osi_info_program + ee   185

I Helped Design The Election Simulation 'Parlor Game' Rebekah Mercer Got, And It's Not What You Think | Techdirt
The five of us helped put together a fun game in which players take on the roles of various campaigns, special interests and factions, and run through a full election cycle. A key part of the game is how money and influence play into getting out a message and how technology and different potential alliances may factor into all of this. Again, the idea was a simulation to help people think through what might happen and how it might impact things. It was not to predict the future or to get people hyped up on destroying democracy.
ee  culture  design  disinformation 
yesterday by osi_info_program
Russian Influence Campaign Sought To Exploit Americans' Trust In Local News : NPR
The discovery and suspension of the local accounts suggests two things as investigators continue to build their understanding about Russia's campaign of active measures against the United States and the West.

First, that the Russian misinformation project was a years-long effort, one that wasn't simply focused on the 2016 election but on destabilizing the United States over an extended period of time.

"The Russians are playing a long game. They've developed a presence on social media. They've created these fictitious persons and fictitious organizations that have built up over a period of time a certain trustworthiness among people that follow them," said Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee.
media  twitter  ee  disinformation 
8 days ago by osi_info_program
Bitch Media: Turning Readers Into Funders | INNovation
Could a digital platform designed to deepen the relationship between readers and reporters help nonprofit news outlets solve their funding challenges? Bitch Media put Hearken to the test.
ee  journalism  engagement  platform 
11 days ago by osi_info_program
Complicating the Narratives – The Whole Story
As researchers have established in hundreds of experiments over the past half-century, the way to counter the kind of tribal prejudice we are seeing is to expose people to the other tribe or new information in ways they can accept. When conflict is cliché, complexity is breaking news.
politics  journalism  conflict  ee 
11 days ago by osi_info_program
Ways to think about machine learning — Benedict Evans
Five years ago, if you gave a computer a pile of photos, it couldn’t do much more than sort them by size. A ten year old could sort them into men and women, a fifteen year old into cool and uncool and an intern could say ‘this one’s really interesting’. Today, with ML, the computer will match the ten year old and perhaps the fifteen year old. It might never get to the intern. But what would you do if you had a million fifteen year olds to look at your data? What calls would you listen to, what images would you look at, and what file transfers or credit card payments would you inspect?
ee  machinelearning  ai 
22 days ago by osi_info_program
One Building, One Bomb: How Assad Gassed His Own People - The New York Times
We created a virtual crime scene to investigate this bombing. Explore the scene in augmented reality.
ee  AR  syria  NYT  spatial  rendering 
26 days ago by osi_info_program
Deepfakes Were Created As a Way to Own Women's Bodies—We Can't Forget That - Broadly
In major news outlets around the world, the deepfakes story blitzed straight past sex and consent and into “fake news” territory. As coverage graduated from “OMG nudes” to “OMG what if someone makes fake videos of Trump launching nukes,” the media attention deepfakes garnered stopped grappling with how it began.n these online spaces, men’s sense of entitlement over women’s bodies tends to go entirely unchecked. Users feed off one another to create a sense that they are the kings of the universe, that they answer to no one. This logic is how you get incels and pickup artists, and it’s how you get deepfakes: a group of men who see no harm in treating women as mere images, and view making and spreading algorithmically weaponized revenge porn as a hobby as innocent and timeless as trading baseball cards.This is the point I kept coming back to: We have to pay attention to the spirit of deepfakes as it started. We can move beyond it, and talk at length about ethical uses of artificial intelligence, fake news literacy, and who has access to powerful tools like machine learning. But we must first acknowledge that the technology that could start a nuclear war was born as a way for men to have their full, fantastical way with women’s bodies.
ee  deepfakes 
4 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Trump has turned words into weapons. And he's winning the linguistic war | George P Lakoff and Gil Duran | Opinion | The Guardian
Then there are what cognitive scientists call “salient exemplars” – well-publicized individual cases, where wide publicity leads the public to take them as having a high probability and typifying a whole class. Trump turns them into weaponized stereotypes. He is a master at defaming entire groups of people as liars, rapists, terrorists – or in the case of US law enforcement and intelligence agencies – agents of corruption.
ee  propaganda  language  twitter  trump 
4 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Deepfake Videos Are Getting Impossibly Good
The new system enables “full control over the target by transferring the rigid head pose, facial expression and eye motion with a high level of photorealism.”
ee  deep_fakes  synthetic  ai  video 
5 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Your Sea Wall Won’t Save You
Highly engineered, technocratic programs come with readymade slogans, like “making room for the river,” a concept which works well along the banks of the Rhine but can mean mass evictions in the Global South. When “slums” (often a slur for urbanized villages with deep histories) are represented as a blight, to be scraped away with little if any recompense, and their people resettled in untenable locations far from the city center, we must ask: “Whose resilience” is really being promoted? 5 Too often, the rhetoric of climate adaptation is doublespeak for the displacement of poor, informal communities, and an alibi for unsustainable growth.
climatechange  narrative  ee  asia  cities 
6 weeks ago by osi_info_program
On Ethics and Techno-Utopianism at the Media Lab
Having said that, I believe that we need to continue to integrate social sciences and reflection even more deeply into our science and technology work. While I have a big voice at the Lab, the Lab operates on a "permissionless innovation" model where I don't tell researchers what to do (and neither do our funders). On the other hand, we have safety and other codes that we have to follow--is there an equivalent ethical or social code that we or other institutions should have? Harrison Eiteljorg, II thinks so. He wrote, "I would like to encourage you to consider adding to your staff at least one scholar whose job is to examine projects for the ethical implications for the work and its potential final outcome." I wonder, what would such a process look like?
ee  ethics  AI  MIT  media 
6 weeks ago by osi_info_program
FLOSS | Geek Feminism Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia
Sources for statistics on women in FLOSS include:

