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Zuckerberg Admits He's Developing Artificial Intelligence to Censor Content

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This week we were treated to a veritable carnival attraction as Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of one of the largest tech companies in the world, testified before Senate committees about privacy issues related to Facebook's handling of user data. Besides highlighting the fact that most United States senators -- and most people, for that matter -- do not understand Facebook's business model or the user agreement they've already consented to while using Facebook, the spectacle made one fact abundantly clear: Zuckerberg intends to use artificial intelligence to manage the censorship of hate speech on his platform. Over the two days of testimony, the plan for using algorithmic AI for potential censorship practices was discussed multiple times under the auspices of containing hate speech, fake news, election interference, discriminatory ads, and terrorist messaging. In fact, AI was mentioned at least 30 times. Zuckerberg claimed Facebook is five to ten years away from a robust AI platform.


Google is opening an artificial intelligence center in China

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"The science of AI has no borders, neither do its benefits," Fei-Fei Li, chief scientist at Google's AI business, said in a blog post Wednesday announcing the new center.


Tech companies automate autocratic media in China around the world

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Nick Monaco is a research associate at Alphabet's human rights focused think-tank and technology incubator Jigsaw. He is also a research associate on the Computational Propaganda Project at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. Samuel Woolley is the Director of Research of the Computational Propaganda Project at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. A troubling trend is sweeping Silicon Valley--big tech acquiescing to digital authoritarianism to gain access to the Chinese market. In July, Apple removed VPNs from its Chinese app store and announced plans to build a data center in Guizhou to comply with China's new draconian cybersecurity laws.


FaceApp removes 'Ethnicity Filters' after racism storm

Daily Mail

A viral app that added Asian, Black, Caucasian and Indian filters to people's selfies has removed them after being accused of racism. The update which launched yesterday was met with backlash - with many people criticising it for propagating racial stereotypes. The filters drew comparison with'blackface' and'yellowface' - when white people wear make up to appear to be from a different ethnic group. The filters drew comparison with'blackface' and'yellowface' - when white people wear make up to appear to be from a different ethnic group. The app uses Artificial Intelligence to transform faces.


The March on Austin: Washington Casts a Shadow on SXSW

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The South by Southwest Conference promises to have a very different tone than last year, when then-President Obama was warmly welcomed for a keynote presentation on civic engagement in the 21st century. For the creators, marketers and entrepreneurs descending this weekend on Austin, Texas, politics in the wake of President Trump will surely be top of mind, perhaps even overshadowing some of the innovation in virtual reality and artificial intelligence. Instead of undermining the value for marketers eager to enlist technology in their work, however, the dynamic might highlight connections that are increasingly important to recognize. "Rather than a piece of technology or launch of a new app, this year's conference will really be about the way all the things happening in politics are being threaded through what everyone does," said David Grant, president of PopSugar Studios, the video unit at publisher PopSugar. "While in the past typically the focus is on a few new toys to play with, this year it is about how do these new toys affect journalism access and the ability to distinguish between real and fake news?"


How artificial intelligence can be corrupted to repress free speech

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In fact, in many countries, the internet, the very thing that was supposed to smash down the walls of authoritarianism like a sledgehammer of liberty, has been instead been co-opted by those very regimes in order to push their own agendas while crushing dissent and opposition. And with the emergence of conversational AI -- the technology at the heart of services like Google's Allo and Jigsaw or Intel's Hack Harassment initiative -- these governments could have a new tool to further censor their citizens. Turkey, Brazil, Egypt, India and Uganda have all shut off internet access when politically beneficial to their ruling parties. Nations like Singapore, Russia and China all exert outsize control over the structure and function of their national networks, often relying on a mix of political, technical and social schemes to control the flow of information within their digital borders. The effects of these policies are self-evident.


How artificial intelligence can be corrupted to repress free speech

#artificialintelligence

In fact, in many countries, the internet, the very thing that was supposed to smash down the walls of authoritarianism like a sledgehammer of liberty, has been instead been co-opted by those very regimes in order to push their own agendas while crushing dissent and opposition. And with the emergence of conversational AI -- the technology at the heart of services like Google's Allo and Jigsaw or Intel's Hack Harassment initiative -- these governments could have a new tool to further censor their citizens. Turkey, Brazil, Egypt, India and Uganda have all shut off internet access when politically beneficial to their ruling parties. Nations like Singapore, Russia and China all exert outsized control over the structure and function of their national networks, often relying on a mix of political, technical and social schemes to control the flow of information within their digital borders. The effects of these policies are self-evident.


How artificial intelligence can be corrupted to repress free speech

Engadget

The internet was supposed to become an overwhelming democratizing force against illiberal administrations. It was supposed to open repressed citizens eyes, expose them to new democratic ideals and help them rise up against their authoritarian governments in declaring their basic human rights. It was supposed to be inherently resistant to centralized control. In fact, in many countries, the internet, the very thing that was supposed to smash down the walls of authoritarianism like a sledgehammer of liberty, has been instead been co-opted by those very regimes in order to push their own agendas while crushing dissent and opposition. And with the emergence of conversational AI -- the technology at the heart of services like Google's Allo and Jigsaw or Intel's Hack Harassment initiative -- these governments could have a new tool to further censor their citizens.


Twitter and Dataminr block government 'spy centers' from seeing user data

The Guardian

Twitter has blocked federally funded "domestic spy centers" from using a powerful social media monitoring tool after public records revealed that the government had special access to users' information for controversial surveillance efforts. The American Civil Liberties Union of California discovered that so-called fusion centers, which collect intelligence, had access to monitoring technology from Dataminr, an analytics company partially owned by Twitter. Records that the ACLU obtained uncovered that a fusion center in southern California had access to Dataminr's "geospatial analysis application", which allowed the government to do location-based tracking as well as searches tied to keywords. In October, the ACLU obtained government records revealing that Twitter, Facebook and Instagram had provided users' data to Geofeedia, a software company that aids police surveillance programs and has targeted protesters of color.


Inside Google's Internet Justice League and Its AI-Powered War on Trolls

WIRED

Now a small subsidiary of Google named Jigsaw is about to release an entirely new type of response: a set of tools called Conversation AI. Jigsaw is applying artificial intelligence to solve the very human problem of making people be nicer on the Internet. If it can find a path through that free-speech paradox, Jigsaw will have pulled off an unlikely coup: applying artificial intelligence to solve the very human problem of making people be nicer on the Internet. "Jigsaw recruits will hear stories about people being tortured for their passwords or of state-sponsored cyberbullying."