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 »

‘We’re designing minds’: Industry insider reveals secrets of addictive app trade

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Ethical issues.

The average teenager is on track to spend nearly a decade of their life staring at a smartphone, and that’s no accident, according to an industry insider who shared some time-sucking secrets of the app design trade. CBC Marketplace travelled to Dopamine Labs, a startup in Venice, Calif., that uses artificial intelligence and neuroscience to help companies… 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 Marketing, 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 Disruptive Innovation, 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 Censorship, Civil Liberties, Ethical issues, Facebook, Fake News.

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 »

Google’s Search Changes May Not Level Playing Field

Posted by & filed under Civil Liberties, Ethical issues, Google, Internet Advertising, 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, Ethical issues, 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 »

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 »