Articles about algorithm

Robot holding shopping trolley

UK.gov asks: Are sadistic AI price-bots ganging up on you?

Twenty years ago, the internet was promised to level the playing field allowing small fry to compete with the bigger, entrenched players. But online digital markets have tended towards monopoly, or a small number of dominant firms. The British government wants to know why. In August it established an expert panel headed by …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Oct 2018
NASA's Opportunity Rover

Fuzzy logic makes a comeback – in picking where Earth sticks its probes into alien worlds

MIT boffins reckon they can use old-school artificial intelligence to do much of the grunt work in the tricky task of picking suitable landing spots for spacecraft. in a paper for the Earth and Space Science journal, the US-based researchers described a tool that can automatically examine maps of the Martian surface, and say …
Katyanna Quach, 27 Sep 2018
Police image via Shutterstock

UK cops run machine learning trials on live police operations. Unregulated. What could go wrong? – report

The use of machine learning algorithms by UK police forces is unregulated, with little research or evidence that new systems work, a report has said. The police, not wanting to get left behind in the march of progress or miss out on an opportunity to save some pennies, are keen to test out new technologies. But the …
Rebecca Hill, 21 Sep 2018

MPs' proposal to cash in on public-private algos given a solid 'maybe'

The UK government has tentatively accepted calls from MPs to monetise public sector data – but would rather brag about existing efforts to encourage responsible use of algorithms. The House of Commons Science and Technology issued its report on algorithmic decision-making in May, and the government has this week published its …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Sep 2018

UK.gov's use of black box algorithms to decide stuff needs watching

Increased use of algorithms in decision-making risks disproportionately affecting certain groups, MPs have said, urging the government to boost transparency and tackle bias - but not forget the value of public data. In a report on algorithmic decision-making, published today, the House of Commons Science and Technology …
Rebecca Hill, 23 May 2018
Boot crushes duckling - pic Shutterstock

Govts should police... Google's algorithms, says News Corp chief

News Corp publications and networks traditionally rail against government intervention, but the media giant's boss Robert Thomson has urged governments to establish "algorithm review boards" to help police Google and Facebook. "If properly conceived," said Thomson on Friday's quarterly investor relations call, such boards " …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 May 2018
Uber self-driving car

Uber's disturbing fatal self-driving car crash, a new common sense challenge for AI, and Facebook's evil algorithms

Roundup It’s been a grim week for AI. The deadly Uber crash and fallout from the scandal between Facebook and Cambridge Analytica are a reminder of the ways algorithms can fail, and how they can be used against us. Fatal Uber self-driving car vid - The video footage capturing the last moments just before one of Uber’s self-driving car …
Katyanna Quach, 24 Mar 2018
ISIS fighters

Despite the headlines, Rudd's online terror takedown tool is only part of the solution

Analysis The UK government launched its swish new tool to fight online extremist content to much fanfare this week – leading news bulletins and generating reams of coverage. But it also faced a whole host of criticism and concern. Underneath the claims made by Home Secretary Amber Rudd yesterday, there are many questions yet to be …
Rebecca Hill, 14 Feb 2018

Info Commish tells UK.gov we shouldn't let artificial ignorance make all our decisions

Algorithms should not be solely responsible for criminal sentencing, while a change in law may be required to open up public data sets involving health information. These were just some of the topics Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham touched on today in a wide-ranging Parliamentary hearing about the use of AI in …
Kat Hall, 23 Jan 2018
box

US politicos wake up to danger of black-box algorithms shaping all corners of American life

In Washington, DC, on Wednesday, academics and policy wonks warned US Congressional representatives about the perils of inscrutable algorithms, a red flag entangled by tangential worries about privacy, data collection, and net neutrality. As framed in a letter submitted by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, democracy …
Google man flips the bird

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, …
West world original poster

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 …

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