Hudson Yards Questions

If you live in Manhattan you have heard about Hudson Yards opening. They have a giant marketing tool called the Vessel. People were upset to hear that they surrendered copyright when taking photos on the marketing Vessel.

Take My Face, Leave My Photos Alone.

The irony is that no cared about deployed face detection, (identity) and emotion detection (feelings) being harvested covertly while you are on their property. Honest question do one somehow implicitly sign a TOS/EULA when you walk on to Hudson Yards?

Making Billionaires Vulnerable, Rest of US Just Data Sources.

It’s bing called “playground for billionaires” and “a mall for the wealthy.” “a billionaire’s fantasy city.” What billionaire would want to live in a place that was tracking when they come + go, how they feel, video records every step they take. I would like to meet them if only to harden their end points. One hopes the complex has significant info-sec protection of all that biometric data.

What does the lease say about data ownership – your data. What happens if HY gets hacked and your bio-metric info is leaked as a tenant. Just a second while someone unlocks that bank account with that info and move on the holdings in Monaco.

If Your HY Data Was Hacked – Would protest be allowed at Hudson Yards?

Is public protest allowed, or is this property that does not allow for the peoples voice, only their biometric data. (Only the best of the best when it comes to your personal surveillance at Hudson Yards.)

There are many questions around private data in the public realm, along with link blogging on the subject, I will try to raise issues here along side potential outcomes and opportunities to ‘be best’.

Related read: Data privacy experts flag ‘smart cities of surveillance’ at ITAC Smart Cities Technology Summit []

Link Round up / ICYMI

When a Phone App Opens Your Apartment Door, but You Just Want a Key A lawsuit filed in October in Housing Court in Manhattan by the couple and three other tenants of the West 45th Street building demands that the landlord give them access to all the entryways without having to use a keyless entry system. But it also has opened a wider debate over privacy, ageism and renter’s rights that has inspired new legislation in Albany

How AI Will Rewire Us [theatlantic]

The Internet’s Endless Appetite for Death Video [NYT]
With the iPhone Sputtering, Apple Bets Its Future on TV and News [WSJ]

Ahead of two major shows, the painter Jonas Wood reflects on his early career — and the most unusual object in his studio. [nyt]


XAIAn explain-ability toolbox for machine learning. Follows the Ethical Institute for AI & Machine Learning’s 8 principles. [h/t 4SL]

Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on [Google/]
Google Hotels / Travel [Google] features schedule listings for thousands of public radio stations and programs around the world

Giving Back , Being Owned, Going Dark

Tate & NPG Give Back Sackler Drug Money

Statement from The Sackler Trust and the National Portrait Gallery From 19 March 2019 (PDF), followed by the Tate Will No Longer Accept Donations from the Sackler Family, Setting New Precedent [cbc/] It looks like Nan Goldins protests have been getting traction.

The Art Newspaper reporting that South London Gallery returned funding to Sackler Trust last year. [theartnewspaper/4] “This precedent may well have paved the way for the decision by the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) and the Sackler Trust last week not to proceed with a £1m grant from the trust to the NPG.”

‘Reputational issues’ (or shame as we call it), doing it’s work. Also looking into the Sackler crew is Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, who sent this letter (PDF) to them Thursday. Reated: Nan Goldin’s show at the NPG will go on.

Adversarial attacks on medical machine learning

Summary — [sciencemag/10] With public and academic attention increasingly focused on the new role of machine learning in the health information economy, an unusual and no-longer-esoteric category of vulnerabilities in machine-learning systems could prove important. These vulnerabilities allow a small, carefully designed change in how inputs are presented to a system to completely alter its output, causing it to confidently arrive at manifestly wrong conclusions.

The process for removing bald people from photos is as follows:

The boombox Incident The clerk mistook Kruger in the photo for George, since in the picture George had hair but Kruger was bald. Removing the only bald person from the photo was a pretty reasonable thing for the photo store clerk to do. I figured this is something that photo editors have to do frequently, so I decided to automate it. The process for removing bald people from photos is as follows:

Audio Cassette Tapes

Rewind: audio cassette tapes launch a comeback tour [scmp/4] His business invested several million dollars buying up old equipment from defunct production facilities, and last year National Audio manufactured 18 million audio cassettes, Stepp said, selling to 3,500 record labels globally.

Op-Sec 101 : Owned at the Device Level

A New Age of Warfare: How Internet Mercenaries Do Battle for Authoritarian Governments [NYT] Front page New York Times story is a must read. One graph outlines private hacking program Pegasus capability set.

“By 2011, NSO had developed its first prototype, a mobile surveillance tool the company called Pegasus. Like its namesake, the Greek mythological winged horse, NSO’s tool could do something seemingly impossible: collect vast amounts of previously inaccessible data from smartphones in the air without leaving a trace — including phone calls, texts, emails, contacts, location and any data transmitted over apps like Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype.”