GitHub 2017 survey found that 3% of FLOSS contributors are women
ee  participation  floss  gender  coding 
7 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Who Killed the Kiev Protesters? A 3-D Model Holds the Clues. - The New York Times
Brad Samuels, a principal of SITU, an architecture firm and research lab in Brooklyn. The firm combined traditional architecture work with grant-funded deep dives at the outer limits of human rights research.

“The problem was how to take multiple vantage points and put them together into a coherent analysis,” he said. “Maidan was the same problem set, but on steroids.”

The quantity of raw footage amassed by Nefertari was overwhelming, running into the thousands of hours. The problem was how to fuse it into a whole that would persuade the judges and stand up to cross-examination.
ee  SITU  forensics  human_rights 
7 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Alexa and Siri Can Hear This Hidden Command. You Can’t. - The New York Times
Over the past two years, researchers in China and the United States have begun demonstrating that they can send hidden commands that are undetectable to the human ear to Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Inside university labs, the researchers have been able to secretly activate the artificial intelligence systems on smartphones and smart speakers, making them dial phone numbers or open websites. In the wrong hands, the technology could be used to unlock doors, wire money or buy stuff online — simply with music playing over the radio.
ee  IoT  surveillance 
10 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Ten Machine Learning Algorithms You Should Know to Become a Data Scientist - ParallelDots
That said, no one can deny the fact that as practicing Data Scientists, we will have to know basics of some common machine learning algorithms, which would help us engage with a new-domain problem we come across. This is a whirlwind tour of common machine learning algorithms and quick resources about them which can help you get started on them.
machinelearning  ee  algorithms 
10 weeks ago by osi_info_program
How an A.I. ‘Cat-and-Mouse Game’ Generates Believable Fake Photos - The New York Times
As it built a system that generates new celebrity faces, the Nvidia team went a step further in an effort to make them far more believable. It set up two neural networks — one that generated the images and another that tried to determine whether those images were real or fake. These are called generative adversarial networks, or GANs. In essence, one system does its best to fool the other — and the other does its best not to be fooled.
ee  ai  fake  deepfake  neural 
10 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Should the Fed Create ‘FedCoin’ to Rival Bitcoin? A Former Top Official Says ‘Maybe’ - The New York Times
It’s clear that central banks weighing use of blockchain technology don’t share the more anarchist impulses of some of the most die-hard cryptocurrency enthusiasts. But there may be more commonality than it might seem. As Mr. Warsh argues, if people really do believe that digital currencies in some form are the future of money, it would behoove central banks to treat them as more than a novelty.
ee  blockchain  cryptocurrency 
10 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Fraudulent claims made by IBM about Watson and AI | Roger Schank
I started a company called Cognitive Systems in 1981. The things I was talking about then clearly have not been read by IBM (although they seem to like the words I used.) Watson is not reasoning. You can only reason if you have goals, plans, ways of attaining them, a comprehension of the beliefs that others may have, and a knowledge of past experiences to reason from. A point of view helps too. What is Watson’s view on ISIS for example?

