Connect with us

Tech

Twitter to offer 'bounty' to find algorithmic bias – Times of India

Published

 on


WASHINGTON: Twitter said Friday it would offer a cash “bounty” to users and researchers to help root out algorithmic bias on the social media platform.
The San Francisco tech firm said this would be “the industry’s first algorithmic bias bounty competition,” with prizes up to $3,500.
The competition is based on the “bug bounty” programs some websites and platforms offer to find security holes and vulnerabilities, according to Twitter executives Rumman Chowdhury and Jutta Williams.
“Finding bias in machine learning models is difficult, and sometimes, companies find out about unintended ethical harms once they’ve already reached the public,” Chowdhury and Williams wrote in a blog post.
“We want to change that.”
They said the hacker bounty model offers promise in finding algorithmic bias.
“We’re 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 wrote.
“We want to cultivate a similar community… for proactive and collective identification of algorithmic harms.”
The move comes amid growing concerns about automated algorithmic systems, which, despite an effort to be neutral, can incorporate racial or other forms of bias.
Twitter, which earlier this year launched an algorithmic fairness initiative, said in May it was scrapping an automated image-cropping system after its review found bias in the algorithm controlling the function.
The messaging platform said it found the algorithm delivered “unequal treatment based on demographic differences,” with white people and males favored over Black people and females, and “objectification” bias that focused on a woman’s chest or legs, described as “male gaze.”

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

News

Facebook to pay up to $14.25 million to settle U.S. employment discrimination claims

Published

 on

Facebook Inc has agreed to pay up to $14.25 million to settle civil claims by the U.S. government that the social media company discriminated against American workers and violated federal recruitment rules, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

The two related settlements were announced by the Justice Department and Labor Department and confirmed by Facebook. The Justice Department last December filed a lawsuit accusing Facebook of giving hiring preferences to temporary workers including those who hold H-1B visas that let companies temporarily employ foreign workers in certain specialty occupations. Such visas are widely used by tech companies.

Kristen Clarke, assistant U.S. attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, called the agreement with Facebook historic.

“It represents by far the largest civil penalty the Civil Rights Division has ever recovered in the 35-year history of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s anti-discrimination provision,” Clarke said in a call with reporters, referring to a key U.S. immigration law that bars discrimination against workers because of their citizenship or immigration status.

The case centered on Facebook’s use of the so-called permanent labor certification, called the PERM program.

The U.S. government said that Facebook refused to recruit or hire American workers for jobs that had been reserved for temporary visa holders under the PERM program. It also accused Facebook of “potential regulatory recruitment violations.”

Facebook will pay a civil penalty under the settlement of $4.75 million, plus up to $9.5 million to eligible victims of what the government called discriminatory hiring practices.

“While we strongly believe we met the federal government’s standards in our permanent labor certification (PERM) practices, we’ve reached agreements to end the ongoing litigation and move forward with our PERM program,” a Facebook spokesperson said, adding that the company intends to “continue our focus on hiring the best builders from both the U.S. and around the world.”

The settlements come at a time when Facebook is facing increasing U.S. government scrutiny over other business practices.

Facebook this month faced anger from U.S. lawmakers after former company employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen accused it of pushing for higher profits while being cavalier about user safety. Haugen has turned over thousands of documents to congressional investigators amid concerns that Facebook has harmed children’s mental health and has stoked societal divisions.

The company has denied any wrongdoing.

In Tuesday’s settlements, the Justice Department said that Facebook used recruitment practices designed to deter U.S. workers such as requiring applications to be submitted only by mail, refusing to consider American workers who applied for positions and hiring only temporary visa holders.

The Labor Department this year conducted audits of Facebook’s pending PERM applications and uncovered other concerns about the company’s recruitment efforts.

 Facebook is not above the law,” U.S. Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda told reporters, adding that the Labor Department is “committed to ensuring that the PERM process is not misused by employers – regardless of their size and reach.”

 

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Will Dunham)

Continue Reading

Tech

U.S. FCC commissioner wants new restrictions review for Chinese dronemaker DJI

Published

 on

A Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday said he wants the U.S. telecommunications regulator to begin the process of imposing new restrictions on Chinese drone maker SZ DJI Technology Co.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said the agency should takes steps toward adding DJI, the world’s largest dronemaker, to the so-called “Covered List” that would prohibit U.S. Universal Service Fund money from being used to purchase its equipment.

DJI, which accounts for more than 50% of U.S. drone sales, said its “drones are safe and secure for critical and sensitive operations… Our customers know that DJI drones remain the most capable and most affordable products for a wide variety of uses, including sensitive industrial and government work.”

In March, the FCC designated five Chinese companies as posing a threat to national security under a 2019 law aimed at protecting U.S. communications networks.

The FCC named Huawei Technologies Co, ZTE Corp, Hytera Communications Corp <002583.SZ), Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co.

Carr noted that the FCC has a separate ongoing effort to decide whether to continue approving equipment from entities on the Covered List for use in the United States.

DJI  drones and the surveillance technology on board these systems are collecting vast amounts of sensitive data-everything from high-resolution images of critical infrastructure to facial recognition technology and remote sensors that can measure an individual’s body temperature and heart rate,” Carr said in a statement. “We do not need an airborne version of Huawei.”

He said the FCC in consultation with national security agencies “should also consider whether there are additional entities that warrant closer scrutiny.”

In December, DJI was added by the U.S. Commerce Department to the U.S. government’s economic blacklist.

In January 2020, the U.S. Interior Department said it was grounding its fleet of about 800 Chinese-made drones, and earlier halted additional Interior Department purchases of such drones.

In May 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned U.S. firms of the risks to company data from Chinese-made drones.

(Reporting by David ShepardsonEditing by Bill Berkrot, William Maclean)

Continue Reading

Tech

Google announces Pixel 6 phone with new chip, subscription service

Published

 on

Alphabet Inc’s Google on Tuesday announced the newest iteration of its smartphone – Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro – which will be powered by the company’s first chip called Tensor.

The tech giant also launched Pixel Pass, a subscription service starting at $45 per month for U.S. customers that will include the Pixel 6 and access to the premium versions of YouTube and YouTube Music.

Pricing for the Pixel 6 will start at $599, while the Pixel 6 Pro, which includes a telephoto lens and upgraded front camera, starts at $899.

The phones will go on sale at U.S. wireless carriers on Oct. 28.

 

(Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Richard Chang)

Continue Reading

Trending