Twitter knows it has an ad problem. On Tuesday, the company announced a series of reforms aimed at disclosing more information about its ads. This new policy followed reports that the social media behemoth's own tools were used by Russia-linked groups in an attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election, and represents a good first step toward cleaning up Twitter's ecosystem. And while the moves may indeed be that much needed step in the right direction, they alone will not end the disinformation that seems to thrive on Twitter. What's more, Twitter's policies are just that: policies.
In this essay I argue that it is logically and practically possible to secure the right to privacy under conditions of increasing social transparency. The argument is predicated on a particular analysis of the right to privacy as the right to the personal space required for the exercise of practical rationality. It also rests on the distinction between the unidirectional transparency required by repressive governments and the increasing omnidirectional transparency that liberal information societies are experiencing today. I claim that a properly administered omnidirectional transparency will not only enhance privacy and autonomy, but can also be a key development in the creation of a society that is more tolerant of harmless diversity and temperate in its punishment of anti-social behaviors.
Gradually yet steadily, technology has taken over all aspects of our life. And the financial services sector is no exception. Financial Services spanning investments, lending and management of assets are a fundamental part of fund management for individuals as well as corporations. One of the nuances of this sector is the volatility associated with it owing to factors such as prevailing market conditions, political scenario, performance of stocks, taxation norms, etc. Since this condition is a given, companies dealing with such financial instruments need to glean reams of data before counselling clients on the right investment choice or the right kind of loan to opt, for instance.
Artificial intelligence (AI) keeps making news. It was front and center at the recent Code Conference and discussions since have covered everything from how quickly the technology will develop to what sectors will be impacted first--and whether we have anything to fear. With respect to that, concerns about who will control AI and how it will be used are coupled with calls for transparency. A new take on the man-versus-machine chess match, a contest that's symbolized the evolution of machine learning ever since Garry Kasparov beat IBM's Deep Blue twenty years ago, got me reconsidering what transparency in AI really means. "The Thinking Machine 6" is the latest iteration of a project that was introduced in 2002.
The last week or so has seen a lot of activity around Meltdown and Spectre, two CPU flaws in modern chips from the likes of AMD and Intel. Apple, Microsoft and Google have provided interim fixes for their respective hardware, but it will take much more than simple patches (that can cause more harm than good) to truly eradicate the issue. Just a few hours after Intel revealed that there may be more slowdowns from its Meltdown processor fix, the company's CEO Brian Krzanich has written an open letter to further detail the steps Intel is taking to deal with the issues.