They do this by hacking the end points of the communications — the phones themselves — after the data were decrypted. Regardless if the application is not cracked you are owned at the device level with tools like Pegasus.

The WhatsApp application cited by… wait for it, you got it the very busy Committee on Oversight and Reform, who are concerned about New Information about White House Officials Using Private Email and Messaging Apps Raises Security and Federal Records Concerns.

Private mercenaries are rocking software that can own applications like WhatsApp, the same app Abbe Lowell, personal counsel for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, confirmed that Mr. Kushner has been using WhatsApp as a part of his official duties in the White House. You can bet Kush’s phone is owned.

Going Dark

DC AG filing: Facebook knew about Cambridge Analytica well before first reporting (PDF) Let’s hope the court denies FB request to seal it. FB argues against it today. Stay tuned every CA case matters.
UPDATE: Friday PM ” The two sides met in court on Friday afternoon and D.C. Superior Court Judge Fern F. Saddler said she would make a ruling by the end of April for whether to dismiss the case. She did not make a ruling on unsealing the Facebook documents.”

In a WAPO story on vaccines – “Perhaps most significant, doctors and experts said, is that Kids Plus was able to figure out the social media attack was directed from inside closed anti-vaccine Facebook groups, in which members have to be approved to join” wapo

The above ‘closed’ Facebook group will look like an open gate once end-to-end encryption and self-destruct features are implemented on Messenger and other Facebook apps.

This does two things, one plausible deniability under the DMCA /avoid regulation on data sharing across platforms. Two it pushes out of view behavior taking place on their ‘platform’ . Making it difficult, perhaps impossible to prevent the spread of videos like the horror show in NZ and the like on their own platform.

This is the last stop on avoiding any accountability around platform as weapon.

Take Another Look


Think You Know This Photograph? Take Another Look [NYT/25]
The Swiss artists Jojakim Cortis and Adrian Sonderegger recreate famous historical photos in their studio, to remind us we shouldn’t always believe what we see.

The descendants of slaves want Harvard to stop using iconic photos of their relatives [cnn/27] The lawsuit said, “It was an act of both love and resistance that Renty and Delia’s kin kept their memories and stories alive for well over a century. It is unconscionable that Harvard will not allow Ms. Lanier to, at long last, bring Renty and Delia home.”

Scooter Companies Split on Giving Real-Time Location Data to Los Angeles [Motherboard /22 ] Uber, which is pushing back against the requests for real-time location data of its JUMP scooters, was granted a provisional, month-long permit, while other companies received a full-year license.


Doomed Boeing Jets Lacked 2 Safety Features That Company Sold Only as Extras. [NYT] “The angle of attack indicator will remain an option that airlines can buy.”(Can we make this against the law for every product and service -ED )

Facebook: Our AI Tools Failed to Catch New Zealand Attack Video [FB] The video had been viewed 4,000 times on the site and copied on other sites beyond control. (Social media video needs to adhere to broadcast standards and practices for 21 and under. – ED)

Google AI Music Doodle Tech [giithub/] This JavaScript implementation of Magenta’s musical note-based models uses TensorFlow.js for GPU-accelerated inference.

Society Desperately Needs An Alternative Web [Forbes /26] This recent article, “The World is Choking on Data Pollution” offered a profound distillation of what we are witnessing today: Progress has not been without a price. Like the factories of 200 years ago, digital advances have given rise to a pollution that is reducing the quality of our lives and the strength of our democracy… We are now face-to-face with a system embedded in every structure of our lives and institutions, shaping our society in ways that deeply impact our basic values.


Are schools getting justifiable value out of their student surveillance? [edscoop /19] A 2018 Florida mandate collects the social media information of students and combines it with law enforcement data into a centralized database. Georgia lawmakers are floating a bill that would create “student profiles” using records from schools, local and federal law enforcement and state social service agencies. The Federal School Safety Report, released in December, advocates for schools to monitor the social media of students. The implication of these initiatives, Marlow says, violates primary American principles.

Nokia phones sent personal information to China Every time the phone was switched on, the screen activated or unlocked, his geographical position, as well as the SIM card number and the phone’s serial number went to a server in China. Investigation has been started.

Spring Returns, Biometrics Bloom

Live UK: Parliamentlive: Science and Technology Committee Subject: The work of the biometrics commissioner and the forensic science regulator

BioMetrics: Don’t look now: why you should be worried about machines reading your emotions [Guardian/14] According to Affectiva’s website, they have the largest emotion data repository in the world, with over 7.5m faces from 87 countries, most of it collected from opt-in recordings of people watching TV or driving their daily commute.

