Facebook ‘struck secret deals over user data’

Posted by & filed under Ethical issues, Facebook.

Emails written by Facebook’s chief and his deputies show the firm struck secret deals to give some developers special access to user data while refusing others, according to MPs. A cache of internal documents has been published online by a parliamentary committee. It said the files also showed Facebook had deliberately made it “as hard as possible”… Read more »

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

Posted by & filed under Big Data, Bots, Business Analytics, Civil Liberties, 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 AI/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 »

Amazon HQ2 process highlights the company’s data obsession

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Ethical issues.

Amazon’s search for a second headquarters was never just about finding a new home. Throughout the process, Amazon skillfully obtained data from 238 cities and metro areas in North America for free, including proprietary information about real estate sites under development, details about their talent pool, local labor cost and what incentives cities and states were willing… Read more »

Facebook promised to fix political ads on its platform. It hasn’t

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Automation, Ethical issues, Facebook.

Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, pledged to fix how it handles political and issue ads in the wake of Russian meddling in 2016. But just days before the midterm elections, a key part of Facebook’s effort is broken, and it’s unclear if the company is doing anything to fix it. The company has touted new rules for political… Read more »

Why robots will build the cities of the future

Posted by & filed under Automation, Career, Emerging Technologies, Ethical issues, IT and the law.

Shinichi Sakamoto is 57, and works for Shimizu, one of Japan’s biggest construction companies. He is part of a greying, and dwindling, workforce. “The thing is, statistics show a third of [Japanese construction] labourers are over 54 years old, and they are considering retiring so soon,” says Mr Sakamoto, who is deputy head of Shimizu’s… Read more »

How the Dutch foiled Russian ‘cyber-attack’ on OPCW

Posted by & filed under Cyber Security, Cyberattack, Ethical issues.

Four Russians, a car full of electronic equipment, and a foiled plot to hack the world’s foremost chemical weapons watchdog. The Dutch security services say Russia planned a cyber-attack on the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague earlier this year. At a press conference on Thursday, Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld… Read more »