Digital Currencies and Blockchain in the Social Sector | Stanford Social Innovation Review
One important next step is the creation of a central body to help surface new solutions, and guide blockchain and digital currency application in the social impact sector. There are also many questions to answer about how blockchain will intersect with the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence (a whole other conversation). While we should encourage experimentation across the board through the usual innovation labs, hackathons, investments in social entrepreneurs, field-based projects, and collaborative-building, the field could also benefit from a coordinating body. Ultimately, we need to devise new standards and best practices so that we can better infuse the human factor into new technology solutions that hold tremendous potential to address social and environmental issues. Fortunately, the building blocks are already there.
ee  blockchain 
10 hours ago
‘Interrupters’ Peek at Social Media to Stop Street Violence - The New York Times
Under the program, the violence interrupters spend at least two hours a day monitoring social media for signs of risky behavior, like threats of violence, photos with weapons or expressions of grief or emotional stress, Mr. Polanco said. They focus on people ages 16 to 25. If an alarming post or photo is found, a worker reaches out to the young person.
ee  predictive_policing  pre-crime  socialmedia  conflict 
Washington Monthly | How to Fix Facebook—Before It Fixes Us
By Roger McNamee
An early investor explains why the social media platform’s business model is such a threat — and what to do about it.
6 days ago
Chinese woman discovers that her iPhone X can be unlocked by her friend’s face
According to Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation, Yan, a woman from Nanjing, China, was offered two refunds from Apple after her colleague managed to unlock both her iPhone X that had faulty facial recognition function.

It wasn’t just a fluke either, as her colleague was able to unlock both devices on every attempt.

The two women are not related to each other.
china  facialrecognition  iphone  security  km 
13 days ago
Beijing bets on facial recognition in a big drive for total surveillance
Now they can see who’s coming and going, and by combining artificial intelligence with a huge national bank of photos, the system in this pilot project should enable police to identify what one police report, shared with The Washington Post, called the “bad guys” who once might have slipped by.
surveillance  china  socialcredit  km 
13 days ago
The next front in the net neutrality war: Feds versus the states - Recode
To start, a coalition of state attorneys general, led by New York, pledged on Thursday that they would sue the FCC to stop its rollback from taking place. Meanwhile, policymakers in at least two states — California and Washington — said they’d try on their own to prevent companies like AT&T, Charter, Comcast* and Verizon from blocking websites, slowing down web traffic or prioritizing their movies, music and other content above their rivals’ offerings.
ee  netneutrality  states 
13 days ago
What the New Wave of Millennial Leaders Means for the Nonprofit World - The Chronicle of Philanthropy
How Millennials Lead

Creativity. Transparency. And higher wages for everyone. Here’s what the next generation of CEOs has in store for the nonprofit world.
ee  engine_room 
14 days ago
Selective Exposure to Misinformation: Evidence from the consumption of fake news during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign
-heavily concentrated among w/most conservative info diets
-Facebook key vector of exposure
-fact-checks did not reach those exposed
FakeNews  elections  facebook  research  km 
21 days ago
Mapping the anti-vaccination movement on Facebook
Over the past decade, anti-vaccination rhetoric has become part of the mainstream discourse regarding the public health practice of childhood vaccination. These utilise social media to foster online spaces that strengthen and popularise anti-vaccination discourses. In this paper, we examine the characteristics of and the discourses present within six popular anti-vaccination Facebook pages. We examine these large-scale datasets using a range of methods, including social network analysis, gender prediction using historical census data, and generative statistical models for topic analysis (Latent Dirichlet allocation). We find that present-day discourses centre around moral outrage and structural oppression by institutional government and the media, suggesting a strong logic of ‘conspiracy-style’ beliefs and thinking. Furthermore, anti-vaccination pages on Facebook reflect a highly ‘feminised’ movement ‒ the vast majority of participants are women. Although anti-vaccination networks on Facebook are large and global in scope, the comment activity sub-networks appear to be ‘small world’. This suggests that social media may have a role in spreading anti-vaccination ideas and making the movement durable on a global scale.
platforms  anti-vax  fb  km 
21 days ago
The Verge 2017 tech report card: Uber
Let’s recap: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick joins President Trump’s business council, and faces an immediate backlash; Uber is accused of undermining a taxi driver protest at JFK airport; the #DeleteUber hashtag goes viral; Susan Fowler speaks her mind; Waymo files its lawsuit; a self-driving Uber runs a red light; a self-driving Uber crashes; Travis Kalanick is caught on camera being a jerk; we learn about Uber executives visiting a South Korean escort bar; Apple threatens to remove Uber from the App Store; “Greyball;” “Hell;” Anthony Levandowski pleads the Fifth; Anthony Levandowski is fired; Uber considers smearing a rape victim in India; many Uber executives resign; Kalanick resigns; Lyft outpaces Uber; London bans Uber; the new CEO apologizes; a failed auto-leasing program is canceled; a major Uber investor sues Kalanick, who countersues; Uber is subject to five separate criminal investigations; Uber is fined for enabling unqualified drivers; a data hack exposes personal information of 57 million riders and drivers; the hacker is paid off and the hack is covered up; and (last but not least) Uber’s secret spying unit is exposed, and it sounds insane.
uber  km 
21 days ago
Ad targeters are pulling data from your browser’s password manager
According to new research from Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy, [password] managers are being exploited as a way to track users from site to site. The researchers examined two different scripts — AdThink and OnAudience — both of are designed to get identifiable information out of browser-based password managers. The scripts work by injecting invisible login forms in the background of the webpage and scooping up whatever the browsers autofill into the available slots. That information can then be used as a persistent ID to track users from page to page, a potentially valuable tool in targeting advertising.
advertising  privacy  km 
21 days ago
A Reality Check: Algorithms in the Courtroom
A response to the NY times article that delves into the details of:
"How well does pretrial risk assessment work in practice, what do the tools actually measure, and how are the tools related to the life-shaping decisions reformers care most about?"
algorithms  km 
4 weeks ago
Even Imperfect Algorithms Can Improve the Criminal Justice System
In courtrooms across the country, judges turn to computer algorithms when deciding whether defendants awaiting trial must pay bail or can be released without payment. The increasing use of such algorithms has prompted warnings about the dangers of artificial intelligence. But research shows that algorithms are powerful tools for combating the capricious and biased nature of human decisions.
algorithms  km 
4 weeks ago
Can Facebook and Google Be Disrupted?
“I’ve just been in sort of a state of frustration for a decade over this stuff,” Pasquale says. “Because I think it’s just so obvious that unless you have massive intervention at this point, you just have a massive, self-reinforcing accumulation of data, money, and power at these companies.”

