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Netherlands passes law making everyone an organ donor by default

July 27th, 2019 at 1:53 am » Comments Off

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dutch senators have approved a new law that makes everybody a potential organ donor unless they decide to opt out of the system. The new system narrowly passed a vote in the upper house of the Dutch parliament Tuesday. The lower house last year passed the legislation with a one-vote majority. […]



Revealed: This is Palintir’s top-secret user manual for cops

July 24th, 2019 at 11:22 am » Comments Off

Motherboard obtained a Palantir user manual through a public records request, and it gives unprecedented insight into how the company logs and tracks individuals. Palantir is one of the most significant and secretive companies in big data analysis. The company acts as an information management service for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, corporations like JP Morgan […]



Consumer groups call for a moratorium on Libra until ‘profound questions’ are answered

July 16th, 2019 at 12:06 pm » Comments Off

Some 33 consumer and public-policy groups sent a letter Tuesday to five Congressional committees and federal regulators asking for a moratorium on the Facebook Inc.-backed Libra cryptocurrency. “We call on Congress and regulators to impose a moratorium on Facebook’s Libra and related plans until the profound questions raised by the proposal are addressed,” says the […]



His DNA solved a century-old jailhouse rape. The victim: His Grandmother

June 18th, 2019 at 11:39 am » Comments Off

Commercial DNA tests showed that Hiram and Bruce were related. But their link proved to be much deeper — and darker — than either could have imagined. As a black teenager in Compton, California, in the 1970s, Hiram Johnson began to wonder about his father’s fine curly hair, and the light-brown skin that strangers sometimes […]



The best reason for your city to ban facial recognition

June 17th, 2019 at 12:01 pm » Comments Off

  The technology isn’t ready. Society isn’t ready. And the law isn’t ready. This week, San Francisco became the first major U.S. city to bar itself from using facial recognition systems. The city’s Board of Supervisors voted 8–1 on Tuesday to prohibit the police and other public agencies — though not private companies — from using the emerging technology […]



This DIY biohacker is under investigation

May 26th, 2019 at 2:52 am » Comments Off

Josiah Zayner rose to internet fame after performing various biohacking stunts on himself — including a livestreamed attempt to edit his own genes using CRISPR. Those antics are coming to haunt Zayner. Now, the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is investigating a “complaint of unlicensed practice of medicine” filed against him — a strange […]



Giving citizenship to bots

May 22nd, 2019 at 11:08 am » Comments Off

The crypto friendly island of Malta wants to give civil liberties to bots and other forms of artificial intelligence. Some experts say this is a profoundly bad idea. Six years ago, when Amazon started talking about using delivery drones, many people thought they must be joking. Far from it—drones are now very much a reality: […]



Denver becomes first U.S. city to decriminalize “Magic Mushrooms”

May 13th, 2019 at 10:44 am » Comments Off

  This week, Denver, CO became the first city in the United States to decriminalize psilocybin, a compound with hallucinogenic properties that occurs in some mushrooms — a move that could signal new frontiers both in the country’s evolving relationship with mind-altering substances and in the medical community’s accelerating exploration of psychedelics. “Because psilocybin has […]



Ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI

April 23rd, 2019 at 11:55 am » Comments Off

Today, the High-Level Expert Group on AI presents their ethics guidelines for trustworthy artificial intelligence. This follows the publication of the guidelines’ first draft in December 2018 on which more than 500 comments were received through an open consultation.



Estonia plans an AI-powered “Robot Judge”

April 11th, 2019 at 12:00 pm » Comments Off

 Can AI be a fair judge in court? Estonia thinks so. GOVERNMENT USUALLY ISN’T the place to look for innovation in IT or new technologies like artificial intelligence. But Ott Velsberg might change your mind. As Estonia’s chief data officer, the 28-year-old graduate student is overseeing the tiny Baltic nation’s push to insert artificial intelligence […]



Police in Canada are tracking people’s ‘negative’ behavior in a ‘risk’ database

March 3rd, 2019 at 12:17 pm » Comments Off

 The database includes detailed, but “de-identified,” information about people’s lives culled from conversations between police, social services, health workers, and more. Police, social services, and health workers in Canada are using shared databases to track the behaviour of vulnerable people—including minors and people experiencing homelessness—with little oversight and often without consent. Documents obtained by Motherboard […]



The Big Apple is getting tough on biased AI

February 27th, 2019 at 12:18 pm » Comments Off

New York City has a new law on the books demanding “algorithmic accountability,” and AI researchers want to help make it work. Background: At the end of 2017, the city’s council passed the country’s first bill to ban algorithmic discrimination in city government. It calls for a task force to study how city agencies use […]



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