Via Jeremy Keith, I came across this fun short SF story on blockchain and car based AIs breaking up marriages across the Nordic for profit by matchmaking their rides. One woman takes it out on the DAO and the car that broke her marriage or ‘wedblock’. After reading bought the existing 4 novels by the Finnish author Hannu Rajaniemi for summer reading.
Some links I thought worth reading the past few days
- World Bank data on the status of the global sustainable development goals, by the WB data team (whom I know due to my work for the WB’s open data efforts): The 2018 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals: an all-new visual guide to data and development
- It’s not a problem, it’s a challenge, to stick to enlightenment ideals in developing AI. Privacy and using big data aren’t opposites. Let’s not confuse purposes and outcomes, and explore hidden assumptions. EU style AI efforts are merely hard in a different way than the surveillance capitalism variety in the US and the data driven authoritarianism variety in China : AI Has a Big Privacy Problem And Europe’s New Data Protection Law Is About to Expose It
- Quick overview of how EU is positioning in the AI space. Ethics a key component, and various funding initiatives underway: Key points from the EU Artificial Intelligence strategy
- My Swiss colleague André Golliez talks sense in this radio interview on the meaning of GDPR also to Switzerland (in Swiss-German): GDPR a Paradigm Shift for Data Protection
- An oldie, 2016, from Doc Searls, but still relevant. Your browser is your castle: The Castle Doctrine
- Data and the machine learning it enables is of geopolitical importance: The Chinese 2018-2020 Action Plan for AI
- Doc Searls, who expects GDPR to kill microtargeting as a business model, celebrates May 25th as ‘Privmas’ and writes about the : Frequently Unasked Questions (FUQ) for the GDPR
- Another old article (from 2013), but still a relevant thought, how to connect things up while staying personally in control: The Internet of My Things
Some links I think worth reading today.
- There used to be a German tribe of Hard Blogging Scientists, of which Jan Schmidt is one of the very few still blogging. In the anglo-saxon world some research groups have been at it for a long time and still are. The Cambridge University security research group since 2006. Their Princeton colleagues at the Center for Information Technology Policy are blogging since 2002.
- The FOSTER project has a whole range of resources to help scientists doe more Open Science. From ethics to data management and designing for reproducability
- A range of people involved in building the web as we now have it, apologize for how lots went wrong in 15 steps.
- Dark patterns are ways to design sites to make you do things, you really shouldn’t want to. Dark patterns to lull your sense of security with privacy deceptive design for instance. Dark patterns rob you of agency, making ethics by design key.
- Nadja Peek‘s 2016 PhD thesis from MIT, on Making Machines that Make (pdf) which includes a practical test to demonstrate the proposed method’s impact on (networked) agency
- A methodology for building the Internet of Things, by Tom Collins
- Bayou is an AI that will make software for you based on a basic description. It was trained with all the code available on GitHub, and is released as an open source tool. Today a paper on this will be presented at the Sixth International Conference on Learning Representations in Vancouver.
- A NESTA report (pdf) on the type of skills that will be in demand for different jobs in 2030. Very interesting read. (ht Stowe Boyd)
I an open letter (PDF) a range of institutions call upon their respective European governments to create ELLIS, the European Lab for Learning and Intelligent Systems. It’s an effort to fortify against brain drain, and instead attract top talent to Europe. It points to the currently weak position in AI of Europe between what is happening in the USA and in China, adding a geo-political dimension. The letter calls not so much for an institution with a large headcount, but for commitment to long term funding to attract and keep the right people. These are similar reasons that led to the founding of CERN, now a global center for physics (and a key driver of things like open access to research and open research data), and more recently the European Molecular Biology Laboratory.
At the core the signatories see France and Germany as most likely to act to start this intra-governmental initiative. It seems this nicely builds upon the announcement by French president Macron late March to invest heavily in AI, and keep / attract the right people for it. He too definitely sees the European dimension to this, even puts European and enlightenment values at the core of it, although he acted within his primary scope of agency, France itself.
(via this Guardian article)
Some links I think worth reading today.
- ICANN struggles with the GDPR for the WHOIS database, and has now run out of time:
EFF: GDPR forces ICANN to improve WHOIS and
EFF: Privacy as afterthought at ICANN
- Facebook removes 1.5 billion users from EU jurisdiction while maintaining they’re totally committed to applying the ‘spirit’ of the GDPR globally. Which seems unconvincing in reality, because as before it merely emphasizes the illusion of choice for users.
- Bloomberg nicely explains China’s investments in Europe. US / Australia already have limitations in place. MEP Marietje Schaake calls for similar steps in EU.
- Fintech in Africa, and financial inclusion for the unbanked. Noting that China is actively investing in this space in Africa. By Niti Bhan, follow her blog at the Emerging Futures Lab.
- A Skinner box for software to find out what algorithms do (e.g. to target adverts), and the need for transparency and accountability for algorithms that are used. Algorithms need to be ‘smaller’ than me, not commodotise me at the back-end I think.
- Pedro Domingos on the global geopolitical race to lead on AI, “AI lowers the cost of knowledge by orders of magnitude. One good, effective machine learning system can do the work of a million people, whether it’s for commercial purposes or for cyberespionage. Imagine a country that produces a thousand times more knowledge than another.”
- Autonomous taxi start-up says safety testing of autonomous vehicles should be open sourced to increase speed and reliability, as now all stakeholders are re-inventing the autonomous wheel so to speak.
Data, especially lots of it, is the feedstock of machine learning and algorithms. And there’s a race on for who will lead in these fields. This gives it a geopolitical dimension, and makes data a key strategic resource of nations. In between the vast data lakes in corporate silos in the US and the national data spaces geared towards data driven authoritarianism like in China, what is the European answer, what is the proposition Europe can make the world? Ethics based AI. “Enlightenment Inside”.
French President Macron announced spending 1.5 billion in the coming years on AI last month. Wired published an interview with Macron. Below is an extended quote of I think key statements.
AI will raise a lot of issues in ethics, in politics, it will question our democracy and our collective preferences……It could totally dismantle our national cohesion and the way we live together. This leads me to the conclusion that this huge technological revolution is in fact a political revolution…..Europe has not exactly the same collective preferences as US or China. If we want to defend our way to deal with privacy, our collective preference for individual freedom versus technological progress, integrity of human beings and human DNA, if you want to manage your own choice of society, your choice of civilization, you have to be able to be an acting part of this AI revolution . That’s the condition of having a say in designing and defining the rules of AI. That is one of the main reasons why I want to be part of this revolution and even to be one of its leaders. I want to frame the discussion at a global scale….The key driver should not only be technological progress, but human progress. This is a huge issue. I do believe that Europe is a place where we are able to assert collective preferences and articulate them with universal values.