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...

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...

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...

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,”...

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...

British intelligence agency GCHQ publishes ‘Ethics of AI’ report

The intelligence agency’s first-ever public report details how AI can be used “ethically” for cyber operations.

GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) is tasked with providing signals intelligence and information assurance to the government and armed forces of the United Kingdom and its allies.

Jeremy Fleming, Director of GCHQ, said:

“We need honest, mature conversations about the impact that new technologies could have on society.

This...

‘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...

Google is telling its scientists to give AI a ‘positive’ spin

Google has reportedly been telling its scientists to give AI a “positive” spin in research papers.

Documents obtained by Reuters suggest that, in at least three cases, Google’s researchers were requested to refrain from being critical of AI technology.

A “sensitive topics” review was established by Google earlier this year to catch papers which cast a negative light on AI ahead of their publication.

Google asks its scientists to consult with legal,...

Facebook is developing a news-summarising AI called TL;DR

Facebook is developing an AI called TL;DR which summarises news into shorter snippets.

Anyone who’s spent much time on the web will know what TL;DR stands for⁠—but, for everyone else, it’s an acronym for “Too Long, Didn’t Read”.

It’s an understandable sentiment we’ve all felt at some point. People lead busy lives. Some outlets now even specialise in short, at-a-glance news.

The problem is, it’s hard to get the full picture of a story in just...