osi_info_program + ee   231

Style Guide for Writing About Technology – Tow Center – Medium
What follows is a style guide, offering tips on how not to write about technology, whether in reporting, features, or criticism. Think of this as a guide for avoiding the most egregious clichés and obscuring jargon.
ee  Tow_center  writing  journalism 
5 days ago by osi_info_program
Why the Google Walkout Was a Watershed Moment in Tech - The New York Times
For two years, regulators, lawmakers, academics and the media have pushed Silicon Valley to alter its world-swallowing ways. But outsiders have few points of leverage in tech; there are few laws governing the industry’s practices, and lawmakers have struggled to get up to speed on tech’s implications for society. Protests by workers are an important new avenue for pressure; the very people who make these companies work can change what they do in the world.
ee  walkout  google  tech_worker 
12 days ago by osi_info_program
Mijente
It’s time to hold Amazon accountable for its outsized share in building the deportation machine, and demand that they stop. It won’t be easy — Amazon makes billions from these contracts. But the company also depends on consumers — including millions of Latinx people — and has to worry about protecting its brand.
ee  notechforice  amazon  palantir  movement-security 
19 days ago by osi_info_program
We Need New Child Labor Laws for the Digital Age – Power Trip – Medium
In fact, almost all of their digital activities can be described using game theorist Julian Küchlich’s term: playbour. He combines the words “play” and “labour” (he uses the British spelling) to signify how the distinction between leisure and production becomes unclear as digital media turns creative play into a commodity. Please don’t get distracted by the fancy jargon Küchlich borrows from the academic field of political economy. There’s nothing especially complicated about what he’s trying to say. It’s basically just the observation that every time my boys post a photo on Instagram or chat on Discord, they’re providing the content that other users will enjoy.
privacy  gdpr  labor  play  platform  content  ee  data  feminism 
27 days ago by osi_info_program
A Lesson in Change Management from the Gates Foundation - Non Profit News | Nonprofit Quarterly
this story has many juicy bits about how organizations have to think when making major operational changes. If you add to this picture the information NPQ wrote about earlier this week concerning the culture at the Gates Foundation, it all makes sense. Systems are designed to resist change—until they are fully invested in a vision for something different.

