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Self-driving cars less likely to spot pedestrians of color, study shows


If youre a person of color, add self-driving cars to your list of worries that white people don’t have to bother with.

According to a study released last month by Georgia Tech, Predictive Inequity in Object Detection, self-driving cars were 5 percent better at predicting pedestrians with lighter skin tones than darker ones. For the study, researchersdivvied up images of pedestrians into groups based on the Fitzpatrick scale, which classifies skin tone. The object-detection models noticed more imagesfrom the group with the lighter skin tones.

However, the study has not yet been peer-reviewed, which limits its scope of verification to some extent, and the object-detection models used are not ones found in any self-driving cars.

Still,this doesnt help the case of self-driving cars, which already have been a cause for concern. They are considered to be more accident-prone;Googles self-driving car had had its first accident within two years of its launch. Not to mention, the politics of facial recognition is real. In 2015, Google apologized after its facial recognition system mistakenly matched photos of gorillas to Black people.

The larger issue at hand is clearly about a lack of diversity, as a Vox analysis points out. Algorithms are designed in a manner where they detect what theyre being exposed to, and if theyre not being exposed to a certain demographic with a certain skin color, they might simply not know to identify it as human.

In this regard, Google isnt the only company thats lagging behind. Firms such as Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft have all been flagged for having facial recognition algorithms that have racial and gender bias. This makes sense considering the world of technology continues to be dominated by white men.

H/T Vox

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/irl/self-driving-cars-people-of-color/

PewDiePie backs YouTube’s controversial response to pedophile content


Felix “” Kjellberg is siding with YouTube in its most recent controversy.

The revelation that the video-sharing website is catching the occasionalinnocent creator in the middle of its targeted fight against pedophilic content has many YouTubers up in arms. PewDiePie uploaded a video addressing the matter over the weekend.

YouTube‘s decision to buckle down on content that could be harmful to minors comes after it promised to combat any videos and comments that could put children at risk. In an attempt to purge the site of any content endangering minors, the site is demonetizing or removing videos that could fall under the wide umbrella of “inappropriate content.”

21 states are suing the FCC over net neutrality


Several states have sued the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over its decision to repeal net neutrality rules late last year, as momentum to overturn the decision in Congress continues to grow.

The decision was announced Tuesday shortly after Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) said 82 fellow representatives have signed onto a Congressional Review Act bill that mirrors a similar bill in the Senate to try and overturn the FCC’s decision.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said a lawsuit was filed by 22 states’ attorneys general over the decision, which was voted down party lines in December.

“A free and open internet drives innovation, economic growth, and consumer choice,” Becerra said in a statement. “As home to countless start-ups and technology giants alike, California knows this better than anywhere else. We will do everything we can to defend our vibrant Internet economy and consumer choice from the FCC’s attempt to curtail net neutrality.”

Attorneys general from New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia joined Becerra in the lawsuit.

“An open internet–and the free exchange of ideas it allows–is critical to our democratic process,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers—allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do, and what we say online.

The FCC voted 3 to 2 to repeal net neutrality rules, which ensured that all internet traffic be treated equally by internet service providers.

Earlier in the day, Doyle announced that a large number of representatives had asked to co-sponsor legislation to reject the FCC’s net neutrality decision. The Senate said its resolution of disapproval through the Congressional Review Act had 50 signatures–just one vote shy of passing it.

Doyle’s bill, which will also need a majority to pass, has 82 co-sponsors. It would 218 total votes to pass in the House of Representatives.

“We’ve made good progress so far in getting members to sign on as original cosponsors of our bill to restore net neutrality, and I will continue to seek additional cosponsors in the weeks ahead,” Doyle said in a statement. “There’s overwhelming public support for preserving net neutrality, so it’s no surprise that there’s strong support in Congress as well. I’m confident that if there’s enough public pressure, Congress will overturn the FCC’s order killing net neutrality.”

If both the Senate and House pass their resolutions of disapproval, President Donald Trump would need to sign it into law before the FCC’s decision could be overturned.

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/net-neutrality-lawsuit-house-cra/