PRG News Roundup: Oct 10, 2018

 

 

The Machine Learning algorithms Amazon has been using to screen applicant’s resumes generated gender biases. This is the most recent in a line of cases of algorithm generated biases. Amazon’s system has taught itself that male candidates were preferable to female and therefore started to sort for particular terms used mostly by male applicants.

More on Amazon: the company has patented new features for its personal assistant device, Alexa, which would allow it to identify when the user is sick and suggest treatment based on voice recognition.

Google has officially filed an appeal for the European Commission decision to fine the company $5B for illegal antitrust practices involving Android devices and the company’s search engine. On another note, earlier this week the company has announced that it is shutting down its social media platform Google+ due to a bug which allowed apps to access information that was not public.

The Subcommittee on Information Technology of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has published a report about the growing impact of Artificial Intelligence on U.S. policy. The report finds, amongst others, that AI is an immature technology that will affect the workforce in yet unknown ways, that it uses massive amounts of data which may invade privacy or perpetuate biases and that it has potential to disrupt every sector of society.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce has published a request for comments regarding the ways to advance consumer privacy while protecting prosperity and innovation. The NTIA mentioned several outcomes for the desired approaches, including transparency, control, reasonable minimization, security, access and correction, risk management and accountability.

The United States Government Accountability Office has published a report about the Department of Defense’s cybersecurity threats. According to the report, using relatively simple tools and techniques testers were able to take control of systems and largely operate undetected, pointing at different cyber vulnerabilities in the weapons systems.

Finally, during a warranted house search in Ohio, the FBI has instructed a citizen to put his face in front of his iPhone in order to unlock it, sparking a debate about the constitutionality of ordering a citizen to unlock their iPhone using face-detection.

Tomer Kenneth compiled this week’s roundup.