mike + legal   5

Stupid Patent of the Month: Will Patents Slow Artificial Intelligence? | Electronic Frontier Foundation
In essence, Claim 1 of the patent amounts to ‘do machine learning on this particular type of application.’ More specifically, the patent follows Claim 1 with a variety of subsequent claims that amount to ‘When you’re doing that machine learning from Claim 1, use this particular well-known pre-existing machine learning algorithm.’ Indeed, in our opinion the patent reads like the table of contents of an intro to AI textbook. It covers using just about every standard machine learning technique you’d expect to learn in an intro to AI class—including linear and nonlinear regression, k-nearest neighbor, clustering, support vector machines, principal component analysis, feature selection using lasso or elastic net, Gaussian processes, and even decision trees—but applied to the specific example of proteins and data you can measure about them. Certainly, applying these techniques to proteins may be a worthwhile and time-consuming enterprise. But that does not mean it deserves a patent. A company should not get a multi-year monopoly on using well-known techniques in a particular domain where there was no reason to think the techniques couldn’t be used in that domain (even if they were the first to apply the techniques there). A patent like this doesn’t really bring any new technology to the table; it simply limits the areas in which an existing tool can be used. For this reason, we are declaring the ’834 patent our latest Stupid Patent of the Month.
patent  legal  machinelearning 
12 weeks ago by mike
Ninth Circuit Doubles Down: Violating a Website’s Terms of Service Is Not a Crime | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Good news out of the Ninth Circuit: the federal court of appeals heeded EFF’s advice and rejected an attempt by Oracle to hold a company criminally liable for accessing Oracle’s website in a manner it didn’t like. The court ruled back in 2012 that merely violating a website’s terms of use is not a crime under the federal computer crime statute, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. But some companies, like Oracle, turned to state computer crime statutes—in this case, California and Nevada—to enforce their computer use preferences.

This decision shores up the good precedent from 2012 and makes clear—if it wasn’t clear already—that violating a corporate computer use policy is not a crime.
february 2018 by mike
Uncovering Big Bias with Big Data
What follows is the story of how I used Virginia court cases to discover what best predicts defendant outcomes: race or income.
crime  bias  legal 
june 2016 by mike

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