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We're building an artificial intelligence-powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. In an eye-opening talk, she details how the same algorithms companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use to get you to click on ads are also used to organize your access to political and social information. And the machines aren't even the real threat. What we need to understand is how the powerful might use AI to control us -- and what we can do in response.
Guest posted a topic in TopicsGoogle will stop its long-standing practice of scanning the contents of individual Gmail users for advertising purposes, the company announced in a blog post today. The practice, something Google has done nearly since the launch of its email service, allows the company to digest the contents of email messages and use them to deliver targeted ads within Gmail itself. Google is trying to convince more businesses to use its cloud services Users are allowed to opt out, and Google also reserves the practice only for personal Gmail users and not those of corporate accounts. However, the practice has made it difficult for Google to find and retain corporate clients for its cloud services business, according to Diane Greene, Google’s cloud division head, who spoke with the Financial Times. This is due to general confusion over Google’s business tactics and an overall apprehension to trust the company with sensitive data, the report says. “G Suite’s Gmail is already not used as input for ads personalization, and Google has decided to follow suit later this year in our free consumer Gmail service,” Green wrote in today’s blog post. “Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after this change. This decision brings Gmail ads in line with how we personalize ads for other Google products.” Read more: https://flipboard.com/@flipboard/-google-will-stop-scanning-your-gmail-me/f-b016f22017%2Ftheverge.com
Victor Frankenstein, looking over a creature he had made, eventually realized that he couldn’t control his creation.Â CreditHammer Film, via Photofest On Wednesday, in response to aÂ ProPublica reportÂ that Facebook enabled advertisers to target users with offensive terms like Â“Jew hater,Â” Sheryl Sandberg, the companyÂ’s chief operating officer, apologized and vowed that the company would adjust its ad-buying tools to prevent similar problems in the future. As I read herÂ statement, my eyes lingered over one line in particular: Â“We never intended or anticipated this functionality being used this way Â— and that is on us,Â” Ms. Sandberg wrote. It was a candid admission that reminded me of a moment in Mary ShelleyÂ’s Â“Frankenstein,Â” after the scientist Victor Frankenstein realizes that his cobbled-together creature has gone rogue. Â“I had been the author of unalterable evils,Â” he says, Â“and I lived in daily fear lest the monster whom I had created should perpetrate some new wickedness.Â” If I were a Facebook executive, I might feel a Frankensteinian sense of unease these days. The company has been hit with a series of scandals that have bruised its image, enraged its critics and opened up the possibility that in its quest for global dominance, Facebook may have created something it canÂ’t fully control. Read more:Â https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/21/technology/facebook-frankenstein-sandberg-ads.html