Big or small, a well-run nonprofit must effectively manage organizational change and the human dimension of organizational life. These are the key takeaways from a recent state court decision that found the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had mishandled the hiring of a new chief data officer (CDO).
ee  data  gates  CDO  HR  culture 
4 weeks ago by osi_info_program
How Archivists Could Stop Deepfakes From Rewriting History
Ultimately, the greatest protection archives offer against the distortion of history may be their careful documentation of previous errors. By supporting archiving projects, we not only ensure that the past is preserved accurately, but create a guide for the future by chronicling the long relationship between media and deception.
ee  witness  archive  deepfake  memory 
4 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Ancestry Sites Could Soon Expose Nearly Anyone's Identity, Researchers Say
Agencies such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have regulations for federally funded research that involves human subjects. Known as the common rule, a revision of these guidelines was set to be implemented in 2017, but won’t come in full effect until 2019. The revised common rule doesn’t currently consider our genomes to be identifiable information, but Erlich noted that the HHS is allowed to change that status as technology advances. That might stop unscrupulous scientists, who would stand to lose federal funding if they were caught trying to pilfer people’s identities.
ee  biometrics  dna  database  privacy  police 
5 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Michael Lewis Wonders Who’s Really Running the Government - The New York Times
Lewis defines it this way: “The risk a society runs when it falls into the habit of responding to long-term risks with short-term solutions. … ‘Program management’ is the existential threat that you never really even imagine as a risk. … It is the innovation that never occurs and the knowledge that is never created, because you have ceased to lay the groundwork for it. It is what you never learned that might have saved you.”
ee  risk  creativity  program  government; 
5 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Some Tips for Small Foundations Seeking to ‘Punch Above Their Weight’ - The New York Times
“There’s a question for all philanthropists: When are you comfortable being part of a puzzle, and when do you want to be the puzzle?” Mr. Bradach said. “One can have a tremendous impact being part of a puzzle, but you can’t always have a tremendous impact being the puzzle.”She said her foundation had worked with the Gates, Ford, Annie E. Casey and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations. Because of its size, if the big foundations asked Melville to join a partnership, “we’d be left out,” Ms. Elliott said. Instead, she said, Melville made the first move. “So we go ahead and start it ourselves,” she said, “and then ask the others to join.”
ee  strategy  small_grant 
5 weeks ago by osi_info_program
How the Internet defeated Seymour Hersh | openDemocracy
Higgins represents two distinct features of the information age: ‘open source’ intelligence gathering and unfamiliar networked solutions, developments that Hersh has ignored but which are radically changing the fields of intelligence and journalism.
ee  OSINT  bellingcat  syria 
5 weeks ago by osi_info_program
What Is a Data Trust? | Centre for International Governance Innovation
What is perhaps new is the degree to which public governance and market institutions have developed, globalized and acquired interests of their own. The globalization of data markets has outpaced the evolution and jurisdiction of most consumer protections, which are typically designed and enforced by sovereigns. As with most self-regulation, it’s unlikely that markets alone will enforce good practice when it comes to data. Similarly, sovereign attempts to govern the global internet are often overreaching. Since a plurality of interests will be affected by data governance, a similarly plural governance tool is necessary.
ee  data_trust 
5 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Inside The Black Mirror World of Polygraph Job Screenings | WIRED
However, the judge objected to the use of an unknown and unproven tool. An appeals court agreed, writing, “The thing from which [a] deduction is made must be sufficiently established to have gained general acceptance in the particular field in which it belongs.” This became known as the Frye standard. Because polygraphs have never convinced the majority of scientists, the Frye standard has excluded them from most courtrooms for almost a century.
ee  tools  court  litigation  human_rights 
6 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Border family separation and how computer software can make policy - Vox
The first is that implementation is policy. Whatever gets decided at various times by leadership (in this case, first to separate families, then to reunite them), what happens in real life is often determined less by policy than by software. And until the government starts to think of technology as a dynamic service, imperfect but ever-evolving, not just a static tool you buy from a vendor, that won’t change. But in a world where most people in the tech industry, and the general public, have very little insight into how government works and doesn’t work, the conversation can miss critical context.
ee  ice  tech_policy 
7 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Google Maps Is a Better Spy Than James Bond – Foreign Policy
That Thornberry chooses to label civil society actors as “terrorists” and discount their testimony and verifiable evidence is not only lamentable; it is also inhumane and wrong. “So-called open-source intelligence” has developed into a powerful and respected tool, capable of uncovering secrets hidden in plain view. In the case of Syria, the vast majority of this information comes from civil society and regular citizens. They are simply ordinary people who are recording the industrial-scale slaughter around them in the hope that somewhere, someone is watching.
ee  open_source_intelligence  OSINT  bellingcat 
7 weeks ago by osi_info_program
News Site to Investigate Big Tech, Helped by Craigslist Founder - The New York Times
At ProPublica, Ms. Angwin and Mr. Larson subverted the traditional model of tech reporting altogether. They did not need access. With the right tools, they could study impact.
technology  ee  propublica  markup  algorithms  investigative_journalism 
8 weeks ago by osi_info_program
$1m to pay open source maintainers on Tidelift
Think of the Tidelift Subscription like a Red Hat or Cloudera subscription, but for all of the other open source libraries you build into your applications from package managers like npm, Maven, PyPI, Packagist, and RubyGems. And with the proceeds flowing through to the actual open source maintainers behind that software.

Tidelift makes it possible for open source creators to get paid by adding net-new valuable assurances around their software. We add something useful that professional development teams want, rather than hiding existing and future capabilities away behind paywalls or curtailing your ability to use the software freely. Our model grows maintainer income as projects have more users, rather than as maintainers spend more hours, so it’s possible to build a significant income around your open source project.
ee  open_source  civilsociety 
8 weeks ago by osi_info_program
Opinion | We Are Not the Resistance - The New York Times
But the mind-set of “the resistance” is slippery and dangerous. There’s a reason marchers in the black freedom struggle sang “We Shall Overcome” rather than chanting “We Shall Resist.” Their goal was to overcome a racial caste system — to end it — and to create a new nation, a Beloved Community. Similarly, those who opposed slavery didn’t view themselves as resisters; they were abolitionists.
ee  framing  resistance 
8 weeks ago by osi_info_program
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 
8 weeks 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 
8 weeks 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 
8 weeks 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 
8 weeks 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 
9 weeks 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 
9 weeks 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 
9 weeks 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 
9 weeks 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 
9 weeks 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 
10 weeks 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 
10 weeks 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 
10 weeks 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 
10 weeks 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 
10 weeks 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 
august 2018 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 
august 2018 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 
august 2018 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 
august 2018 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 
august 2018 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 
august 2018 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 
august 2018 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 
august 2018 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 
august 2018 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 
july 2018 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 
july 2018 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 
july 2018 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 
july 2018 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 
july 2018 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 
july 2018 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 
july 2018 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 
june 2018 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 
june 2018 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
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