A recent study revealed that artificial intelligence aimed to recognize or analyze human being’s images such as those in self-driving cars are more likely to hit people with darker skin tones.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Georgia Institute of technology, and they revealed that the state-of-the-art object recognition systems are less likely to yield accurate results at detecting pedestrians with dark skins.
In the study, eight image recognition systems were tested against a large pool of pedestrian images. The images were classified into two categories, lighter and darker skin color, using the Fitzpatrick skin type scale. The results revealed that the accuracy level of the image recognition systems that were tested was five percent lower with the darker skin category than those with lighter skin tones. The result even held true even when controlling for time of day and obstructed view.
Experts suggest that two factors contributed to the resulted inaccuracy: too few examples of darkly skinned pedestrians used in the development of the technology and too little emphasis on machine learning from those examples. They said that this problem could be reversed by adjusting both the data and the algorithm that runs object identification systems.
For the last decade, there has been a conversation on how technology can be biased against people with color. One reason that experts point out is the lack of diversity in the tech industry, as well as, in science itself.
In Nigeria, a man trying out a
When reviewing wearables, CNET spoke to Bharat Vasan, the COO of Basis Science, who explained how these monitors fail people of color:
“The light has to penetrate through several layers…and so the higher the person is on the Fitzpatrick scale (a measure of skin tone), the more difficult it is for light to bounce back,” he explained. “For someone who is very pale in a very brightly-lit setting, the light could get washed out. The skin color issue is something that our technology compensates for. The darker the skin, the brighter the light shines, the lighter [the skin], the less it shines.”
While soap dispensers are friendly glitches, there are actual technologies employing object recognition techs that have actual prejudice if they malfunction or misrecognize.
One case is when wearable fitness trackers and heart rate monitors were reported to have less accuracy in black people in tracking someone’s heart disease. Although the company does not market their product as a substitute to an actual professional doctor, it can still do damage to those who use it as it malfunctions.
Huge tech companies have also been plagued with reports of their facial recognition systems not being accurate. In January, Amazon came into heavy scrutiny after researchers from MIT and the University of Toronto have found out that their facial analysis software mistakes dark-skinned women to men.
Results have shown that Amazon’s facial analysis have mistaken 31% of black women as men compared to 7% of white women being mistaken to men. The results also revealed that the analysis for men has essentially no identification.
The issue was also exacerbated by Amazons move to sell their facial recognition technology, ‘Rekognition,’ to law enforcement authorities.
As a response to this pronouncement, 85 social justice advocates, human rights activists, and religious groups have collectively sent a letter to Microsoft, Google, and Amazon to ask them not to market their facial recognition software to the government.
Google has said that it will not be selling its technology unless all racial bias and misidentification issues are addressed while Microsoft has acknowledged that it is their company’s duty to ensure that their technology is used responsibly. On the other hand, Amazon has reportedly given a demonstration of their product to Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency and will pilot the use of Rekognition to the FBI.
The report has caused a social outcry, and human rights groups are saying that the technology can be used to silence activists and the marginalized sectors, especially that a new report merged saying that the software has falsely matched people, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus, to images in a mugshot database.
The study conducted by MIT and the University of Toronto has pointed out how biases of scientist can seep into the artificial intelligence that they create.
MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini said that any tech for human faces should be examined for biased.
“If you sell one system that has been shown to have bias on human faces, it is doubtful your other face-based products are also completely bias-free,” she wrote. /apr
Spotify Goes Big On Podcasts
Spotify redesigns UI to put focus on podcasts as the company goes big by spending $500 million on acquisitions to improve their standing in the podcast market. They also encourage users to create new podcasts using new tools. Click To Tweet
The popular music streaming app, Spotify, is all-in with podcasts as it launches a redesigned user interface (UI) that refocuses Spotify into two different audio categories: Music and Podcasts. While it is not new that podcasts and audio shows are already thriving in the app, Spotify makes it easier for listeners to navigate the app to search for their favorite podcast shows.
The new redesigned UI is only available for a limited number of users as of now, though, and was first reported last week. The new design emphasizes bolded headings for both “music” and “podcasts” on the app’s library page. Currently, Spotify users have to sift through six categories at the top of their library pages to find a dedicated podcast section. While Spotify confirmed that they were testing “new products,” they declined to comment on when the new redesigned UI would roll out to all users.
