Thursday, May 02, 2019

‘Sorry to Bother You’: HuaWei

*The Coming Technological Cold War River Project Syndicate 

An investigation was launched last week after the Daily Telegraph first reported that the security council, which meets in private, had agreed to let Huawei participate in some aspects of Britain's new 5G wireless communications network.
The government insists no decision has been made about that.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May fires defence minister over Huawei leak - ABC News

Former British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson stands during a NATO gathering.Former British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson denies leaking information from a secret government meeting

Report on Algorithmic Risk Assessment Tools in the U.S. Criminal Justice System 

This report was written by the staff of the Partnership on AI (PAI) and many of our Partner organizations, with particularly extensive input from the members of PAI’s Fairness, Transparency, and Accountability Working Group. Our work on this topic was initially prompted by California’s Senate Bill 10 (S.B. 10), which would mandate the purchase and use of statistical and machine learning risk assessment tools for pretrial detention decisions, but our work has subsequently expanded to assess the use of such software across the United States.

This report documents the serious shortcomings of risk assessment tools in the U.S. criminal justice system, most particularly in the context of pretrial detentions, though many of our observations also apply to their uses for other purposes such as probation and sentencing. Several jurisdictions have already passed legislation mandating the use of these tools, despite numerous deeply concerning problems and limitations. Gathering the views of the artificial intelligence and machine learning research community, PAI has outlined ten largely unfulfilled requirements that jurisdictions should weigh heavily and address before further use of risk assessment tools in the criminal justice system. Using risk assessment tools to make fair decisions about human liberty would require solving deep ethical, technical, and statistical challenges, including ensuring that the tools are designed and built to mitigate bias at both the model and data layers, and that proper protocols are in place to promote transparency and accountability. The tools currently available and under consideration for widespread use suffer from several of these failures, as outlined within this document. We identified these shortcomings through consultations with our expert members, as well as reviewing the literature on risk assessment tools and publicly available resources regarding tools currently in use. Our research was limited in some cases by the fact that most tools do not provide sufficiently detailed information about their current usage to evaluate them on all of the requirements in this report. Jurisdictions and companies developing these tools should implement Requirement 8, which calls for greater transparency around the data and algorithms used, to address this issue for future research projects. That said, many of the concerns outlined in this report apply to any attempt to use existing criminal justice data to train statistical models or to create heuristics to make decisions about the liberty of individuals…”

Three weeks of early voting has a significant effect on democracy. Here’s why Australians’ enthusiastic uptake of early voting is changing the traditional election campaign in largely unexpected ways. Candidates are spending less time campaigning in the community and more time at pre-polling stations. Parties are announcing their more attractive promises earlier. Party volunteers are being exhausted by long weekday shifts on the hustings. And many voters are casting their votes with incomplete knowledge.

OUTCOMES: The top five are the same as last time but in a different order. And, there is a clear pattern to country rankings.

DECISION-MAKING: The UK What Works Network is one of the first national approaches to prioritising the use of evidence in public policy decision-making.

Film Review: ‘Sorry to Bother You’

Be The Better You! Audio Books Are Assaulting Our Leisure Time

They’re the fastest-growing segment of the books industry, a real success for an industry that has struggled to reinvent. Learn while you’re doing something else. That’s what successful people do, right? Maximize their efficiency? But listening isn’t reading, and attention spans being what they are… – The Baffler