Palantir has figured out how to make money by using algorithms to ascribe guilt to people, now they're looking for new customers

In 2009, JP Morgan Chase's "special ops" guy was an ex-Secret Service agent called Peter Cavicchia III, and he retained Palantir to spy on everyone in the company to find "insider threats"; even getting the bank to invest in Palantir. Read the rest

UK police train machine-learning model using Experian data that stereotypes people based on garden size, first names, and postal codes

The police in Durham, England bought a license to the "Mosiac" dataset from the credit bureau Experian, which includes data on 50,000,000 Britons, in order to train a machine learning system called HART ("Harm Assessment Risk Tool") that tries to predict whether someone will reoffend. Read the rest

Teaching computers to pick a conversation out of a noisy room

Human beings have a weird, poorly-understood ability to pick a single conversation out of a noisy room, it's called the "cocktail party effect" and while its exact mechanism isn't totally understood, researchers do know that vision plays a role in it, and that being able to see the speaker helps you pick their words out of a crowd. Read the rest

UC Berkeley offers its Foundations of Data Science course for free online

Berkeley's "Foundations of Data Science" boasts the fastest-growing enrollment of any course in UC Berkeley history, and now it's free on the university's Edx distance-education platform. Read the rest

Machine learning projects for kids

Dale Lane's Machine Learning for Kids project uses extensions to the popular Scratch programming environment to teach the basics of machine learning to children. Read the rest

Chinese jaywalkers are identified and shamed by facial recognition, and now they'll get warnings over text message

Last April, the industrial capital of Shenzhen installed anti-jaywalking cameras that use facial recognition to automatically identify people crossing without a green pedestrian light; jaywalkers are shamed on a public website and their photos are displayed on large screens at the intersection, Read the rest

Law professors and computer scientists mull whether America's overbroad "hacking" laws ban tricking robots

Robot law pioneer Ryan Calo (previously) teamed up with U Washington computer science and law-school colleagues to write Is Tricking a Robot Hacking? -- a University of Washington School of Law Research Paper. Read the rest

Invisible, targeted infrared light can fool facial recognition software into thinking anyone is anyone else

A group of Chinese computer scientists from academia and industry have published a paper documenting a tool for fooling facial recognition software by shining hat-brim-mounted infrared LEDs on the user's face, projecting CCTV-visible, human-eye-invisible shapes designed to fool the face recognition software. Read the rest

Watch neural networks see only what they've been trained to see

Memo Akten created Gloomy Sunday, part of his Learning To See series in which he juxtaposes mundane video with how deep-trained neural networks percieve the same input. Read the rest

Machine-learning-based image classifier can tell when the bus and bike-lanes are illegally obstructed

New York's cyclists and bus-riders are certain they're being slowed and endangered by an epidemic of illegal lane-obstructions from delivery vehicles, taxis and Ubers, but policymakers have refused to do anything about it, saying that the evidence is all anaecdotal. Read the rest

Machine learning has a reproducibility crisis

Machine learning is often characterized as much an "art" as a "science" and in at least one regard, that's true: its practitioners are prone to working under loosely controlled conditions, using training data that is being continuously tweaked with no versioning; modifying parameters during runs (because it takes too long to wait for the whole run before making changes); squashing bugs mid-run; these and other common practices mean that researchers often can't replicate their own results -- and virtually no one else can, either. Read the rest

Machine learning models keep getting spoofed by adversarial attacks and it's not clear if this can ever be fixed

Machine learning models use statistical analysis of historical data to predict future events: whether you are a good candidate for a loan, whether you will violate parole, or whether the thing in the road ahead is a stop sign or a moose. Read the rest

Hey, Wellington! I'm headed your way!

I've just finished a wonderful time at the Adelaide Festival and now I'm headed to the last stop on the Australia/New Zealand tour for Walkaway: Wellington! Read the rest

Goob: a notional paltrovian newage woozine generated by Botnik's AI

Botnik used its predictive AI to generate a Gwyneth Paltrow-style website full of woo: goob! It's all very Poe's Law. Read the rest

Leaked presentation from AI snake-oil salesmen to AAA game company promises horrific, dystopian manipulation of players to drain their wallets

Techpowerup has published a redacted presentation from an unnamed AI company to an unnamed big-budget multiplayer video-game publisher, setting out a suite of surveillance capitalism tools combined with machine-learning to manipulate players to make them as addicted as possible and drain them of as much money as possible. Read the rest

Reddit shuts down Deepfakes subreddit, home to faceswapped pornography (and some other stuff)

Reddit has shut down /r/deepfakes, the subreddit where people collaborate to produce incredibly disturbing faceswapped pornography that uses machine-learning to put the faces of famous people who aren't pornography performers onto the bodies of people having sex in pornographic videos. Read the rest

Deepfakes has democratized the creation of extremely realistic video faceswapping, especially in porn

Late last year, a redditor called Deepfakes gained notoriety for the extremely convincing face-swap porn videos he was making, in which the faces of mainstream Hollywood actors and rockstars were convincingly overlaid on the bodies of performers in pornography. Read the rest

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