Articles about algorithm

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Transparent algorithms? Here's why that's a bad idea, Google tells MPs

Opening up the processes that underpin algorithms may well magnify the risk of hacking, widen privacy concerns and stifle innovation, Google has told MPs in the UK. The comments came in Google's response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee's inquiry into algorithmic decision-making, which is questioning …
Rebecca Hill, 7 Nov 2017
Cars crash, man looks on - illustration.

New work: Algorithms to give self-driving cars 'impulsive' human 'ethics'

RoTM In a version of the infamous Trolley Problem, you're sitting in a runaway train on a fatal collision course with five people. You can flip a switch to change tracks, but on the other track you'd still kill one person. Now change the numbers, who the people are, pretend the trolley drives itself, and welcome to the crazy world …
Andrew Silver, 5 Jul 2017
Robot looks into magnifying glass, human eye displayed. Photo by Shutterstock

Europe seeks company to monitor Google's algorithm in €10m deal

The European Commission is seeking a company to police Google’s algorithm in a tender worth €10m, following its record antitrust fine against the advertising business of €2.4bn (£2.1bn). The tender is for a "Technical expertise to support the Commission on issues relating to an antitrust case in the IT sector." It called for …
Kat Hall, 30 Jun 2017

Oxford profs tell Twitter, Facebook to take action against political bots

The use of algorithms and bots to spread political propaganda is "one of the most powerful tools against democracy", top academics have warned. A team led by professors at the Oxford Internet Institute analysed tens of millions of posts on seven social media platforms in nine countries, including the US, Russia and Germany, …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Jun 2017

Google's news algorithm serves up penis pills

+Comment Our Monday here at The Reg's London offices has been cheered to no end by Google News, which has been spitting out odd pharmaceutical-related "journalism" throughout the day. Over the past few days*, we've received several emails from readers about the issue, and we managed to snap a explicit screenshots ourselves as the …
Jude Karabus, 12 Jun 2017
Snakes on a Plane, kind of

NASA brainboxes work on algorithms for 'safe' self-flying aircraft

It's the fear of anyone who watches Snakes on a Plane and books a flight – what if your plane crashes? Now take a deep breath and imagine that you're travelling on a plane or rocketship with no pilot. A new NASA research project hopes to find ways to certify unmanned autonomous aircraft systems for safety. The easy part, says …
Andrew Silver, 5 Jun 2017

Sorry, Dave, I can't code that: AI's prejudice problem

Bureaucrats don’t just come in uniforms and peaked caps. They come in 1U racks, too. They’ll deny you credit, charge you more for paperclips that someone in another neighbourhood, and maybe even stop you getting out of jail. Algorithms are calling the shots these days, and they may not be as impartial as you thought. To some, …
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Regulate This! Time to subject algorithms to our laws

Opinion Algorithms are almost as pervasive in our lives as cars and the internet. And just as these modes and mediums are considered vital to our economy and society, and are therefore regulated, we must ask whether it's time to also regulate algorithms. Let's accept that the rule of law is meant to provide solid ground upon which our …

Dr Hannah Fry: We need to be wary of algorithms behind closed doors

Interview Sure, algorithms are insanely useful, but we need to watch we don't become complacent and unable to question them, University College London's Dr Hannah Fry warned in an interview with The Register. Dr Fry is a lecturer in the mathematics of cities at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at UCL, where her research " …
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

That's cute. AI and IoT need 'ethics regulation', mumbles Lib Dem baron

A Liberal Democrat peer has suggested that the Internet of Things needs government regulation in the UK. Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Baron Timothy Clement-Jones said that artificial intelligence, as well as IoT, needs "huge consideration" of its "ethics". "It may be that we need to construct a purpose-built regulator …

AI eggheads: Our cancer-spotting code rivals dermatologists

An algorithm that promises to diagnose skin cancer as well as dermatologists can may work with mobile phone cameras in the future, according to a paper published in Nature. The recent obsession with machine learning and AI in the tech world has boosted the ability of computers to analyze streams of data and classify images. …
Katyanna Quach, 25 Jan 2017

Nadella calls for AI sector to move beyond 'worshipping' a handful of companies

The tech sector is currently "worshipping" a handful of artificial intelligence companies, but is yet to show how it will make the technology accessible to and useful for its human end users, Microsoft head Satya Nadella has said. Speaking at the DLD technology conference in Munich, he said: "The way at least I have defined AI …
Kat Hall, 16 Jan 2017

Mysterious algorithms, black-box AI recruiters are binning our résumés

Analysis When you submit a résumé for a position at a large company, you may or may not be contacted for further information or an interview. Either way, you probably won't know why. Applicant tracking systems (ATS), the software used by employers to manage employment applications, are not generally open to public scrutiny. "Unless …
Thomas Claburn, 17 Oct 2016

Twitter CEO Jack's off to the settings page, adds robot-sorted tweets

It's official – Twitter is slightly moving away from being a hosepipe of real-time wittering. It will use an algorithm to sort tweets into some arbitrary order. However, twits will still be able to sort tweets by time and date as per normal, so there's no need to panic. Rumors of the switch to robot-promoted-tweets have had …
Iain Thomson, 10 Feb 2016
Google UK office logos

You! GOOGLE! HAND OVER the special SAUCE, says Senate (of France)

Google’s European woes continued on Thursday as the French senate voted to force the search monster to expose its algorithm and highlight rivals on its welcome page. The amendment, proposed by Catherine Morin-Desailly, which would force Google to offer at least three competing search engines on its homepage and explain how …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Apr 2015
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When algorithms ATTACK: Facebook sez soz for tacky 'Year in Review' FAIL

Facebook has apologised to a bloke who moaned about the free-content ad network's recent "Year in Review" feature, after the firm's clumsy algorithms tastelessly inserted painful, personal highlights from 2014. The latest creepy function offered by the Mark Zuckerberg-run company offered a cheap-looking clip art album for …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Dec 2014

NASA to programmers: Save the Earth and fatten your wallet

NASA is teaming up with the asteroid-mining wannabes at Planetary Resources to offer $35,000 in prizes in a contest to develop algorithms to detect Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) – asteroids – with the goal of spotting those that might threaten the Earth. Actually, saving our planet from destruction is but one goal of the Asteroid …
Rik Myslewski, 11 Mar 2014
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Network sniffing algorithm could have fingered 9/11 suspects

A group of researchers has come up with a new algorithm that they say can be used to snoop information networks to trace rumor leaks, locate the source of disease epidemics, and even potentially stop terror attacks. According to Pedro Pinto and colleagues at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), the new …
Neil McAllister, 13 Aug 2012

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