osi_info_program + ee   213

Beware of Data Miners Offering Protection | American Civil Liberties Union
t’s a compelling story, but there are lots of reasons to believe it will always be filed under fiction. A major National Research Council report and other experts examining the question have all concluded that pattern-based data-mining — in which suspicious patterns of activity are flagged, cold, by computer algorithms — is very unlikely to be effective against terrorism.
ee  palantir  aclu 
17 hours ago by osi_info_program
People Are Mad that Facebook and Google Sponsored a Privacy Event - Motherboard
The ethical dilemma of what sponsorship money to accept is a common one for such events. Last year the Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference included both Google and Facebook among its sponsors. The Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Conference lists Palantir among its 2016 sponsors. The International Association of Privacy Professionals—"the world's largest information privacy organization"—organizes multiple privacy-focused events every year, and its corporate "members" include Google, Microsoft, AT&T, and even Monsanto.
ee  palantir  transparency  sponsorship  corporations 
17 hours ago by osi_info_program
Why we won’t be at APC 2018 – DATACTIVE
Palantir is a company specializing in big data analytics, which develops technologies for the military, law enforcement and border control. The deployment of Palantir’s technologies has raised wide-spread concern among civil liberties and human rights advocates. Reporting shows that, in the United States, Palantir has played an important role in enabling the efforts of the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to identify, detain, and deport undocumented immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. This has resulted in the indefinite detention of thousands of children who have been separated from their parents. This indefensible policy has come under strong criticism from the United Nations and prompted an alliance of technology workers and affected communities, to call – so far, unsuccessfully – for Palantir to cancel its contracts with ICE.
ee  data_justice  cardiff  palantir 
17 hours ago by osi_info_program
How Connected Is Your Community to Everywhere Else in America? - The New York Times
“This gives us the first way to systematically look at some of those relationships,” said Mark Granovetter, a sociologist at Stanford who has written influential papers on the value of social networks. “They have just scratched the surface here.”
ee  weak_ties  facebook  bubbles 
19 hours ago by osi_info_program
Lawmakers Demand Intelligence Community Release a Report on Deepfakes - Motherboard
three representatives—Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) and Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.)—sent the letter to DNI director Dan Coats as a plea and a warning: That deepfakes could be used against the U.S. by hostile nations.

“We request that the Intelligence Community report to Congress and the public about the implications of new technologies that allow malicious actors to fabricate audio, video and still images,” they wrote.
ee  deep_fakes  propaganda  manipulation 
2 days ago by osi_info_program
The rise of giant consumer startups that said no to investor money - Recode
When Andy Dunn started building his direct-to-consumer menswear brand, Bonobos, in 2007, he saw no great options for e-commerce software. As a result, he estimates that Bonobos spent tens of millions of the $120 million it had raised from investors on building, supporting and tweaking the Bonobos technology stack over the years.

But a decade later, Dunn was able to turn to e-commerce software company Shopify as the platform for Allswell, a mattress brand that Dunn helped incubate in his new role at Walmart where he oversees the company’s digital-native consumer brands.

“Shopify is the absolute game-changer,” Dunn said. “At least 75 percent of the digital brands I talk to today are on Shopify and many of them are now saying we don’t need to invest that much in tech.”
ee  business  entrepreneurship  tech_stack 
2 days ago by osi_info_program
How the Weather Channel Made That Insane Hurricane Florence Storm Surge Animation | WIRED
That short window of time belies how much tech underpins the rest of the operation, though. The studio is outfitted with a Mo-Sys camera tracking system, a physical box that attaches to a camera, and uses sensors and an IR signal to triangulate the camera’s position in a virtual space. TWC also needed specialized software to translate the Unreal Engine graphics into a broadcast-ready format.

Now that much of the groundwork is laid, expect to see more of these immersive demonstrations—and keep an eye out for the surprising amount of detail they can have.
ee  infographic  VR  animation  weather 
5 days ago by osi_info_program
Tech Leavers | Kapor Center
The Tech Leavers Study is a first-of-its-kind national study examining why people voluntarily left their jobs in tech. The Kapor Center and Harris Poll surveyed a representative sample of more than 2,000 U.S. adults who have left a job in a technology-related industry or function within the last three years.
diversity  discrimination  employment  bias  ee 
8 days ago by osi_info_program
Opinion: Sex Abuse Is Draining Nonprofits of Dedicated Workers. Here’s a Solution. - The Chronicle of Philanthropy
If you want the nonprofit world to be shaped by smart, talented, visionary people, new practices need to be put in place by those who hold influence. In my experience, too many in philanthropy — both women and men — have been unwitting accomplices to the pressures placed on women like me.

