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Federal agencies need stricter limits on facial recognition to protect privacy, says government watchdog

Washington Post - Technology News

Six agencies, including the U.S. Park Police and the FBI said they had used facial recognition on people who participated in protests after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer in May 2020. The agencies said they only used it on people they suspected of breaking the law, according to the report. The U.S. Capitol Police used Clearview AI to conduct its investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Customs and Border Protection and the State Department said they ran searches for Capitol rioters on their own databases at the request of other federal agencies.

Watch the incredible single-shot drone video that's impressing Hollywood


When your 87-second short film prompts the director of Toy Story 3 to tweet praise calling it "one of the most amazing things I've ever seen," you know you've done something right. Filmed at Bryant Lake Bowl and Theatre in Minneapolis with one continuous drone shot, Jay Christensen's Right Up Our Alley is a stunning short film that's essentially a high-speed tour of a regular night at a bowling alley. At the time of writing, it's clocked up over 6.1 million views on Twitter and 660,000 views on YouTube and caught the attention of Hollywood star Elijah Wood and Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, who both had similarly enthusiastic things to say about it. In terms of how it was made, Christensen confirmed on Instagram that the sound was added separately later. It's worth noting that Christensen has previous form when it comes to single-shot drone films -- you can watch his previous shorts, including one filmed at a movie theatre and one that follows a motorbike rider through an empty mall, on his YouTube channel.

Artificial Intelligence Algorithm Analyzes Chest X-Rays to Detect COVID-19 in Seconds


A team of researchers at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN, USA) recently developed and validated an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that can evaluate chest X-rays to diagnose possible cases of COVID-19. Working together with M Health Fairview and Epic, the algorithm will be available at no cost to other health systems through Epic, the medical records software used by many health care organizations across the country. When a patient arrives in the emergency department with suspected COVID-19 symptoms, clinicians order a chest X-ray as part of standard protocol. The algorithm automatically evaluates the X-ray as soon as the image is taken. If the algorithm recognizes patterns associated with COVID-19 in the chest X-ray - within seconds - the care team can see within Epic that the patient likely has the virus.

How the Police Use AI to Track and Identify You


Surveillance is becoming an increasingly controversial application given the rapid pace at which AI systems are being developed and deployed worldwide. While protestors marched through the city demanding justice for George Floyd and an end to police brutality, Minneapolis police trained surveillance tools to identify them. With just hours to sift through thousands of CCTV camera feeds and other dragnet data streams, the police turned to a range of automated systems for help, reaching for information collected by automated license plate readers, CCTV-video analysis software, open-source geolocation tools, and Clearview AI's controversial facial recognition system. High above the city, an unarmed Predator drone flew in circles, outfitted with a specialized camera first pioneered by the police in Baltimore that is capable of identifying individuals from 10,000 feet in the air, providing real-time surveillance of protestors across the city. But Minneapolis is not an isolated case of excessive policing and technology run amok. Instead, it is part of a larger strategy by the state, local, and federal government to build surveillance dragnets that pull in people's emails, texts, bank records, and smartphone location as well as their faces, movements, and physical whereabouts to equip law enforcement with unprecedented tools to search for and identify Americans without a warrant.

Researchers use artificial intelligence to detect COVID-19 in hospital patients


Researchers are using artificial intelligence to detect COVID-19 from chest x-rays of hospital patients faster than traditional tests. MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Researchers at the University of Minnesota and M Health Fairview are developing a new technology that uses artificial intelligence to help doctors detect COVID-19 in hospital patients. "It does feel maybe science fiction-y, but this is probably going to be a part of our new normal," said Dr. Genevieve Melton-Meaux of M Health Fairview. Researchers at the University of Minnesota and M Health Fairview are developing a new technology that uses artificial intelligence to help doctors detect COVID-19 in hospital patients. Dr. Melton-Meaux explains artificial intelligence (AI) is having some major impacts on health care in 2020.

