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 »

Inside Cuba’s D.I.Y. Internet Revolution

Posted by & filed under Civil Liberties, Cuba, Ethical Issues, IT and Politics.

Source: Wired Magazine Date: October 10th. 2017 Link: https://www.wired.com/2017/07/inside-cubas-diy-internet-revolution/ Discussion 1) “Every week, more than a terabyte of data is packaged into external hard drives known as el paquete semanal (“the weekly package”). It is the internet distilled down to its purest, most consumable, and least interactive form: its content. This collection of video, song, photo, and text files from the… Read more »

‘We’re all feeling Puerto Rico’s pain’: Tweets and social posts from disasters change how we help

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Ethical Issues, FaceBook.

Social media bombards us with news of natural disasters, and with that comes a risk of desensitization, as these increasingly frequent disasters become blurs of information in our feeds. But the technologies we rely on, on a daily basis, are also turning out to be critical tools for those trying to help — even from… Read more »

‘I’m sorry to hear that’: Why training Siri to be a therapist won’t be easy

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

We already turn to our smartphones for help with all sorts of tasks, such as checking the weather or getting directions. But could the next role for your hand-held device be as your therapist? Apple plans to make Siri, its digital assistant, better at responding to people’s mental-health issues — an ambition that has raised serious ethical… Read more »

Google’s Search Changes May Not Level Playing Field

Posted by & filed under Civil Liberties, Ethical Issues, Google, IT and Politics, IT and the law.

GOOGLE WILL ALLOW rivals to bid on coveted advertising spots that it previously reserved for itself at the top of product search results in Europe, but there are widespread doubts that the move will create meaningful competition. Source: Wired Magazine Date: September 28th, 2017 Link: https://www.wired.com/story/googles-search-changes-wont-really-level-playing-field/ Discussion 1) “Google’s plan to auction space at the top of search results… Read more »

Social media and censorship in China: how is it different to the West?

Posted by & filed under Censorship, China, Ethical Issues, ethics, IT and Politics.

China has disrupted WhatsApp in a censorship drive ahead of the government’s Communist Party meeting next month.  It has only been accessible through virtual private networks (VPNs) at times – but even some of them are being blocked.  Other social media platforms, which people in the West use every day, are also banned in mainland China.  Instead they’re replaced by… Read more »

Self-Driving Cars Will Kill People. Who Decides Who Dies?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, Automation, Emerging Technologies, Ethical Issues, IT and the law, self driving cars.

To understand the trolley problem, first consider this scenario: You are standing on a bridge. Underneath you, a railroad track divides into a main route and an alternative. On the main route, 50 people are tied to the rails. A trolley rushes under the bridge on the main route, hurtling towards the captives. Fortunately, there’s… Read more »

How Facebook knows you’re Jewish

Posted by & filed under Ethical Issues, FaceBook, IT and Politics, IT and the law.

Facebook is wishing some of its “Jewish” users a Happy New Year.  Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, began Wednesday evening — and some Facebook users received a celebratory message when they logged in. While the note was well received by some, others questioned how exactly the social network was aware of their religious affiliation. In some… Read more »