According to Spotify, last year, “seven million people in the US produced podcasts—and even more, people consumed them.” And it makes sense why the app company is putting money on podcasts on its platform. Spotify has spent up to $500 million on podcasts alone. The spending included their acquisition of major companies like Gimlet Media. The equivocal emphasis of Spotify to spend on promoting podcasts on its platform says so much about its goal to compete with Apple and Luminary to try to become the go-to place for podcast listeners, and improving “discoverability” and ease of use is necessary to achieve their goal.
A few days ago, Spotify also released a tool called Soundtrap for Storytellers to encourage podcast producers to produce more shows on Spotify. Soundtrap for Storytellers is a comprehensive podcast creation tool that offers recording, remote multi-track interviewing with video chat, smart editing of audio as a text document, full audio production, direct-to-Spotify publishing of the podcast, and transcript publishing to optimize SEO all in one service.
In an event hosted by Spotify for the launch of Soundtap for Storytellers, they invited popular podcast producers to talk about their craft and how they can use the new tool in their podcasts. Hannah Berner, the host of the popular podcast show Berning in Hell, said that she “think(s) a lot of podcasters don’t have any knowledge about the importance of SEO, or getting found in unique ways, besides just promoting on our social media. So having a transcript of what you’re saying that also helps with SEO is incredible.”
Lindsay Metselaar, host of We Met At Acme, said that the prospect of being able to record with people who are not physically with her is what excites her the most about the new podcast creation tool.
“The fact that you can record with someone when they’re not physically with you is huge. I’m not able to do that right now because the sound quality is just not the same with other programs or over the phone. But Soundtrap allows two computers to have the same recording situation set up. That’s huge for podcasting,” she said.
The new podcast tool is available starting May 14 online and on iOS and Android, with pricing starting at $14.99/month and an annual plan starting at $11.99/month.
In addition to Soundtrap for Storytellers, Spotify is also encouraging new artists to create more podcasts on its newly acquired tool called Anchor. Anchor is a free-to-use podcast creation, distribution and monetization platform that says its mission is to “democratize audio.” It was one of two New York-based podcast companies (alongside Gimlet Media) acquired by Spotify in February for $343 million combined.
“There’s no doubt that podcasting is expanding like crazy, and if you have a story to tell, someone out there is dying to hear it,” writes Spotify in the news post.
“For those who are ready to experiment, have fun, and try out a new way to connect with fans, here’s why it’s time for you to start using Anchor.”
Spotify is making a concerted effort to encourage more of its platform’s 3.9 million artists and dedicated-podcast creators to use its marketplace tools – like Anchor and Soundtrap for Storytellers. If successful, Spotify will make itself a one-stop-shop for podcast producers, hosts, and artists, and might be able to top competitors like Apple and Luminary in the podcast wars online.
10 European Cybercriminals Charged For Malware Attacks In The US
European and US Officials collaborated to pin down ten individuals in connection with the ransomware attacks in the US. The charges include facing conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud and conspiracy… Click To Tweet
The tech world has agreed that ransomware and malware are becoming one of the most prolific cyber attacks in recent years and 2019 is poised to break records in terms of the number of cyber attacks in history. And they seem to be not wrong, especially that US and European officials have officially charged ten individuals in connection with the swath of ransomware attacks that have plagued different government and private organizations both in the US and Europe.
The ten people who were charged were allegedly involved in the malicious software attacks that infected tens of thousands of computers and caused more than $100 million in financial losses, the US and European authorities announced Thursday.
According to the officials who filed the charges, the malware, which enabled cybercriminals and hackers from Eastern Europe infiltrate computer systems remotely and siphon funds from victim’s bank accounts, targeted companies and institutions across all sectors of American life.
The victims of the malware attacks included a Washington law firm, a church in Texas, a furniture business in California and a casino in Mississippi.
The announcement reveals that the charged individuals came from six countries and several are already awaiting prosecution in Europe. Another defendant in a related case was already extradited to the U.S. from Bulgaria in 2016 and pleaded guilty last month in federal court in Pittsburgh, where Thursday’s case was brought.
The charged individuals are now facing conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to Scott Brady, the United States attorney in Pittsburgh, this specific case is a model of how international collaboration can pin down foreign hackers. It stands out from the different instances in which the Justice Department pursued multiple malware prosecutions in recent years.
“It represents a paradigm change in how we prosecute cybercrime,” Brady said in an interview with The Associated Press ahead of a news conference in The Hague with representatives of the six countries.
While the United States can seek immediate extradition of the ten charged individuals, prosecutors will first bring the charged against some of them in the Eastern Europe countries of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia.
