Daily Archives: June 18, 2019

Everyone’s talking about ethics in AI. Here’s what they’re missing

By S. A. Applin – The systems we require for sustaining our lives increasingly rely upon algorithms to function. Governance, energy grids, food distribution, supply chains, healthcare, fuel, global banking, and much else are becoming increasingly automated in ways that impact all of us.

Yet, the people who are developing the automation, machine learning, and the data collection and analysis that currently drive much of this automation do not represent all of us, and are not considering all of our needs equally. We are in deep.

Most of us do not have an equal voice or representation in this new world order. Leading the way instead are scientists and engineers who don’t seem to understand how to represent how we live as individuals or in groups—the main ways we live, work, cooperate, and exist together—nor how to incorporate into their models our ethnic, cultural, gender, age, geographic or economic diversity, either.

The result is that AI will benefit some of us far more than others, depending upon who we are, our gender and ethnic identities, how much income or power we have, where we are in the world, and what we want to do.

This isn’t new. The power structures that developed the world’s complex civic and corporate systems were not initially concerned with diversity or equality, and as these systems migrate to becoming automated, untangling and teasing out the meaning for the rest of us becomes much more complicated. In the process, there is a risk that we will become further dependent on systems that don’t represent us.

Furthermore, there is an increasing likelihood that we must forfeit our agency in order for these complex automated systems to function. This could leave most of us serving the needs of these algorithms, rather than the other way around. more>

Updates from Chicago Booth

How to fight corruption—and why we should
Petty corruption was long thought to grease the wheels of business. But economists are learning how much it can hold back some companies and local economies.
By Rose Jacobs – In the oil, gas, and mining industries, the temptation to pay a bribe can be strong.

Multinational companies that dominate these industries typically agree to pay host countries for the extraction of natural resources, which involves acquiring licenses and setting up agreements that specify the terms of the process and any payments to the host country, including royalties, license fees, and bonuses.

But each company strikes its own deal with a host country, so why not just pay a bribe in exchange for a more favorable agreement? Some might see it as necessary grease in the wheels of business, the price of getting work done in countries where regulation is lax and bureaucracy the law.

However, research suggests that avoiding bribes might be a good thing—and not just because businesses could get caught and might have to pay fines, such as the $1.78 billion in penalties Brazilian oil-and-gas company Petrobras agreed to pay last year.

Starting in 2013, the European Union and Canada established rules meant to crack down on corruption in the extractive industries, requiring detailed disclosures meant to give activists and other watchdogs the ability to spot signs that corruption may have taken place. Analyzing data in the wake of the anti-corruption measures, researchers find that companies forced to increase their disclosures also increased their official payments to foreign governments, potentially making more money available to the local communities.

Academics have debated for decades whether corruption hampers economic development. In the 1960s through the ’80s, one popular notion was that corruption played a positive role, at least in the developing world. Economists such as Columbia’s Nathaniel H. Leff and political scientists such as the late Samuel P. Huntington of Harvard argued that bribes serve as a means of skirting inefficient bureaucracy, and help to promote economic growth and its many benefits. more>


Updates from Ciena

The future of submarine networks. What’s NEXT?
By Brian Lavallée – Submarine cable networks are considered by most people in the know as critical infrastructure, and rightfully so. They’re the jugular veins of intercontinental connectivity that together enable the global Internet and erase vast transoceanic distances. We depend on submarine cable networks each and every day for both personal and business reasons, often without even knowing it, which is a testament to their carrier-grade robustness.

There’s simply no Plan B for submarine cables, which are the size of a common garden hose and are situated in the abysses of oceans the world over. This means that as an industry, we must continually innovate, adopt, and adapt to ensure these submerged engineering marvels continually evolve to meet the ever-changing demands from end-users, both humans and machines.

Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM) submarine cables, Open Cables, Shannon’s Limit, and the increasing adoption of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are hot topics across the submarine network industry.

Increasingly, technologies borne in data centers and terrestrial networks are finding their way into submarine networks, and that’s a good thing. The network can and should be viewed from end-to-end along the entire service path, overland and undersea, and increasingly, right into data centers. This means uniting technologies and networks across submarine, terrestrial, and data center domains for improved economies of scale due to faster technology innovation cycles.

The Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) spans over 30,500km, which includes over 28,900km of submarine cables submerged on the Pacific Ocean seabed. The network is a major internet on-ramp that provides critical communication connectivity among Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Fiji, and the US West Coast. It connects North American and Australasia by erasing vast transpacific distances. more>


Updates from Adobe

5 & 3/4 Questions
By Erin Robinson – I am in my head a lot…a perpetual daydreamer of sorts. It’s quite a high when I get truly inspired. My mind goes into overdrive, and I can barely physically keep up! I tend to scribble numerous miscellaneous thoughts on Post-its and on my left hand.

My work, I usually describe as sometimes hauntingly beautiful, bold, graphic, vibrant, textured, and always magical. As a woman of color, I also like to illustrate women that represent me. Living in Brooklyn for numerous years, I found myself surrounded by some of the most incredibly stunning black, brown, and beige women from a variety of different places and different cultures…full of eccentricity.

When I draw for myself, I tend to create illustrations with a story behind them. The stories usually pull from fairy-esque things I believed in as a little girl. You’ll notice hints of red string and lotuses through many of those pieces. I like adding bits of symbolism.

I’ve been drawing since I can remember. My parents are both very creative and made sure I had the tools to nurture my animated mind.

I went into corporate America as a fashion design VP for children. I found myself stifled after a period of time and felt like I wasn’t really expressing who I truly was inside…what my true artistic capabilities were. I felt like I had climbed the corporate ladder as far as I could go, and after a sabbatical, a lot of thinking and stepping out of fear, and encouragement from a handful of friends, I decided to really share my art world. more>