Facial recognition Facial recognition is going to be everywhere Share your voice Tags Gender and race pose a challenge for facial recognition. Studies have shown the technology has a harder time identifying women and people with darker skin. Civil rights advocates warn that the shortcomings could adversely affect minorities. Several airports and airlines have rolled out the biometric tech across the US, offering a faster way to board your flights. The technology scans a traveler’s face and matches it with a passport photo provided to the airlines by the State Department. It’ll be used in the top 20 US airports by 2021. CBP says it has a match rate in the high 90th percentile, while a study from the DHS’ Office of Inspector General found that it had a match rate closer to 85%. Customs and Border Protection says the system is getting better. A spokesman for the agency noted that the OIG study drew from a demo in 2017 that looked at the potential for the Traveler Verification Service.”In the current deployment of TVS,” the spokesman said, “CBP has been able to successfully photograph and match over 98% of travelers who have photos in U.S. Government systems.”In addition, CBP is working with the National Institutes of Standards and Technology to analyze the performance of face-matching tech, “including impacts due to traveler demographics and image quality,” the spokesman said. A lack of diverse data is what led to racial bias with facial recognition to begin with. Experts have suggested that photo databases for facial recognition could be using more images of white people than people of color, which skews how effective the technology is for minorities. Jake Laperruque, a senior counsel at the Constitution Project, is concerned that the agency is turning a blind eye to the potential for racial bias at airports.”The comments reflect a troubling lack of concern about well-documented problem of facial recognition systems having higher error rates for people of color,” Laperruque said in an email. “CBP can’t simply ignore a serious issue and take a ‘see no evil approach’ — if they’re not willing to confront serious civil rights problems and deal with them, they shouldn’t be trusted to operate a program like this.” Originally published May 6.Updated May 8: Added comment from a CBP spokesman. 10 Comments A woman boarding an SAS flight to Copenhagen goes through facial recognition verification system VeriScan at Dulles International Airport in Virginia. Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images Facial recognition technology is prone to errors, and when it comes to racial bias at airports, there’s a good chance it’s not learning from its mistakes. Debra Danisek, a privacy officer with US Customs and Border Protection, talked to an audience Friday at the International Association of Privacy Professionals Summit about what data its facial recognition tech collects — but more importantly, what data it doesn’t collect.”In terms of ‘Does this technology have a different impact on different racial groups?’ we don’t collect that sort of data,” Danisek said. “In terms of keeping metrics on which groups are more affected, we wouldn’t have those metrics to begin with.” In other words, while the CBP does collect data that’s available on people’s passports — age, gender and citizenship — to help improve its facial recognition algorithm, it doesn’t gather data for race and ethnicity, even when a passenger is misidentified.So the CBP doesn’t know when there’s a mismatch based on a person’s skin color. It’s relying on reports from the Department of Homeland Security’s Redress program to identify when that happens. “If they notice we have a pattern of folks making complaints this process, then we would investigate,” Danisek said. Now playing: Watch this: Politics Security 3:28
Tags Tech Industry Mobile 3:02 0 Microsoft’s FarmBeats program uses the company’s Azure cloud to connect agricultural devices and generate data intended to help farms operate more efficiently. Sensors embedded in the soil use the cloud to communicate with drones that circle farms to direct irrigation patterns and herbicide distribution and to optimize the harvesting of crops. CNET visited Microsoft’s Cloud Collaboration Center in Redmond, Washington, to learn more about how the cloud, AI and the internet of things (IoT) are transforming business.”We use machine learning and image recognition to understand how our crops are growing,” said Jason Zander, executive vice president of Microsoft Azure. “Today a lot of irrigation systems … just kind of throw water everywhere. Being able to leverage drones and some of these sensors means we save water and get better production out of [farms].”The cloud is evolving rapidly, said Zander. “A decade ago the cloud helped mobile phones become ubiquitous. Today, the cloud becomes really powerful when it helps other emerging technologies like AI and IoT. It’s exciting because we can help entire [business] sectors quickly become more efficient.” Now playing: Watch this: Artificial intelligence (AI) Drones Cloud computing Microsoft Share your voice Post a comment The farm of the future is in the cloud Your next salad might be grown in the cloud and served with a side of artificial intelligence.Cloud computing, a technology that relies on clustered servers positioned across the globe, supports everything from drones to machine learning and the smart home. Using cloud tech, farms are about to become a lot smarter as well.