The investigation started following the dismantling of a network of computer servers, known as Avalanche, which hosted more than two dozen different types of malware. The Justice Department had successfully taken their operation apart in 2016.
“For the past three years, we have been unpeeling an onion as it were that is very challenging to investigate and identify,” Brady said.
Officials reveal that the malware in the current court case has infected more than 41,000 computers by disguising as legitimate messages or invoice and was sent as spam emails. Once the email was opened, hackers will be able to record all keystrokes in the infected computer, sweeping data like baking information and wire money away from the victim’s account.
Brady admits that the effort to recover the stolen funds is arduous, especially in international cybercrime cases such as this one.
“Proceeds were converted to bitcoin, and without the private key, it is really hard to identify and access, let alone seize those accounts,” Brady said.
Ransomware is a cyber attack where hackers infect a computing system with an anomaly or a bug to gain access and control and ask for demands like money to solve the crisis. Ransomware has become extraordinarily popular in the last few months, making it one of the most prolific forms of a cyber attack. In one instance, a ransomware attack has crippled the operation of a city government with just a single attack.
A swath of ransomware has been terrorizing different corporation and government systems around the world in recent months. Norsk Hydro, one of the biggest aluminum producers worldwide, was previously forced to shut down a part of its manual operations because of a cyber attack that targeted its computer systems and internal servers. After an investigation regarding the incident, it was concluded that a LockerGoga ransomware attacked the company.
“Hackers are starting to exploit those gaps at companies of all sizes and industries. The problem is no longer exclusive to large corporations or data-rich organizations. The tools hackers use are cheap, easy to find, and simple to use, which makes hacking for fun or profit easier than ever,” tech expert said about a ransomware attack.
iOS Twitter Users Had Their Location “Inadvertently” Sent To Twitter’s “Trusted Partner”
Because of a bug in Twitter’s system, the popular social media and microblogging site announced this week that they had been inadvertently collecting and sharing location data from iOS versions of their application and sending it to a trusted partner without the consent of the affected users.
In a blog post, Twitter said that they discovered a data breach caused by a bug and they were “inadvertently collecting and sharing iOS location data with one of our trusted partners in certain circumstances.”
The said data breach specifically affected those who have been using more than one account in an iOS Twitter app while their precise location setting has been enabled.
“we may have accidentally collected location data when you were using any other account(s) on that same device for which you had not turned on the precise location feature,” Twitter wrote.
Nonetheless, Twitter clarified that none of the transmitted data were actually “precise” location data because it was already “fuzzed” to only include a ZIP code or city (5 km squared), adding that the disclosed data could not be used to map the location of the affected users.
Twitter also assured the affected users that the partner did not receive any identifiable information such as Twitter handles or other unique account IDs that could have compromised the affected user’s identity.
Furthermore, Twitter said that the inadvertent sending of users’ location data happened during a process called “real-time bidding” (RTB) with one of its “trusted advertising partner.”
“We have fixed this problem and are working hard to make sure it does not happen again. We have also communicated with the people whose accounts were impacted to let them know the bug has been fixed. We invite you to check your privacy settings to make sure you’re only sharing the data you want to with us,” they assured their users.
As for those who are concerned whether or not their data was used by whoever received it, Twitter clarified that they had communication with their partner and found out that the advertising company did not retain the information that was unintentionally sent to them.
“We have confirmed with our partner that the location data has not been retained and that it only existed in their systems for a short time, and was then deleted as part of their normal process.”
It is still unclear when this unintentional sending of user location data nor did Twitter name who the trusted partner is in its post regarding the bug.
Reporters have reached out to Twitter to gain further insight regarding what happened, but Twitter refused to comment further than they have already posted in their announcement. On the other hand, they said that they have already notified the users who were affected by the bug problem and noted that other victims could contact Twitter by filling up this form.
“We’re very sorry this happened. We recognize and appreciate the trust you place in us and are committed to earning that trust every day.”
Twitter is not the only social media company who had an internal data vulnerability this year. It can be remembered that Facebook has been recording the passwords of some of their users in plain text, a human-readable format, that allows whoever has access to the database can read, understand, and use the user passwords included in it.
Facebook’s Pedro Canahuati, vice president of engineering for security and privacy, initially referred to “some” user passwords that were accessible to Facebook employees. A paragraph later, he revealed that “hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, millions of Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users” would be notified.
Facebook clarified that the issue was purely internal and that only their employees have access to the user passwords. Nonetheless, tech experts have slammed Facebook for the recklessness of what they have done.
