Of Interest

  • Frankenstein’s paperclips

    Date published: 
    June 25, 2016

    "Deep learning, with its ability to spot patterns and find clusters of similar examples, has obvious potential to fight crime—and allow authoritarian governments to spy on their citizens. Chinese authorities are analysing people’s social-media profiles to assess who might be a dissident, says Patrick Lin, a specialist in the ethics of AI at Stanford Law School.

  • The U.K. has voted for Brexit. Here’s what happens next.

    Henry Farrell
    Publication Date: 
    June 24, 2016
    Publication Type: 
    Other Writing

    After a bitter referendum campaign, the United Kingdom has voted for Brexit, making the decision to leave the European Union. This is the first time that the E.U. has lost a member and will have dramatic consequences for European politics. Although the United Kingdom has sometimes been an uncomfortable member of the E.U., it has played a crucial role, for example in helping to create a shared market across Europe and in pushing for the enlargement of the E.U. to include Eastern European countries after the end of the Cold War.

  • Your Self-Driving Car Will Be Programmed to Kill You—Deal With It

    Date published: 
    June 23, 2016

    "Patrick Lin, the director of the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group at California Polytechnic State University, says we humans are a fickle lot, and that we don’t always know what we want or what we can live with.

    “What we intellectually believe is true and what we in fact do may be two very different things,” he told Gizmodo. “Humans are often selfish even as they profess altruism. Car manufacturers, then, might not fully appreciate this human paradox as they offer up AI and robots to replace us behind the wheel.”"

  • Why the US government should take Tesla up on its offer to share Autopilot data

    Date published: 
    June 23, 2016

    "While the proposition was informal, the Department of Transportation, said Bryant Walker Smith, an assistant professor of law at the University of South Carolina who specializes in legal aspects of autonomous driving, "should absolutely jump at Tesla's offer."

    This kind of data, Smith said, is invaluable—and all kinds of organizations should be involved in sharing their information. "Government vehicles could also give us tremendous insight into the performance of drivers, vehicles, and roadways," he said.

  • Binge On doesn't live up to T-Mobile's claims, researchers say

    Date published: 
    June 22, 2016

    "But earlier this year a Stanford professor and net neutrality expert published a lengthy document claiming that Binge On "harms competition, innovation and free speech," and is likely illegal. The program constrains consumer choice by enabling users to watch video from Binge On providers but not their competitors, Barbara van Schewick wrote, and gives an unfair edge to content providers that can afford to make their video compliant with the service."

  • How to find bad drivers on the road near you

    Date published: 
    June 22, 2016

    "“We’re losing some of the granularity between car and driver that we’ve had in other contexts,” said Andrea Matwyshyn, a professor of law and computer science at Northeastern University.

    What if “bad drivers” get tracked using the app’s notifications? Do you have the right to know where any given driver might be at any time, even if he or she is on the other side of town?

    In a word, yes.

  • Apple wants to know users better without knowing them

    "While Google has used differential privacy to analyze user data from its Chrome browser, Apple is the first major tech company to adopt it more widely and publicly, said Arvind Narayanan, a computer scientist at Princeton University.  

    “That’s what makes this so exciting – both for the technology and for the future of privacy protection,” he explained.

    In terms of challenges, Narayanan said the technology could come with extra costs.


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