Biometrics: Amazon Rekognition Launches Enhanced Face Analysis [Amazon / ] With this release, we have improved the accuracy of gender identification, emotion detection (for all 7 supported emotions: ‘Happy’, ‘Sad’, ‘Angry’, ‘Surprised’, ‘Disgusted’, ‘Calm’ and ‘Confused’) and attributes such as ‘EyesOpen’.

Paper: Emotion Action Detection and Emotion Inference: the Task and Dataset [avxiv/0] Many Natural Language Processing works on emotion analysis only focus on simple emotion classification without exploring the potentials of putting emotion into “event context”, and ignore the analysis of emotion-related events

Research: Google data collection research (From last August) In “Google Data Collection,” Douglas C. Schmidt, Professor of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University, catalogs how much data Google is collecting about consumers and their most personal habits across all of its products and how that data is being tied together.

OpenSource: SOD – An Embedded Computer Vision & Machine Learning LibrarySOD is an embedded, modern cross-platform computer vision and machine learning software library that expose a set of APIs for deep-learning, advanced media analysis & processing including real-time, multi-class object detection and model training on embedded systems with limited computational resource and IoT devices.

Library of Congress > New National Recording Registry Class [loc] The classic radio western “Gunsmoke”; Ritchie Valens’ groundbreaking 1958 sensation “La Bamba”; Sam & Dave’s 1967 hit single “Soul Man”; the revolutionary 1968 Broadway musical “Hair”; and Neil Diamond’s 1969 “Sweet Caroline,” which became a popular sports anthem, are the newest recordings inducted into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.

FT OP_ED Can Magic Leap’s ‘mixed reality’ find the human touch? [ft/10/paywall] Early teaser videos posted by Magic Leap on YouTube showed a whale breaching in a school gymnasium and a shootout with killer robots invading an office. Initially, Marina Abramovic: The Life seemed a rather sedate, even anticlimactic affair — a woman in a red dress doing not very much. Gradually, though, the minimalist, meditative performance won me over. That I was one of several real people experiencing the same collective hallucination only made it feel more vivid.

Everything In It’s Face

The future of streaming is the cable bundle [vox/34] But at the same time, my guess is that most of these companies know they’re not going to wipe massive companies like Netflix or Disney from the face of the earth — to say nothing of a company like Apple, which is still waiting in the wings with its own proposed streaming service, or YouTube, which has struggled to launch its own subscription service but owns the viewership habits of the generation just entering its teens and 20s…..

Privacy’s not dead. It’s just not evenly distributed [Fastcompany /34] To begin, Ciara Byrne looks at the split along class lines: Increasingly the wealthy can pay for more privacy, but the poor have always surrendered their privacy for survival. Glenn Fleishman examines how Do Not Track got caught between the hopes of privacy advocates and the fears of the ad industry. And an eighth grader explains how her family’s use of Facebook completely changed her mind about social media.

Facial recognition: Apple, Amazon, Google and the race for your face [c|net /27] Unlike other forms of biometric authentication, cameras can gather information about your face with or without your knowledge or consent. If you’re a privacy-minded person, you could potentially be exposing your data when in a public place without knowing it. Because the technology is so new, there aren’t any laws in the US limiting what companies can do with images of your face after they capture it. A bipartisan bill was recently introduced in the Senate to rectify the lack of regulation.

The Case for Investigating Facebook, When the US Antitrust Chairman pens a Facebook Op-Ed [NYT] And in its pursuit of dominance, Facebook gave at least 60 device makers direct access to its users’ data. Those actions are under criminal investigation, The Times reported last week. Facebook has also engaged in campaigns to obstruct congressional oversight and to smear and discredit critics — tactics reminiscent of the big tobacco playbook.

Timeliner [github/0] is a personal data aggregation utility. It collects all your digital things from pretty much anywhere and stores them on your own computer, indexes them, and projects them onto a single, unified timeline. The intended purpose of this tool is to help preserve personal and family history. [h/t 4SL] (local version of friendfeed – ED)

ScattertextText Data Visualization in Python. This is a tool that’s intended for visualizing what words and phrases are more characteristic of a category than others

New Emo City

Technology Watch – Emotion Detection Edition
DTPR – Digital Transparency in the Public Realm

Since the ’90s, I have been drawing attention to the impact of the surveillance economy, specifically the intersection of public and private data. It is time to revisit why this is important and why comprehensive privacy protection is necessary.

Where Are We Now?

Our current position as it relates to our lives in public: we are losing the right to our own thoughts, as we see the consequences of unchecked technology deployment for three decades.

Compounded by impotent or even non-existent legislation and regulation that follows decades later, we have arrived at a place where business and governments can use cameras to interpret our emotions and use them against us. This is your right to negotiate, gone.

