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Signal and Telegram are also growing in China – for now - techcrunch

Signal and Telegram are also growing in China – for now

As fears over WhatsApp’s privacy policies send millions of users in the West to Signal and Telegram, the two encrypted apps are also seeing a slight user uptick in China, where WeChat has long dominated and the government has a tight grip on online communication. Following WhatsApp’s pop-up notification reminding users that it shares their […]
techcrunch - 23 minutes ago
Virgin Orbit reaches orbit for the first time - techcrunch

Virgin Orbit reaches orbit for the first time

Virgin Orbit launched its LauncherOne rocket to orbit for the first time today, with a successful demonstration mission that carried a handful of satellites and will attempt to deliver them to low Earth orbit on behalf of NASA. It’s a crucial milestone for the small satellite launch company, and the first time the company has […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
GitHub’s head of HR resigns in light of termination of Jewish employee - techcrunch

GitHub’s head of HR resigns in light of termination of Jewish employee

A GitHub internal investigation has revealed the company made “significant errors of judgment and procedure” in the firing of the Jewish employee who cautioned his coworkers about the presence of Nazis in the DC area on the day of insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. In a blog post today, GitHub COO Erica Brescia said the […]
techcrunch - 12 hours ago
Original Content podcast: Martin Scorsese and Fran Lebowitz have a good time in ‘Pretend It’s A City’ - techcrunch

Original Content podcast: Martin Scorsese and Fran Lebowitz have a good time in ‘Pretend It’s A City’

The concept behind the new Netflix documentary series “Pretend It’s A City” is pretty straightforward: Author Fran Lebowitz talks, while Martin Scorsese (who’s both director and an on-camera presence) listens and laughs. Lebowitz’s musings across seven episodes are organized by loose themes, such as “Metropolitan Transit” and “Library Services,” with the more recent footage interspersed […]
techcrunch - 15 hours ago
Checkout wants to be Rapyd and Fast - techcrunch

Checkout wants to be Rapyd and Fast

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture-capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. We’re back on this lovely Saturday with a bonus episode! Again! There is enough going on that to avoid failing to bring you stuff that we think matters, we are back yet again for more. This time around we […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Facebook blocks new events around DC and state capitols - techcrunch

Facebook blocks new events around DC and state capitols

As a precaution against coordinated violence as the US approaches President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Facebook announced a few new measures it’s putting in place. In a blog post and tweets from Facebook Policy Communications Director Andy Stone, the company explained that it would block any events slated to happen near the White House, the U.S. […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
GitLab raises $195M in secondary funding on $6B valuation - techcrunch

GitLab raises $195M in secondary funding on $6B valuation

GitLab has confirmed with TechCrunch that it raised a $195 million secondary round on a $6 billion valuation. CNBC broke the story earlier today. The company’s impressive valuation comes after its most recent 2019 Series E in which it raised $268 million on a 2.75 billion valuation, an increase of $3.25 billion in under 18 […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
The pandemic was top of mind in the tech of CES 2021 - techcrunch

The pandemic was top of mind in the tech of CES 2021

Of course COVID-19 was bound to be an unavoidable topic during the first-ever all-virtual CES. After all, the topic is at front of mind regardless of the topic these days. Close to a year into the pandemic, presenters still understandably feel obligated to address the always-present elephant in the room. Sometimes it was as simple […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Daily Crunch: WhatsApp responds to privacy backlash - techcrunch

Daily Crunch: WhatsApp responds to privacy backlash

WhatsApp delays enforcement of a controversial privacy change, Apple may get rid of the Touch Bar in future MacBooks and Bumble files to go public. This is your Daily Crunch for January 15, 2021. The big story: WhatsApp responds to privacy backlash Earlier this month, WhatsApp sent users a notification asking them to consent to […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Marc Lore leaves Walmart a little over four years after selling Jet.com for $3B - techcrunch

