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Now Streaming: Government Data

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The concept of data streaming is not new. But one of the most critical emerging uses for streaming data is in the public sector, where government agencies are eyeing its game-changing capability to advance everything from battlefield decision-making to constituent experience. IDC predicts that the collective sum of the world's data will grow 33%, to 175 zettabytes, by 2025. For context, at today's average internet connection speeds, 175 zettabytes would take 1.8 billion years for one person to download. Streaming has only further accelerated the velocity of data growth.


Winners and Losers in the Digital Transformation of Work

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MILAN – Perhaps no single aspect of the digital revolution has received more attention than the effect of automaton on jobs, work, employment, and incomes. There is at least one very good reason for that – but it is probably not the one most people would cite. Former US President Donald Trump is not Hitler, and America is not the Weimar Republic. But, as four excellent recent books about the interwar years show, false narratives and craven political choices can have dreadful consequences that may not emerge immediately. Using machines to augment productivity is nothing new.


HealthTech #4. The commoditization of genome sequencing and the opportunities for prevention

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The mass affordability of sequencing enables a paradigm shift from sequencing only those with risk factors (such as someone's family history or medical symptoms) to sequencing proactively to identify risk factors. It will allow every individual to build up genomic data capital, opening the door for new applications and business models across health insurance, care delivery, and everyday life. New approvals & patents - Ava, a Swiss digital healthcare company focused on women's reproductive health, announced that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for its fertility tracking wearable. BrainQ, an Israeli start-up, announced that the FDA has designated its AI-powered electromagnetic field therapy that aims to enhance recovery and reduce disability after neurological damage caused by stroke as a Breakthrough Device, giving access to the new Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology (MCIT) pathway. Voluntis (French DTx) announced the issuance of a new patent by the European Patent Office (EPO) for intelligent patient support in drug dosing applied in the field of diabetes for insulin titration support.


Can Auditing Eliminate Bias from Algorithms? – The Markup

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For more than a decade, journalists and researchers have been writing about the dangers of relying on algorithms to make weighty decisions: who gets locked up, who gets a job, who gets a loan--even who has priority for COVID-19 vaccines. Rather than remove bias, one algorithm after another has codified and perpetuated it, as companies have simultaneously continued to more or less shield their algorithms from public scrutiny. The big question ever since: How do we solve this problem? Lawmakers and researchers have advocated for algorithmic audits, which would dissect and stress-test algorithms to see how they work and whether they're performing their stated goals or producing biased outcomes. And there is a growing field of private auditing firms that purport to do just that.


'This is bigger than just Timnit': How Google tried to silence a critic and ignited a movement

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Timnit Gebru--a giant in the world of AI and then co-lead of Google's AI ethics team--was pushed out of her job in December. Gebru had been fighting with the company over a research paper that she'd coauthored, which explored the risks of the AI models that the search giant uses to power its core products--the models are involved in almost every English query on Google, for instance. The paper called out the potential biases (racial, gender, Western, and more) of these language models, as well as the outsize carbon emissions required to compute them. Google wanted the paper retracted, or any Google-affiliated authors' names taken off; Gebru said she would do so if Google would engage in a conversation about the decision. Instead, her team was told that she had resigned. After the company abruptly announced Gebru's departure, Google AI chief Jeff Dean insinuated that her work was not up to snuff--despite Gebru's credentials and history of groundbreaking research.


The SolarWinds Body Count Now Includes NASA and the FAA

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Some blasts from the past surfaced this week, including revelations that a Russia-linked hacking group has repeatedly targeted the US electrical grid, along with oil and gas utilities and other industrial firms. Notably, the group has ties to the notorious industrial-control GRU hacking group Sandworm. Meanwhile, researchers revealed evidence this week that an elite NSA hacking tool for Microsoft Windows, known as EpMe, fell into the hands of Chinese hackers in 2014, years before that same tool then leaked in the notorious Shadow Brokers dump of NSA tools. WIRED got an inside look at how the video game hacker Empress has become so powerful and skilled at cracking the digital rights management software that lets video game makers, ebook publishers, and others control the content you buy from them. And the increasingly popular, but still invite-only, audio-based social media platform Clubhouse continues to struggle with security and privacy missteps. If you want something relaxing to take your mind off all of this complicated and concerning news, though, check out the new generation of Opte, an art piece that depicts the evolution and growth of the internet from 1997 to today.


Center for Applied Data Ethics suggests treating AI like a bureaucracy

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A recent paper from the Center for Applied Data Ethics (CADE) at the University of San Francisco urges AI practitioners to adopt terms from anthropology when reviewing the performance of large machine learning models. The research suggests using this terminology to interrogate and analyze bureaucracy, states, and power structures in order to critically assess the performance of large machine learning models with the potential to harm people. "This paper centers power as one of the factors designers need to identify and struggle with, alongside the ongoing conversations about biases in data and code, to understand why algorithmic systems tend to become inaccurate, absurd, harmful, and oppressive. This paper frames the massive algorithmic systems that harm marginalized groups as functionally similar to massive, sprawling administrative states that James Scott describes in Seeing Like a State," the author wrote. The paper was authored by CADE fellow Ali Alkhatib, with guidance from director Rachel Thomas and CADE fellows Nana Young and Razvan Amironesei. The researchers particularly look to the work of James Scott, who has examined hubris in administrative planning and sociotechnical systems.


Rapid Prototyping Artificial Intelligence Applications

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On February 11th 2019, the White House issued an Executive Order launching the "American AI Initiative", this initiative was followed by the release of www.AI.gov on March 20th 2019. The American AI Initiative encourages Federal Agencies to explore and grow AI capabilities. According to China's State Council, by 2030 China's AI industry could be worth $150 Billion.(Larson, Developing AI technology can be a challenging endeavor. An effective AI solution is a combination of workforce, internal governance, and technology innovation.


The SolarWinds Body Count Now Includes NASA and the FAA

WIRED

Some blasts from the past surfaced this week, including revelations that a Russia-linked hacking group has repeatedly targeted the US electrical grid, along with oil and gas utilities and other industrial firms. Notably, the group has ties to the notorious industrial-control GRU hacking group Sandworm. Meanwhile, researchers revealed evidence this week that an elite NSA hacking tool for Microsoft Windows, known as EpMe, fell into the hands of Chinese hackers in 2014, years before that same tool then leaked in the notorious Shadow Brokers dump of NSA tools. WIRED got an inside look at how the video game hacker Empress has become so powerful and skilled at cracking the digital rights management software that lets video game makers, ebook publishers, and others control the content you buy from them. And the increasingly popular, but still invite-only, audio-based social media platform Clubhouse continues to struggle with security and privacy missteps. If you want something relaxing to take your mind off all of this complicated and concerning news, though, check out the new generation of Opte, an art piece that depicts the evolution and growth of the internet from 1997 to today.


Beware the Dark Side of AI - Insurance Thought Leadership

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Apple Card's algorithm sparked an investigation soon after it launched when it appeared to offer wives lower credit lines than their husbands. Within the Biden administration's first weeks, the Office of Science and Technology Policy has been elevated to a cabinet-level position. Biden has appointed Alondra Nelson as deputy director. She is a scholar of science, technology and social inequality. In her acceptance speech, Nelson shared, "When we provide inputs to the algorithm, when we program the device, when we design, test and research, we are making human choices."