A shining urban example is Hudson Yards, the launch of a new surveillance city. “We can say how many people looked at this ad, for how long. Did they seem interested, bored, were they smiling?”. This type of software is being rolled out in all areas of our lives. At retail, at work, in transit, at home. Not just on city streets. It is legion.

A Cautionary Fable

Allow me a small digression on how we got to now. There is an old Tower of Babel fable – a tale of language and how there were places that existed just yards from each other that did not share common language, or even syllables.

The result of a massive incantation put forth from the top to protect us from a singular attack. One voice that could take us all out at once. Think an even larger incantation of an evil nature, (I know this is starting to sound like an allegory). A specific incantation put into place. Keeping language separate as method to protect us.

Fast forward to now with internet and technology in place where no language barriers exist anymore, one network, any language, no rules of engagement.

The Need for Vocabulary and Context

Most noteworthy, at almost each step we failed to implement proper vocabulary, context, ethics, around what was taking place en mass.

In the early 90’s when logging on to The Well you were greeted with this line at the first text prompt:: ‘you own your own words’ offering clarity by entering their digital house you did not lose your rights.

Now our actions are someone else’s rights. Even simple actions of walking down the street.

One more piece here, humans, man’s innate nature to trust, especially as we age. As a result we are ripe receptors for those who want to move men to action. (See the 2016 election).

List: Things that have been weaponized


Social networks

Cable TV News


The airwaves

Phone lines

Data/The Internet


For example, think about how many networks and things we use every day that we don’t have rights on. How many of those have been weaponized against us.

Appending Digital and IRL

We could break down the fails in each area weaponized, how it happened in post-op review. Remember self regulation and advertising? (Another longer post sometime on this and useless burden of big-data.)

If you look at this as part of the giant click bait advertising fail that has been going on for the last two decades. The fix for these fail’s mandates more data collection. Hence the new need to append your online identity with your offline behavior for even deeper targeting.

A terrible solution to a problem we never deserved. Does anyone really think the promise of providing more personal identifiable information for increased relevant advertising worked? Even if executed, effective?

The Solution is More Data

This pattern of massive failure followed with solutions that encroach on the public rights is everywhere. Take for example NYC congestion pricing. Another example of a nightmare solution due to a problem that could have many other solves, a result of gross mismanagement in the first place.

Due to of failures in infrastructure and basic traffic flow we now need a revenue fix. In this case surveillance economics becomes the solution. A mechanism to put in place location based tracking license readers.

Already in place are facial recognition towers that now stand at most gateways into NYC. Does anyone remember the public comment period for this?..get in touch.

To What End?

One of the ways I like to look at online offline behavior is this quote from one of the founders of Twitter @ev on data driven content – “whenever there is a car crash, everyone looks. That doesn’t mean we want more car crashes”. Swarm behaviors in the online world do not translate offline and vise versa, and shouldn’t.

We are actively trying to pair the two things to what end, what exactly is the end game here? Total situational awareness for commerce or security. Neither Optimal Key Result will be met, the cost will be liberty and lots of wasted dollars.

Your Thoughts In Public – Personal Event Data in Public Spaces

Back to the weaponization of the camera , and rights to privacy to your own thoughts in public. (Can not believe I had to type that sentence.)

The weaponized camera is a mechanism to trans-code your public, private and secret selves in one place. That place, is ‘not yours’ as they say from the auction block. Cameras take life as game and moves it to – life’s events as profit.

Awareness Gap

Understanding current software capability-set often non-existent or misunderstood. Context is almost always missing. Software exists that enable cameras to see your emotions. Machine learning software infer thoughts, illness (mental, physical), predisposed to do X.

This data off the events of our lives, event data that we create, data that allows us to exist independently, to negotiate, to have a private self, to be, to be singular is being taken without our permission.

Data-assault accurately describes the violations being deployed. They may sound digital but the lines blur with physical fast.

Personally identifiable event data being eviscerated includes at any age as long as you have a device. Location history, facial Identification and recognition, bio-metric data etc.

The arguments against this technology often fall to false positives. False positives are a technology solve, not a blocker. We need counter act this through ethics and human rights lenses, not a product imperfection view.

Personal Event Data in Public Spaces, Your Thoughts In Public – Action Plan

Why are not more people speaking up? It’s akimbo to a board not speaking up to a CEO. Legislative bodies that sit quiet in troubling times.

• Hold up a mirror

— Playback each day key political, and commercial figures with emotion recognition overlays.

— Flip the video on any camera that is watching by pushing to screen the machine view of the information. Display event data generated / being stolen. Think kiosks that display what the machine/camera sees in place of the advertisements.

• Take back your block and data. Fall 2019
— A day of civic action at the block level. Massive city wide education and activism with existing .orgs addressing this issue.

• Legal plan. Does the Fourth Amendment protect such information from unlawful search and seizure, or is this data merely a part of a third party’s business records?

