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Clearview Moves to Limit Risk of Police Abuse

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Clearview says its software lets authorities plug in photos of people suspected of involvement in crimes and search for other images of their faces from the internet. The company has compiled a massive database of photos by scraping websites, including social-media platforms. Some of the platforms have accused Clearview's scraping efforts of violating their terms of service. Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and Microsoft Corp.'s LinkedIn are among those that have sent the startup cease-and-desist orders. Civil libertarians have raised concerns broadly about the use of facial-recognition by law enforcement, and specifically about Clearview.


Google antitrust: Just how much do you actually use it? Way more than you think

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Google's influence in our lives is overwhelming, which is perhaps one of the reasons the Department of Justice and several state attorney generals banded together to file an anti-trust lawsuit against the company. But just how wide is Google's reach? We decided to take a look, and the results may surprise you. Start with the fact that Google ads are all over the Internet, and despite the initial stated goal of "organizing the world's information," the Alphabet unit is designed to have more ads appear, to keep the earnings up. In its most recent earnings, Alphabet reported $38.30 billion for Google.


Evolution of Facial Recognition Technology - M2SYS Blog On Biometric Technology

#artificialintelligence

Previously, facial recognition technology was reserved for the movies and was a thing of fiction. However, much like other biometric solutions that have seen improvement and progress, facial recognition technology also steadily became a reality. Over the past decade, it has not only been developed and perfected; it is being deployed around the world as well. However, not as rapidly as other biometric technologies did – which include fingerprint, iris recognition, hand geometry, and DNA. Before we discuss the history and gradual evolution of facial recognition technology, there is a need to have an understanding of how this technology works and why there was a need for it in the first place?


Twitter is making changes to its photo software after people online found it was automatically cropping out Black faces and focusing on white ones

#artificialintelligence

Twitter is making changes to its photo cropping function after an investigation into racial bias in the software, the company said on Thursday. The announcement comes after users on the platform repeatedly showed that the tool -- which uses machine learning to choose which part of an image to crop based on what it thinks is the most interesting -- cuts out Black people from photos and centers on white faces instead. Tony Arcieri, a cryptography engineer, posted a series of tweets in mid-September showing how the platform's algorithm routinely chose to highlight the face of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is white, instead of former President Barack Obama's in multiple photos of the two. The experiment prompted others to try similar experiments with the same result, and led to the company launching an investigation into its systems shortly after. The social media company implemented its machine-learning-powered image cropping system in 2018.


LinkedIn's 50 Best Startups To Work For In 2020

#artificialintelligence

These and other insights are from LinkedIn's Top Startups 2020: The 50 U.S. companies on the rise published today. This is the 4th annual LinkedIn list of the hottest startups to work for. The list is determined by the billions of actions taken by LinkedIn's 706 million members. The annual list is a reflection of how business and work is evolving through the pandemic, what industries are emerging and growing and where people want to work now, reflecting the current state of the economy and the world. Even in the face of Covid-19, the startups on this year's list are all still innovating and experiencing growth and the majority of the companies on the list are currently hiring, with 3,000 jobs now open on LinkedIn. To be eligible for the list, a company must be independent and privately held, have at least 50 employees, be seven years old or younger, be headquartered in the country on the list which they appear and have a minimum of 15% employee growth over the time period. The top 50 U.S. startups include the following: Full-time headcount: 4,000 Headquarters: New York City Year founded: 2016 What you should know: While the U.S. economy quickly sank into a recession at the start of the pandemic, one of its engines has been roaring: housing.


Preserving Integrity in Online Social Networks

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Online social networks provide a platform for sharing information and free expression. However, these networks are also used for malicious purposes, such as distributing misinformation and hate speech, selling illegal drugs, and coordinating sex trafficking or child exploitation. This paper surveys the state of the art in keeping online platforms and their users safe from such harm, also known as the problem of preserving integrity. This survey comes from the perspective of having to combat a broad spectrum of integrity violations at Facebook. We highlight the techniques that have been proven useful in practice and that deserve additional attention from the academic community. Instead of discussing the many individual violation types, we identify key aspects of the social-media eco-system, each of which is common to a wide variety violation types. Furthermore, each of these components represents an area for research and development, and the innovations that are found can be applied widely.


Twitter probes alleged racial bias in image cropping feature

The Japan Times

New York – Social media giant Twitter said Monday it would investigate its image-cropping function after users complained it favored white faces over Black ones. The image preview feature of Twitter's mobile app automatically crops pictures that are too big to fit on the screen, selecting which parts of the image to display and which to conceal. Prompted by a graduate student who found an image he was posting cropped out the face of a Black colleague, a San Francisco-based programmer found Twitter's system would crop out images of President Barack Obama when posted together with images of Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell. "Twitter is just one example of racism manifesting in machine learning algorithms," the programmer, Tony Arcieri, wrote on Twitter. Twitter is one of the world's most popular social networks, with nearly 200 million daily users.


Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have your data. Why not China-owned ByteDance's TikTok?

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have your data. The Trump administration said Friday that it would bar two popular Chinese-owned mobile apps WeChat and TikTok from U.S. app stores as of midnight Sunday, escalating the U.S. standoff with China. "Today's actions prove once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement. The Trump administration contends the data collected from American users by TikTok and WeChat could be accessed by the Chinese government. "The Trump administration is looking to make sure U.S. TikTok consumer data stays out of Beijing," said Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives.


How Amazon Quietly Powers The Internet

#artificialintelligence

What was the last thing you heard about Amazon (AMZN)? Or was it the FAA's approval of Amazon's delivery drones? Most of this news about Amazon's store is just noise that distracts investors from Amazon's real force. As I'll show, Amazon is running an "operating system" that powers some of today's most important technologies such as virtual reality, machine learning, and even quantum computing. Behind the scenes, it is utilized by over a million companies--including tech giants Apple AAPL, Netflix NFLX, and Facebook FB .


AI Language Tool Reveals Most Stressed Politicians And Business Leaders

#artificialintelligence

Despite his often confrontational style, Donald Trump's tweets reveal that he's one of the least ... [ ] stressed American politicians among senators and presidential candidates. An automated language analysis system has measured the stress levels of US politicians and business leaders, finding that Bernie Sanders is the most stressed politician in America and Bill Gates the most stressed business figure. Dubbed TensiStrength, the system uses an algorithm and word databases to assign stress (and relaxation) scores to tweets. Combined with earlier AI-based algorithms used by the likes of Facebook to detect suicidal ideation, it points to a time when our online posts will be regularly analysed to determine our mental states. TensiStrength was developed by Mike Thelwall, a professor of IT at Wolverhampton University, UK. Between January 1st and June 30th of this year, it analysed every tweet produced by senators, presidential candidates, and prominent business people.