Twitter has announced its first algorithmic bias bounty challenge, offering cash prices ranging from $500 to $3,500 for those who can help the social media giant identify a range of issues.
After significant backlash last year, the company admitted in May that its automatic cropping algorithm repeatedly cropped out Black faces in favor of White ones. It also favored men over women, according to research from Twitter. Multiple Twitter users proved this fact using pictures of themselves or of famous figures, like former President Barack Obama.
Rumman Chowdhury, director of Twitter META, explained that the company decided to change the algorithm and admitted that companies like Twitter often “find out about unintended ethical harms once they’ve already reached the public.”
On Friday, Chowdhury and Twitter META product manager Jutta Williams unveiled the algorithmic bias bounty competition, which they said was part of this year’s DEF CON AI Village.
“In May, we shared our approach to identifying bias in our saliency algorithm (also known as our image cropping algorithm), and we made our code available for others to reproduce our work. We want to take this work a step further by inviting and incentivizing the community to help identify potential harms of this algorithm beyond what we identified ourselves,” the two said.
In creating the program, they were inspired by how the research and hacker communities helped the security field establish best practices for identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities in order to protect the public.
They said Twitter wanted to build out a similar community but one focused on machine learning ethics that will help the company “identify a broader range of issues than we would be able to on our own.”
“With this challenge we aim to set a precedent at Twitter, and in the industry, for proactive and collective identification of algorithmic harms,” Chowdhury and Williams wrote.
“For this challenge, we are re-sharing our saliency model and the code used to generate a crop of an image given a predicted maximally salient point and asking participants to build their own assessment. Successful entries will consider both quantitative and qualitative methods in their approach.”
There is a submission page on HackerOne where people can find more information, the rubric used to score each entry and details on how to enter. The entries will be judged by Ariel Herbert-Voss, Matt Mitchell, Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, and Patrick Hall.
The first place winner will get $3,500, the second place winner gets $1,000 and third place gets $500. There will also be $1,000 rewards for most innovative and most generalizable. Winners of the competition will be announced at the DEF CON AI Village workshop on August 8.
Williams told ZDNet that other than learning more about the photo cropping feature, she is expecting to learn what people think “harm” entails.
“As a product manager, I endeavor to put myself in the shoes of people who use or are affected by our products to understand what a word like that means. Traditionally, we hear from people already looking at algorithmic bias — and I’m expecting that we’ll hear from a much broader community of people who will share a lot of perspective on what harm means to them,” Williams said.
“Rumman floated the idea with me and our CTO after a conversation with the AI Village organizers — it takes a pretty risk-tolerant company to go first on something like this. Twitter leadership was willing — enthusiastic even. We didn’t have a lot of time to make the deadline for DEFCON, so the two of us got right into brainstorming how to scope something that we could release within the few weeks we had to make a go/no-go decision.”
She added that the competition will make Twitter much wiser about how the next event should run and be instructive in making it easier for participants and more inclusive.
The company is also hoping to learn more about how their technology may need to be immediately corrected, Williams explained, and more about how they can better prevent harm. The team will gain a better understanding of how to test and assess algorithms for biases, Williams said.
Williams noted that there are many unknowns in the emerging field of study on machine learning bias and few programs actively address algorithmic risks.
“I have hope we’ll have a few more unknowns that we can start working on solving. Most importantly, maybe, we’re going to learn about working with this community, ways to better measure and classify harms, what it takes to validate reports, ways to mitigate and/or prevent new harms in the future — all of which we can share back to the community,” Williams said.
“This wasn’t run for our benefit alone — I wouldn’t personally have put the sweat equity into it if it weren’t for the goal of ultimate transparency.”
Why did Apple change the camera position on the iPhone 13? – The Next Web
Aesthetically, the iPhone 13 is similar to last year’s model — apart from one key element: the camera placement.
The iPhone 12 had vertically stacked lenses. On the iPhone 13, these are now diagonal. So, here’s the question we’re going to answer today: why?
In my mind, there are two key reasons Apple has changed the iPhone 13 lens placement — and you can split these into technical and marketing.
The technical reason for the diagonal camera layout on the iPhone 13
I’m beginning with this because I believe it’s the biggest reason for the design change.
Now, one of the new features introduced with the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini is something called “sensor shift image optical stabilization.”
This appeared in the iPhone 12 Pro models last year and is effectively a mechanism that moves the lens to help you get steadier shots. Think of it as a counter to the slight movement your hands make while you’re taking a photograph.
When Apple announced the iPhone 13, they showed the sensor shift image optical stabilization in action:
It’s plain to see that, comparatively, the sensor shift image optical stabilization hardware is large. In fact, it takes up a huge chunk of camera bump.
It’d be technically impossible to fit the mechanism in while keeping the vertical camera layout of the iPhone 12. Making the lens placement on the iPhone 13 diagonal is an elegant solution.
The other option would be changing the location of the camera bump altogether, potentially to the middle of the phone. But this would not only alter the iPhone 13‘s aesthetics, but it would also make a lot of accessories useless too.
That, friends, is the technical reason Apple has made the iPhone 13 cameras diagonal.
The marketing reason for changing the camera position on the iPhone 13
While I think this argument has legs, I don’t think marketing was a direct force for the change. Instead, it’s something that likely supported the shift.
Basically, the iPhone 13 is very similar to the iPhone 12. The upgrades, including things like a smaller notch, brighter screen, and a bigger battery, aren’t exactly attention grabbing,
These aren’t bad updates per se, but they’re expected, not lusted after.
Really, the biggest point of differentiation for the public at large is the new diagonal camera layout. It’s a clear way to signal that you’re in possession of the latest device and is an excellent marketing tool to encourage people to upgrade.
