parsed, organized, kept

Google keeps track of your Purchases and Passwords

US to endorse new OECD principles on artificial intelligence Soft ethics, the governance of the digital and the General Data Protection Regulation

The Conversational AI Playbook This playbook represents a first step toward defining the governing principles and best practices which will enable developers to build great conversational applications. Digital Psychology – a free library of psychological principles and examples for inspiration to enhance the customer experience and connect with your users.  (it’s like an accelerator for addictive digital behavior how nice -ED)

Tesla is working to integrate more video games inside cars [] They want to add more Atari games to the emulator, but Musk has also made clear they plan to add other games from other companies as well. This weekend, the CEO said that they are working on porting the Unity and Unreal video game engines in Tesla vehicles.

Remember the Digital Video Disruptors? Now They’re Mostly Just TV Suppliers [HR] noticeably slimmed-down NewFronts showcase. YouTube was still there, with CEO Susan Wojcicki touting 250 million hours streamed on TV sets each day. But companies like Maker, Fullscreen and Machinima that once commanded prime slots were absent, having been swallowed whole by their big-media counterparts and either disbanded or subsumed.

Smart, Deep Copy-Paste [arXix] we demonstrate the effectiveness of our system on two popular datasets, high-resolution face images and the more complex Cityscapes dataset. Our technique outperforms the current state of the art on face images, and we show promising results on the Cityscapes dataset, demonstrating that our system generalizes to much higher resolution than the training data.

Forget millennials —the art market should be looking at Gen Z [theartnewspaper] Unlike the rest of us, they have not been taken by surprise by the marketing power and potential intrusion of social media. Gen Z knows how to spot branded posts and targeted selling and will actively seek alternatives. Especially alternatives with a socially conscious bent. But not if you tell them so. They’ll find that out for themselves, thank you very much. (its like I have been communicating this authenticity insight over four decades -ED)

Quants Think Like Amateurs in World’s Wildest Stock Market [Bloomberg] China’s censorship of social media — and the constantly evolving online slang that netizens use to evade official monitors — can also present challenges for firms using AI tools like natural language processing to monitor investor sentiment. (slang AI sounds like a market opportunity – ED)

Why TV Executives Should Make Artist Kahlil Joseph’s ‘BLKNWS’ Network, a Star of the Venice Biennale, Into a Reality [artnews] But if Jafa’s video is a diagnosis, another video work at in the Biennale is—in a way rarely encountered in an art show—something like a prescription. Kahlil Joseph’s BLKNWS offers a kind of yin to Jafa’s yang: a moving, funny, and aspirational vision of what media might look like if it were not, as White says, “whitewashed and biased,” and rather more creative and reflective of the world we live in and the history that shaped it.

Public Data Land Grab

San Francisco Banned Facial Recognition. New York Isn’t Even Close . New York City needs to enact The Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology (POST) Act: because a U.S. federal privacy law could be worse than no law at all . This is the result of Googles Sidewalk Labs land-grab for our identity location, e.g. who we are in public – being called “urban data” by Google.

This piece is some of the best writing on whats taking place. Google’s “Urban Data” Plan: Evading Regulation While Promoting The Appearance Of Transparency This sleight of hand is achieved by their self-generated definition of “urban data”.  

“Sidewalk Labs has defined Urban Data is [sic] data collected in a physical space in the city, which includes public spaces such as streets… and parks… [as well as] private spaces accessible to the public such as …retail stores.”  (related blog post Questions around ‘urban data’ every city needs to define right now)

…..Sidewalk continues (capitalizing “urban” and “data” as if to trademark the words), includes not only data collected from sensors in public spaces but also data collected in “private spaces not controlled by those who occupy them (e.g. apartment tenants).” Some think what’s missing is real competition on privacy. I like this call for participation for the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture in Shenzhen. An open call (Very clever – all your thoughts on urban data, theirs – ED)

Privacy Law – Stationary camera surveillance of the common areas of an apartment building — both a hallway and the building exterior entrance — is not a search under Carpenter, district court rules. US v. Kelly, 2019 WL 2137370 (E.D.Wisc. 5/16/2019) (Pepper, J.) (If you like privacy law – I am reading ‘Data Habeas” – it’s excellent – ED)


nothing bad can stay [mikeisaac] thesis: the permanent social internet is dying. the impermanent social internet will need to replace it. and it will be even more difficult to make money on such an internet than it was before.