Academic Misconduct In Distance Learning - eLearning Industry


Exam cheating is as ancient a practice as education itself. Back in ancient China, cheating on the Imperial exams was a serious offense. And yet a Qing dynasty cheatsheet--in the shape of a handkerchief with 10,000 symbols in microscopic writing--is on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, showing that students have always been inclined to borrow knowledge and ideas. Exam cheating is as ancient a practice as education itself. Historically, students could attempt to use their own handwriting as false proof of originality, but now the digital age has changed that.

Snap just released its first diversity report. Like the rest of tech, it's not very diverse.


The times they are a-changin': Snap, Inc. has released its first annual diversity report. The analysis, which the company conducted internally, includes current representation statistics alongside numerical goals to increase representation of women and minorities. It also details organizational commitments to more deeply integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into the company's business practices. CEO Evan Spiegel announced the release of the report Wednesday with a blog post that echoed his progressive statement about the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., in May. In it, he focuses on the history of oppression in the U.S. and the recognition and representation owed to minority groups.

Topless Beach Drone Scandal!


The isolated Twin Lake beach outside of Minneapolis is known as a haven for freewheeling summer behavior, a place where sunbathers feel comfortable socializing, drinking, and occasionally taking their tops off. According to local authorities, the beach has also been the site of sexual assaults, drownings, drunk driving, and other illicit behavior, drawing regular complaints from nearby homeowners. On July 10, police decided to take action. But instead of sending on-foot officers to the scene to hunt for rule-breakers, they flew their zoom camera–equipped DJI Matrice drone over the beach, in hope of catching them in the act. Police reasoned that the drone could help them deescalate things by avoiding unnecessary personal interaction, in light of the pandemic and the police brutality protests that had ignited over the death of George Floyd at the hands of an officer in late May, in nearby Minneapolis.

Viewpoint: What Donald Trump gets wrong about Somalia

BBC News

In our series of letters from African journalists, Ismail Einashe considers how Somalia has become caught up in the US election campaign. President Donald Trump is making Somali-American congresswoman Ilhan Omar one of the bogeywomen of his campaign for re-election to the White House in November - and by proxy her country of birth Somalia. In his most recent attack, at a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he tore into the 37-year-old alleging that she wanted to bring the "anarchy" of Somalia to the US. "She would like to make the government of our country just like the country from where she came - Somalia. And now, she's telling us how to run our country. Ms Omar, who arrived in the US as a child refugee in 1995, is the congressional representative for Minnesota, which includes the city of Minneapolis where African-American George Floyd was killed by police in May, reigniting Black Lives Matter protests. But it was Ms Omar's Somali heritage the president chose to focus on in Tulsa, perhaps to distract from all the turmoil and unrest closer to home. In response Ms Omar said his remarks were "racist". She added that his anger came out of a recent poll that had shown him trailing his rival, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, in her state, which is home to a large Somali-American community. The president described Ms Omar as a "hate-filled, American-bashing socialist", warning she would have a role in shaping the country if Mr Biden were to win. This is despite the fact that the pair are on the opposite ends of the Democratic Party - Ms Omar had been a prominent supporter of Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic ticket. But such rhetoric plays well to his base, so the electoral stage has been set, the cast chosen - and Ms Omar and Somalia have starring roles. In fact they both debuted last year at Mr Trump's rally in North Carolina where the crowd chanted about Ms Omar: "Send her back!

Ed Markey, Ayanna Pressley push for federal ban on facial recognition technology

Boston Herald

Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Ayanna Pressley are pushing to ban the federal government's use of facial recognition technology, as Boston last week nixed the city use of the technology and tech giants pause their sale of facial surveillance tools to police. The momentum to stop the government use of facial recognition technology comes in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis -- a black man killed by a white police officer. Floyd's death has sparked nationwide protests for racial justice and triggered calls for police reform, including ways police track people. Facial recognition technology contributes to the "systemic racism that has defined our society," Markey said on Sunday. "We cannot ignore that facial recognition technology is yet another tool in the hands of law enforcement to profile and oppress people of color in our country," Markey said during an online press briefing.