Dumb question? Actual thinking entities have a point of view about ISIS. Dogs don’t but Watson isn't as smart as a dog either. (The dog knows how to get my attention for example.)
ee  ai  watson  natural_language  NLP 
10 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Forget Killer Robots—Bias Is the Real AI Danger - MIT Technology Review
The problem of bias in machine learning is likely to become more significant as the technology spreads to critical areas like medicine and law, and as more people without a deep technical understanding are tasked with deploying it.
ai  ethics  machinelearning  bias  apple  ee 
10 weeks ago by osi_info_program
IRIN | Eyes Wide Shut: The challenge of humanitarian biometrics
This statement makes clear that biometric registration is driven by the interests of national governments, technology companies and aid agencies – in that order.This fits with a wider and more worrying pattern in the field of biometrics: it's marginalised groups who are used as guinea pigs for new biometric applications, always with claims that it's for their own benefit. Privacy International has identified that in countries where democratic processes – such as parliamentary oversight and the rule of law – function more effectively, biometric schemes have been repeatedly challenged and rolled back by informed citizens. The real issue here is accountability – or lack thereof – precisely because humanitarian biometrics are being implemented in countries where those factors are weak to non-existent.
ee  biometrics  privacy  refugees  vulnerable 
11 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Facebook Civil Rights Audit Announcement ‘A Necessary First Step’, Civil Rights Groups Say -- But More Work Needs To Be Done: Center for Media Justice
Leading racial justice organizations push Facebook to center the voices of people of color in a fully independent, public, and actionable civil rights audit
ee  racial_justice  facebook  audit 
11 weeks ago by osi_info_program
A pioneer in predictive policing is starting a troubling new project - The Verge
Wilson also pointed out that the paper fails to incorporate documented approaches to evaluating biased outcomes in machine learning: “The authors could have [looked at] whether their algorithm achieves statistical parity across races and ethnicities … They also could have looked for so-called disparate mistreatment by looking to see if the classification errors are evenly spread across these groups. But they did none of this, even though the methods to do so are well-known in the fair algorithms and even the predictive policing literature.”

As for Brantingham’s and his co-authors’ insistence of how preliminary this research is, Wilson noted a similar defense was used for controversial research using AI to identify sexual orientation or criminality. Like Brantingham’s paper, “both of these studies also had fundamental methodological problems. But that doesn’t obviate the essential ethics of the research itself: should we be doing this research at all?”
ee  ai  crime  predictive_policing  gangs 
11 weeks ago by osi_info_program
White House Considers Restricting Chinese Researchers Over Espionage Fears - The New York Times
Mr. Liu did not respond to interview requests, but in past interviews, he has maintained that he did nothing wrong, beyond taking advantage of an open and collaborative university atmosphere. Like many projects in the United States, most of Mr. Smith’s work at Duke was early-stage research that was not classified or categorized as a deemed export.

Daniel Golden, who tells Mr. Liu’s story in his book, “Spy Schools,” said Mr. Liu exploited a gray area that allows a large amount of sensitive, taxpayer-funded technology to flow to foreign governments. “Globalization has transformed American universities into a front line for espionage,” Mr. Golden said.
ee  china  universities  academic 
11 weeks ago by osi_info_program
The Surprisingly Solid Mathematical Case of the Tin Foil Hat Gun Prepper
And it’s not just tin foil hat equipped right wingers thinking about this stuff. There’s a widely reported trend of Silicon Valley billionaires building apocalypse bunkers, as many as 50% according to Steve Huffman, the guy who founded Reddit. Yishan Wong, another former Reddit CEO, goes through a conceptual ROI analysis with The New Yorker.
ee  silicon_valley  prepper  disaster  gun_control 
11 weeks ago by osi_info_program
How Slack Got Ahead in Diversity - The Atlantic
Recruiters are trained to look at skills rather than a candidate’s university pedigree. In 2015, Slack worked with Textio, a company that analyzes job descriptions to ensure they appeal to the widest possible audience. (Slack’s job descriptions feature phrases like “care deeply” and “lasting relationships,” which statistically draw more applications from women. Microsoft’s, by contrast, feature words like “insatiably” and “competing.” Amazon’s keywords: “maniacal” and “wickedly.")