“Self-reinforcing” is the key problem of the power dynamic inside Silicon Valley. Google’s size is inextricable from its success; the more people that search, the better its results are. A similar loop plays out on Facebook: The more friends that sign on, the better it is to use; the better it is to use, the more people sign on to it.

Both network effects and path dependence derive from the same simple fact: The major players in contemporary Silicon Valley aren’t just software service providers, or purveyors of consumer technology, but “platforms” — that is, whole marketplaces unto themselves. As Pasquale puts it, “There’s no natural market force that’s going to replace these companies,” in part because “essentially they are not participants in markets, they make markets.”
monopoly  facebook  Google  km 
5 weeks ago
Central Planning, local experiments The complex implementation of China’s Social Credit System
The „Social Credit System“ is designed to monitor and rate citizens and companies in China and to guide their behavior. „It is a wide-reaching project that touches on almost all aspects of everyday life,“ the authors Mareike Ohlberg, Bertram Lang and Shazeda Ahmed write in the new MERICS China Monitor „Central Planning, local experiments: the complex implementation of China’s Social Credit System“.

The authors analyze the current stage of the system’s implementation and they describe how it will likely function in practice. Their analysis is based on government publiations, discussions in media and social networks, as well as pilot projects.
mercator  shazeda  social_credit  china  km 
6 weeks ago
The ‘Alt-Right’ Created a Parallel Internet. It’s an Unholy Mess. - The New York Times
Alt-tech is also a victim of the same market forces that have held back other small tech start-ups. Much of the internet’s basic architecture is controlled by a handful of gatekeepers — Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon among them. Those companies run back-end services that allow developers to build reliable products, the app stores that allow them to reach a mass audience, and the advertising platforms that allow them to make money. Without the support of Silicon Valley’s giants, it’s nearly impossible to compete, no matter what your political views are.
ee  alt-right  technology 
6 weeks ago
A Crisis Line That Calms With Texting and Data - The New York Times
The data can help identify when and where problems are spiking, and what interventions are warranted. For example, although National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is observed in September, data show that suicidal ideation peaks in April and May — critical information for mental health counselors in schools and universities. Suicidal ideation is also triggered by popular culture aimed at youth.
ee  algorithms  crisis_response 
6 weeks ago
FCC Commissioner Blasts Her Own Agency for Withholding Evidence of Fraud
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel on Friday accused her agency of withholding evidence of fraud, further intensifying the ongoing battle over the future of net neutrality.
net_neutrality  ee  corruption 
6 weeks ago
White Collar Crime Risk Zones
White Collar Crime Risk Zones uses machine learning to predict where financial crimes are mostly likely to occur across the US.
6 weeks ago
Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Meeting or a Lecture - The New York Times
A growing body of evidence shows that over all, college students learn less when they use computers or tablets during lectures. They also tend to earn worse grades. The research is unequivocal: Laptops distract from learning, both for users and for those around them. It’s not much of a leap to expect that electronics also undermine learning in high school classrooms or that they hurt productivity in meetings in all kinds of workplaces. <...>

