Cruz Missile for Microsoft (The Week in AI)

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Reporting by Madhumita Murgia and Yuan Yang at the FT revealed that Microsoft researchers had collaborated with the Chinese Military University on work that could be used in surveillance and censorship. One of the papers described a new AI method to recreate detailed environmental maps by analysing human faces, stoking fears that this approach could be used in advanced surveillance.

Politicians in Washington reacted testily, with former Presidential-hopeful Ted Cruz chastising Microsoft. “American companies are increasingly at risk of boosting the Chinese Communist party’s human rights atrocities,” said Cruz.

This story comes in the same week that Google announced a new external advisory council to guide it’s use of AI in thorny areas and the EC issued its AI ethics guidelines (see below).

News in Brief:

Around Whitehall:

Commentators Call on Social Media Firms to Use AI in Fight Against Online Harms

Jeremy Wright and Sajid Javid called on big social media players to better police their content as DCMS and the Home Office jointly published their long-awaited white paper on online harms. Commentators across the media posited that the only solution for doing so at scale was AI. The next stage is a consultation which will feed in to the development of legislation and the establishment of new regulatory powers. The 12 week consultation includes a question around what safety technologies can be deployed and how the Government can support innovation in this area.

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