By Christopher Mims WSJ Sat., March 23, 2019 Lawyers for Eric Loomis stood before the Supreme Court of Wisconsin in April 2016, and argued that their client had experienced a uniquely 21st-century abridgment of his rights: Mr. Loomis had been discriminated against by a computer algorithm. Three years prior, Mr. Loomis was found guilty of attempting to flee police and operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent. During sentencing, the judge consulted COMPAS (aka Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions), a popular software system from a company called Equivant. It considers factors including indications a person abuses drugs, whether or not they have family support, and age at first arrest, with the intent to determine how likely someone is to commit a crime again. The sentencing guidelines didn’t require the judge to impose a prison sentence. But COMPAS said Mr. Loomis was likely to be a repeat offender, and the judge gave … [Read more...] about Our Software Is Biased Like We Are. Can New Laws Change That?
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Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, speaks at the state Capitol in this photo. - Photo by Staton Breidenthal A state Senate committee advanced legislation Wednesday to require online sellers with no physical presence in Arkansas to collect sales and use taxes from in-state purchasers and make changes in the state's corporate income-tax code. In a voice vote, with Sen. Keith Ingram, D-West Memphis, dissenting, the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee recommended approval of Senate Bill 576 by Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs. Out-of-state remote sellers without a physical presence in the state would have to collect and remit sales taxes on annual sales of more than $100,000, the state Department of Finance and Administration said in a legislative impact statement on the bill. Alternatively, such sellers would be required to collect sales taxes if they sold products and services for delivery in Arkansas on at least 200 separate transactions. SB576 also would phase in a reduction in the … [Read more...] about Panel in Senate backs proposed online-sales levy
It’s a question that is quickly becoming a political one, with legislators in California and Vermont passing data privacy laws that aim to establish individual rights around data and federal lawmakers discussing what a national privacy law would look like. For Roger McNamee, a storied Silicon Valley investor and early Mark Zuckerberg mentor who has recently become one of the company’s most outspoken critics, it’s a question that 2020 election candidates need to debate at the national level. McNamee believes the most important question around data privacy is about determining when it’s legal for companies to share and sell data without customers’ knowledge or consent. “Why is it okay for credit card companies to sell financial records?” McNamee said at the South By South West conference in Austin, Texas, over the weekend. “Why is it legal for cell companies to sell location data? Why is it legal for companies that make apps for health … [Read more...] about Roger McNamee: “Why is it legal to collect data on kids, let alone sell it?”
Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Ty Burr Globe Staff March 07, 2019 Who knew when I wrote a column last week about my experiences cutting the cable TV cord, that it would resonate with so many readers?Well, you did — you posted hundreds of comments and sent nearly as many e-mails, some setting me straight, some asking for more information, and many telling your own tales of rewiring your homes and information/entertainment grids, for better and worse.What’s striking, at first, is the demographic cohesion of the respondents: Almost everyone weighing in is in my cohort of 50-something to 70-something (and up) baby boomers. It makes sense, though. A lot of our kids/grandkids don’t need this info, either because they’re already off the drip-feed of Xfinity/RCN/Verizon/What Have You or because they don’t need help figuring out how to do it. (Their kids are just watching … [Read more...] about Thinking about cord-cutting II: I did it — and I’ve found out even more
To seek the origins of Microsoft’s interest in artificial intelligence, you need to go way back—well before Amazon, Facebook, and Google were in business, let alone titans of AI. Bill Gates founded Microsoft’s research arm in 1991, and AI was an area of investigation from the start. Three years later, in a speech at the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Seattle, then-sales chief Steve Ballmer stressed Microsoft’s belief in AI’s potential and said he hoped that software would someday be smart enough to steer a vehicle. (He’d banged up his own car in the parking lot upon arriving at the event.) From the start, Microsoft Research (MSR for short) hired more than its fair share of computing’s most visionary, accomplished scientists. For a long time, however, it had a reputation for struggling to turn their innovations into features and products that customers wanted. In the ’90s, for instance, I recall being puzzled about why … [Read more...] about This is Microsoft’s AI pipeline, from research to reality