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AI is coming for you, warns ominous new study

AI is coming for you, warns ominous new study
February 21, 2018
If you weren’t already worried about AI, the ominously named “The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence” report has just been released to fuel your nightmares.
Written by 26 authors from 14 academic and industrial institutions and think tanks including nonprofit research OpenAI, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the national security think tank Center for a New American Security, the report acknowledges the many positive applications for AI, but argues it is also ripe for exploitation by rogue states, as well as criminals and terrorists, and that it makes war inevitable. So we need to prepare.
The 100-page report examines three areas–digital, physical, and political–where bad actors could exploit AI, some of which sound quite familiar: bots automating “fake” lifelike videos for political ends. Other Black Mirror-esque scenarios include the possibility of criminals outfitting drones with facial recognition softwa…

Tech giants should resist Russia’s iron grip of censorship

The Post's View Opinion Opinion A column or article in the Opinions section (in print, this is known as the Editorial Pages).
Tech giants should resist Russia’s iron grip of censorship
By Editorial Board February 20, 2018
WHAT IS a good, reliable test of an open society? Can a citizen post something online calling the president a crook or a fool? Not in Russia, where speech is not free and the Kremlin’s whims rule.
Consider the online protest of Alexei Navalny, a Russian anti-corruption campaigner and leading voice of opposition to President Vladimir Putin. Blocked by the Kremlin and courts from running for president on arbitrary grounds, he has called for a boycott of the March election in Russia, at which Mr. Putin is expected to claim an easy victory and fourth term. Mr. Navalny has turned to YouTube to get his anti-corruption message out. The Russian censors are not happy.
Mr. Navalny’s latest YouTube video — he has made several in recent years — is a 25-minute portrayal of a…

Germany set out to delete hate speech online. Instead, it made things worse.

Germany set out to delete hate speech online. Instead, it made things worse.
By Bernhard Rohleder February 20 at 2:25 PM
Bernhard Rohleder is the chief executive officer of Bitkom, Germany’s federal association for information technology, telecommunication and new media.
BERLIN — The German government’s Network Enforcement Act, which came into effect on Jan. 1, aims to improve law enforcement on the Internet and more effectively fight hate crime. The law targets criminal online offenses including defamation, incitement and sharing unconstitutional symbols, such as the swastika.
But within just a few days of coming into effect, the inevitable has become apparent: legitimate expressions of opinion are being deleted. The law is achieving the opposite of what it intended: it is actually hampering the fight against crime.
The operators of social networks that are subject to the law now have to delete “obviously illegal” content within 24 hours of being notified. Other illegal content must…

‘No Cash’ Signs Everywhere Has Sweden Worried It's Gone Too Far

‘No Cash’ Signs Everywhere Has Sweden Worried It's Gone Too Far
Cash usage declining both as share of GDP and in nominal terms Riksbank committee could publish report on issue in summer
By Amanda Billner February 18, 2018, 3:00 AM PST Updated on February 19, 2018, 1:40 AM PST
The value of notes and coins in circulation are the lowest in nearly 30 years. Bloomberg’s Amanda Billner reports.
“No cash accepted” signs are becoming an increasingly common sight in shops and eateries across Sweden as payments go digital and mobile.
But the pace at which cash is vanishing has authorities worried. A broad review of central bank legislation that’s under way is now taking a special look at the situation, with an interim report due as early as the summer.
“If this development with cash disappearing happens too fast, it can be difficult to maintain the infrastructure” for handling cash, said Mats Dillen, the head of the parliamentary review. He declined to give more details on the types of pro…

A call to arms for tech companies: Get extremists off your platforms

A call to arms for tech companies: Get extremists off your platforms
BY DAVID IBSEN, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR — 02/17/18 12:00 PM EST
Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan. Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Garland, Texas, gunman Elton Simpson. All of these terrorists were deeply influenced by the American-born al-Qaeda operative and propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki, who continued to radicalize and encourage indiscriminate killing long after his 2011 death, thanks to the easy accessibility of his sermons and lectures on YouTube and other Internet platforms.
Last November, Google took the exemplary step of removing most Awlaki content from its video-sharing platform YouTube. While that action was commendable, much more work is waiting to be done. Sadly, Awlaki was just one in a sea of similar, radical voices. The tech giant must set an example for the rest of the industry by blocking not just Awlaki but other, noxious extremists from usi…

How a confused, defensive social media giant steered itself into a disaster, and how Mark Zuckerberg is trying to fix it all

INSIDE THE TWO YEARS THAT SHOOK FACEBOOK—AND THE WORLD
How a confused, defensive social media giant steered itself into a disaster, and how Mark Zuckerberg is trying to fix it all.
By: NICHOLAS THOMPSON, FRED VOGELSTEINBY NICHOLAS THOMPSON AND FRED VOGELSTEIN 02.12.1807:00 AM
ONE DAY IN late February of 2016, Mark Zuckerberg sent a memo to all of Facebook’s employees to address some troubling behavior in the ranks. His message pertained to some walls at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters where staffers are encouraged to scribble notes and signatures. On at least a couple of occasions, someone had crossed out the words “Black Lives Matter” and replaced them with “All Lives Matter.” Zuckerberg wanted whoever was responsible to cut it out.
“ ‘Black Lives Matter’ doesn’t mean other lives don’t,” he wrote. “We’ve never had rules around what people can write on our walls,” the memo went on. But “crossing out something means silencing speech, or that one person’s speech is more important…