1- File injections to stop and cease Sidewalk labs link NYC kiosks based on Carpenter v. US.

2- Put in place privacy protection laws and candidates that support data civil rights and stop the practice full stop. We do not need governors on data collection but protection from collection or using it period.

This is not the smart city I was looking for.

Looking for other rights minded tech, design and legal focused teams, organizations and individuals.

ed note: this is first daft – revisions and updates to follow.

Surveillance City, Amazon-Arlington disclosure clause…

Open-records activists question Amazon-Arlington disclosure clause – [The Washington Post / 18] Amazon’s deal gives the company the ability not just to work with the government to tailor what information it provides in response to citizens’ requests, which is common, but also allows time for the company to go to court to prevent the release of the information.

All the Crime, All the Time: How Citizen Works [NY Times 15] An app called Citizen promises “awareness” of nearby danger. What it provides is more complicated.

In the first 24 hours we removed 1.5 million videos of the attack globally, of which over 1.2 million were blocked at upload…[Twitter/ Facebook Newsroom] Out of respect for the people affected by this tragedy and the concerns of local authorities, we’re also removing all edited versions of the video that do not show graphic content.” — Mia Garlick, Facebook New Zealand

Andreessen Horowitz, Christopher Wylie, Cambridge Analytica 2016 Meeting – [The Guardian /16] Individuals who attended the meeting with Wylie and Andreessen claim it was set up to learn what Cambridge Analytica was doing with Facebook’s data and how technologists could work to “fix” it. It is unclear in what capacity Andreesen Horowitz hosted and who attened the meeting but it is nonetheless a hugely embarrassing revelation for Facebook, which was revealed last week to be the subject of a criminal investigation into whether it had covered up the extent of its involvement with Cambridge Analytica. See also – How Cambridge Analytica Sparked the Great Privacy Awakening [Wired /35]

Related’s Hudson Yards: Smart City or Surveillance City? [The Real Deal / 19] Related says its use of technologies will make life better for those who work, live or shop in the 16 buildings planned for the $25 billion development. But the company’s decision to hold user data indefinitely, as well as its partnership with the firm behind the controversial LinkNYC kiosks, has sparked alarm among surveillance and data privacy watchdogs. Related says it hasn’t yet determined exactly what it will do with data it collects from people in the neighborhood, or movements its cameras record. “But from our point of view, the data is our data for the purposes of allowing us to make Hudson Yards function better,” said Cross……In another quote they reference emotional recognition software… “We can say how many people looked at this ad, for how long. Did they seem interested, bored, were they smiling?” he said.

When it comes to the middle finger, police might need a thicker skin. – [AP/ 7] A federal appeals court says a Michigan woman’s constitutional rights were violated when she was handed a speeding ticket after giving the finger to a suburban Detroit officer in 2017. The decision means a lawsuit by Debra Cruise-Gulyas can proceed.

MIT Emotional Recognition Company Full Court Press – [Twitter/2] In a series of news items, Tweets, podcasts, blog posts etc – MIT spawned emotional recognition company Affectiva deployed on kids at a Disney event as a game and promotional take-a-way. The Company, it’s investors and news stories keep framing this as something we can stop – as they roll it – out prior to laws being able to catch up or public debate and vocabulary taking place. The tone is always a moral question of some sort, couching its evilness in a false high ground (mental health, road safety, handicapped kids etc). Have always respected The Media Lab but they have gone too far here. Joi come on.

Secure Voting Systems + Constructive Social Networks

DARPA Is Building a $10 Million, Open Source, Secure Voting System [motherboard /23] “It’s normal, open source voting system software, which just happens to be running on top of those secure CPUs,” said Kiniry. “Our contention is… that a normal voting system running on COTS [commercial off-the-shelf hardware] will be hacked. A normal voting system running on the secure hardware will probably not be hacked.” Not only are teams developing secure CPUs but to best take advantage of what a secure CPU offers, they’re developing new versions of open source C-compilers so they can recompile the entire software stack on a system—the operating system, the kernel, all the libraries and all the user software that’s written in C.

Apple Addressing Spotify’s claims [apple /0] What Spotify is demanding is something very different. After using the App Store for years to dramatically grow their business, Spotify seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem — including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store’s customers — without making any contributions to that marketplace. At the same time, they distribute the music you love while making ever-smaller contributions to the artists, musicians and songwriters who create it — even going so far as to take these creators to court.