Can “Indie” Social Media Save Us? [newyorker] When the problem is framed this way, the solution promoted by the IndieWeb movement becomes obvious: own your own servers. On a smaller scale, this is an old idea

Governments are the frenemies of society on hacking As the FT revealed this week, this surveillance technology developed by the Israeli company NSO has been used to scour sensitive data from a target’s smartphone from halfway around the world. – (We need private co’s using zero-day exploits never – ED )


“Alternative Museum Guide” (D)IRT, alternative version of the Whitney Museum Guide in protest of the presence of Warren B. Kanders, CEO of the tear gas manufacturer Safariland, on the museum’s board of trustees. Download the print formatted PDF

Leonardo da Vinci’s 12-volume, 1,119-page Codex Atlanticus Beautifully rendered by The Visual Agency we can now regard this online for the first time.

Tool : accelerate your research. This is one of my favorite tools on the internet right now and perhaps the most valuable link on this page.

A new ground truth

in production

San Francisco Is Right: Facial Recognition Must Be Put On Hold  NYT – “The technology is unregulated and rife with error. We shouldn’t deploy it without strong privacy rules. “ Writes NYT Farhad Manjoo. Just starts to touch on the issues — The headline is always about the technology being imperfect – perfection is just a matter of time and finely tuning an AI that was not built with diversity in mine or rules of use. – This is about ethics, privacy and how we want to live our lives.

Also of note this Vox piece — San Francisco banned facial recognition tech. Here’s why other cities should too. Uses the line that resonates the most “the plutonium of AI”?

Related reading: Exploring Data Justice: Conceptions, Applications and Directions “data justice” not just an oxymoron – a mechanism for change and awareness.

Why Play a Music CD? ‘No Ads, No Privacy Terrors, No Algorithms’
[nyt] but here’s why Ben Sisario, who covers the music industry, still likes to listen to compact discs. – – I tend to think of this as mostly a matter of corporate warfare. These companies are in a race for market dominance around the world, and the gloves are off. For Spotify, anything that hinders Apple, even a little, can provide an advantage. On the other hand, Apple’s gigantic size means it will always be on the defensive against regulation.

San Francisco Saves Face

San Francisco Bans Facial Recognition Technology [NYT] –  The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday enacted the first ban by a major city on the use of facial recognition technology by police and all other municipal agencies.

Similar bans are under consideration in Oakland and in Somerville, Mass., outside of Boston. In Massachusetts, a bill in the state legislature would put a moratorium on facial recognition and other remote biometric surveillance systems. On Capitol Hill, a bill introduced last month would ban users of commercial face recognition technology from collecting and sharing data for identifying or tracking consumers without their consent, although it does not address the government’s uses of the technology.

“This is really about saying we can have security without being a security state. We can have good policing without being a police state,” Peskin said at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. “Part of that is building trust with the community.”


This is a partial win as we need to see FRT either scoped user first or banned out right for commercial use nation wide.

Mercenaries Operating Zero-Click Tech [ft] (headline, mine) This “zero-click” technology — as NSO calls it — has proved big business. The company’s revenues have risen from $109m in 2014 to $251m in 2018, while Ebitda has soared from $60m to $128m over the same period. You can see why Novalpina’s Stephen Peel saw a business opportunity — even if it meant he had to step down from the board of international human rights group Global Witness.

Israel’s Eurovision webcast hacked with fake attack warning [FRANCE24] “At a certain point, there was a takeover — apparently by Hamas — of our digital broadcast,” KAN chief Eldad Koblenz said Wednesday.

FB Adds Restrictions to Live [fb]  We will now apply a ‘one strike’ policy to Live in connection with a broader range of offenses. From now on, anyone who violates our most serious policies will be restricted from using Live for set periods of time – for example 30 days – starting on their first offense. For instance, someone who shares a link to a statement from a terrorist group with no context will now be immediately blocked from using Live for a set period of time. (Just adopt broadcast rules – wtf , also we will not be able to see any of these once it goes into the crypto tunnel- ED)

AI at the Barbican: in the realm of mind games [ft] The problem with AI is not in the machinery, but in ourselves, in that we are not entirely sure what we are supposed to do with it. Most of the time, we get it to emulate what we are doing at the current moment. For example, we teach our ever-more-intelligent cars to drive. More ambitiously, we get it to do what we know we ought to do, but don’t want to do: to save money, to invest cleverly, to tidy things up. All very laudable aims — but how dull, how quotidian!

