Leon Theremin June 3, 2022 2:29 PM

Inspiring. Searching in social media for “public interest technologist” in various languages, it can be seen that you inspired a few people.

But, always a but, as long as people like Eric Schmidt think that national security and private profits are the same and trump the law and human rights, places like 4chan will continue to recruit and train more cyber terrorists than the public interest crowd can handle.

cmeier June 3, 2022 11:09 PM

It is the machine learning techies whose understanding of economics, sociology, history, and other social science and humanities disciplines stopped after their freshman year of college that scare the bejeebers out of me — especially those ML techies who are vaguely libertarian.

If you think what has happened with tech has turned sour so far, just wait. The ML rules these folks are building are already making decisions about who gets parole, who gets help from limited social services resources, who gets home loans, whose resume gets passed onto the hiring manager. All rules built with data gathered by folks with no understanding of historical patterns of discrimination, poverty, human rights abuses, and a hundred other personal and institutional issues that are fought over every day in law courts. Those whose data points fit the correct profile will do fine. But anyone outside the standard deviation boundaries including the most creative among us will be screwed.

William June 13, 2022 1:30 PM

After posting my original observation, I was really amazed by a new feature rolled out on FB that appeared to do a very good job of identifying sarcastic humor in real time (very difficult for humans let alone machines) and serving up a Bob’s Burger faceplant emoticon as part of a promo for the cartoon movie.

What struck me by this was here they were doing something far more difficult than flagging someone who states in plain english they intend to commit mass murder and they were doing it well. Underscoring the question, why did Facebook wait to stop the livestream video of the killing when they obviously could have generated an alarm early enough to stop the bloodshed? Was it because other advertisers were paying more money to convince the FB user to kill? Was it really just a business decision?

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Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.