FacebookNet NeutralitySecurity

I nside AI, Privacy Blocked and Web Service Gone Wrong

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Nick Cotton Feb 24, 2017

Here’s the news we’re talking about around the Zbra Studios water cooler. We’ve provided key bullet points from each article for the speed readers out there. For those looking to dig in, click on the link for the full story.

Inside Facebook’s AI Machine
By Steven Levy From Backchannel
  • “Last month, Candela addressed an audience of engineers at a New York City conference. ‘I’m going to make a strong statement,’ he warned them. ‘Facebook today cannot exist without AI. Every time you use Facebook or Instagram or Messenger, you may not realize it, but your experiences are being powered by AI.’”
  • “It’s a step toward making all of Facebook more powerful. In the short term, this allows for quicker responses in interpreting languages and understanding text. Longer term, it could enable real-time analysis of what you see and say.”
  • “Even machine learning can’t resolve all those people problems that come when you are trying to be the main source of information and personal connections for a couple billion users. That’s why Facebook is constantly fiddling with the algorithms that determine what users see in their News Feeds—how do you train a system to deliver the optimal mix when you’re not really sure that that is?”
FCC Chairman Pai rushes to block new privacy rules
By Russell Brandom From The Verge
  • New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is gearing up for a full-scale assault on former chairman Tom Wheeler’s privacy rules.”
  • “If the commissioners are willing to hold the emergency vote, the result could be a sudden freeze to the rules and a major win for cable companies. If the commissioners don’t assemble, Pai has pledged to unilaterally stay the data security portion of the rules, leaving the rest of the order in place.”
  • “It’s part of a larger plan to roll back the FCC’s oversight of network providers, ceding ground to the looser FTC oversight that currently enforces fair practices in most consumer goods.”
Centralized Web Services Are Wonderful—Until They Go Wrong
By Jamie Condliffe From MIT Technology Review
  • Cloudflare points out that the flaw meant that its servers leaked private information just once in every 3.3 million Web requests it dealt with. But such is the scale of Cloudflare’s operations that those numbers add up—and quickly.”
  • “…it’s a telling reminder of what can happen when a large number of users rely on a single service—and not every fault can be overcome with a password change.”
  • “None of this is to suggest that centralized Web services are a totally flawed idea. They’re efficient, convenient, and affordable. But what happens when it’s a bank that leaks data? Or when smart locks are updated incorrectly via the cloud?”

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