The company has also worked to eliminate opportunities for bias to creep into its hiring process. The “whiteboard interview,” for instance, is a classic part of software hiring in which candidates are asked to solve a coding problem in real time. But tracing one’s thought process with a dry-erase marker in front of a live, skeptical audience can create extra stressors for people from underrepresented groups. Interpersonal phenomena like stereotype threat, in which people from stigmatized groups spend mental energy grappling with negative stereotypes about those groups, can lead women and minorities with the same skills to perform more poorly.
diversity  twitter  ee  slack 
11 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Say Goodbye To The Information Age: It’s All About Reputation Now
In a hyper-specialized system of the production of knowledge, it makes no sense to try to investigate on our own, for example, the possible correlation between vaccines and autism. It would be a waste of time, and probably our conclusions would not be accurate. In the reputation age, our critical appraisals should be directed not at the content of information but rather at the social network of relations that has shaped that content and given it a certain deserved or undeserved ‘rank’ in our system of knowledge.
ee  verification  reputation  technology  trust 
11 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Opinion | How the Human Rights Movement Failed - The New York Times
At the most, activists distance themselves from free-market fundamentalism only by making clear how much inequality undermines human rights themselves. Minimum entitlements, like decent housing and health care, require someone to pay. Without insisting on more than donations from the rich, the traditional companionship of human rights movements with neoliberal policies will give rise to the allegation that the two are in cahoots. No one wants the human rights movement to be remembered as a casualty of a justifiable revolt against the rich.
ee  humanrights  inequality  AI 
12 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Amazon is reportedly working on its first home robot - The Verge
From such scant details, it’s difficult to know exactly what Amazon is planning, but it’s safe to say that a home robot in this case does not mean some sort of “robot butler able to perform a variety of household chores.” The technology needed for this sort of device just doesn’t exist yet in the commercial sphere (although companies like Boston Dynamics are working on it).
Home robots are often devices like Kuri (above), which is essentially a virtual assistant housed in a mobile robot frame. Image: Mayfield Robotics

Instead, “home robot” more likely means a virtual assistant housed in some sort of mechanical exterior. Plenty of these have been unveiled in recent years, including LG’s Hub bot, Mayfield Robotics’ Kuri, and the Pixar-like Jibo. These devices are intended to act as a central point of contact for users’ smart home and as personal companions. They let users control Wi-Fi-connected devices, perform tasks like setting timers and searching the web, and have a greater number of interactive games for younger children. Reviews of these “robots” stress that they promise more than they deliver, and indeed, Amazon’s Echo devices already offer the same functionality with less hype.
ee  robotfriends  robots  boston_dynamics  robot-abuse 
12 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Opinion | It’s Westworld. What’s Wrong With Cruelty to Robots? - The New York Times
After all, if we do manage to create machines as smart as or smarter than we are — and, more important, machines that can feel — it’s hardly clear that it would be ethical for us to use them to do our bidding, even if they were programmed to enjoy such drudgery. The notion of genetically engineering a race of willing slaves is a standard trope of science fiction, wherein humankind is revealed to have done something terrible. Why would the production of sentient robot slaves be any different?
ee  robot  robotfriends  ethics 
12 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Meet the Russian-Owned Firm Creating an Army of Traveling ‘Proxies’ – Foreign Policy
Ilya Zaslavskiy, the head of Underminers.info, a research project on post-Soviet kleptocracy, argues that Virtravel could well be a legitimate business, but “if necessary the Russian state could use them” for intelligence purposes.

