There is mounting public concern over the influence that AI based systems has in our society. Coalitions in all sectors are acting worldwide to resist hamful applications of AI. From indigenous people addressing the lack of reliable data, to smart city stakeholders, to students protesting the academic relationships with sex trafficker and MIT donor Jeffery Epstein, the questionable ethics and values of those heavily investing in and profiting from AI are under global scrutiny. There are biased, wrongful, and disturbing assumptions embedded in AI algorithms that could get locked in without intervention. Our best human judgment is needed to contain AI's harmful impact. Perhaps one of the greatest contributions of AI will be to make us ultimately understand how important human wisdom truly is in life on earth.
GitHub's annual Octoverse report is out today. It found that Microsoft's Visual Studio Code or VSCode (19.1K), Azure Docs (14K), and Flutter (13K) were the top open source projects in total contributors on GitHub in the last year, followed by projects like Google's TensorFlow (9.9K), Kubernetes (6.9K), and the React Native framework created by Facebook. The annual report that looks at trends and milestones for the code repository acquired by Microsoft last year also found that repositories with topics like "deep learning," "natural language processing," and "machine learning" grew in popularity over the course of the past year. GitHub is now used by more than 40 million developers worldwide, a statistic it first shared this summer.
"Please think forward to the year 2030. Analysts expect that people will become even more dependent on networked artificial intelligence (AI) in complex digital systems. Some say we will continue on the historic arc of augmenting our lives with mostly positive results as we widely implement these networked tools. Some say our increasing dependence on these AI and related systems is likely to lead to widespread difficulties. Our question: By 2030, do you think it is most likely that advancing AI and related technology systems will enhance human capacities and empower them? That is, most of the time, will most people be better off than they are today? Or is it most likely that advancing AI and related technology systems will lessen human autonomy and agency to such an extent that most people will not be better off than the way things are today? Please explain why you chose the answer you did and sketch out a vision of how the human-machine/AI collaboration will function in 2030.
New facial recognition technology has identified three impostors at Washington Dulles International Airport. Citing a U.S. Customs and Border Protection release, The Washington Post reports a woman arriving on a Monday flight from Accra, Ghana, presented a U.S. passport, but the facial recognition technology reported a mismatch. A secondary inspection and biometric examination identified her as a 26-year-old citizen of Cameroon, not the United States. The release says the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority partnered with CBP to use biometric entry and exit technology using facial comparison to bolster security and efficiency for international travelers. Officers at Dulles previously intercepted a Congolese man using a French passport Aug. 22 and a Ghanaian woman using a U.S. passport Sept. 8. Posing as another person when entering the United States violates immigration law.
New facial recognition technology has identified three immigration cheats at one of America's busiest airports - in just forty days. The trio - who travelled separately during August and September - were intercepted at Washington's Dulles International Airport, which processes more than 21 million people per year. According to a statement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, they were each flagged-up by new software which scans minute differences between the person seeking entry and their passport photo. Impressively, mismatches are identified in as little as two seconds. Most recently, on Monday, a woman arriving on a flight from Accra, Ghana, presented a U.S. passport with a suspect image.
WASHINGTON – Police have received reports that two of the Burundi teenagers listed as missing after an international robotics competition have been seen crossing the border into Canada. The whereabouts of their fellow team members remains unknown and the search for all the teens remains ongoing, but Metropolitan Police spokeswoman Aquita Brown stressed that police have no indication of foul play in their disappearance. The teens seen crossing into Canada were 16-year-old Don Ingabire and 17-year-old Audrey Mwamikazi, Brown said. Police tweeted missing person fliers Wednesday asking for help finding the teens, who had last been seen at the FIRST Global Challenge around the time of Tuesday's final matches. The missing team members include two 17-year-old girls and four males ranging in age from 16 to 18.
Shortly before the competition, the team was finally able to find a sponsor willing to take a chance on paying for the visa fees. Yet the sponsor would only pay for the people who had a good shot at getting an application approved under the travel ban. The team decided that Jorny and Jehad were the best candidates, since they had applied successfully for visas the year before the ban was in effect in order to attend exchange programs in the U.S. They boarded a flight to Tunisia to apply at the U.S. embassy (the U.S. does not have an embassy in Libya) and came straight to the competition in D.C. after getting visa approval.
The US embassy in The Gambia has reversed its decision and granted visas for a high school robotics team to compete in an international competition in the United States. On Monday, it was reported that the team, made up of five teenagers, were denied visas to attend the FIRST Global robotics event in Washington DC on July 16-18. However, in a second interview with the US embassy, all five students were given visas. Fatoumata Ceesay, one of the engineering students, told Al Jazeera that although she and her peers weren't told the reason behind the decision's reversal, the second interview differed a lot from the first one. "It was very nice and sensible compared to the last one," the 17-year-old Ceesay said.
Five young inventors from Gambia are the latest students to be denied visas to enter the US for a prestigious international robotics contest in Washington. The teens found the rejection'very disheartening,' their coach, Mucktarr Darboe, said on Tuesday. Darboe, who is also a director in the largely Muslim West African nation's ministry of higher education, said the students were not given a reason for the visa denials in April, and he called the decision'disappointing and unfair.' The US Embassy in Banjul, Gambia's capital, could not immediately be reached for comment. Mucktarr Darboe is pictured with members of Gambia's student team that was denied visas to travel to Washington for a robotics contest Gambia has been through dramatic change in recent months, ousting via elections a longtime dictator, Yahya Jammeh, whose administration was accused of human rights abuses.
HERAT, AFGHANISTAN/DAKAR – Two Afghan girls refused visas to the United States for a robot-building competition said on Tuesday they were mystified by the decision, as the contest's organizers said teams from Iran and Sudan as well as a de facto Syrian team had gained visas. The unusual story of the Afghan all-girl team of robotics students emerged as the United States grapples with the legality of President Donald Trump's order to temporarily ban travel from six Muslim-majority countries. Afghanistan itself is not on the list and Team Afghanistan's robot, unlike its creators, has been allowed entry to the United States. Asked by Reuters on Tuesday why the girls were banned, a U.S. State Department spokesperson cited regulations prohibiting the agency from discussing individual visa cases. So the six team members will watch the ball-sorting machine compete in Washington D.C. via video link during the July 16-18 event from their hometown of Herat, in western Afghanistan, according to the FIRST Global contest organizers.