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The Hidden Moral Pitfalls Of Google, China, and Artificial Intelligence
Google recently announced it would be pulling out of a high profile DARPA Artificial Intelligence (AI) program called MAVEN citing ethics concerns and a petition from 4,000 of its employees.
This decision came just before The Economist ran a cover story detailing the Chinese government’s brutal oppression of the Uyghur population in the Zinjang province of western China. Uyghurs are a Muslim Turkic minority, ethnically and religiously distinct from the ruling Han Chinese. The Chinese government has turned the province into a technologically enabled police state, with invasive monitoring of all forms of communication, biometric identity controls, and novel applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
In December, Google announced it would be opening a new AI research center in China, expanding its existing presence in the country. China was an attractive option for AI research because it is a huge market and its lack of privacy laws could give its software engineers access to the world’s largest data sets. “I believe AI and its benefits have no borders” said Dr. Fei-Fei Li, Chief Scientist at Google Cloud. Google has also said that they will not allow their technology to be used for weapons or surveillance that would violate “internationally accepted norms.” Despite ending the MAVEN contract, it is continuing to pursue defense work.
The concern is that so much AI research could be considered dual use. A machine learning technique that is used to detect cancer can be repurposed for an improved Google Glass device with the rapid facial recognition that Chinese security services have been pursuing. There are no “internationally accepted norms” about privacy. The most damning of Edward Snowden’s revelations was not that the government was breaking the law, but that the law allowed so much. The Supreme Court will soon announce a decision that will have broad implications on how much privacy US law should allow, but the matter is hardly settled anywhere.
Whatever Google decides, other AI firms will have to make similar decisions about what they build and who they build it for. Huge sums of money are being thrown at any firm that does or claims to do AI. With China’s non-existent intellectual property laws, any firm that does business with or in China could be unwittingly supporting the most advanced surveillance state in the world. Or, they could be training the software engineers who will. Greed and naivety can be a dangerous combination.
“Mal Ware” is the nom de guerre of a veteran of the AI racket.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs put on leave an Atlanta-based administrator and reassigned the region's chief medical officer and seven other staff members while it investigates the treatment of a veteran under its care.
Joel Marrable's daughter discovered more than 100 ant bites on her father when she visited him in early September.
The daughter, Laquna Ross, told Channel 2 Action News: "His room had ants, the ceiling, the walls, the beds. They were everywhere. The staff member says to me, 'When we walked in here, we thought Mr. Marrable was dead. We thought he wasn't even alive, because the ants were all over him.'"
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A former U.S. Navy sailor was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday for having sexual contact with a 14-year-old Oceanside girl in 2017, federal prosecutors in San Diego said in a statement.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Known for acting on impulse, President Donald Trump has adopted an uncharacteristically go-slow approach to whether to hold Iran responsible for attacks on Saudi oil facilities, showing little enthusiasm for confrontation as he seeks re-election next year.
After state-owned Saudi Aramco's plants were struck on Saturday, Trump didn't wait long to fire off a tweet that the United States was "locked and loaded" to respond, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran.
But four days later, Trump has no timetable for action. Instead, he wants to wait and see the results of investigations into what happened and is sending Pompeo to consult counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week.
That sound you're hearing is Army senior leaders exhaling a sigh of relief, because the Army has surpassed its recruiting goal for the year.
After failing to meet recruiting goals in 2018, the Army put the pedal to the metal and "did some soul searching," said Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, to ensure that they'd meet their 2019 goal. It must have paid off — the service announced on Tuesday that more than 68,000 recruits have signed on as active-duty soldiers, and more soldiers have stuck around than they expected.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein transformed into the Cigarette Smoking Man from "The X-Files" on Tuesday when explaining why UFO enthusiasts should avoid storming the mythical Area 51 installation in Nevada.
"All joking aside, we're taking it very seriously," Goldfein told reporters during the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. "Our nation has secrets, and those secrets deserve to be protected. The people deserve to have our nation's secrets protected."