The company’s business model would have “plausible deniability” for those who might want to film strategic places in the United States or other countries, he says. (The most recent post to the company’s Instagram account is of a trip to the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum, which focuses on nuclear missiles and military aircraft, in Nebraska.)
ee  russia  virtual_reality 
april 2018 by osi_info_program
Richard Stallman, RMS, on Privacy, Data, and Free Software
What is data privacy? The term implies that if a company collects data about you, it should somehow protect that data. But I don’t think that’s the issue. I think the problem is that it collects data about you period. We shouldn’t let them do that.
privacy  facebook  ee  business 
april 2018 by osi_info_program
Meet the Woman Who Leads NightWatch, Google’s Internal Privacy Strike Force
Kissner has worked to make sure that diversity is reflected not just at OURSA but at NightWatch. The team recruits people with as many different skill sets and backgrounds as possible so that they’ll be better at recognizing privacy problems that others might not see.

Still, though, there are limits that NightWatch can’t recruit its way out of, Kissner concedes. For instance, the team won’t be able to have members that are currently experiencing unemployment, obviously, since they would need to be employed by Google to review its unreleased products.

“I think it’s incredibly important to have a lot of different ideas when you are designing security and privacy,” Kissner says. “You are taking care of the incredibly diverse set of people in the world and it’s hard to understand what they need and take care of that unless you have voices from all different backgrounds and skill sets.”
ee  privacy  google  workroom  diversity 
april 2018 by osi_info_program
Report for America aims to get 1,000 journalists in local newsrooms in next 5 years | Poynter
Sennott and Steven Waldman co-founded RFA, which comes from a partnership between Google News Labs and the Groundtruth Project. RFA also gets support, and its reporters will get training, from the Center for Investigative Journalism, the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, the Solutions Journalism network and the Knight Foundation (which funds my job covering local news at Poynter. Poynter also gets funding from Lenfest and Google News Labs).RFA's thinking carefully about how newsrooms can do that and not put themselves or their reporter in conflict or question because of that funding, Sennott said. GroundTruth Project adopted guidelines that adhere to PBS' funding guidelines, which ensure editorial independence at every step, he said. RFA also has a paid advisor who was formally the head of standards at PBS.
ee  journalism  rural  google 
april 2018 by osi_info_program
Leveraging the Power of Bots for Civil Society
t’s not enough to make sure that people are heard; we now have to make sure that technology adds value to human interactions, rather than replacing them or steering social good in the wrong direction. If technology creates value in a human-centered way, then we will have more time to be people-centric.

So before the bots become involved with almost every facet of our lives, it is incumbent upon those of us in the nonprofit and social-change sectors to start a discussion on how we both hold on to and lead with our humanity, as opposed to allowing the bots to lead. We are unprepared for this moment, and it does not feel like an understatement to say that the future of humanity relies on our ability to make sure we’re in charge of the bots, not the other way around.
bots  ee 
april 2018 by osi_info_program
IRIN | A LinkedIn to combat rights abuse?
He explained how a new website, Who Was in Command, has made his work a lot easier by publishing the names, ranks, and command responsibilities of security forces in Nigeria, Egypt, and Mexico.Victims of human rights abuses and their families often don’t know the names of the individual security officers they accuse of violating their rights, but their bosses can be held liable for their actions. However, according to Obiagwu, commanders tend not to stay in the same place for more than six months, which makes it time-intensive to find out who is responsible for the troops’ actions.Having all this information gathered from public sources on one website and made into a reference database has revolutionised his work. Now, “if I want to know the name of the person who is in charge… it can easily be gotten from that website,” he said.
ee  grantee  security-force-monitor  military 
april 2018 by osi_info_program
When Terrorists Run City Hall - The New York Times
Individually, each piece of paper documents a single, routine interaction: A land transfer between neighbors. The sale of a ton of wheat. A fine for improper dress.

But taken together, the documents in the trove reveal the inner workings of a complex system of government.
ee  archives  isis  database  humanrights 
april 2018 by osi_info_program
Signal >> Blog >> Signal Foundation
We’re glad those are the choices we’ve made. Today, we are launching the Signal Foundation, an emerging 501(c)(3) nonprofit created and made possible by Brian Acton, the co-founder of WhatsApp, to support, accelerate, and broaden Signal’s mission of making private communication accessible and ubiquitous. In case you missed it, Brian left WhatsApp and Facebook last year, and has been thinking about how to best focus his future time and energy on building nonprofit technology for public good.

