Voting & Elections


Vote Leave faces scrutiny over £50m football contest

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A data-harvesting competition that offered football fans the chance to win £50m is at the centre of new questions about pro-Brexit campaigning before the 2016 EU referendum. Last week the select committee for digital, culture, media and sport released a letter Facebook sent to the Electoral Commission in which it said that two campaigns, Vote Leave and BeLeave, used three sets of data to target audiences, noting that they covered "the exact same audiences". The two campaign groups are under investigation over whether there was collusion and coordination during the referendum campaign, circumventing spending limits. Under British electoral law, it is illegal for campaigns to work together in any way unless they declare their spending jointly, which Vote Leave and BeLeave did not. Both organisations deny any collusion.


The Politics Of Automation

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We are also privileged to have Assemblyman Clyde Vanel of New York State's Assembly join our discussion on the deployment of autonomous systems, AI, the future of organized labor, universal basic income, and more. Assembly member Vanel is recognized as one of the most tech savvy legislators in Albany with his proposed legislation on AI, Blockchain and Cybersecurity. BIOS: Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur and author running for President as a Democrat in 2020. In 2011 he founded Venture for America, a national entrepreneurship fellowship, and spent the last 6 years creating jobs in cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh. When Andrew realized that new technology like artificial intelligence threatened to eliminate one-third of all American jobs, he knew he had to do something.


Google wants artificial intelligence to choose your news

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The newly relaunched news curation service will use "a new set of AI techniques to take a constant flow of information as it hits the web, analyze it in real time and organize it into storylines," Google News lead Trystan Upstill wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "This approach means Google News understands the people, places and things involved in a story as it evolves, and connects how they relate to one another," he wrote. Silicon Valley's biggest tech companies are all vying to become the leading digital news platform, and all use AI to curate content. But Google says the new Google News will go even further than others in harnessing the power of machine learning. In the wake of the rise of fake news spread by platforms like Facebook during the 2016 election and general fears about social media's effects on the way people consume news and information, there is likely to be intense scrutiny on how Google's AI performs.


Cambridge Analytica kept Facebook data models through US election

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Facebook's failure to compel Cambridge Analytica to delete all traces of data from its servers – including any "derivatives" – enabled the company to retain predictive models derived from millions of social media profiles throughout the US presidential election, the Guardian can reveal. Leaked emails reveal that when Cambridge Analytica told Facebook almost a year before the election that it had deleted data harvested from tens of millions of Facebook users, it stopped short of agreeing to also erase derivatives of the data. The correspondence, obtained by the Guardian, also raises questions about the accuracy of the testimony that Facebook's chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, gave to the US Congress last month. Derivatives of data, which can include predictive models, or clusters of populations in psychological groupings, can be highly valuable to companies involved in micro-targeting advertisements to voters. Data scientists say such models and analysis are often more valuable than underlying raw data.


Cambridge Analytica Closing Operations After Facebook Data Scandal

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

The company decided to close its doors because it was losing clients and facing mounting legal fees in the Facebook investigation, according to people familiar with the matter. SCL Group and SCL Elections, which are affiliated with Cambridge Analytica, also are shutting down in the U.S. and the U.K. Cambridge Analytica and SCL Elections issued a joint statement on Wednesday confirming the companies' closures. "Over the past several months, Cambridge Analytica has been the subject of numerous unfounded accusations," the statement said. "The siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the company's customers and suppliers. As a result, it has been determined that it is no longer viable to continue operating the business."


ZimGo Polling Is First Emotion AI Election Analytics and Forecasting Service for US Campaigns

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WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ZimGo Polling, BPU International's new SaaS election analytics product, is now available just in time for the 2018 U.S. campaign season. This is the first election analytics AI cloud-computing tool utilizing the hyper-accurate, patent-pending Artificial Emotional Intelligence (AEI) ZimGo engine. ZimGo Polling promises to reduce the growing "margin of error" rampant among legacy polling services, along with lowering human bias common to past survey methods. "In today's connected world, data analytics must get smarter and faster to serve the real-time demands of election campaigning," states Oh, Sanggyoon, CEO for BPU Holdings, creator of ZimGo. "Next generation artificial intelligence must assess human emotional sentiment.


It's time to unleash the power of artificial intelligence - The Hill Times

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Liberals to use two-pronged strategy in 2019 campaign: 'demonize the right' and'steal' from the left, say NDP, Conservative MPs The governing Liberals are already in the 2019 election campaign mode, but opposition MPs say Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's strategy to "demonize" the right and "steal" policy ideas from the left won't work and plan… The House of Commons Finance Committee is scrutinizing all 500-plus pages of the government's latest omnibus budget implementation bill after its chair opted not to ask other committees to help out, while the Senate has… Trudeau's renewed focus on economy drives up Liberal support among males: Nanos poll A two-year decline in male support for the federal Liberals appears to be reversing, and a leading pollster attributes the change to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's renewed focus on fiscal and economic issues instead of social…


Neuroscience and Society – Ethics, Law, and Technology -- 24-25 August 2018, Sydney, Australia

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Advances in brain scanning and intervention technologies are transforming our ability to observe, explain, and influence human thought and behaviour. However, many factors beyond the brain – factors targeted by different emerging technologies – also influence human thought and behaviour. Sequencing the human genome and gene-editing technologies like CRISPR Cas-9 offer novel ways to explain and influence human thought and behaviour. Analysis of data about our offline and online lives (e.g. from fitness trackers, how we interact with our smartphone apps, and our social media posts and profiles) also provide striking insights into our psychology. Such intimate information can be used to predict and influence our behaviour, including through bespoke advertising for goods and services that more effectively exploits our psychology and political campaigns that sway election results.


Harvested Facebook Data Didn't Prove Useful, App Developer Says

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

He later shared the information with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked for President Donald Trump's 2016 electionl campaign. Cambridge Analytica has acknowledged it licensed data from Mr. Kogan but said it wasn't used in the U.S. presidential race Clients of Cambridge Analytica have said the company had trouble delivering on its claims that its personality-profiling would help politicians win votes. Mr. Kogan said the data turned out to be of zero value to the company, and his app was less effective at targeting consumers than Facebook's traditional advertising. "The idea that this data is accurate, I would say, is scientifically ridiculous," he told a committee of U.K. lawmakers investigating fake news. "The project, quite frankly, if the goal is microtargeting using Facebook ads, makes no sense.


The Morning After: TESS takes off and Russia battles Telegram

Engadget

Twitch has a tiny Russian problem, and Intel has pulled the plug on its smart glasses. We also have an update on what Pornhub is (not) doing about deepfake videos and everything you need to know about last night's SpaceX launch. We're upgrading Engadget's daily newsletter and want to hear from you. Tell us exactly what you think by emailing us at themorningafter(at)engadget.com. Just two years late.Paul Allen's massive Stratolaunch may finally take off this summer With a wingspan measuring 385 feet, the 500,000-pound, twin-fuselage Stratolaunch is the largest plane in the world.