Drew Harwell (wapo) [Twitter] The New Zealand massacre was live streamed on Facebook, announced on 8chan, reposted on YouTube, commentated about on Reddit, and mirrored around the world before the tech companies could even react. Followed by YouTube Tweet.Please know we are working vigilantly to remove any violent footage.” Zuckerberg described FB Live at launch: “We built this big technology platform so we can go and support whatever the most personal and motional and raw and visceral ways people want to communicate” Related- In the European Parliament, Anti-terrorism Censorship : Second Setback at the European Parliament “An upcoming European law pretexts fighting terrorism to silence the whole Internet”

Who Controls Diners’ Data? OpenTable Moves to Assert Control [wsj/30/paywall] “This information is our information. It’s not OpenTable’s information,” said Wassef Haroun, an owner of MBar, a restaurant in Seattle that uses both OpenTable and SevenRoom

Boldness in Business person of the year: Sir Tim Berners-Lee [ft/21/paywall] Thousands of developers across 26 countries are experimenting with 50,000 Solid personal online data stores (PODs). The company is also collaborating with some bigger partners, including an Indian telecoms company and the UK’s National Health Service, to explore how Solid could be configured at scale. To that end, Inrupt is aiming to complete a multimillion-dollar fundraising by the end of March, enabling it to launch a user product by the end of the year. In tech jargon, Solid is aiming to “re-decentralise” the web, returning ownership of data to the users who generate it and empowering them to give consent to others to access it.

Artificial Intelligence Policy: A Primer and Roadmap [pdf] [ucdavis] AI is remaking aspects of society today and likely to shepherd in much greater changes in the coming years. As this Essay emphasized, the process of societal transformation carries with it many distinct and difficult questions of policy. Even so, there is reason for hope. We have certain advantages over our predecessors. The previous industrial revolutions had their lessons and we have access today to many more policymaking bodies and tools. We have also made interdisciplinary collaboration much more of a standard practice. But perhaps the greatest advantage is timing: AI has managed to capture policymakers’ imaginations early enough in its life-cycle that there is hope we can yet channel it toward the public interest. I hope this Essay contributes in some small way to this process.

A Peek into the Future of Wearables [] Mind-reading smart glasses. Julia Brown, CEO of MindX, said that her company plans to produce glasses that let you “access information with a single thought.” The company is using technology licensed from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics lab to pick up signals from eye movement and from brain waves to know where you are looking and what you are thinking when you look there. Brown is excited about the possibilities of visual search, for example. No word on when the first devices might come to market; the company is still in the development stage, and currently looking to hire a brain computer interface software engineer who is a “full stack neuro nerd” and a neural data scientist who is “expert in extracting meaning from bio signals” along with more traditional software engineers.

Lou Reed Archive at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts [] The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is thrilled to announce that the Lou Reed Archive has been processed and is now available to users. The Lou Reed Archive documents the history of Reed’s life as a musician, composer, poet, writer, photographer, and tai-chi student through his own extensive papers, photographs, recordings and other materials. The archive spans Reed’s creative life—from his 1958 Freeport High School band, the Shades, to his final performances in 2013.
The Library for the Performing Arts is celebrating the opening of the Lou Reed archive with a special edition library card, a display of collection items, and more.

Privacy is Power

DeepMind and Google: the battle to control artificial intelligence, Facial Recognition and Fair Use, Death Metal Brings Joy, Algorithmic Bill of Rights…

Live now: [mit] agenda. Beyond the Cradle 2019: Envisioning a New Space Age

DeepMind and Google: the battle to control artificial intelligence [1843magazinet /21] Hassabis has always seen life as a game. A large part of his career was devoted to making them, a large part of his leisure time has been spent playing them. At DeepMind, they are his chosen vehicle for developing AGI. Just like his software, Hassabis can learn only from his experiences. The pursuit of AGI may eventually lose its way, having invented some useful medical technologies and out-classed the world’s greatest board-game players. Significant achievements but not the one he craves. But he could yet usher AGI into being, right under Google’s nose but beyond its control. If he does this, Demis Hassabis will have beaten the toughest game of all

We need an algorithmic bill of rights before algorithms do us wrong [fastcompany /28] As Kearns reflected on this, his message was a call to action for the members of his audience: “The scientists who designed these systems have to take on the mantle to fix them.” Kearns was right. But his call should be extended beyond scientists and technologists to also include business leaders, regulators, and end users. Together, we have to decide how to design, manage, use, and govern algorithms so we control the narrative of how algorithms impact our lives. Related – Changing Contexts and Intents [O’Reilly / 9] — context and intent as framing mechanisms for determining whether a use of data is appropriate. —- When Google decides to use your location to target advertisements, that’s not only a different context but a different intent. 