This is also partly the reason why the change has been mocked. For those outside the tech bubble, changing the iPhone camera layout seems like solely a cheap trick to increase sales. Which is a half truth.
Ultimately, the new camera placement on the iPhone 13 is a technical solution that also delivers some marketing ammunition. Which is either lucky, clever, or, well, both.
There we have it! Two solid reasons why Apple has changed the position of cameras on the iPhone 13.
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Apple Online Store Down Ahead of iPhone 13 and 13 Pro Pre-Orders – MacRumors
“You’re… early,” reads the Apple Store message when attempting to visit the U.S. website. “Pre-order begins at 5:00 a.m. PDT. Enjoy the extra sleep.” Apple used to do new device pre-orders at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time, but since 2019, has been holding iPhone pre-orders at 5:00 a.m.
The iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max are launching in more than 30 countries and regions around the world, and a full list of launch times can be found in our time zone guide.
All of the new iPhone 13 models are nearly identical in design to last year’s iPhone 12 models, featuring flat edges, an aerospace-grade aluminum enclosure, a glass back, and a slight increase in thickness.
Key features across the iPhone 13 lineup include a faster A15 Bionic chip, camera improvements, longer battery life, and a smaller notch. The two Pro models also feature a ProMotion display with a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz. The iPhone 13 models are available in Pink, Blue, Midnight (black), Starlight (silver/gold), and (PRODUCT)RED.
If you’re hoping to get one of the models in the new iPhone 13 lineup on launch day, it’s a good idea to purchase early because there’s no word on how much supply Apple will have.
Pricing on the iPhone 13 mini starts at $699, while pricing on the iPhone 13 starts at $799, the iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max begins at $1099. The official launch, when pre-orders will be out for delivery, is next Friday, September 24.
The new iPad Mini seems great even if you love Android – Android Central
I’ve been an Android user since the first day the first Android phone became available, and I’ve been through many different devices. Of course, like many of you all, I’ve also owned and used iPhones, BlackBerrys, Windows phones, and all the rest of the “cool” tech because I just love cool tech.
I’m also very much a small phone guy because one of the most important things to me is how easy it is to carry something that basically lives inside my pocket. One of the reasons the Galaxy S21 is one of the best Android phones is because it’s not gigantic, for example. The only time I wish my phone were bigger is when I want to veg out and just consume.
I just want to consume.
That’s where tablets shine. Watching videos or playing games on something with a much larger screen is just better, ya know? Yes, I can use my phone and do those same things, and I won’t try to say it’s a bad experience because it’s not. It’s just not as good. I’ve been thinking about getting a smaller tablet to try it again, and Apple might just have shown me what I want in the 2021 iPad Mini.
No, I’m not some sort of “traitor” to the Android ecosystem because I owe zero allegiance to any tech company. I like the way Android works better than iOS does, but that’s just me, and plenty of people feel differently. But I don’t run out and buy a thing because some tech company made it. Every company needs to work for my dollars. And since Google is unwilling to remake the Nexus 7 with great new specs, I don’t have a “favorite” tablet brand.
Source: Android Central
I want a tablet for all the wrong reasons, according to the companies that make them. I have no desire to replace my PC or Chromebook with a Pro tablet. I’m not going to replace my phone with a cellular tablet just because it can make calls and get messages. I like the phone and Chromebook I use, and don’t see how a tablet can replace either.
Since Google isn’t going to remake the Nexus 7, the iPad Mini might be the best substitute.
But the right tablet can tempt me, so long as it’s on the smaller side. I have a Pixel Slate here if I wanted to use a ginormous heavy tablet, and because it has a desktop browser, it’s going to be better at doing many of the things I want a tablet to do. It needs to be plenty powerful enough to play HD video without sputtering and have Wi-Fi that’s strong enough to keep up. A few cool games are a plus, too. My tablet would be just for fun and not at all for work.
I’ve thought about foldables here, too. Something like the Galaxy Z Fold 3 could work, but I’m not yet sold on how the phone side of things play out. Maybe in a couple of years, but now I think I would end up spending twice as much on a device that I would only use as a tablet. Not an ideal situation for my wallet.
I basically ignored all the talk about how artists and professionals love the iPad Mini, but what I did pay attention to has me thinking it might be the one. The power is there — forget all the XX% faster marketing stuff, but I’ve seen enough from Apple to know the Bionic SoC platform is going to handle things. The size is right, and even the $500 price tag isn’t insane like many other Apple devices are.
Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central
Mostly though, it’s the ecosystem. Yes, that word gets tossed around a lot, and sometimes my brain goes numb after hearing it, but this is one place where everything can work great for me. All of Google’s services work well on iOS, so I know I’ll have the experience I want from Google Photos or YouTube, and Apple does a great job at filling in the rest.
Say what you will about Apple’s way of doing business, but the App Store has plenty of great tablet apps.
Yeah, Apple’s walled garden sucks. Ask anyone who wants to play Fortnite on a new iPad Mini about that if you want another opinion, and I’m not a fan of a company trying to tell me what I can do with something I paid money to buy. But I can’t deny that Apple has its shit together when it comes to tablet apps, and chances are I would find a few I would want to install. Google could learn a lot here.
I think an iPad Mini would complement my Android phone and my other tech in the right ways. I’m not rushing out to preorder one just yet, and I’ll wait to read some reviews before I whip out the plastic. I’d also recommend any Android or Chrome user as interested in the iPad Mini as I am to do the same thing.
I’ve talked to a lot of you guys who use an iPad along with your Android phones, and I think I get it now. I’m not going to write it off just because it’s from that fruit company. It might be what a lot of Android folks just like me are looking for.
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