Joy Buolamwini is a graduate researcher at the MIT Media Lab and founder of the Algorithmic Justice League – an organisation that aims to challenge the biases in decision-making software. She grew up in Mississippi, gained a Rhodes scholarship, and she is also a Fulbright fellow, an Astronaut scholar and a Google Anita Borg scholar. Earlier this year she won a $50,000 scholarship funded by the makers of the film Hidden Figures for her work fighting coded discrimination. How did you become interested in that area? When I was a computer science undergraduate I was working on social robotics – the robots use computer vision to detect the humans they socialise with.
Taylor Swift raised eyebrows late last year when Rolling Stone magazine revealed her security team had deployed facial recognition recognition technology during her Repudiation tour to root out stalkers. But the company contracted for the efforts uses its technology to provide much more than just security. ISM Connect also uses its smart screens to capture metrics for promotion and marketing. Facial recognition, used for decades by law enforcement and militaries, is quickly becoming a commercial tool to help brands engage consumers. Swift's tour is just the latest example of the growing privacy concerns around the largely unregulated, billion-dollar industry.
Ray Kurzweil's impact on my life in general but especially on what I have been doing for the past 3 or 4 years is hard to exaggerate. It is a simple fact that, if I haven't read his seminal book The Singularity is Near, I would be neither blogging nor podcasting about exponential technologies, not to mention going to Singularity University. And so it was with great excitement and some trepidation that I went to interview Dr. Kurzweil in his office in Boston. Part of my trepidation came from some technical concerns: I wish I could buy a better camera. I wish I could hire a team of audio and video professionals so that I can focus on the interview itself.
Devil horns, the American Sign Language gesture for "I love you," or Gene Simmons' personal creation? That will be for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to decide, because the Kiss frontman just filed an application for trademark ownership of his iconic hand gesture. SEE ALSO: N.W.A. slam Gene Simmons, then pose for a selfie at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame According to the application Simmons filed Friday, the gesture was first used commercially on Nov. 14, 1974, which was during Kiss' Hotter than Hell Tour. Simmons wants trademarked use of the gesture for "entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by that artist." One glaring question though -- is the gesture really his?!