Live Stream Guide Festival de Cannes (Officiel) All Day.

Psychedelic flowers and singsong incantations

Festival de Cannes (Officiel) – Live streams

Google – A global hub for privacy engineering, in the heart of Europe We’re also working to empower more organizations to do this important work with a new Google Impact Challenge on Safety. It’s a 10 million euro grant fund to support nonprofits, universities, academic research institutions, for-profit social enterprises and other organizations that are already working across Europe on a range of safety issues, from keeping young people safe online to addressing hate crimes in their communities.

Psychedelic flowers and singsong incantations — Björk’s lavish Utopia opens at The Shed, New York [FT] But all that, even the music, pales before the amazing videos by the German digital artist Tobias Gremmler. His imagery for the video short for Björk’s song “Tabula Rasa” from Utopia ends the set before the encores. Mostly his huge projections look like psychedelic flowers, but gradually a humanoid figure, like a young Björk avatar, emerges from the vegetation. All of it is unashamedly erotic, like a moving art-rock version of Georgia O’Keefe’s flowers

Has Banksy painted a new mural in Venice? [theartnewspaper] The British street artist Banksy appears to have left his mark on the Venice Biennale with a stencil of a migrant child wearing a lifejacket holding aloft a fizzing neon pink flare.

Skip the Surveillance By Opting Out of Face Recognition At Airports [Eff] To skip the surveillance, CBP says you “should notify a CBP Officer or an airline or airport representative in order to seek an alternative means of verifying [your] identity and documents.” Do the same when you encounter this with an airline. While there should be signage near the face recognition area, it may not be clear. If you’re concerned about creating a slight delay for yourself or other passengers, take note: though CBP has claimed to have a 98% accuracy rating in their pilot programs, the Office of the Inspector General could not verify those numbers, and even a 2% error rate would cause thousands of people to be misidentified every day. Most face recognition technology has significantly lower accuracy ratings than that, so you might actually be speeding things up by skipping the surveillance.

odds and sods

Online advertising exploits humanity’s malleable tastes [FT] Nobel Prize winner Paul Romer has called for a tax on online advertising. He identifies online targeted ads as the source of socially corrosive behaviours and argues that a tax might shift the digital business models to the old-fashioned one of selling people a service they want to buy. The Romer tax would be an excellent start to limiting not only the social or civic costs but also the economic time cost to this massive behaviourist experiment. Competition investigations are another weapon in the policy armoury to limit the harm to economic welfare. Regulation limiting the amount of online advertising — as with TV advertising — may be needed too

A Guide to Thesis Writing That Is a Guide to Life . When everything else you learned in college is marooned in the past—when you happen upon an old notebook and wonder what you spent all your time doing, since you have no recollection whatsoever of a senior-year postmodernism seminar—it is the thesis that remains, providing the once-mastered scholarly foundation that continues to authorize, decades-later, barroom observations about the late-career works of William Faulker or the Hotelling effect. 

Security lapse exposed a Chinese smart city surveillance system [techcrunch] the database also contained a subject’s approximate age as well as an “attractive” score, according to the database fields. But the capabilities of the system have a darker side, particularly given the complicated politics of China. The system also uses its facial recognition systems to detect ethnicities and labels them …related read: How Mass Surveillance Works in Xinjiang, China – ‘Reverse Engineering’ Police App Reveals Profiling and Monitoring Strategies [hrw]

on curation, machine learning and algorithms of repression

We’ve chosen the best of the art in Venice, now here’s the worst  [theartnewspaper] All presented with no irony at all. Sgarbi has pulled off a rare achievement here: he has trawled through hundreds of works and assembled a vast selection of paintings and sculptures (there are more artists in his show than in Ralph Rugoff’s) without including a single one of any merit, not even by mistake.

Jane England, the curious curator [FT] “Some only have a moment in time when they are significant,” she explains, “and others have since been acknowledged by museums as important. It’s quite exciting to find someone who is in their sixties or seventies and has never had any gallery representation. Someone like Tina Keane, whose works we sold to the Tate. A lot of these people have been hiding in plain sight.


