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Articles on Algorithm

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Algorithms can decide your marks, your work prospects and your financial security. How do you know they’re fair?

A UK controversy about school leavers’ marks shows algorithms can get things wrong. To ensure algorithms are as fair as possible, how they work and the trade-offs involved must be made clear.
A CCTV camera sculpture in Toronto draws attention to the increasing surveillance in everyday life. Our guests discuss ways to resist this creeping culture. Lianhao Qu /Unsplash

Being Watched: How surveillance amplifies racist policing and threatens the right to protest — Don’t Call Me Resilient EP 10

Mass data collection and surveillance have become ubiquitous. For marginalized communities, the stakes of having their privacy violated are high.
A photo of art work by Banksy in London comments on the power imbalance of surveillance technology. Guests on this episode discuss how AI and Facial recognition have been flagged by civil rights leaders due to its inherent racial bias. Niv Singer/Unsplash

Being Watched: How surveillance amplifies racist policing and threatens the right to protest — Don’t Call Me Resilient EP 10 transcript

Once analysts gain access to our private data, they can use that information to influence and alter our behaviour and choices. If you’re marginalized in some way, the consequences are worse.
A human rights-based approach is essential in regulating artificial intelligence technologies. (Shutterstock)

We need concrete protections from artificial intelligence threatening human rights

Applications of artificial intelligence have been shown to include discriminatory practices. This creates a need for meaningful rights-based regulations to ensure that AI will not exacerbate inequalities.
Reconstruction of the execution of the Arnolfini portrait. Top: Postures of the painter during the painting process. Bottom: views obtained from the four lenses. Université de Lorraine

The mysterious optical device Jan van Eyck may have used to paint his masterpieces – new research

Researchers have long tried to unravel the puzzle of Jan van Eyck’s use of perspective in his masterpiece, the Arnolfini Portrait. New research suggests he may have had help from a novel machine.
Government agencies are increasingly using facial recognition technology, including through security cameras like this one being installed on the Lincoln Memorial in 2019. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Feds are increasing use of facial recognition systems – despite calls for a moratorium

Politicians of all stripes, computer professionals and even big-tech executives are calling on government to hit the brakes on using these algorithms. The feds are hitting the gas.
Shutterstock/Sergey Tinyakov

When faces are partially covered, neither people nor algorithms are good at reading emotions

Robots are more likely than people to misclassify emotions when reading faces that are partially covered. This could lead to unexpected behaviours when they interact with people wearing masks.
Seeing through walls has long been a staple of comics and science fiction. Something like it could soon be a reality. Paul Gilligan/Photodisc via Getty Images

Fast computers, 5G networks and radar that passes through walls are bringing ‘X-ray vision’ closer to reality

The murky blobs visible with today’s wall-penetrating radar could soon give way to detailed images of people and things on the other side of a wall – and even measure people’s breathing and heart rate.
Activists, influencers raise alarm after MMIWG content disappears from Instagram on Red Dress Day. (Solen Feyissa/Unsplash)

Beyond a technical bug: Biased algorithms and moderation are censoring activists on social media

Automated content moderation using algorithms are quick and cheaper. But, they’re not necessarily better than human beings. They are prone to errors and can impose bias in a systemic scale.
A simple two-dimensional grid can convey a lot of information – whether making pictures with Lite-Brite or storing data in DNA. Justin Day/Flickr

DNA ‘Lite-Brite’ is a promising way to archive data for decades or longer

DNA has been storing vast amounts of biological information for billions of years. Researchers are working to harness DNA for archiving data. A new method uses light to simplify the process.

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