Marc Lore leaves Walmart a little over four years after selling Jet.com for $3B

Marc Lore, the executive vice president, president and CEO of U.S. e-commerce for Walmart, is stepping down a little over four years after selling his e-commerce company Jet.com to the country’s largest retailer for $3 billion. Lore’s tenure at the company was a mixed bag. Walmart instituted several new technology initiatives under Lore’s tenure, but […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Coinbase commits to a “better customer experience” following complaints - techcrunch

Coinbase commits to a “better customer experience” following complaints

Coinbase has a problem. As interest in bitcoin has soared along with its price, the popular cryptocurrency exchange has found itself the target of a growing spate of angry customers who haven’t been able to access customer service. A quick look at Twitter tells the story. As ranted one upset user of the service just […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
15 steps to fundraising a new VC or private equity fund - techcrunch

15 steps to fundraising a new VC or private equity fund

Based on my experience, taking the 15 steps below will help build the core of a high-performing fundraising and investor relations function.
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Lessons from Top Hat’s acquisition spree - techcrunch

Lessons from Top Hat’s acquisition spree

Top Hat, a startup that digitizes textbooks and turns them into an interactive experience for college students, announced on Wednesday that it has acquired yet another business: Fountainhead Press. The acquisition marks Top Hat’s third scoop of a publishing company in the past 12 months. Top Hat’s whole business proposition is a subtweet to Zoom […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Group Nine’s SPAC goes public - techcrunch

Group Nine’s SPAC goes public

Group Nine Media revealed last month that it was forming a SPAC (short for special purpose acquisition corporation) in order to raise money for acquisitions. The company has now moved forward with those plans, announcing last night that it had priced the SPAC’s IPO at $10 per unit, to raise a total of $200 million. […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Apple is extending Apple TV+ trials again - techcrunch

Apple is extending Apple TV+ trials again

If you’ve got an Apple TV+ trial that’s set to expire sometime between now and June, good news: you’re getting some free bonus time. Apple TV+ first launched in November of 2019, alongside a one-year free trial for anyone buying a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Mac. As those initial trials approached […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Desktop Metal buys fellow 3D printing company EnvisionTEC for $300M - techcrunch

Desktop Metal buys fellow 3D printing company EnvisionTEC for $300M

Desktop Metal this morning announced its intention to purchase fellow 3D printing company EnvisionTEC. Founded in Germany in 2002, EnvisionTEC specializes in photopolymer additive manufacturing, putting its technology in more direct competition with the likes of 3D printing darling Carbon than Desktop Metal’s own existing portfolio. The deal follows Desktop Metal’s push to go public […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
WhatsApp delays enforcement of privacy terms by 3 months, following backlash - techcrunch

WhatsApp delays enforcement of privacy terms by 3 months, following backlash

WhatsApp said on Friday that it won’t enforce its new data-sharing policy until May 15, weeks after news about the new terms created confusion among its users, exposed the Facebook-app to a potential lawsuit, launched a nationwide investigation, and drove a lot of its loyal fans to explore alternative messaging apps. “We’re now moving back […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson says wisdom lies with your developers - techcrunch

Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson says wisdom lies with your developers

Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson knows a thing or two about unleashing developers. His company has garnered a market cap of almost $60 billion by creating a set of tools to make it easy for programmers to insert a whole host of communications functionality into an application with a couple of lines of code. Given that […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Tracy Chou launches Block Party to combat online harassment and abuse - techcrunch

Tracy Chou launches Block Party to combat online harassment and abuse

Block Party, an anti-harassment startup that aims to help folks feel safer on social media founded by Tracy Chou, launched today. Currently only available for Twitter, Block Party helps people filter out the content they don’t want to see and into what Block Party calls the Lockout Folder. That’s where all of the filtered-out content […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Fired GitHub employee who warned coworkers about Nazis is seeking legal counsel - techcrunch