Starting with an initial $50,000,000 in funding, we can now increase the size of our team, our capacity, and our ambitions. This means reduced uncertainty on the path to sustainability, and the strengthening of our long-term goals and values. Perhaps most significantly, the addition of Brian brings an incredibly talented engineer and visionary with decades of experience building successful products to our team.
ee  signal  software  privacy  crypto 
march 2018 by osi_info_program
Can an App Track Sexual Predators in the Theatre? | The New Yorker
“a tool to remove serial predators from our workplaces.” The assembled performers, writers, and other creative types were there to learn about Callisto, an online nonprofit startup that seeks to leverage the power of tech to fight sexual harassment and assault. Using Callisto, a victim can create a secure, time-stamped record of her assault, a so-called “information escrow.”...(Last week, after the meeting, the Actors’ Equity Association Council voted against adopting Callisto for its members.)
ee  callisto  sexual_assault  information_escrow 
march 2018 by osi_info_program
ICE Uses Facebook Data to Find and Track Suspects, Internal Emails Show
Palantir is a controversial data analytics firm co-founded by billionaire investor Peter Thiel. The company, which does business with the military and major intelligence agencies, has contracted with ICE since 2014. As journalist Spencer Woodman reported last year, the company developed a special system for ICE to access a vast “ecosystem” of data to facilitate immigration officials in both discovering targets and then creating and administering cases against them.
ee  palantir  ICE  immigration  facebook 
march 2018 by osi_info_program
Recode Daily: Facebook turns to print to apologize for its data debacle - Recode
which stands for “machine learning, (home) automation, robotics and space exploration,” but Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos calls it “summer camp for geeks.” The three-day Palm Springs confab brings together global power players to talk about Big Issues — gravitational waves, cutting-edge robot grasping technology, hyperefficient 3-D-printed rocket engines and AI, always AI. The magazine noticed a conspicuous absence of anyone from Google, Microsoft, Apple or Facebook, and suggests a “pop-up book club” recommending what the smartest scientists and technologists in the world like to read
ee 
march 2018 by osi_info_program
YouTube May Add to the Burdens of Humble Wikipedia - The New York Times
Wikipedia’s lopsided relationships can also amplify pre-existing internal problems. Its contributors skew white and male, for example, leading to predictable outcomes — just 17 percent of the subjects of biographies on the site are women. Wikipedia is taking steps to address the issue, but the next generation of consumer tech is being built on top of it — and its gaps and biases — in the meantime.
ee  wikipedia  youtube  fact 
march 2018 by osi_info_program
Facebook bans far-right group Britain First for ‘inciting hatred against minorities’ - The Verge
Facebook has been struggling for years now with how to deal with extremist content on its platform, but rarely intervenes in such a direct manner. Still, the ban is more symbolic than it is the beginning of an effective campaign against hate groups. One recent investigation from Wired UK found a whole network of Facebook pages linked to Britain First sharing the same content. At the time of writing these pages are still online.
ee  facebook  hatespeech 
march 2018 by osi_info_program
Joshua Topolsky, Former Verge Editor, Raises Funding for Digital Media Venture - WSJ
Instead, with The Outline, Mr. Topolsky said he is aiming to reach roughly 10 to 15 million users, most of whom come directly to his site. “This has to be a real brand,” he said. The site’s content will focus on three areas: power, as it relates to subjects like politics and business; culture; and the future. He said he’s aiming for a smart, influential readership.

The plan is to produce roughly 15 to 20 pieces of content a day, including text articles, more visual stories and video.

“I really want to move away from the impressions-based way of judging success,” he said. “We want to focus on the best way to tell a story. Digital media has millions of colors to paint with, and most of the time we only use like four.”
ee  digital_media  media  narrative 
march 2018 by osi_info_program
Here Come the Fake Videos, Too - The New York Times
He said he had created FakeApp as a creative experiment and was chagrined to see Reddit’s deepfake community use it for ill.

“I joined the community based around these algorithms when it was very small (less than 500 people),” he wrote, “and as soon as I saw the results I knew this was brilliant tech that should be accessible to anyone who wants to play around with it. I figured I’d take a shot at putting together an easy-to-use package to accomplish that.”

N. said he didn’t support the use of FakeApp to create nonconsensual pornography or other abusive content. And he said he agreed with Reddit’s decision to ban explicit deepfakes. But he defended the product.

