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Rise of #MeTooBots: scientists develop AI to detect harassment in emails

The Guardian

Artificial intelligence programmers are developing bots that can identify digital bullying and sexual harassment. Known as "#MeTooBots" after the high-profile movement that arose after allegations against the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, the bots can monitor and flag communications between colleagues and are being introduced by companies around the world. Bot-makers say it is not easy to teach computers what harassment looks like, with its linguistic subtleties and grey lines. Jay Leib, the chief executive of the Chicago-based AI firm NexLP, said: "I wasn't aware of all the forms of harassment. I thought it was just talking dirty. It comes in so many different ways. It might be 15 messages … it could be racy photos."


Estimating Network Structure from Incomplete Event Data

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Multivariate Bernoulli autoregressive (BAR) processes model time series of events in which the likelihood of current events is determined by the times and locations of past events. These processes can be used to model nonlinear dynamical systems corresponding to criminal activity, responses of patients to different medical treatment plans, opinion dynamics across social networks, epidemic spread, and more. Past work examines this problem under the assumption that the event data is complete, but in many cases only a fraction of events are observed. Incomplete observations pose a significant challenge in this setting because the unobserved events still govern the underlying dynamical system. In this work, we develop a novel approach to estimating the parameters of a BAR process in the presence of unobserved events via an unbiased estimator of the complete data log-likelihood function. We propose a computationally efficient estimation algorithm which approximates this estimator via Taylor series truncation and establish theoretical results for both the statistical error and optimization error of our algorithm. We further justify our approach by testing our method on both simulated data and a real data set consisting of crimes recorded by the city of Chicago.


2 Accused in Chicago of Using Dating App to Rob

U.S. News

The Chicago Tribune reports that prosecutors accuse 25-year-old Stephen Jackson and 28-year-old Trenell Kirkman of arranging to meet and rob six different men through the app. Prosecutors say they would take their victims' wallets and phones, as well as demanded their phone passwords.


Supreme Court to decide cases on insider trading, death penalty, aid to church schools

Los Angeles Times

The Supreme Court begins hearing cases this week, but none of them looks to be a high-profile legal dispute that will split the eight justices. Insider trading: Is it a crime for people to buy stock based on tips that came from family members or friends who in turn learned it from a corporate insider? The lower courts are divided on the reach of the federal laws that forbid insider trading. Bassam Salman, a grocery wholesaler from Chicago, was indicted and convicted for trading on tips that came from a brother-in-law in California, who in turn learned the corporate secrets from another brother who worked at an investment bank. Race and death penalty: Is it unconstitutional to sentence a black defendant to death after the jury had been told blacks are more likely to pose a danger to society?


Trial opens for alleged 'all-star team' of Chicago gangsters

Los Angeles Times

The Hobos gang came calling for Keith Daniels on an April evening three years ago. Daniels, a key witness in a drug trafficking case against the gang's feared leader, had been relocated by authorities to the southern Chicago suburb of Dolton for his safety. But when the 27-year-old father pulled into his driveway with his wife and her two young kids, a gunman walked up and opened fire through the windshield, according to court records. Daniels bailed out of the car and tried to run but was quickly cut down by more than two dozen bullets as the children, ages 6 and 4, screamed in the backseat. After the assailant jumped into a waiting SUV and sped off, Daniels' wife called 911 to report her husband had just been shot.


Online prostitution industry uses sites like Craigslist and mobile apps to run their trade

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The sale of sex has shifted online, as pimps are now using underground websites, social media and mobile apps to conduct business. A study found that pimps are adopting new technologies and employing online marketing strategies that are generating an annual income of about 75,000 to 100,000. Following interviews with 71 pimps, researchers discovered that these procurers hide their illegal services under massages or dates on websites in order to communicate with clients. The sale of sex has shifted online, as pimps are now using underground websites, social media and mobile apps to conduct business. Michigan State University and Loyola University Chicago in interviewed 71 pimps to determine how their marketing decisions are influenced by police enforcement of online prostitution.


Flawed data complicates criminal justice AI -- FCW

#artificialintelligence

Artificial intelligence has the potential to help reform policing and criminal justice practices nationwide, experts say. However, one challenge to deploying widespread artificial intelligence is refining the data to avoid reinforcing historic biases. The White House and the University of Chicago have teamed up with police departments across America to "start fixing" biases with the data collected over the years by the criminal justice system by building new ways of looking at the data, said director of the Center for Data Science and Public Policy at the University of Chicago Riyad Ghani. "We think that AI and machine learning… combined with all the data that exists can help solve these problems," Ghani said. The United States locks up more people per capita than any other nation, and artificial intelligence and machine learning can create predictive modeling and find patterns in behaviors of the officers and those being arrested, explained Ghani.