Maria Ressa, Zeynep Tufekci, and others on the growing disinformation war [cjr] Excellent notes from yesterdays conference. Poynter’s Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership and Columbia’s Craig Newmark Center for Journalism Ethics and Security.


ChinAI #49: Rebuttal to FT Articles on Western-Chinese AI collaborations As Miles Brundage, a research scientist on OpenAI’s policy team, who has probably read more AI articles on arxiv than anyone, wrote on Twitter, “The recent FT story on China/AI and the reaction to it tells us more about the state of AI journalism than it does about China/AI: – overhyping the significance of specific papers… Panicked coverage of cherrypicked (public) papers that say things one could have already known about from other public sources, all packaged together into a scary narrative that makes this random batch of papers sound like the most important thing ever.”

Two excellent AI news letters.
ChinAI Newsletter
ImportAI newsletter 

Artists + Machine Intelligence Grants [google] Artists + Machine Intelligence (AMI) grants will support six artists with technical mentorship, core Google research, and funding. Artists will have the opportunity to work with Google creative technologists to develop and produce artworks over the course of a five-month period. Mentorship may cover technical processes like data collection and analysis, to pipeline design, and model deployment, and includes access to core Google U/X and technical research in generative and decentralized machine learning, computer vision, and natural language processing.

Artificial Intelligence as a Godlike Tool for Experimentation [hyperallergic] The artificial intelligence-powered art exhibition Forging the Gods, curated by Julia Kaganskiy currently on view at Transfer Gallery attempts to portray the interaction between humans and machines in a more nuanced manner, showcasing how this relationship already permeates our everyday lives. The exhibition also shows how this relation is, indeed, fully reflective of the human experience — meaning that machines are no more or less evil than we actually are.

Holly Herndon: Proto — AI technology meets medieval acoustics [ft] Judging by its name, Spawn is itching to be unleashed on thrash metal. But the AI program knuckles down on Proto and adapts itself obediently to the interesting imaginative contours of Herndon’s soundworld, previously explored on 2015’s widely praised album Platform.

Introducing TensorFlow Graphics: Computer Graphics Meets Deep Learning [medium From spatial transformers to differentiable graphics renderers, these new layers leverage the knowledge acquired over years of computer vision and graphics research to build new and more efficient network architectures. Explicitly modeling geometric priors and constraints into neural networks opens up the door to architectures that can be trained robustly, efficiently, and more importantly, in a self-supervised fashion.

Privacy notes:

The constant link blogging the dystopian change log is tiring many others are paying attention to areas I need not to anymore. I will try to focus on the higher level implications, legislation and non-mainstream media covered issues, and significant reporting on privacy, also want focus more on “privacy wins” vs loss of privacy.

For example NYC tenants rose up against the surveillance economics around entering their home and won.

“This is a huge victory for these tenants and tenants throughout New York City. These types of systems, which landlords have used to surveil, track and intimidate tenants, have been used frequently in New York City,”

Google’s Privacy Moves Are a Big Deal – Nice break down – but this sentence will be a dominate trend – “So giving more privacy controls to keep people on the platforms makes sense” Any company that want’s to protect their users privacy will need to to this end-to-end. Apple and others are moving to a more walled garden offering in services – Apple News for example – maybe the perfect analog – why leave the safety of your iOS app get your news where its safe and curated for that matter.

China’s Algorithms of Repression – Reverse Engineering a Xinjiang Police Mass Surveillance App [hrw] As detailed below, the IJOP system and some of the region’s checkpoints work together to form a series of invisible or virtual fences. Authorities describe them as a series of “filters” or “sieves” throughout the region, sifting out undesirable elements. Depending on the level of threat authorities perceive—determined by factors programmed into the IJOP system—, individuals’ freedom of movement is restricted to different degrees. Some are held captive in Xinjiang’s prisons and political education camps; others are subjected to house arrest, not allowed to leave their registered locales, not allowed to enter public places, or not allowed to leave China.  

Arts – Photo Focus

Google emulates Apples Privacy Strategy

Privacy the new religion. Surveillance economics establishes privacy protection as the other side of the surveillance economy providing a necessary yang to PII, behavioral + biometric data harvesting and targeting.

Google, Apple, Firefox, Microsoft all now vying for privacy good-guy badges for their office refrigerators. Do not for a second think any of this prevents current dangerous practices and new ones being embedded into our lives and landscapes. Dispute the Text !

