EU pitches artificial-intelligence rules


The European Union unveiled proposals Wednesday to regulate artificial intelligence that call for strict rules and safeguards on risky applications of the rapidly developing technology. The report is part of the bloc's wider digital strategy aimed at maintaining its position as the global pacesetter on technological standards. Big technology companies seeking to tap Europe's vast and lucrative market, including those from the U.S. and China, would have to play by any new rules that come into force. The EU's Executive Commission said that it wants to develop a "framework for trustworthy artificial intelligence." European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had ordered her top deputies to come up with a coordinated European approach to artificial intelligence and data strategy 100 days after she took office in December.

Using AI to Predict Climate Change and Forced Displacement Omdena


Together with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) 34 collaborators built several AI and machine learning based solutions to predict forced displacement, violent conflicts, and climate change in Somalia. In addition, an exploratory data analysis resulted in powerful insights regarding conflict types, areas, and reasons. The findings will help UNHCR to execute necessary support mechanism for people at need in a faster and more effective way. Millions of people in Somalia are forced to leave their current area of residence or community due to resource shortage and natural disasters like droughts and floods as well as violent conflicts. Our challenge partner, UNHCR, provides assistance and protection for those who are forcibly displaced inside of Somalia.

GRAHAM: Artificial Intelligence will increase policing


We have all heard about the increase in facial recognition and artificial intelligence. Whether this sparks scenes from the movie "Smart House" or gets your gears grinding for new possibilities, I think we can all agree that it feels a little outlandish how far this technology has come. What we do not necessarily realize is the extent to which this technology is already being used in unstable, crucial areas -- primarily, criminal justice. Criminal justice is a topic that many find to be easily understandable, and therefore easily marketable. Though not all Americans fully understand tax code, almost all if not all, have a general understanding of what it means when a paper has a headline, "Crime Spikes in College Town."

The Future Of Work In 2020 And Beyond


The future of work is already here, and the way we work and interact with companies is changing ever ... [ ] faster as we move into 2020. The future of work is a somewhat misleading phrase. Referring to a way of working that is fundamentally different from traditional paradigms (clock in at 9, out at five, sick days negotiable), the'future' of work is already here and significantly changing how people think about jobs and about how their time is valued. It is useful, however, to look at how far we've come in terms of employment and workers' rights, and how far we still need to go to create the'future of work' that many envisage. As we move into 2020, here are a few predictions on the next developments in employment and work, and why'the future of work' might not be quite as Utopian as some think (at least not yet).

EPO - EPO publishes grounds for its decision to refuse two patent applications naming a machine as inventor


The EPO has published its decision setting out the reasons for its recent refusal of two European patent applications in which an AI system was designated as the inventor. Filed by an individual in autumn 2018, the applications EP 18 275 163 and EP 18 275 174 were refused by the EPO following oral proceedings with the applicant in November 2019, on the grounds that they do not meet the legal requirement of the European Patent Convention (EPC) that an inventor designated in the application has to be a human being, and not a machine. In both applications a machine called "DABUS", which is described as "a type of connectionist artificial intelligence", is named as the inventor. The applicant stated that he had acquired the right to the European patent from the inventor by being its successor in title, arguing that as the machine's owner, he was assigned any intellectual property rights created by this machine. In its decisions, the EPO considered that the interpretation of the legal framework of the European patent system leads to the conclusion that the inventor designated in a European patent must be a natural person.

Mike Moore, former WTO leader and New Zealand prime minister, dies at 71

The Japan Times

WELLINGTON – Mike Moore, who served as New Zealand's prime minister before leading the World Trade Organization during a tumultuous time when thousands protested in Seattle riots, died early Sunday. He died at his home in Auckland, his wife Yvonne Moore said. He had suffered a number of health complications since having a stroke five years ago. Moore was an advocate for both advancing the rights of blue-collar workers and for expanding international trade, a combination which, to some, seemed at odds with itself. Although he had a long political career in New Zealand, Moore's tenure as prime minister was brief: just two months in 1990 before he was defeated in an election.

Vestager and MEPs discuss how to regulate Artificial Intelligence


A debate on the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in Europe drew a full house at the European Parliament - with MEPs and Commission leaders keen to find the best way to regulate and make the most of AI, while protecting us against its worst aspects, too. "We want to discuss this because you have to be cautious. Some artificial intelligence is simple, low risk, no risk, but some artificial intelligence may be life or death for you," says Margrethe Vestager, the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission. "So if it is very risky we have to be cautious, and all the rest of it, just go, go, go." And AI is already go, go, going fast, revolutionising areas like voice recognition and translation.

Ugandan medics deploy AI to stop women dying after childbirth


NAIROBI, Jan 31 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Ugandan doctors are giving new mothers artificial intelligence-enabled devices to remotely monitor their health in a first-of-its-kind study aiming to curb thousands of preventable maternal deaths across Africa, medics and developers said. Doctors at Mbarara Hospital in western Uganda will give devices to more than 1,000 women who have undergone caesarean section births to wear on their upper arms at all times. Algorithms detect at-risk cases and alert doctors. Joseph Ngonzi from Mbarara University of Science and Technology, which is conducting the study, said it would help "improve monitoring in a resource-constrained environment". The World Health Organization says almost 300,000 women worldwide die annually from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth - that's more than 800 women every day.

Facebook agrees to $550 million settlement in facial recognition class action lawsuit

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Facebook has agreed to pay $550 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over its use of facial recognition technology in Illinois. Three Illinois residents sued Facebook under a state law, the Biometric Information Privacy Act, one of only two in the nation to regulate commercial use of facial recognition. The class action, which involved gathering facial data for a feature that suggests the name of people in users' photos, could have exposed Facebook to billions in damages. Under the agreement, the $550 million payout will go to eligible Illinois users and legal fees. Facebook disclosed the settlement as part of its quarterly financial results.

2020: The Year of Robot Rights


Several years ago, in an effort to initiate dialogue about the moral and legal status of technological artifacts, I posted a photograph of myself holding a sign that read "Robot Rights Now" on Twitter. Responses to the image were, as one might imagine, polarizing, with advocates and critics lining up on opposite sides of the issue. What I didn't fully appreciate at the time is just how divisive an issue it is. For many researchers and developers slaving away at real-world applications and problems, the very notion of "robot rights" produces something of an allergic reaction. Over a decade ago, roboticist Noel Sharkey famously called the very idea "a bit of a fairy tale."