Facebook is walloped with $5 billion fine (The Daily… Now playing: Watch this: Smart displays let Amazon, Facebook, Google show you answers to your questions Share your voice It’s a big thumbs-up for Facebook when it comes to attracting and keeping users. James Martin/CNET Facebook said Wednesday that the Federal Trade Commission opened an antitrust investigation into the company, but the heightened regulatory scrutiny doesn’t appear to have slowed down the social network’s growth.The new investigation came on the same day that the Federal Trade Commission announced that it was hitting Facebook with a record $5 billion fine for its earlier privacy mishaps. It also comes a day after the US Department of Justice said it was looking into anti-competition concerns surrounding “market-leading online platforms,” such as social media firms, suggesting that the review would impact Facebook. Still, Facebook showed that users continue to log into the site in massive numbers. The world’s largest social network said that 2.41 billion people now log into Facebook every month, an 8% increase compared to the same period last year. Facebook reported $16.9 billion in revenue in the second quarter, which ran from April to June. That’s above the $16.5 billion that analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected on average.The social network made $2.6 billion in the second quarter. It earned 91 cents per share, falling short of expectations of $1.85. It said that the earnings included several expenses such as the legal costs of the FTC settlement. Facebook FTC Tags Comments Originally published July 24, 1:15 p.m. PTUpdate, 1:21 p.m. PT: Adds background about FTC antitrust investigation and statement from Zuckerberg.Update, 3:36 p.m. PT: Adds comments from earnings call and remarks from analyst. 7:37 5 Facebook revealed little about the new FTC investigation, which it was notified of in June. The FTC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg didn’t address the antitrust concerns in a call with analysts, but vowed to protect user privacy and monitor developers who access data through Facebook’s platform.”This is a major shift for us,” he said. “We’ve built services that billions of people trust every day to communicate with the people they care about. Privacy has always been important to the services we provide and now it’s even more central to our future vision for social networking.”Facebook is expecting people to share more in the social network’s private spaces such as messaging, groups and Stories, a feature that lets you post photos and videos that vanish in 24 hours. At the same time, the company has been expanding into payments, virtual reality, e-commerce, cryptocurrency and other areas. Earlier in the day, Facebook agreed to form a new board committee to help protect user privacy as part of a separate settlement with the FTC. The fine is the largest ever against a company for mishandling of consumer privacy, the FTC said. Lawmakers and advocacy groups argue that the deal didn’t address the core problem: Facebook’s ad business relies on collecting user data.The FTC has been investigating the company since revelations last year that UK political consultant firm Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of up to 87 million users without their consent. The firm, which worked on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, got the data through the owner of a quiz app that scraped information from Facebook users and their friends. The deal isn’t the end of the scrutiny that Facebook is facing from regulators in the US and abroad. The social network is also planning to launch a new cryptocurrency called Libra in 2020, a move that sparked a backlash from lawmakers and nonprofits that think the company should temporarily halt these efforts. Zuckerberg said that the company will work with regulators before launching the cryptocurrency.”We get that these are really important sensitive spaces so our approach has been to try to have a very open dialogue about it,” he said. “Facebook from a few years ago would have probably just showed up and released a product on our own.”Facebook’s stock jumped more than 1% but then dipped after the company’s CFO Dave Wehner said that the company expected revenue growth to slow in the fourth quarter and in 2020 because of a European data protection law, changes to operating systems and product changes that “put privacy more front and center.” The company’s stock is still up less than 1% in after-hours trading to $206.10 per share.Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst with eMarketer, said in a statement that advertisers are still on Facebook because of its massive audience and ad targeting. Still, they’re also paying more attention to the social network’s problems. “Today’s FTC settlement doesn’t appear to have direct impact on Facebook’s business, but there is no reason to think that other regulatory or governmental investigations won’t have an impact in the future,” she said. Mobile Tech Industry 14 Photos