Why shouldn’t [stdents] decide themselves whether to use a laptop? The strongest argument against allowing that choice is that one student’s use of a laptop harms the learning of students around them. In a series of lab experiments, researchers at York University and McMaster University in Canada tested the effect of laptops on students who weren’t using them. Some students were told to perform small tasks on their laptops unrelated to the lecture, like looking up movie times. As expected, these students retained less of the lecture material. But what is really interesting is that the learning of students seated near the laptop users was also negatively affected. The economic term for such a spillover is a “negative externality,” which occurs when one person’s consumption harms the well-being of others. The classic negative externality is pollution: A factory burning coal or a car using gasoline can harm the air and environment for those around it. A laptop can sometimes be a form of visual pollution: Those nearby see its screen, and their attention is pulled toward its enticements, which often include not just note-taking but Facebook, Twitter, email and news.
meetings  productivity  focus 
7 weeks ago
Facebook Launches New Messenger App for Young Kids—What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
A Facebook spokesperson said in an email to Gizmodo, “We’ve built automated systems that can detect things like nudity, violence, and child exploitative imagery to help limit that content from being shared on Messenger Kids. We also have blocking and reporting mechanisms, and have a dedicated team of human reviewers that review all content that is reported.”
ee  facebook 
7 weeks ago
Progress in AI isn’t as Impressive as You Might Think - MIT Technology Review
If machines aren’t nearly as intelligent as we’d often like to believe, it’s natural to wonder what that might mean for the tech industry that’s betting so heavily on AI today. “There is, clearly, an AI bubble at present,” writes Michael Wooldridge, an AI researcher who leads the computer science department at the University of Oxford. “The question that this report raises for me is whether this bubble will burst, [like] the dot-com boom of 1996-2001, or gently deflate, and when this happens, what will be left behind?”
7 weeks ago
Something is wrong on the internet – James Bridle – Medium
Someone or something or some combination of people and things is using YouTube to systematically frighten, traumatise, and abuse children, automatically and at scale, and it forces me to question my own beliefs about the internet, at every level.
ee  internet  children  youtube  video  filtering 
8 weeks ago
Impakt: One-Click Ethical Shopper by Team Impakt — Kickstarter
[from lead-in article] "We finally decided that one of the most effective ways to change behavior was through economic force. On considering the current state of boycotts, we realized that they were stuck in the 20th century."

They're hoping Be the Impakt will interrupt the purchasing process on Amazon with information about ethical consumption, and suggest alternatives. The "ethical shopping companion" will tell shoppers if, for instance, a company "helped elect Trump" or has a poor environmental record.
[from the kickstarter] he real challenge is to develop machine learning algorithms that (1) scrape our public Data Sources, (2) crawl for news articles containing relevant information, and (3) maintain accurate Company Profiles in the Company Ethics Database.

Our initial release will feature some simple algorithms along with a curated foundational set of profiles; the eventual goal is to use that as a training set for more advanced machine learning systems.
ee  transparency  accountability  purchasing  ethical  plugin  amazon  labor 
9 weeks ago
Leche Libre
As a brand which works to empower women, ethical manufacturing is an integral and necessary aspect of my business because I work to empower customers AND workers and create win win solutions.
ee  zebras  ethics  supply  chain  labor 
9 weeks ago
Hey, Mark Zuckerberg: My Democracy Isn’t Your Laboratory - The New York Times
But for us, changes like this can be disastrous. Attracting viewers to a story relies, above all, on making the process as simple as possible. Even one extra click can make a world of difference. This is an existential threat, not only to my organization and others like it but also to the ability of citizens in all of the countries subject to Facebook’s experimentation to discover the truth about their societies and their leaders.
ee  facebook  serbia  journalism  occrp 
9 weeks ago
Better filters won’t cure this: YouTube’s kids nightmare
For what Bridle is describing, he explains, is a disturbing new kind of “art”, mass-produced only because a huge ad-supported platform such as YouTube rewards its creation. The “such as” caveat is redundant here, since no other video platform has scale. It has to be YouTube. Just as no other social network (at least outside China or Russia) has the scale of Facebook, so for fake news and political ads, it has to be Facebook. This is as much a characteristic of the internet in 2017 as fake news or spam.
youtube  ee  filtering  businessmodels  algorithms 
10 weeks ago
Soothsayer in the Hills Sees Silicon Valley’s Sinister Side - The New York Times
“The whole internet thing was supposed to create the world’s best information resource in all of history,” he says. “Everything would be made visible. And instead we’re living in this time of total opacity where you don’t know why you see the news you see. You don’t know if it’s the same news that someone else sees. You don’t know who made it be that way. You don’t know who’s paid to change what you see. Everything is totally obscure in a profound way that it never was before.
facebook  ee  algorithms  elections  big_four  privacy  google  microsft 
10 weeks ago
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