Saudi Arabia's robot citizen is eroding human rights


In October last year, Saudi Arabia became the first country in the world to give a robot citizenship. When taking to the stage to announce "her" new status, Sophia said she was "very honored and proud for this unique distinction…It is historic to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with...

'Star Trek Discovery' failed to do what good sci-fi does


This article contains mild spoilers for the first season of 'Star Trek Discovery'. At its best, science fiction does more than just entertain, or ensure its cliffhanger is strong enough that you come back next week. The cool spaceships and robots are just the framework through which we explore the ...

China bets on facial recognition in big drive for total surveillance


For 40-year-old Mao Ya, the facial recognition camera that allows access to her apartment house is simply a useful convenience. "If I am carrying shopping bags in both hands, I just have to look ahead and the door swings open," she said. "And my 5-year-old daughter can just look up at the camera an...

Can A Machine Be Racist? – Towards Data Science


Artificial Intelligence has become a household word. It has also become a manipulator of all households. The unchecked explosion in AI across all businesses and business models has been a phenomenal driver of growth, but it raises questions that need to be answered. Data Scientists and AI Researche...

Applying philosophy for a better democracy

MIT News

Why would a politician publicly contradict himself? What does it mean to call someone a racist? Can you control hate speech without eroding free speech? What happens to democracy if truth is subjective? These are among the rich range of topics discussed in 24.192 (Language, Information, and Power),...

AI could help government agencies find the optimum places for refugees to relocate


In 2016, an estimated 65.6 million people across the globe were forced from their homes by everything from war to human rights violations. That's 300,000 more than the previous year. Climate change and global warming are exacerbating the problem of displaced persons, with millions of people expected to be forced to relocate to other -- often cooler -- countries. The problem is becoming so widespread that New Zealand is even considering creating a new visa specifically for those displaced by climate change. Once they make the difficult decision to leave their home, refugees face a slew of other questions: To which country do they flee?

Crime-Predicting AI Fares Worse than Humans in Repeat Offender Study, and It's Racist Too


The 21st century has witnessed AI (Artificial Intelligence) accomplishing tasks like handily defeating humans at chess or teaching them foreign languages quickly. A more advanced task for the computer would be predicting an offender's likelihood of committing another crime. That's the job for an AI system called COMPAS (Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions). But it turns out that tool is no better than an average bloke, and can be racist too. Well, that's exactly what a research team has discovered after extensively studying the AI system which is widely used by judicial institutions.

Assange Keeps Warning Of AI Censorship, And It's Time We Started Listening


Throughout the near entirety of human history, a population's understanding of what's going on in the world has been controlled by those in power. The men in charge controlled what the people were told about rival populations, the history of their tribe and its leadership, etc. When the written word was invented, men in charge dictated what books were permitted to be written and circulated, what ideas were allowed, what narratives the public would be granted access to. This continued straight on into modern times. Where power is not overtly totalitarian, wealthy elites have bought up all media, first in print, then radio, then television, and used it to advance narratives that are favorable to their interests.

Facing the Urgent Challenge of Regulating Artificial Intelligence


Recently, Stanford Researchers Michal Kosinski and Yilun Wang trained a machine powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to detect sexual orientation of people to an accuracy of 81%, simply by scanning photos of faces. Kosinski and Wang only created the algorithm to highlight the potential and potential dangers of AI; however, in a world where the persecution of homosexuals is still widespread, the backlash against their creation was fierce. Our JPSP paper warning that sexual orientation can be predicted from faces is now available at It's "junk science" that "threatens the safety and privacy of LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ people alike," said gay advocacy groups like Glaad and the Human Rights Campaign. They have "invented the algorithmic equivalent of a 13-year-old bully," wrote Greggor Mattson, the director of the Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies Program at Oberlin College.

How foreign media translated Trump's 'shithole' comment


It's been a struggle for non-English speaking countries to properly translate the eloquent diction of President Donald Trump. This week proved quite the challenge with Trump's reported comment Thursday about immigrants from "shithole countries" like Haiti, El Salvador, and those in Africa. The "vulgar language" tends to lose its meaning if directly translated, so foreign media reached for the right way to convey what the American president was really trying to say. SEE ALSO: Trump's racist'sh*thole' comment: Who censored and who didn't? We used Google Translate for the many different takes on "shithole," along with a few translations from different publications.