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...

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....

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,”...

CDEI: Public believes tech isn’t being fully utilised to tackle pandemic, greater use depends on governance trust

Research from the UK government’s Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) has found the public believes technology isn’t being fully utilised to tackle the pandemic, but greater use requires trust in how it is governed.

CDEI advises the government on the responsible use of AI and data-driven technologies. Between June and December 2020, the advisory body polled over 12,000 people to gauge sentiment around how such technologies are being used.

Edwina Dunn, Deputy...

Google is changing its paper review process following internal revolt

Google is making changes to how it reviews papers following an internal revolt over the company’s controversial practices.

Leading AI ethics researcher Timnit Gebru was fired from Google in December last year after sending an email to colleagues which criticised the company’s practices.

Gebru claims Google blocks the publication of papers that may cause criticism of the company’s work; including her most recent which questioned whether language models can be too...

‘Information gap’ between AI creators and policymakers needs to be resolved – report

An article posted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) has argued there is a 'huge gap in understanding' between policymakers and AI creators.

The report, authored by Adriana Bora, AI policy researcher and project manager at The Future Society, and David Alexandru Timis, outgoing curator at Brussels Hub, explores how to resolve accountability and trust-building issues with AI technology.

Bora and Timis note there is "a need for sound mechanisms that will generate a...

Google is leaking AI talent following ethicist’s controversial firing

Some high-profile AI experts have departed Google after the controversial firing of leading ethicist Timnit Gebru.

Gebru was fired from Google after criticising the company’s practices in an email following a dispute over a paper she was told not to publish which questioned whether language models can be too big and whether they can increase prejudice and inequalities. In her email, Gebru also expressed frustration at the lack of progress in hiring women at...

EU human rights agency issues report on AI ethical considerations

The European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has issued a report on AI which delves into the ethical considerations which must be made about the technology.

FRA’s report is titled Getting The Future Right and opens with some of the ways AI is already making lives better—such as helping with cancer diagnosis, and even predicting where burglaries are likely to take place.

“The possibilities seem endless,” writes Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the FRA,...

CDEI launches a ‘roadmap’ for tackling algorithmic bias

A review from the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) has led to the creation of a “roadmap” for tackling algorithmic bias.

The analysis was commissioned by the UK government in October 2018 and will receive a formal response.

Algorithms bring substantial benefits to businesses and individuals able to use them effectively. However, increasing evidence suggests biases are – often unconsciously – making their way into algorithms and creating an uneven...