Articles about ethics

Sandvine interface

Citizen Lab says Sandvine network gear aids government spyware

Internet users in Turkey, Egypt and Syria who attempted to download legitimate Windows applications have been redirected to nation-state spyware through deep-packet inspection boxes placed on telecom networks in Turkey and Egypt, according to a report issued Friday by security research group Citizen Lab. Citizen Lab, a Canada- …
Image by Ryger https://www.shutterstock.com/g/RYGER

EU lawmakers seek coordinated hand-wringing over AI ethics

European policymakers have asked for help unravelling the "patchwork" of ethical and societal challenges as the use of artificial intelligence increases. The European Commission’s group on ethics in science and new technologies on Friday issued a statement (PDF) warning that existing efforts to develop solutions to the ethical …
Rebecca Hill, 9 Mar 2018
Caïn, a sculpture by Henry Vidal, epic facepalm

Ethics? Yeah, that's great, but do they scale?

This March I'll be co-running the first ethics track for the tech conference QCon London. We've had so much enthusiasm that QCon New York has added ethics too (Americans are notoriously behind the curve). Why the interest? I suspect because widely available tech is now creating hyperscale software products but, as …
Anne Currie, 1 Mar 2018
False teeth in glass

Another toothless wonder? Why the UK.gov's data ethics centre needs clout

Amid myriad bodies offering advice, opinions and rulings on the use of data springing up all over the shop, the government used the Budget to announce plans to create yet another. The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation is described (PDF) as "a world-first advisory body to enable and ensure safe, ethical innovation in …
Rebecca Hill, 24 Nov 2017
(An allegedly) Bad dog's police mug shot...

Advisory body to 'reconsider' ethics of hanging onto 'mugshots'

The UK's national biometrics ethics advisory body has promised to reconsider the government's use of custody images. The National DNA Database Ethics Group last year raised ethical concerns about the retention and use of "custody images" – which include pics of people who have never been convicted of a crime – on Police …
Rebecca Hill, 31 Oct 2017
Brain

Why, Robot? Understanding AI ethics

Not many people know that Isaac Asimov didn’t originally write his three laws of robotics for I, Robot. They actually first appeared in "Runaround", the 1942 short story*. Robots mustn’t do harm, he said, or allow others to come to harm through inaction. They must obey orders given by humans unless they violate the first law. …

Nations 'ethically obliged' to ensure public health data is up to scratch

The World Health Organisation has issued what it says is the first international framework for ethical public health data collection and use. The WHO said that there is an “imperative to conduct surveillance, analyse the data and act on the results” in a transparent, ethical and responsible way. Public health surveillance - …
Rebecca Hill, 29 Jun 2017

Teach undergrads ethics to ensure future AI is safe – compsci boffins

Universities should step up efforts to educate students about AI ethics, according to a panel of experts speaking at the AAAI conference in San Francisco on Monday. Machine learning is constantly advancing as new algorithms are developed, and as hardware to accelerate computations improves. As the capabilities of AI systems …

LinkedIn, eBay founders and pals kick in $27m to bring Jesus to AI bots

LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar are among a bunch of investors bankrolling a $27m fund to further AI ethics and accountability. Specifically, the dosh will be used to bring non-engineers and people who haven't studied data science into the world of machine learning – from lawyers and economists to …
Katyanna Quach, 11 Jan 2017
Robot hands viewer a cup of tea. Photo by Shutterstock

Sexbots could ‘over-exert’ their human lovers, academic warns

The possibility of sex robots over-exerting their human lovers to the point of collapse is just one of the ethical conundrums academics and society need to get their head round, a Swiss academic told a conference on sex robots today. Oliver Bendel, of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Northwestern Switzerland, told …
Joe Fay, 19 Dec 2016

Pound falling, Marmite off the shelves – what the UK needs right now is ... an AI ethics board

Analysis The UK government has been urged to establish an AI ethics board to tackle the creeping influence of machine learning on society. The call comes from a Robotics and Artificial Intelligence report published yesterday by the the House of Commons science and technology select committee. It quotes experts who warned the panel that …
Katyanna Quach, 13 Oct 2016
Man on laptop has ethical dilemma (represted by angel and demon on either shoulder). Photo by Shutterstock

The case for ethical ad-blocking

When is ad-blocking ethical? How about when the adtech industry is behaving so unethically it destroys people’s livelihoods? Musician and music rights campaigner David Lowery last year made the incendiary suggestion that musicians should encourage their fans to block the advertising running on music-streaming sites – even …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Apr 2016
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

Abuse of health data deserves JAIL, thunders ethics body

Health authorities must consider the moral issues of collecting and linking data in projects such as the controversial Care.data scheme, an independent medical ethics body has warned. A report from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics singled out recent health initiatives such as Care.data as raising ethical questions surrounding …
Kat Hall, 3 Feb 2015

Two driverless cars stuffed with passengers are ABOUT TO CRASH - who should take the hit?

Comment Data analysts don’t need philosophers to help them with ethical decisions - the “science” can figure that out, a top boffin said this week. Asked about the ethics of big data, the head of Imperial College’s new Big Data dept said: “We treat [ethical issues] not philosophically, but scientifically”. It’s a startling assertion …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Nov 2014
xfinity wifi

Strange tale of an angry bean counter, Comcast and a shock 'firing'

A Comcast customer who complained about being overcharged and crap service alleges someone at the ISP got him fired as a result. The punter, described by The Consumerist as an "experienced accountant at one of the nation’s most prestigious firms," signed up with America's largest ISP in 2013 at an introductory rate, but said …
Iain Thomson, 8 Oct 2014
A160T Hummingbird drone joins the US Army

UN to debate killer drone ethics

In an effort to stop killer drones before they start, humanity is about to unleash its most fearsome weapons: a long, drawn out bureaucratic process and a committee. Both weapons will be brought to bear by the United Nations' which will next week stage an “informal Meeting of Experts” to “discuss the questions related to …

Fat-walleted execs? Nope, it's a corporate tax swerve that REALLY ticks Brits off

Tax avoidance rather than executive pay is at the top of the UK public's concerns about business behaviour for the first time. Concerns about potential tax avoidance have topped those about executive pay for the first time in six years, according to the 10th annual survey of the British public's attitudes about business ethics …
OUT-LAW.COM, 3 Dec 2013
Predator drone, credit Wikipedia

Work for the military? Don't be evil, says ethicist

Engineers should refuse to work on killer robots, says Australian ethicist Dr Robert Sparrow. Sparrow's definition of a killer robot includes the Predator drone, a weapon he finds objectionable because “Military robots are making it easier for governments to start wars, thinking that they won't incur any casualties on their …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2012

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