Andrew Pery, is the Ethics Evangelist at ABBYY, a digital intelligence company. They empower organizations to access the valuable, yet often hard to attain, insight into their operations that enables true business transformation. ABBYY recently released a Global Initiative Promoting the Development of Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence. We decided to ask Andrew questions regarding ethics in AI, abuses of AI, and what the AI industry can do about these concerns moving forward. What is it that initially instigated your interest in AI ethics? What initially sparked my interest in AI ethics was a deep interest in the intersection of law and AI technology.
Executives from Amazon, Apple, AT&T, Charter Communications, Google, and Twitter are heading to Washington Wednesday to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee on the topic of privacy. As ever, the main question will be: Are these companies doing enough to protect consumer privacy, and if not, what should Congress do about it? It has been the backdrop to just about every hearing with tech leaders over the last year--and there have been many. And yet, the threat of regulation carries new weight this time around. Over the summer, California passed the country's first data privacy bill, giving residents unprecedented control over their data.
On the internet, the personal data users give away for free is transformed into a precious commodity. The puppy photos people upload train machines to be smarter. The questions they ask Google uncover humanity's deepest prejudices. And their location histories tell investors which stores attract the most shoppers. Even seemingly benign activities, like staying in and watching a movie, generate mountains of information, treasure to be scooped up later by businesses of all kinds. Personal data is often compared to oil--it powers today's most profitable corporations, just like fossil fuels energized those of the past. But the consumers it's extracted from often know little about how much of their information is collected, who gets to look at it, and what it's worth. Every day, hundreds of companies you may not even know exist gather facts about you, some more intimate than others.
NEW YORK - The U.S. Justice Department opened a sweeping antitrust investigation of big technology companies and whether their online platforms have hurt competition, suppressed innovation or otherwise harmed consumers. It comes as a growing number of lawmakers have called for stricter regulation or even breaking up of the big tech companies, which have come under intense scrutiny following a series of scandals that compromised users' privacy. President Donald Trump also has relentlessly criticized the big tech companies by name in recent months. He frequently asserts, without evidence, that companies such as Facebook and Google are biased against him and conservative politicians. The Justice Department did not name specific companies in its announcement.
New EU data privacy regulations could make Facebook and Google even more powerful, according to some internet experts. The laws require tech companies to ask for users' consent for their data, but are likely to strengthen Google and Facebook's dominance over smaller internet firms. That's because cautious consumers are less likely to trust unfamiliar newcomers with their private information than recognised brands, researchers have claimed. The changes could also put off start-ups that lack the resources to comply with the regulations from competing with larger companies, they said. Together these factors may end up ballooning the monpolies that are already enjoyed by Silicon Valley giants like Facebook and Google.