Improving privacy and security on the web [] Protections against fingerprinting  Because fingerprinting is neither transparent nor under the user’s control, it results in tracking that doesn’t respect user choice. This is why Chrome plans to more aggressively restrict fingerprinting across the web. One way in which we’ll be doing this is reducing the ways in which browsers can be passively fingerprinted, so that we can detect and intervene against active fingerprinting efforts as they happen.

Google’s Sundar Pichai: Privacy Should Not Be a Luxury Good [NYT] Europe raised the bar for privacy laws around the world when it enacted the General Data Protection Regulation . We think the United States would benefit from adopting its own comprehensive privacy legislation and have urged Congress to pass a federal law. Ideally, privacy legislation would require all businesses to accept responsibility for the impact of their data processing  in a way that creates consistent and universal protections for individuals and society as a whole. (Wait for this to be real – and being able to delete anything means nothing because machine learning -ed)

Live stream press conference for #BiennaleArte2019

Firefox 66.0.4 fixes certificate chain issue, allows re-enabling web extensions [mozilla] Repaired certificate chain to re-enable web extensions that had been disabled

Biophillic Vision – Experiment 1 [harrischris] I envisioned an AR app that augments the city-scape to be more environmentally friendly, specially with more biophillia , while still allowing safe navigation. e.g. Replacing cars with something less obnoxious, perhaps a flowing river, perhaps a flock of birds. (h/t brad b)

CIA launches official Tor site to communicate on dark web [fedscoop] The CIA’s .onion site will provide all of the same information, contacts and services the spy agency’s normal website does. It’s aimed at people who want to anonymously share information with the CIA, but are wary of being tracked.

Whitehouse wants to allow debt collectors to call 7 times a week and text, email as much as they want [WSJ] The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Tuesday proposed rules that would give the industry the go-ahead to send consumers unlimited amounts of texts and emails, accelerating a trend the watchdog bureau says could be beneficial for everyone. (this dystopian stuff keeps leveling up -ed)

Some see Jack Dorsey as a guru — I’m just worried for him [FT] But Dorsey is a bloke. And he’s the king of social media, not one of its hapless pawns. He’s in control, of his mind, of his body, of his breakfast. And so he’s being hailed as a super influencer. To me, Dorsey looks like a man who wants to disappear. With each new Twitter pronouncement, and admonishment, he looks not like a guru but like a man in retreat. He’s barely recognisable behind that horrible beard. He’s vanishing into his clothes. His face has the look of not wisdom but of anxiety and woe. Do I want his wellness tips? Hell no. (Gwyneth -ed)

Privacy Rights and Data Collection in a Digital Economy

Can a computer write a script? Machine learning goes Hollywood [latimes] The new technology can also pinpoint what stories are resonating online, isolating particular scenes or characters that people are most passionate about. Wattpad Studios, based in Toronto, identifies popular stories uploaded to Wattpad’s online platform and flags them for studios to develop into movies and shows.

Google I/O Developer Keynote

Toronto’s Google-linked smart city draws opposition over privacy, costs
[WAPO] Sidewalk Labs has downplayed links to its corporate sibling, saying it won’t monetize the data it collects and proposing that it be governed by a data trust that would set the rules around its use. …… Instead of answering them, he added, Sidewalk has been distracting people with new prototypes, such as raincoats for buildings.

AI in law enforcement needs clear oversight [FT] When I say “social harms from urban data”  this sums how it happens – The new era of algorithmic surveillance turns every data point into potentially incriminating evidence.

The Committee On Banking, Housing, And Urban Affairs  [live stream]  will meet in OPEN SESSION to conduct a hearing on ““Privacy Rights and Data Collection in a Digital Economy.”  The witnesses will be: Mr. Peter Chase, Senior Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States;Mr. Jay Cline, Privacy and Consumer Protection Leader, Principal, PwC US; and Mr. Maciej Ceglowski, Founder, Pinboar .

Watch one of these hearings if you want to really get depressed. This one was concerning.

PDFs of testimony
Mr. Maciej Ceglowski  Founder Pinboard
Mr. Peter Chase  Senior Fellow The German Marshall Fund of the U.S.
Mr. Jay Cline Privacy And Consumer Protection Leader PwC US

Data.Index to get me in the mood for Ryoji Ikeda’s data-verse