ICE is tapping into a huge license-plate database, [wapo/19] ACLU says, raising new privacy concerns about surveillance [ / ] Immigration agents have been tapping into a vast, privately maintained database of icense plate numbers gleaned from vehicles across the United States to track down people who may be in the country illegally, according to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union and released Wednesday. The database contains billions of records on vehicle locations captured from red-light and speed-limit cameras as well as from parking lots and toll roads that use the nearly ubiquitous and inexpensive scanners to monitor vehicle comings and goings. Local police forces have long used those scanners to track criminal suspects and enforce traffic laws across the United States. But the records the ACLU obtained from the Department of Homeland Security through a Freedom of Information Act request shed new light on a little-noticed and expanding network of surveillance that has developed over the years and for which there appear to be few legal limitations

Don’t break up big tech — regulate data access, says EU antitrust chief [tc/18] “To break up a company, to break up private property would be very far reaching and you would need to have a very strong case that it would produce better results for consumers in the marketplace than what you could do with more mainstream tools,” she warned this weekend, speaking in a SXSW interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher. “We’re dealing with private property. Businesses that are built and invested in and become successful because of their innovation.”

Implicit violent imagery processing among fans and non-fans of music with violent themes [royalsocietypublishing /13] The results of the binocular rivalry task suggest that long-term exposure to music with aggressive themes does not lead to a general desensitization to violence as depicted in images. Fans of violent music, just like non-fans, showed a robust bias to process violent imagery. However, results also suggest that fans of violent music do become desensitized to the aggressive and violent themes in their preferred music, in that they assigned high ratings of emotional valence relative to those of non-fans.

How India conquered YouTube [ft/10/paywall] India’s craze for videos is shaking the world of entertainment. Valued at more than $700m, the country’s online video market is shaping the content and pricing models of local and global companies. Netflix, with approximately two million viewers there, is investing more in Indian content than it has done anywhere outside the US. While Amazon Prime charges US subscribers $119 a year, those in India pay $14.50 annually. Millions of dollars are tossed around at auctions for the streaming rights for cricket matches, and dozens of shows have been commissioned to tap into India’s love of comedy.

Facebook Can Make Vr Avatars Look—And Move—Exactly Like You [wired/57] If the word panopticon comes to mind, it should—though it would be better applied to the second capture area, a larger dome known internally as the Sociopticon. (Before joining Oculus/Facebook, Sheikh established its predecessor, Panoptic Studio, at Carnegie Mellon.) The Sociopticon looks a lot like Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Capture Studio, albeit with more cameras (180 to 106) that are also higher-resolution (2.5K by 4K versus 2K by 2K) and capture a higher frame rate (90Hz versus 30 or 60). Where Mugsy concentrated on your face, the Sociopticon helps the Codec Avatar system learn how our bodies move—and our clothes. So my time in there is less about facial expression and more about what I’d describe as Lazy Calisthenics: shaking out limbs, jumping around, playing charades with Belko via webcam.

Use and Fair Use: Statement on shared images in facial recognition AI [creativecommons /12] While we do not have all the facts regarding the IBM dataset, we are aware that fair use allows all types of content to be used freely, and that all types of content are collected and used every day to train and develop AI. CC licenses were designed to address a specific constraint, which they do very well: unlocking restrictive copyright. But copyright is not a good tool to protect individual privacy, to address research ethics in AI development, or to regulate the use of surveillance tools employed online. [emphasis mine -ed] Those issues rightly belong in the public policy space, and good solutions will consider both the law and the community norms of CC licenses and content shared online in general.

It’s also cool to create content from a whole different side of things, like in school” – Olivia Jade

“After careful review of recent developments, we have made the decision to end the Sephora Collection partnership with Olivia Jade, effective immediately,” – Sephora

——————————————————————————————————————–Privacy is Power

Richard Prince (detail)

Regulation reactions, unintended inferences

Consumers and Innovators Win on a Level Playing Field [spotify / ] It’s why, after careful consideration, Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission (EC), the regulatory body responsible for keeping competition fair and nondiscriminatory. In recent years, Apple has introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience—essentially acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers. After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issues directly with Apple, we’re now requesting that the EC take action to ensure fair competiti

Regulation reactions: Where Warren’s Wrong [stratechery /2] I do know what is the first thing Senator Warren should do: rectify three clear areas where I believe she is mistaken about technology. Her proposal is wrong about tech’s history, the source of the tech giants’ power, and the fundamental nature of technology itself. All three are, unsurprisingly, interrelated, and it is impossible to craft a cogent antitrust policy without getting all of them right. Benedict’s Newsletter [ /2] But what does that mean? Is Amazon not allowed to sell on its own behalf at all and still have Marketplace – so it has so kill half of the business? Or does this only apply to private-label products? Does that mean Walmart and every other retailer have to shut down private-label products as well (invented c.150 years ago)? Then, Apple isn’t allowed to both have an app store and have apps in the app store… so does that mean when you turn on your phone there are no apps and you have an ‘choose which App Store to use’ screen? Does Apple have to shut down Final Cut Pro (now sold on the Mac App Store)? Or what? —- In the UK..We need tougher scrutiny of Big Tech’s data use and deals [FT /9] The UK should create a digital markets unit, which could sit within the Competition and Markets Authority or a sector regulator, to supervise companies deemed to have “strategic market status”. The unit would enforce a code of conduct as well as open, shared standards. We must make it easier for people to move their personal data from one digital platform to another and improve general access to non-personal or anonymised data.