Fired GitHub employee who warned coworkers about Nazis is seeking legal counsel

On the day a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, a worried GitHub employee warned his co-workers in the D.C. area to be safe. After making a comment in Slack saying, “stay safe homies, Nazis are about,” a fellow employee took offense, saying that type of rhetoric wasn’t good for work, the […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
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techcrunch
We need a new field of AI to combat racial bias

We need a new field of AI to combat racial bias

techcrunch - 6 months ago

Since widespread protests over racial inequality began, IBM announced it would cancel its facial recognition programs to advance racial equity in law enforcement. Amazon suspended police use of its Rekognition software for one year to put in place stronger regulations to govern the ethical use of facial recognition technology.

But we need more than regulatory change; the entire field of artificial intelligence (AI) must mature out of the computer science lab and accept the embrace of the entire community.

We can develop amazing AI that works in the world in largely unbiased ways. But to accomplish this, AI can’t be just a subfield of computer science (CS) and computer engineering (CE), like it is right now. We must create an academic discipline of AI that takes the complexity of human behavior into account. We need to move from computer science-owned AI to computer science-enabled AI. The problems with AI dont occur in the lab; they occur when scientists move the tech into the real world of people. Training data in the CS lab often lacks the context and complexity of the world you and I inhabit. This flaw perpetuates biases.

AI-powered algorithms have been found to display bias against people of color and against women. In 2014, for example, Amazon found that an AI algorithm it developed to automate headhunting taught itself to bias against female candidates. MIT researchers reported in January 2019 that facial recognition software is less accurate in identifying humans with darker pigmentation. Most recently, in a study late last year by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), researchers found evidence of racial bias in nearly 200 facial recognition algorithms.

In spite of the countless examples of AI errors, the zeal continues. This is why the IBM and Amazon announcements generated so much positive news coverage. Global use of artificial intelligence grew by 270% from 2015 to 2019, with the market expected to generate revenue of $118.6 billion by 2025. According to Gallup, nearly 90% Americans are already using AI products in their everyday lives often without even realizing it.

Beyond a 12-month hiatus, we must acknowledge that while building AI is a technology challenge, using AI requires non-software development heavy disciplines such as social science, law and politics. But despite our increasingly ubiquitous use of AI, AI as a field of study is still lumped into the fields of CS and CE. At North Carolina State University, for example, algorithms and AI are taught in the CS program. MIT houses the study of AI under both CS and CE. AI must make it into humanities programs, race and gender studies curricula, and business schools. Lets develop an AI track in political science departments. In my own program at Georgetown University, we teach AI and Machine Learning concepts to Security Studies students. This needs to become common practice.

Without a broader approach to the professionalization of AI, we will almost certainly perpetuate biases and discriminatory practices in existence today. We just may discriminate at a lower cost — not a noble goal for technology. We require the intentional establishment of a field of AI whose purpose is to understand the development of neural networks and the social contexts into which the technology will be deployed.

In computer engineering, a student studies programming and computer fundamentals. In computer science, they study computational and programmatic theory, including the basis of algorithmic learning. These are solid foundations for the study of AI but they should only be considered components. These foundations are necessary for understanding the field of AI but not sufficient on their own.

For the population to gain comfort with broad deployment of AI so that tech companies like Amazon and IBM, and countless others, can deploy these innovations, the entire discipline needs to move beyond the CS lab. Those who work in disciplines like psychology, sociology, anthropology and neuroscience are needed. Understanding human behavior patterns, biases in data generation processes are needed. I could not have created the software I developed to identify human trafficking, money laundering and other illicit behaviors without my background in behavioral science.

Responsibly managing machine learning processes is no longer just a desirable component of progress but a necessary one. We have to recognize the pitfalls of human bias and the errors of replicating these biases in the machines of tomorrow, and the social sciences and humanities provide the keys. We can only accomplish this if a new field of AI, encompassing all of these disciplines, is created.

sauce: techcrunch
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