“To be clear, these passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook, and we have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them,” Canahuati wrote.
The California-based company said that they already notified users who were affected by the problem and advised them to change their password following the rectification done by Facebook.
- ‘Young Sheldon’ Season 2 Finale: What’s Meant To Be Will Always Find Its Way To You
- How Tech Companies Affect Communities In Places They Call ‘Home’
- Groundbreaking Discovery Paves Way To A New Understanding Of Lupus
- Cancer Research Infra Built To End Cancer Evolution
- Nissan-Renault’s Ghosn: From Hero To Zero
- Spotify Goes Big On Podcasts
- ‘John Wick 3’: Parabellum Has The Best Fight Scenes
How Tech Companies Affect Communities In Places They Call ‘Home’
Tech companies are today’s driving forces in the economic world, mostly because of the introduction of the Internet. It allows...
RingCentral VoIP Review
VoIP has had a significant shift from a technology exclusively used by the early adopters or hobbyist to a widely...
April Fools Jokes Aren’t Just “Jokes”
April Fools is undoubtedly a fun day, exceptionally if you have crafted the most elaborate prank on your friends and...
Facebook Should Do Better At Processing Community Standard Violations, And They Should Do It Fast
A few months ago, I saw a photo of myself used by another Facebook account with a “R.I.P. (Rest in...
Supporting Problematic Artists And Their Arts, An Opinion
As the world becomes swarmed by reports of famous artists – musicians, comedians, actors, painters – being alleged or in...
Ethical Regulation Of ‘Facial Recognition’ Is A Shared Responsibility
There is an ongoing discussion both in online and offline spaces regarding the growth of facial recognition technology and its...
Data Breach Epidemic: Solving The Problem In SMBs Will Solve The Problem For All
In the last two weeks, we’ve witnessed a vast amount of data breaches and information leaks, and the issue has...
We Agree To PM Ardern Of Keeping Christchurch Murderer Nameless, And The Media Should Listen
In the wake of Christchurch mosques shooting in New Zealand that killed 50 people at two mosques, the shooter is...
Apple vs. Police Authorities; A Cold War Against iPhone’s Anti-Snooping Patent
To protect its customers from hackers and illegal surveillance, Apple is developing an anti-snooping technology that would impede police and...
An Epidemic: Measles Or Misinformation?
2018 was the year when people started asking the question: ‘should I get my child vaccinated?’ Most people answered yes,...
Take A Look At The Predicted Future Of The VoIP Industry
For the past 20 years, VoIP has become an integral part of the lives of millions of people around the...
Choose The Right Call Center And The Best Contact Center Solutions of 2019
The Ins And Outs Of Business Communication Management For your business to exist in today’s world, you must know how...
How Instagram Corrupts Famous Locations In The World
Is Instagram corrupting the beauty of breathtakingly beautiful locations and sucking all the joy out of traveling? With the era...
Ways To Earn Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency is one of the growing medium for exchange in most countries as it offers a more convenient and safer...
Can We End Payday Loans?
We can’t neglect the fact that debt is one of the pressing problems in the country, especially in today’s economy....
Jumping From 4G To 5G: Here’s What 5G Can Do For You
One of the most awaited advancements in technology is the cellular industry. With its monthly updates on software, model and...
What are the cost factors of VoIP?
In the next few years, we might be saying goodbye to traditional telephone systems in exchange for Voice over Internet...
Manufacturing Firms are Investing More on Technology
Based on the recent research on how manufacturing companies are coming up in the market industry, they have been increasing...
Technology innovation in companies—for the better or the worse?
Technology has significantly impacted both homes and workplaces in the last years. As much as we want to keep our...
Arts & Entertainment2 days ago
The CW And Netflix Break Up Means No More Riverdale?
Google2 weeks ago
Pixel 3A And 3A XL Is Coming And Its Better Than We Thought
Cybersecurity4 days ago
Apple, Google, And Microsoft Started Protecting You From ZombieLoad Threat
Politics2 weeks ago
Michael Cohen: President Trump’s Loyal Lawyer and ‘Fixer’ to Serve a Three-year Sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York.
Facebook2 weeks ago
New Feature Updates That Are Coming To Facebook Messenger And Instagram In The Near Future
Google2 weeks ago
Smarter And More Practical ‘Google AI’ Techs?
Cybersecurity3 days ago
Ransomware Are Plaguing American Cities And Experts Warn That It Will Get Worse
Cryptocurreny3 days ago
Hacked Crypto Exchange ‘Cryptopia’ Is Selling Their Assets