Change won’t happen simply by holding more training sessions on how to prevent sexual harassment or adopting more polices. Instead it takes foundations recognizing that they are losing out on their investments when they give money to organizations that tolerate bad management, sexual abuse, racism, and bullies who run talented people out of nonprofits. There are some simple ways grant makers can avoid amplifying biases:
ee  sexual_harassment  sunlight 
8 days ago by osi_info_program
Why Google Fiber Is High-Speed Internet’s Most Successful Failure
But we believe Google Fiber’s most significant impact was to change the nature of relations between infrastructure providers and local authorities. Thanks to Google Fiber, the monopoly mindset gave way to one in which both sides understood the other could walk away. Cities learned that inefficient construction management would lead providers to invest elsewhere, while ISPs came to see that cities could only do so much to improve the economics of upgrades and new deployments. Following Google’s lead, the ISPs and the cities created public-private partnerships such as Research Triangle’s North Carolina Next Generation Network, in which both got more, in terms of their goals, than they gave.
ee  fiber  google  infrastructure 
9 days ago by osi_info_program
A Facebook War: Libyans Battle on the Streets and on Screens - The New York Times
The New York Times found evidence of military-grade weapons being openly traded, despite the company’s policies forbidding such commerce. Human traffickers advertise their success in helping illegal migrants reach Europe by sea, and use their pages to drum up more business. Practically every armed group in Libya, and even some of their detention centers, have their own Facebook page.
ee  libya  facebook 
12 days ago by osi_info_program
An Overview of National AI Strategies – Politics + AI – Medium
This article summarizes the key policies and goals of each strategy, as well as related policies and initiatives that have announced since the release of the initial strategies. It also includes countries that have announced their intention to develop a strategy or have related AI policies in place.

I plan to continuously update this article as new strategies and initiatives are announced. If a country or policy is missing (or if something in the summary is incorrect), please leave a comment and I will update the article as soon as possible.
ai  ee  national 
13 days ago by osi_info_program
The simple but ingenious system Taiwan uses to crowdsource its laws - MIT Technology Review
If people can propose their ideas and comments but they cannot reply to each other, then it drastically reduces the motivation for trolls to troll,” Tang says.The second is that it uses the upvotes and downvotes to generate a kind of map of all the participants in the debate, clustering together people who have voted similarly. People then naturally try to draft comments that will win votes from both sides of a divide, gradually eliminating the gaps.
ee  taiwan  debate  platform  government  democracy 
13 days ago by osi_info_program
A new fleet of satellites is detecting human rights abuses from space - Hack - triple j
The satellites have resolution of about 30cm per pixel, meaning each pixel of an image shows 30cm on the ground. That's detained enough to be able to pick out people, or to tell which way a car is driving from the direction of its windshield.

Despite this coverage, satellites rarely capture the moment of an atrocity - normally it's images immediately before and immediately after.

That means satellite images are only as good as the analyst.
ee  satellites  geodata  humanrights 
16 days ago by osi_info_program
Her rapist was convicted because of a rape kit. So why are so many kits untested? | KUOW News and Information
Ohio also invested heavily in new robotics to process dozens of samples at once and save scientists from repetitive manual tasks, such as sucking up and squeezing out drops of chemicals with pipettes.

“The robots do about three times the amount of work that an individual scientist could do,” Slaper said.
ee  rape_kit  AI  crime  automation  RABA 
4 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Bots didn’t flop; they just became invisible - The Verge
In other words, the bots never really went away; they just became invisible. More automated messaging can be found on companies’ websites and apps than ever before. The work continues. And as Intercom’s own story has shown, businesses’ appetites for the automation they enable is only increasing. (Intercom released a tool to let businesses build custom chat bots earlier this month.)
ee  bots 
5 weeks ago by osi_info_program
The Unlikely Activists Who Took On Silicon Valley — and Won - The New York Times
The surveillance capitalists didn’t just sell more deodorant; they had built one of the most powerful tools ever invented for winning elections. Roughly the same suite of technologies helped elect Obama, a pragmatic liberal who promised racial progress and a benevolent globalism, and Trump, a strident nationalist who adeptly employs social media to stoke racial panic and has set out to demolish the American-led world order.
privacy  surveillance  ee  facebook  google  activism  ashkan 
5 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Evening Standard comment: Artificial intelligence will be good for the NHS | London Evening Standard
The exciting medical breakthrough announced today by doctors at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital, in which artificial intelligence has been used to diagnose more than 50 types of eye disease and prioritise the patients with the most severe conditions for the speediest treatment, promises to bring major benefits for the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from potentially sight-threatening conditions.
ee  ai  machinelearning  diagnosis  health  deep_mind 
5 weeks ago by osi_info_program
US Students Turn Grief Into Tech Startup After France Attack - The New York Times
Banerjee and several classmates have since turned their grief into a startup called Archer that builds digital tools to help journalists, investigators and human rights workers tackle terrorism, sanctions evasion, corruption and other global violence.
ee  osint  berkeley  human_rights  metadata 
5 weeks ago by osi_info_program
A better statistical estimation of known Syrian war victims
In a paper available online and due for publication in the June issue of the Annals of Applied Statistics, the scientists report on a four-year effort to combine a data-indexing method called “hashing with statistical estimation.” The new method produces real-time estimates of documented, identified victims with a far lower margin of error than existing statistical methods for finding duplicate records in databases.
ee  hrdag  grantee  statistics  database  noise  human_rights  humanrights 
6 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Information Escrows to Combat Code Fraud | Berkeley Institute for Data Science
Code fraud is the implementation of software that induces illegal, unethical, or otherwise malicious outcomes. As political, manufacturing, and social systems increasingly run on software, the consequences of code fraud will proliferate and diversify.One proposal for reducing the risk associated with whistleblowing is adapted from an information escrow platform developed to allow victims of sexual harassment to store reports of their attacks "in escrow" on a third-party platform called Callisto. Reporting code fraud, or any other kind of fraud, is clearly different than reporting sexual assault. One quality these situations share is that making a report is risky for the claimant, especially if that person is the only one making the accusation. If two or more employees come forward to report the same fraud or two women report the same assailant, not only are their cases stronger, but they will not bear the burden of reporting alone.
ee  Callisto  information_escrow  escrow  data  coding 
6 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Issue Brief: The ‘Demand Side’ of the Disinformation Crisis – NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY
Supply-side analyses of disinformation typically begin with understanding the dissemination of false, misleading, divisive, or inflammatory content. This content reaches audiences incidentally as it moves through the media ecosystem. It is sometimes amplified by manipulation of mainstream media sources or by journalistic mistakes. Misled or confused, the audience then doubts accounts from authoritative sources. During moments of crisis or during rapidly unfolding events, users may accidentally share disinformation out of a desire to help or, in a moment of fear or anger, because they do not realize they have been misled.

