"Machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence systems influence many aspects of people's lives: news articles, movies to watch, people to spend time with, access to credit, and even the investment of capital. Algorithms have been empowered to make such decisions and take actions for the sake of efficiency and speed. Despite these gains, there are concerns about the rapid automation of jobs (even such jobs as journalism and radiology). A better understanding of attitudes toward and interactions with algorithms is essential precisely because of the aura of objectivity and infallibility cultures tend to ascribe to them. This report illustrates some of the shortcomings of algorithmic decisionmaking, identifies key themes around the problem of algorithmic errors and bias, and examines some approaches for combating these problems. This report highlights the added risks and complexities inherent in the use of algorithmic decisionmaking in public policy. The report ends with a survey of approaches for combating these problems."
GO, GO, GOOGLE GADGETS
The Google gods spoke yesterday at the annual three-day I/O conference. The techies gave us some new goods to get excited about. The theme: AI isn’t going anywhere.
I’m feeling lucky.
Google’s smartphone operating system, Android P, will be available later this year with a goal to help you use your phone less. The dashboard will tell you how long you’ve used your phone each day and how many hours you’ve used an app (this sounds dangerous). You set limits for yourself - so, when your 30-minutes of Insta scrolling time is up, the Instagram app gets paused. Google Assistant is getting competitive with Amazon’s Alexa (shameless plug: did you know that Pressed is an Alexa Skill?) - it's adding singer John Legend’s smooth-as-silk voice. And if you’re directionally challenged (guilty), Google Maps will guide you turn-by-turn thanks to a new augmented reality feature - just point your phone and follow the arrows as they appear! Google, take me home.
A drone that can select and engage targets on its own is reported to have attacked soldiers during a civil conflict in Libya, Bryan Walsh writes in Axios Future.
Why it matters: If confirmed, it would likely represent the first known case of a machine-learning-based autonomous weapon being used to kill — potentially heralding a dangerous new era in warfare.
The UN Panel of Experts on Libya said in a recent report that a Turkish-made STM Kargu-2 drone may have "hunted down and ... engaged" retreating soldiers fighting with Libyan Gen. Khalifa Haftar last year.
It's not clear whether any soldiers were killed in the attack, although the UN experts — who call the drone a "lethal autonomous weapons system" — imply they likely were.