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Report claims Google forced researchers to adopt a positive tone – SlashGear

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It’s become more and more difficult over the years for the average American to trust some of the large technology companies out there like Facebook and Google. A new report has surfaced that claims Google moved during 2020 to tighten control over researchers working inside the company and the papers they publish. According to the report, Google launched a “sensitive topics” review, and in at least three cases, requested that authors adopt a positive tone in their research.

Google allegedly told at least three authors not to cast its technology in a negative light. Word of what Google is doing surfaced in internal Google communications and from interviews with researchers involved in the work. The new review procedure in place at the technology company asked researchers to consult with legal, policy, and public relations teams before pursuing topics like face and sentiment analysis and categorizations of race, gender, or political affiliation.

Those details came from an internal Google webpage that explains its policy. Google said some advances in technology increasingly lead to situations where projects that seem inoffensive raise ethical, reputational, regulatory, or legal issues. While the webpage carried no date, Reuters reports that current employees said the policy began in June.

Google’s “sensitive topics” process added another round of inspection to its standard review of papers for potential issues such as disclosing trade secrets. In some instances, Google reportedly intervened in the research in later stages. In one example, Google officials reportedly intervened, telling researchers on a study into content recommendation technology to “take great care to strike a positive tone.”

In that instance, the manager reportedly added the request didn’t mean “we should hide from the real challenges” the software raised. In that instance, the researchers allegedly updated their study to remove all references to Google products. An original draft mentioned YouTube. Google’s policies have come to the forefront after a scientist called Timnit Gebru, who led a 12-person team focusing on ethics and artificial intelligence software, was abruptly fired. The researcher claimed she was fired after questioning an order not to publish research that claimed AI able to mimic speech could disadvantage marginalized populations.

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MDA gets $35.3 million contract from Canadian Space Agency for Canadarm 3 components – Thompson Citizen

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BRAMPTON, Ont. — The Canadian Space Agency has awarded a contract worth $35.3 million to MDA Ltd. to design a key component of Canadarm 3.

The funds will be used to design Gateway External Robotics Interfaces or grapple fixtures for Canadarm 3, which is Canada’s contribution to the United States-led Lunar Gateway, a small space station that will orbit the moon.

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The contract is a follow-on to the first phase of interface work awarded in August 2019. A construction phase will likely be awarded in about a year.

The first elements of Gateway will launch in 2024, with Canadarm 3 scheduled to launch two years later.

The contract is the third awarded to MDA for the multi-phase Canadarm 3 program valued at more than $1 billion.

Canadarm flew on 90 space shuttle missions after debuting in 1981. Canadarm 2 has been operating on the International Space Station for more than 20 years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:MDA)

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MDA gets $35.3 million contract from Canadian Space Agency for Canadarm 3 components – CTV News

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The Canadian Space Agency has awarded a contract worth $35.3 million to MDA Ltd. to design a key component of Canadarm 3.

The funds will be used to design Gateway External Robotics Interfaces or grapple fixtures for Canadarm 3, which is Canada’s contribution to the United States-led Lunar Gateway, a small space station that will orbit the moon.

The contract is a follow-on to the first phase of interface work awarded in August 2019. A construction phase will likely be awarded in about a year.

The first elements of Gateway will launch in 2024, with Canadarm 3 scheduled to launch two years later.

The contract is the third awarded to MDA for the multi-phase Canadarm 3 program valued at more than $1 billion.

Canadarm flew on 90 space shuttle missions after debuting in 1981. Canadarm 2 has been operating on the International Space Station for more than 20 years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2021.

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Motorola's next Edge flagship phone might drop the curved display – Yahoo Canada Shine On

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Motorola might soon release a sequel to its flagship Edge phones — albeit without their signature feature. OnLeaks and Pricebaba have shared what they say are CAD-based renders of the standard Edge 20, and Motorola appears to have dropped the highly curved “endless” display in favor of a 6.7-inch flat screen. It would be just another phone on the outside, even if the 120Hz,1080p panel could make it feel extra-responsive.

You’d also get a triple rear camera system that reportedly includes a 108MP primary sensor, a 16MP secondary cam and an 8MP tertiary sensor (likely for telephoto and wide-angle shots). This regular Edge 20 model would be an upper mid-tier device on the inside between a Snapdragon 778G chip, up to 8GB of RAM, a peak 256GB of storage and a 4,000mAh battery.

There is a chance the rumored Edge 20 Pro would keep the curved screen, and it might offer improved performance from the Snapdragon 870. An Edge 20 Lite is supposedly in the works as well. If Motorola does use this design for the mainstream Edge 20, though, it signals a change of tack. Rather than relying on an eye-catching (if somewhat impractical) design for the entire Edge line, it would focus on delivering value for the money. It’s just a question of whether or not the price will be low enough to draw you away from rivals.

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