“I’ve given it a lot of thought,” he said, “and ultimately I’ve decided I don’t think it’s right to condemn the technology itself — which can of course be used for many purposes, good and bad.”
ee  ai  truthiness  video  pornography  verification 
march 2018 by osi_info_program
Consent in the Digital Age: Can Apps Solve a Very Human Problem? - The New York Times
A profile update is an event we store on the blockchain and will subsequently update the live contract,” Rick Schmitz, a co-creator of LegalFling, recently said. The transaction is encrypted, timestamped and stored. (A blockchain is a collection of digital transactions that are registered in a sequence of “blocks” of data.)
ee  blockchain  harassment 
march 2018 by osi_info_program
An Oscar-Nominated Documentary About Fine Dining and Life After Prison | The New Yorker
“Knife Skills” doesn’t provide a simple redemption story. It is a chance to get to know a group of people in a specific time and place and to feel the energy of a good idea in action; we, like the participants, hope for its success and worry about potential defeat. Recidivism is common among former inmates, drug relapses by former addicts are pernicious, and the first year of reëntry is an especially perilous time. The film portrays this sensitively and straightforwardly, and with an effort to provide just enough context.
ee  narrative  soros  prison  justice  recidivism 
february 2018 by osi_info_program
The House That Spied on Me
When you buy a smart device, it doesn’t just belong to you; you share custody with the company that made it.
ee  iot  surveillance  isp 
february 2018 by osi_info_program
Find engineering teams that share your values | Key Values
My previous lives, as I like to call them, might seem disjointed, but they were all people-centric. Everything I have ever done has put a premium on interpersonal relationships, which is why the engineering world seems so odd to me.

I decided to do freelance web development for a couple of years before joining a company because I wanted to get to understand this new world. Consulting allowed me to learn about the diversity of working styles, team dynamics, and engineering cultures that exist at different companies. I thought, “Now that I know what I care about and what I’m looking for, it’ll be easy for me to find the right job on the right team.”
design  job  values  ee 
february 2018 by osi_info_program
Can an Algorithm Tell When Kids Are in Danger? - The New York Times
Had the decision been left solely to Byrne — as these decisions are left to screeners and their supervisors in jurisdictions around the world — that might have been the end of it. He would have, in industry parlance, screened the call out. That’s what happens to around half of the 14,000 or so allegations received each year in Allegheny County — reports that might involve charges of serious physical harm to the child,
ee  algorithms 
january 2018 by osi_info_program
The Follower Factory - The New York Times
“Social media is a virtual world that is filled with half bots, half real people,” said Rami Essaid, the founder of Distil Networks, a cybersecurity company that specializes in eradicating bot networks. “You can’t take any tweet at face value. And not everything is what it seems.”
twitter  socialmedia  bots  ee 
january 2018 by osi_info_program
Fitness app Strava lights up staff at military bases - BBC News
Many years ago, operational security was a relatively simple matter of not being physically overheard by the enemy.

Think of the British WWII poster with the slogan "Careless Talk Costs Lives".

Well, no more. Our modern electronic age means that we all move around with a number of "signatures"; we send and receive a variety of signals, all of which can be tracked. And as the episode with the exercise tracker shows, you do not need to be an American or Russian spy to be able to see and analyse these signals.

Russian troops have been tracked in Ukraine or in Syria by studying their social media interactions or geo-location data from their mobile phone images.

Each piece of evidence is a fragment, but when added together it could pose a significant risk to security - in this case highlighting the location of formerly secret bases or undisclosed patterns of military activity.
gps  data  strava  heatmap  security  ee 
january 2018 by osi_info_program
Russian Trolls Are Only Part of the Problem - The New York Times
Twitter does not seem to comprehend that non-automated content, including from American accounts, is a huge part of the disinformation ecosystem. Its amplification of neo-Nazi rhetoric, abusive content and false or misleading stories spread by accounts with huge numbers of followers all affected rhetoric surrounding the 2016 election. Other than supporting a few small media literacy programs, Twitter doesn’t seem to have a plan for eliminating the problematic content that originates within America’s own borders.
ee  russia  disinformation  twitter 
january 2018 by osi_info_program
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 
january 2018 by osi_info_program
‘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 
january 2018 by osi_info_program
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 
january 2018 by osi_info_program
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 
january 2018 by osi_info_program
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 
december 2017 by osi_info_program
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 
december 2017 by osi_info_program
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 
december 2017 by osi_info_program
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 
december 2017 by osi_info_program
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 
november 2017 by osi_info_program
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 
november 2017 by osi_info_program
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 
november 2017 by osi_info_program
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 
november 2017 by osi_info_program
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 
november 2017 by osi_info_program
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 
november 2017 by osi_info_program
What Reality TV Teaches Us About Russia’s Influence Campaign - The New York Times
But pretty much everyone in the world of reality TV acknowledges it happens to some degree on most shows, and that there are certain basic ways to manufacture drama. Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, a former producer on “The Bachelor” who later created “Unreal,” a scripted show about the reality industry, said the key to manipulating contestants into acting a certain way is to “tap into their fears, passions and ego.”