These assumptions concerning the spread of disinformation may hold true for many people much of the time. However, some subset of the population consistently consumes and shares disinformation. These individuals may be invested in the narratives supported by disinformation campaigns. Their worldview or sense of self may also lead them to believe certain sources or stories over others. In some instances, their reliance on the new, hyper-digitized, freewheeling information environment may lead them down paths of paranoia and radicalization that were more difficult to discover and access before the internet’s advent. Such factors make up the ‘demand side’ of the disinformation challenge.
ee  disinformation 
6 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Why We’re Sharing 3 Million Russian Troll Tweets | FiveThirtyEight
That resulting data set is at the heart of a working paper by Linvill and Warren, currently under review at an academic journal, titled “Troll Factories: The Internet Research Agency and State-Sponsored Agenda Building.”

In the paper, Linvill and Warren divide the IRA’s trolling into five distinct categories, or roles: Right Troll, Left Troll, News Feed, Hashtag Gamer and Fearmonger. (These category codes are included in the data.)
propaganda  twitter  russia  ee  troll 
6 weeks ago by osi_info_program
As Google AI researcher accused of harassment, female data scientists speak of 'broken system' | Technology | The Guardian
Lum is well aware of the importance of diversity in her field. She has researched predictive policing programs, exposing how flawed data and AI can replicate and exacerbate racially biased law enforcement practices.
analytics  advocacy  ee  HRDAG  sexual_harassment  AI 
7 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Russia Uses Interpol Red Notices Against Dissidents - The Atlantic
Less examined, however, has been Russia’s abuse of Interpol and the American court system to persecute the Kremlin’s rivals in the United States—a problem that the Atlantic Council described in a recent report as another form of “interference” by Russia. Russia’s requests to Interpol to issue Red Notices—the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant in use today—against Kremlin opponents are being met with increasing deference by the Department of Homeland Security, according to immigration attorneys and experts in transnational crime and corruption with whom I spoke.
ee  corruption  interpol 
7 weeks ago by osi_info_program
How to Teach Computer Ethics through Science Fiction | August 2018 | Communications of the ACM
In fields with a strong practical component and established body of knowledge (such as medicine, engineering, and the undergraduate levels of many sciences) there is a temptation to teach solely through the transmitting of facts, rather than encouraging discussion and dissent.11 This approach, which many undergraduates have seen, can condition them to interpret what they learn in terms of an authority-based view of "truth" that in turn leaves them unequipped to reason about situations involving no single correct answer or think cogently about ethical trade-offs.23,34 We want to teach our students to move past this authority-based view and find the best, most efficient solution to technical problems; we argue that the same skills must be developed to engage with ethical challenges that arise from the substance of their work as well.
ethics  ee  computer_science 
8 weeks ago by osi_info_program
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 
8 weeks ago 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 
9 weeks 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 
10 weeks 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 
10 weeks 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 
11 weeks 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 
12 weeks 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 
june 2018 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 
june 2018 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 
june 2018 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 
june 2018 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 
june 2018 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 
may 2018 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 
may 2018 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 
may 2018 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 
may 2018 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 
may 2018 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 
may 2018 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 
may 2018 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 
may 2018 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 
may 2018 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 
may 2018 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 
may 2018 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 
may 2018 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 
may 2018 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 
april 2018 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 
april 2018 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 
april 2018 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 
april 2018 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 
april 2018 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
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
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