Experts debate whether GitHub’s latest AI tool violates copyright law

GitHub’s impressive new code-assisting AI tool called Copilot is receiving both praise and criticism.

Copilot draws context from the code that a developer is working on and can suggest entire lines or functions. The system, from OpenAI, claims to be “significantly more capable than GPT-3” in generating code and can help even veteran programmers to discover new APIs or ways to solve problems.

Critics claim the system is using copyrighted code that GitHub then plans...

Reintroduction of facial recognition legislation receives mixed responses

The reintroduction of the Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act in the 117th Congress has received mixed responses.

An initial version of the legislation was introduced in 2020 but was reintroduced June 15 2021 by Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.)

“We do not have to forgo privacy and justice for safety,” said Senator Markey. “This legislation is about rooting out systemic racism and stopping invasive technologies from becoming irreversibly embedded...

McDonald’s drive-thru AI bot may have broken privacy law

McDonald’s announced earlier this month that it was deploying an AI chatbot to handle its drive-thru orders, but it turns out it might break privacy law.

The chatbot is the product of a voice recognition company McDonald’s snapped up in 2019 called Apprente which is now known as McD Tech Labs.

McDonald’s deployed the chatbots to ten of its restaurants in Chicago, Illinois. And there lies the issue.

The state of Illinois has some of the strictest data...

Amazon will continue to ban police from using its facial recognition AI

Amazon will extend a ban it enacted last year on the use of its facial recognition for law enforcement purposes.

The web giant’s Rekognition service is one of the most powerful facial recognition tools available. Last year, Amazon signed a one-year moratorium that banned its use by police departments following a string of cases where facial recognition services – from various providers – were found to be inaccurate and/or misused by law enforcement.

Amazon has now...

Research: Enterprises and consumers want to increase AI adoption

New research from Juniper Networks has found a growing appetite from both enterprises and consumers to use AI technologies.

Juniper surveyed 700 global IT decision-makers for its research and found that most (67%) executives have AI as a top strategic priority for 2021.

95 percent of the respondents believe their organisation would benefit from increasing the use of AI in their daily operations. 82 percent claim it makes employees more productive and 74 percent say it...

ACLU joins over 50 groups in calling for Homeland Security to halt use of Clearview AI

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has joined over 50 other rights and advocacy groups in calling for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to halt the use of Clearview AI’s controversial facial recognition system.

In a letter (PDF) addressed to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the signatories wrote: “The undersigned organizations have serious concerns about the federal government’s use of facial recognition technology provided by private company Clearview AI. We...

EU regulation sets fines of €20M or up to 4% of turnover for AI misuse

A leaked draft of EU regulation around the use of AI sets hefty fines of up to €20 million or four percent of global turnover (whichever is greater.)

The regulation (PDF) was first reported by Politico and is expected to be announced next week on April 21st.

In the draft, the legislation’s authors wrote:

“Some of the uses and applications of artificial intelligence may generate risks and cause harm to interests and rights that are protected by Union law....

Machine learning expert Jordan bemoans use of AI as catch-all term

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A pioneer in machine learning has argued that the technology is best placed to augment human intelligence and bemoaned 'confusion' over the meaning of artificial intelligence (AI).

Michael I. Jordan, a professor in the department of electrical engineering and computer science, and department of statistics, at the University of California, Berkeley, told the IEEE that while science-fiction discussions around AI were 'fun', they were also a 'distraction.'

"There's not been...

Google’s AI reservation service Duplex is now available in 49 states

Google has expanded its controversial AI reservation service Duplex to 49 states across the US.

Duplex will have to comply with privacy regulations which vary between states and – when it expands further outside the US – their national laws too.

Google says the rollout delay in the US was due to awaiting changes in legislation or the need to add features on a per-state basis. Some states, for example, require a call-back number.

The reservation service...

TUC: Employment law gaps will lead to staff ‘hired and fired by algorithm’

Legal experts and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have warned that gaps in employment law will lead to staff “hired and fired by algorithm”.

A report, commissioned by the TUC and carried out by leading employment rights lawyers Robin Allen QC and Dee Masters from the AI Law Consultancy, claims there are “huge gaps” in British law.

“The TUC is right to call for urgent legislative changes to ensure that workers and companies can both enjoy the benefits of AI,”...