The Tricky Ethics of Knightscope’s Crime-Fighting Robots

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, Ethical Issues, ethics.

THE San Francisco SPCA deployed a 5-foot-tall, 400-pound robot to patrol its campus. Not for muscle, mind you, but for surveillance. The SPCA, a large complex nestled in the northeast corner of the city’s Mission neighborhood, has long dealt with vandalism, break-ins, and discarded needles in its surrounding parking lots. Fearing for the safety of its… Read more »

A Three-Digit Score Could Dictate Your Place in Society

Posted by & filed under China, Civil Liberties, data analytics, Electronic Surveillance, Emerging Technologies, Ethical Issues.

In 2015 Ant Financial was one of eight tech companies granted approval from the People’s Bank of China to develop their own private credit scoring platforms. Zhima Credit appeared in the Alipay app shortly after that. The service tracks your behavior on the app to arrive at a score between 350 and 950, and offers… Read more »

HP laptops found to have hidden keylogger

Posted by & filed under Consumer Technology, Cybersecurity, Ethical Issues.

Hidden software that can record every letter typed on a computer keyboard has been discovered pre-installed on hundreds of HP laptop models. Security researcher Michael Myng found the keylogging code in software drivers preinstalled on HP laptops to make the keyboard work. HP said more than 460 models of laptop were affected by the “potential security vulnerability”. Source: BBC Technology… Read more »

The Brutal Fight to Mine Your Data and Sell It to Your Boss

Posted by & filed under Big Data, bots, Business Intelligence, data mining, Electronic Surveillance, Ethical Issues.

HiQ is a “people analytics” firm that creates software tools for corporate human resources departments. Its Skill Mapper graphically represents the credentials and abilities of a workforce; its Keeper service identifies when employees are at risk of leaving for another job. Both draw the overwhelming majority of their data from a single trove: the material that is… Read more »

Now computers are writing perfectly acceptable pop songs

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, Ethical Issues.

Taryn Southern, a YouTube star and content creator, has just released a song she wrote with the help of artificial intelligence.  Called Break Free, it’s a brooding ballad that wouldn’t sound out of place on the Hunger Games soundtrack. Southern wrote the lyrics and melody, but the backing track was built by her laptop, after she punched in… Read more »

Russia, Facebook, the US election and when 126 million isn’t 126 million

Posted by & filed under Ethical Issues, FaceBook, Fake News, IT and Politics.

As many as 126 million Americans may have seen content uploaded to Facebook by Russia-based operatives since 2015.  That’s nearly half of the 270 million Americans who are old enough to be allowed a Facebook profile.  The figure comes from the social network itself, which along with Google and Twitter, is preparing for a Senate hearing where… Read more »

Will Facebook kill all future Facebooks?

Posted by & filed under Emerging Technologies, Ethical Issues, FaceBook.

IN 2010, FOURSQUARE cofounder Naveen Selvadurai believed that his company, and several other social-media upstarts—Twitter, Tumblr, Path—could carve out successful niches against Facebook.  But Facebook had other plans. That year the company introduced a feature that allowed users to “check in” at any location, Source: Wired Magazine Date: October 27th, 2017 Link: https://www.wired.com/story/facebooks-aggressive-moves-on-startups-threaten-innovation/ Discussion 1) “It’s really fun to work” on consumer Internet… Read more »

Russian troll sites kept online by American companies

Posted by & filed under Civil Liberties, Ethical Issues.

The use of American companies to push Russian propaganda goes beyond social media sites like Facebook. Russians also used American internet services to keep their websites up and hide their true owners, according to internet records and two executives at internet routing companies interviewed by CNN. Source: CNN Technology News Date: October 26th, 2017 Link: http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/25/media/itl-green-floid-cloudflare-russian-sites/index.html Discussion 1)… Read more »

Can we teach robots ethics?

Posted by & filed under Ethical Issues.

We are not used to the idea of machines making ethical decisions, but the day when they will routinely do this – by themselves – is fast approaching. So how, asks the BBC’s David Edmonds, will we teach them to do the right thing? Source: BBC Technology Date: October 17th, 2017 Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-41504285 Discussion 1) “The best way… Read more »

Amazon’s Clever Solution to Stolen Deliveries: Your Trunk

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Emerging Technologies, Ethical Issues.

A recent study suggests that nearly eight out of 10 Americans shop online. This is a boon for companies like Amazon that specialize in home delivery, but also for more unsavory enterprises—including the crooks who specialize in swiping people’s packages. Source: Fortune Magazine Date: October 10th, 2017 Link: http://fortune.com/2017/10/10/amazon-phrame/ Discussion 1) “the solution involves Amazon working with a maker of… Read more »