On reality TV, producers can do that because they keep detailed dossiers on everyone on set. But guess what? Russian trolls had detailed dossiers too — and they could consult them at scale. Using Facebook’s exquisitely detailed ad-targeting and viral propagation systems, trolls could create content that perfectly matched your fears, passions and ego.
ee  facebook  Russia 
november 2017 by osi_info_program
Launching WhoWasInCommand.com – a power tool for investigating security forces – Security Force Monitor
WhoWasInCommand.com makes it fast and easy to find detailed information about the chain of command, areas of operation, commanders and bases of the police, military and other security forces of a country and discover links to alleged human rights violations.

This platform is a unique resource containing a level of detailed data about security forces that has never existed before. It’s the result of an enormous amount of work – and would not have been possible without extensive advice and help from civil society partners. We hope that you find this new tool useful.
humanrights  ee  grantee  security  police  accountability 
november 2017 by osi_info_program
Twitter Bans Two Kremlin-Backed News Outlets From Advertising - The New York Times
Twitter said it had earned $1.9 million in advertising revenue from Russia Today since 2011. The company said it would now donate the money to research into the civic impact of Twitter, as well as its abuse by purveyors of fake news and propaganda.
ee  twitter  news  russia 
october 2017 by osi_info_program
Verificado19S: The citizen-led disaster response system helping organize aid in Mexico's earthquake — Quartz
In Mexico City, Verificado19S also showed how civil society can in some ways be more adept at emergency management than elected officials—in particular, at preventing false information from spreading. In the most extreme case, senior Mexican officials told the media that a girl called Frida Sofia was alive under the rubble of a collapsed school, and granted the country’s biggest TV network, Televisa, access to the building. After some 24 hours of nail-biting coverage that made Frida Sofia a worldwide story, it emerged that she didn’t exist—a severe blow to the credibility of the rescue agencies and the media.

In contrast, Verificado19S has some 500 volunteer reporters on the ground, some of whom stay put at the same site for days, closely following any changes. The picture they paint is much wider, more granular, and a better reflection of reality.
ee  crowdsourcing  mapping  verification 
october 2017 by osi_info_program
A Start-Up Slump Is a Drag on the Economy. Big Business May Be to Blame. - The New York Times
Many economists say the answer could lie in the rising power of the biggest corporations, which they argue is stifling entrepreneurship by making it easier for incumbent businesses to swat away challengers — or else to swallow them before they become a serious threat.
ee  monopoly  institution  trust 
september 2017 by osi_info_program
The Human Cost of Monitoring the Internet - Rolling Stone
In 2016, Soto and his co-plaintiff Greg Blauert, who worked with Soto in content moderation, filed a lawsuit against Microsoft. The complaint for damages filed by their lawyers detail a horrifying reality, where Blauert and Soto spent hours each day reviewing graphic content, without adequate psychological support.
secondary  trauma  contentblocking  moderation  microsoft  ee 
september 2017 by osi_info_program
Let’s Get Excited About Maintenance! - NYTimes.com
When Americans talk about technology, they often use “innovation” as a shorthand. But “innovation” refers only to the very early phases of technological development and use. It also tends to narrow the scope of technology to digital gadgets of recent vintage: iPhones, social media apps and so on. A more expansive conception of technology would take into account the diverse array of tools, including subways and trains, that we humans use to help us reach our goals.

While innovation — the social process of introducing new things — is important, most technologies around us are old, and for the smooth functioning of daily life, maintenance is more important.
ee  intermediary  maintenance  technology 
july 2017 by osi_info_program
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