Facial recognition can log you into your iPhone, track criminals through crowds and identify loyal customers in stores. The technology -- which is imperfect but improving rapidly -- is based on algorithms that learn how to recognize human faces and the hundreds of ways in which each one is unique. To do this well, the algorithms must be fed hundreds of thousands of images of a diverse array of faces. Increasingly, those photos are coming from the internet, where they're swept up by the millions without the knowledge of the people who posted them, categorized by age, gender, skin tone and dozens of other metrics, and shared with researchers at universities and companies. As the algorithms get more advanced -- meaning they are better able to identify women and people of color, a task they have historically struggled with -- legal experts and civil rights advocates are sounding the alarm on researchers' use of photos of ordinary people.
If you shop at Westfield, you've probably been scanned and recorded by dozens of hidden cameras built into the centres' digital advertising billboards. The semi-camouflaged cameras can determine not only your age and gender but your mood, cueing up tailored advertisements within seconds, thanks to facial detection technology. Westfield's Smartscreen network was developed by the French software firm Quividi back in 2015. Their discreet cameras capture blurry images of shoppers and apply statistical analysis to identify audience demographics. And once the billboards have your attention they hit record, sharing your reaction with advertisers.
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For the ongoing series, Code Word, we're exploring if -- and how -- technology can protect individuals against sexual assault and harassment, and how it can help and support survivors. You walk through the door and set your bags on the floor. You pose for a selfie with your hotel room in the background, uploading it to Instagram with seemingly random hashtags. For your followers, the photo is a means of documenting your travels. For investigators, you've just taken a crime scene photo that might one day help them to track down victims of human trafficking.
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The challenges of making the technology industry a more welcoming place for women are numerous, especially in the booming field of artificial intelligence. To get a sense of just how monumental a task the tech community faces, look no further than the marquee gathering for AI's top scientists. Preparations for this year's event drew controversy not only because there weren't enough female speakers or study authors. The biggest debate was over the conference's name. The annual Conference and Workshop on Neural Information Processing Systems, formerly known as NIPS, had become a punchline symbol about just how bad the gender imbalance is for artificial intelligence.
SAN FRANCISCO – Eleven employees comprising engineers and managers at Alphabet Inc.'s Google published an open letter on Tuesday, demanding that the company end development of a censored search engine for Chinese users, escalating earlier protests over the secretive project. Google has described the search app, known as Project Dragonfly, as an experiment not close to launching. But as details of it have leaked since August, current and former employees, human rights activists and U.S. lawmakers have criticized Google for not taking a harder line against the Chinese government's policy that politically sensitive results be blocked. Human rights group Amnesty International also launched a public petition on Tuesday calling on Google to cancel Dragonfly. The organization said it would encourage Google workers to sign the petition by targeting them on LinkedIn and protesting outside Google offices.
China now has seminars to teach other countries how to censor free speech as its'techno-dystopia' spreads, a worrying report has found. Governments worldwide are stepping up use of online tools to suppress dissent and tighten their grip on power, a human rights watchdog study found. Chinese officials have held sessions on controlling information with 36 of the 65 countries assessed, and provided telecom and surveillance equipment to a number of foreign governments, researchers said. India led the world in the number of internet shutdowns, with over 100 reported incidents in 2018 so far, claiming that the moves were needed to halt the flow of disinformation and incitement to violence. Many governments, including Saudi Arabia, are employing'troll armies' to manipulate social media and in many cases drown out the voices of dissidents.
Two Artificial Intelligence-driven Internet paradigms may emerge in the near future. One will be based on logic, smart enterprises and human merit while the other may morph into an Orwellian control tool. Even former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has foreseen a bifurcation of the Internet by 2028 and China's eventual triumph in the AI race by 2030. In the meantime, the US seems more interested in deflecting the smart questions of today than in building the smart factories of tomorrow. Nothing embodies this better than the recent attempt by MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) to create an AI-based filter to "stamp out fake-news outlets before the stories spread too widely."
The new iPhone XS and XS MAX are the highest powered and priciest iPhone to date. The XS and XS MAX hit stores on September 21st. Just say, "Hey Siri, I'm getting pulled over." One of the latest apps to hit the iOS 12 mobile highway is Shortcuts. With it, users can plot out a series of actions and trigger them by signaling the voice-assistant.