
december 2013 by jm
Eight Real Tales of Learning Computer Science as a High School Girl
'All students at Stuyvesant High School are required to take a year of computer science. As it turns out, the advanced computer science classes skew mostly male anyway. But for a year, boys and girls get exposed to computer programming together. We asked Mike Zamansky, the head of the computer science program, to share some stories from his female students. They did us one better. Eight students sent in first-hand accounts of what it’s like to learn computer programming as a teenage girl.' Some interesting comments here. This topic is weighing on my mind now that I have two girls...
schools  learning  education  computer-science  technology  nyc  girls  teenage 
june 2012 by jm
First Music Contact - Music3.0
'We talk a lot about what the world of music and artists will look like five or ten years from now. But for changes to happen then, the conversations need to happen now. We believe that the next big thing in music is not going to ever appear on a stage. After the record industry (music 1.0) and the live music industry (music 2.0), it's time to pay more attention to innovation (music 3.0) and what can come from constructively disrupting how the music industry operates.

It's time to open up the shop. It's time for unvested interests to see if they can use existing data and ecosystems to make a better music business. For far too long, music has been a conservative sector which views the influence of outside forces with abject suspicion and rank horror. Chalk this down to some bad experiences over the last 15 years due to misunderstandings with and ignorance of the tech and telecoms worlds. Chalk this down to rampant music industry egos which lead folks to believe no-one else can sell music bar music players. Chalk it down to fear of disruption.

So, it's time for change. You can't keep doing the same things in the same way and hope you won't make the same mistakes again. It's time to listen to and learn from smart people in other areas. It's time for people who have innovative ideas or even just the stirrings of innovative ideas to take stock from people who operate in other areas and who deal with ideas, technology and the valuable currency of innovation every single working day. It's time for some different talking which is going to lead to some very different make-and-do experiences.'

Looks excellent. (via Jim Carroll)
music  future  technology  internet  disruption  music-industry  ireland  via:jimcarroll 
april 2012 by jm
"A Rough Justice"
The poem, written by Sir Robert Watson-Watt, inventor of radar, on being pulled over for speeding by a radar-gun-wielding policeman. "Watson-Watt received a speeding ticket in Canada when he was 64 years old. In his autobiography, _The Pulse of Radar_, he describes the experience. His wife is in the car, and she tries to pull the "don't you know who you're giving a ticket to?" trick on the policeman. Of course he doesn't know Watson-Watt, nor, it turns out, does he even know what radar is (he only knows what his "electronic speedometer" reads out), and Watson-Watt receives a $12.50 (Canadian) dollar fine." (via Rob Manuel)
via:robmanuel  radar  technology  irony  robert-watson-watt  poetry  history 
march 2012 by jm
Syria Bars Text Messages With Irish-Made Gear - Bloomberg
Anti-spam/AV filtering technology turned to a different purpose: political repression. 'The next day, 225 instructed Syriatel to block messages containing the word “massacres.”'
antispam  ireland  repression  technology  syria  politics  cellusys  adaptivemobile 
february 2012 by jm
ALT/1977: WE ARE NOT TIME TRAVELERS on the Behance Network
'What would you do if you could travel back in time? Assassinate Marilyn Monroe? Go on a date with Hitler? Obviously. But here's what I'd do after that: grab all the modern technology I could find, take it to the late 70's, superficially redesign it all to blend in, start a consumer electronics company to unleash it upon the world, then sit back as I rake in billions, trillions, or even millions of dollars.' Beautifully done
ads  1970s  retro  technology  funny  via:fp  from delicious
june 2010 by jm
Spinvox in trouble after BBC investigation
'A UK firm that turns mobile messages into text faces questions over its privacy standards, technology and finances following a BBC investigation' .. 'claims to the BBC suggest that the majority of messages have been heard and transcribed by call centre staff in South Africa and the Philippines.' 'The fact that messages appear to have been read by workers outside of the European Union raises questions about the firm's data protection policy.'
data-protection  privacy  facebook  bbc  technology  mobile  transcription  spinvox  security  south-africa  offshoring 
july 2009 by jm
Thinkism
great Singularity contemplation from Kevin Kelly: 'to be useful, artificial intelligences have to be embodied in the world, and that world will often set their pace of innovations. Thinkism is not enough. Without conducting experiments, building prototypes, having failures, and engaging in reality, an intelligence can have thoughts but not results. It cannot think its way to solving the world's problems. There won't be instant discoveries the minute, hour, day or year a smarter-than-human AI appears. The rate of discovery will hopefully be significantly accelerated. Even better, a super AI will ask questions no human would ask. But, to take one example, it will require many generations of experiments on living organisms, not even to mention humans, before such a difficult achievement as immortality is gained.'
ai  singularity  ray-kurzweil  kevin-kelly  science  progress  technology  future  philosophy  intelligence  knowledge  thinkism 
july 2009 by jm

related tags

1970s  adaptivemobile  ads  ageism  ai  algorithms  antispam  asylum  automation  bbc  bias  big-data  bots  brendan-howlin  cellusys  children  civil-service  coding  computer-says-no  computer-science  control  crime  culture  culture-fit  cybercrime  data-protection  discrimination  disruption  dpa  dublin  e-voting  education  encryption  equality  estonia  ethics  facebook  faceception  fascism  feminism  festivals  foi  forms  funny  future  gaming  gchq  girls  google  google-glass  government  guardian  hackers  history  i-voting  illiteracy  intelligence  internet  investment  ireland  irony  isis  kevin-kelly  kids  knowledge  learning  life  machine-learning  make  manic-pixie-dream-girl  mapping  maps  mark-zuckerberg  ml  mobile  music  music-industry  nsa  nyc  offshoring  palo-alto  parenting  paul-graham  pervasive-computing  philosophy  poetry  politics  privacy  programming  progress  prototype  race  racism  radar  ray-kurzweil  recode  recruitment  regulation  repression  retro  robert-watson-watt  rules  russia  schools  science  screen-time  security  sexism  silicon-valley  singularity  snooping  social-media  software  south-africa  spinvox  sql  surveillance  syria  technology  teenage  thinkism  transcription  tv  us-politics  vc  via:anildash  via:burritojustice  via:fp  via:jimcarroll  via:mattblaze  via:robmanuel  voting  vr  women  work  y-combinator 

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: