Google CEO-AI Needs Regulation; Netflix Happiest Workplace; Clearview Lets Strangers Find Your Info

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai says AI is too important and potentially dangerous not to be regulated. According to 9to5google.com, he wrote an OpEd in the Financial Times, saying…among other things…’Now there is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. It is too important not to. The only question is how to approach it.’ Pichai added ‘Good regulatory frameworks will consider safety, explainability, fairness and accountability to ensure we develop the right tools in the right ways. Sensible regulation must also take a proportionate approach, balancing potential harms, especially in high-risk areas, with social opportunities.’

As if to add to his argument, a story out today covered by engadget.com says Kaylen Ward, the woman promising to send a naked pic of herself to donors to the Australian fires (and who has raised over a million dollars for fire relief doing so) got kicked off her 3 Instagram accounts…NONE of which were used for the fundraiser. Ward, ‘The Naked Philanthropist,’ had already ended her Twitter campaign for fire relief. Apparently, it’s not just Instagram that is the Morality Police. Airbnb is now using ‘trait analyzer’ algorithms that compile data dossiers on users, decide whether you’ve been bad or good, give you a score, and then “flag and investigate suspicious activity before it happens.”

The Evening Standard reported on Airbnb’s patent for AI that crawls and scrapes everything it can find on you, “including social media for traits such as ‘conscientiousness and openness’ against the usual credit and identity checks and what it describes as ‘secure third-party databases’.” They added, “Traits such as “neuroticism and involvement in crimes” and “narcissism, Machiavellianism, or psychopathy” are “perceived as untrustworthy.”

How about AI for job candidates? HireVue poses pre-determined questions, and analyzes words, grammar, facial expressions, and tone of the applicant’s voice to conclude ‘whether the candidate is tenacious, resilient, or good at working on a team, for instance.’ The problem with this is that humans can’t even do this…and who wrote the code? HUMANS! Psychiatrists and behavioral experts have warned that there is no way this AI analyzed interview can possibly accurately predict how the person will work on a team or if they are tenacious, and so forth. Beware!

On a happier note…unless you are the House of Mouse…the so-called ‘Happiest Place on Earth,’ Netflix has the happiest US employees for 2019. Businessinsider.com reports that this is the result from anonymous professional networking app Blind. Almost 86% of Netflix employees said they are happy at work. #2 and trying harder…Bloomberg. Netflix got the top spot despite its rep for being a high performance culture that is quite demanding, and that routinely fires underperformers. If you are applying there, it apparently helps for a present employee to have recommended you to the recruiters…like numerous other businesses across the country and world! Sorry, Disney…you will have to try harder to be the Happiest Place next time.

In more creepy AI news, startup Clearview uses a photo from its database of some 3 billion pictures scraped from Facebook, Venmo, YouTube, and other sites, and claims its AI can match up names and other info with those photos. Cnet.com says the database is now being used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies, as it is an order of magnitude bigger than that of the FBI, which claims 641 million images. The database isn’t available to the public right now, but could be opened to businesses and the public.

The House Oversight Committee is looking into this, and has already held 3 hearings on this type of use of AI. In November, 2 senators introduced a bill that would limit the use of this type of tech by law enforcement including the FBI. ICE, and others. “Facial recognition technology can be a powerful tool for law enforcement officials,” one of the senators, Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, said in a statement at the time. “But its very power also makes it ripe for abuse.”



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