Newsletter: Facebook Warns Privacy Bug & Google Swears Not To Develop AI Weapons

Newsletter: Facebook Warns Privacy Bug & Google Swears Not To Develop AI Weapons

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“Technology is a compulsive and addictive way to live. Verbal communication cannot be lost because of a lack of skill. The ability to listen and learn is key to mastering the art of communication. If you don’t use your verbal skills and networking, it will disappear rapidly. Use technology wisely.” ~ Rick Pitino

FACEBOOK SHOUT OUT FOR PRIVACY BUG THAT TURNS YOUR STATUS UPDATE TO PUBLIC

THE STORY

Facebook is in middle of another privacy blunder, the company alerted that a privacy bug which changes a status update to Public.

WHAT HAPPENED?

The fumes of data mishandling scandal have not been settled, Facebook has another debacle knocking the door. In May, a bug was discovered which fortuitously changed the privacy setting for status updated to public irrespective of what users have selected. This change could expose their private post out in the open. Facebook when came to know about it, notified 14 million people throughout the world, who were supposedly affected by the bug. They were asked to review their status updates.

Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan stated, “We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts. We have fixed this issue and starting today we are letting everyone affected know and asking them to review any posts they made during that time. To be clear, this bug did not impact anything people had posted before – and they could still choose their audience just as they always have. We’d like to apologize for this mistake.”

The bug was active from May 18th to 22nd, Facebook figured it out on May 27th and changed the people’s status composer privacy setting back to the old setting. The bug was generated while the social media giant was working on a new option “featured items” on the Facebook profile which puts your photos and content in the spotlight. The featured items are publicly visible, however, the company accidentally extended the setting to all new posts from those users instead.

HAS THE ISSUE BEEN FIXED?

The issue has been fixed and the privacy settings related to the status composer of the affected users have been altered back to the same which they had before the bug. The alerts which informed about the bug takes to the page which has information about the issue along with a link to study the affected posts.

Facebook told sources that the company will be transparent about privacy settings and product, particularly when it screws up. You can expect more of warning if it comes across any other privacy issue in future.

Well, this is rather than an audacious move by Facebook, it also shows that it’s privacy issues are not that credible and has loopholes.


GOOGLE WILL WORK WITH MILITARY BUT SWEARS TO NOT MAKE AI WEAPONS

THE STORY

Google has sworn to not help in making AI weapons but will work with the Military.

WHY HAS GOOGLE BACKED OFF FROM DEVELOPMENT OF AI WEAPONS FOR MILITARY?

When the news broke out that the company is working with the Military, many employees expressed their dissent on involvement in Department of Defense drone project. Followed by thousands of employees signing an open letter requesting Google not to work on Project Maven, some of the employees even resigned when Google didn’t back off. As the result of the urge, Google has announced a set of principles to manage the work in AI.

It is also the result of years of uneasiness and worries about the forthcoming threat by automated systems or piquant alerts about the advancement of AI.

The document containing the principles, titled, “Artificial Intelligence at Google: our principles,” The document clearly refers that the company will not work on AI weapons. Furthermore, it consists of comprehensive guidelines for AI along with concerning issues like privacy, bias and human oversight.

However, Google also stated that it will continue working with the military, “in many other areas”. So according to the sources, the principles released after the company got involved in Pentagon’s drone project, which employed AI to analyze surveillance footage, but from now on, it won’t be involved in future endeavors. However, the application was a part of “non-offensive purposes,” so no harm was done!

Moreover, as per principles, Google will not be a part of AI surveillance projects which breach “widely accepted principles of international law and human rights,” or projects that infringe “internationally accepted norms.” According to Google, they are in favor of using AI for social benefit.

WHAT GOOGLE CEO HAS TO SAY?

Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote, “At Google, we use AI to make products more useful—from an email that’s spam-free and easier to compose, to a digital assistant you can speak to naturally, to photos that pop the fun stuff out for you to enjoy. We recognize that such powerful technology raises equally powerful questions about its use. How AI is developed and used will have a significant impact on society for many years to come. As a leader in AI, we feel a deep responsibility to get this right.”

WHAT ABOUT PROJECT MAVEN?

Google will no longer continue with the Project Maven once it expires in 2019. In a blog, Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene explained the work as “low-res object identification using AI.”  Although, according to various reports, Google was working on it to get a contract with Pentagon which is of approx. $10 billion. Google spokesperson confirmed that the company would only work if the work fits the new principles.

As Google’s new principles indicate, it’s troublesome to make rules that are big enough to surround a wide range of scenarios but can be adjustable to include possibly useful work.

Srishti Sisodia is a technical content journalist at Systweak Software. Apart from being a capable engineer, her affinity for inscription draws her towards writing interesting content about contemporary technologies and progressions. She is an avid reader and a fare connoisseur. She relishes different cuisines and when it comes to baking, she takes the cake!

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