Arrow of Time and its Reversal on IBM Quantum Computer [pdf] Here we show that, while in nature the complex conjugation needed for time reversal is exponentially improbable, one can design a quantum algorithm that includes complex conjugation and thus reverses a given quantum state. Using this algorithm on an IBM quantum computer enables us to experimentally demonstrate a backward time dynamics for an electron scattered on a two-level impurity (they reversed the direction of time!! -ED)

A New Privacy Constitution for Facebook [BruceSchneier/medium/1 ] What follows is a list of changes we should expect if Facebook is serious about changing its business model and improving user privacy. (a long and strong list of changes needed by someone with a clue -ed)

Unintended inferences: The biggest threat to data privacy and cybersecurity [techrepublic / 19 ] . What is unintended inference? In the research paper A Right to Reasonable Inferences: Re-Thinking Data Protection Law in the Age of Big Data and AI, co-authors Sandra Wachter and Brent Mittelstadt of the Oxford Internet Institute at University of Oxford describe how the concept of unintended inference applies in the digital world. The researchers write that artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics are able to draw non-intuitive and unverifiable predictions (inferences) about behaviors and preferences: “These inferences draw on highly diverse and feature-rich data of unpredictable value, and create new opportunities for discriminatory, biased, and invasive decision-making. Concerns about algorithmic accountability are often actually concerns about the way in which these technologies draw privacy invasive and non-verifiable inferences about us that we cannot predict, understand, or refute.”

A Right to Reasonable Inferences: Re-Thinking Data Protection Law in the Age of Big Data and AI [ssrn / 5 ] In this paper we argue that a new data protection right, the ‘right to reasonable inferences’, is needed to help close the accountability gap currently posed ‘high risk inferences’ , meaning inferences that are privacy invasive or reputation damaging and have low verifiability in the sense of being predictive or opinion-based. In cases where algorithms draw ‘high risk inferences’ about individuals, this right would require ex-ante justification to be given by the data controller to establish whether an inference is reasonable. This disclosure would address (1) why certain data is a relevant basis to draw inferences; (2) why these inferences are relevant for the chosen processing purpose or type of automated decision; and (3) whether the data and methods used to draw the inferences are accurate and statistically reliable. report # 4: building an angle detector for journalism [mondaynote / 2] Our goal is to measure the semantic distance between stories within the context of an event, to detect the most original and the deepest story. In doing so, we want to spotlight the key differentiator which is the angle chosen by a journalist or an editor.

Workplace Monitoring and Surveillance [pdf] Technologies are also enabling employers to expand the granularity, scale, and tempo of data collection. Data collected about workers are often fed into systems to inform automated decision-making, to make predictions about workers’ future behaviors, their skills or qualities, as well as their promotion or continued employment. As Adler-Bell and Miller point out, “data-mining techniques innovated in the consumer realm have moved into the workplace.”1 This can alter the power dynamics between workers and employers, as data-driven decision-making can make management more opaque and difficult to interrogate or challenge. Predictive analytics and flagging tools meant to identify rule-breaking can augment biased and discriminatory practices in workplace evaluations and segment workforces into risk categories based on patterns of behavior— such as identifying which employees are mostly likely to leave their jobs. While these tools are touted as bringing greater insight into workforces through a growing array of metrics, workers and others are challenging the power imbalances they generate, as well as their accuracy and fairness on a technical level.

Under the hood: Portal’s Smart Camera [facebook/ 2] The filmmakers that we worked with shared a range of insights, some of which were well-established techniques — such as how experts tend to compose shots and how those decisions influence audience expectations — while others were more instinctual and harder to replicate with AI. For one experiment, we asked a group of professional camera operators to film a series of scenes where it was difficult to capture the action from a single angle. Analyzing the results revealed that while there’s no consistent ground truth for how a seasoned pro films a given situation (camera operators often make different decisions despite sharing the same angle and subjects), there are subtle movements that filmmakers instinctively use to produce a more natural, intuitive camera experience. We carefully analyzed these movements and distilled them into software models that aim to mimic this experience in Smart Camera. These proved more effective than movements guided by simple mathematical strategy

Being Queen’s Roadie was One Intense, Rewarding Job [medium /1] Few people could approach Fred as he prepared for a show, but I would saunter over to him, while he was surrounded by ‘beautiful and important’ people, and ask, ‘Oi! What do you fancy playing tonight then, Fred?’