Taliban insurgents have stormed security posts in west Afghanistan, killing 21 police and pro-government militia members, officials said on Monday, the latest in a surge of attacks that has cast doubt on tentative steps toward talks.The Taliban attacked the checkpoints in two different parts of Badghis province, which is on the border with Turkmenistan, late on Sunday, provincial officials said.Abdul Aziz Bek, head of the Badghis provincial council, said 14 policemen and seven members of pro-government militias were killed, while nine were injured.A second government official, Jamshid Shahabi, a spokesman for the Badghis provincial governor, said more than 15 Taliban militants were killed and 10 wounded in the clashes.The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks, among the most deadly in the province in many months.Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, said in statement they killed 34 members of the security forces and pro-government militias and seized many weapons and ammunition.Leaders of the hardline Islamist group and the U.S. officials are scheduled to meet this month to discuss the withdrawal of foreign forces and a possible ceasefire.Officials from the warring sides have met at least three times in recent months to try to agree on a way to end the 17-year war. But in the meantime, both sides are keeping up their attacks.The Taliban say they are fighting to topple the Western-backed government and restore strict Islamic law after their ouster in 2001.The United States and its allies say they want to stop Afghanistan from becoming a haven for international Islamist militants plotting attacks in the West.In a separate incident on Monday, at least five civilians were killed and eight wounded in a bomb blast in the eastern province of Paktika.The Taliban left the bomb in a village square, said provincial official Mohammad Rasoul Adel. A Taliban spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
4 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global I’m writing this post in an email, and want to show how I’m feeling. Why? Because a new, interesting product came out this morning. And how exactly does it make me feel? Well, like THIS:How did I add that so easily? Well, like this:This is Giphy Keys. It’s available for iOS (with Android coming later), and turns your keyboard into a GIF-search and creation machine. One installed, pulling it up is simple: Any time you’re using your normal keyboard, just hold the globe to the left of the keyboard and then pick Giphy’s.From there, you can use Giphy Keys’ many functions — searching for GIFs by keyword or through various menus, like emotions (OMG, LOL, etc.) and subjects (animals, cartoons, etc.). Or, tap the eight-ball icon to bring up a few GIF-making tools — an animation of whatever words you type, or a silly GIF that displays the weather. Choose the GIF you want, and easily plop it into your text, email, or anything else.Related: 8 Free Mobile Apps College Students Should Download ASAPIt’s a fun, quick tool. But here’s why it’s so intriguing: Giphy Keys essentially replaces some of the reasons that people would use Giphy’s pre-existing tools. (Giphy is the Internet’s biggest GIF company, and the reason you’re able to pull up GIFs inside Twitter, Facebook Messenger and hundreds of other apps. Read more about them here.) Take, for example, Giphy’s first app, which is a mobile search engine for GIFs. That app also finds GIFs and makes them easy to text or email — but the process wasn’t seamless. If I were texting a friend, I’d first have to close the text app, open Giphy’s app, and then find the GIF I wanted. Giphy Keys lets me skip Giphy’s app entirely.And Giphy? They’re not concerned about that.”The thing is, we’re not a keyboard company, we’re not a mobile app company, and we’re not just a search engine,” says Julie Logan, director of brand strategy. “Giphy is a lot of things, so we’re not concerned about cannibalizing our other products. We want to be everywhere where you want to have GIFs. There’s no one silver bullet that we have. Being everywhere is our thing.”In fact, this cannibalization is part of Giphy’s strategy. When I was on my laptop and wanted to email a GIF to a friend, I used to go to Giphy.com, search for the right GIF, then paste it into my email. Then I discovered Giphy’s Gmail plugin, which creates a little icon on the bottom of my email window. If I tap it, up pops a miniature GIF search engine. That’s way easier for me — I no longer have to go to Giphy.com. So, now I don’t.Some companies may be hesitant to release products like this. After all, Giphy’s Gmail plugin means that Giphy gets less web traffic from me. And Giphy Keys means that I’ll spend less time inside Giphy’s own app. But Giphy says that’s just because I’m a particular kind of user, with very particular needs. “We definitely are interested to see how users respond to it,” Jillian Fischer, the company’s director of mobile products, tells me. “You’re saying you’d just use the Giphy app when you wanted to find a GIF. There are other users who just browse through it for entertainment and discovering things, and then they say, ‘Oh, cool, I want to share this,’ and they share it.”Related: Everything You Need to Know About SnapchatIn other words, one product doesn’t fully cannibalize another. It just splits users up into groups, giving each group the tool they prefer. Now do you see why I’m so intrigued? Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. May 3, 2016 Register Now »
Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Monday, April 10, 2017 CHICAGO — Three security officials dragged a passenger from a United Airlines flight at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport when the man reportedly refused to leave his seat after being asked to deplane because the flight was overbooked.A statement from United says “Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate.”United said it apologized “for the overbook situation.”One passenger posted the video on Facebook. It shows the guards grabbing then dragging the passenger down the aisle. Screaming is heard and other passengers say “Oh my God” and “Look at what you did to him.”United said airline representatives chose four passengers at random when no volunteers agreed to leave the overbooked flight. They requested law enforcement assistance when one of them refused to leave.The passenger who posted the video said United asked for four passengers to relinquish their seats for airline employees on stand-by. Travelweek Group Share Tags: United Airlines Video goes viral of guards dragging bumped passenger off United flight