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Artificial Intelligence

Documentary – Automated Apartheid: Walking Through Hebron Smart City

A silent sentinel watches over every corner in the bustling streets of Hebron, the largest city in the West Bank, where the ancient echoes of history collide with the modern hum of daily life. This sentinel is not a person but a network of surveillance technology known ominously as the “Hebron Smart City.” Designed by Israeli authorities, this system blankets the city in a web of cameras, sensors and even automated weapons, tracking every movement of its Palestinian residents. “Palestinians in Hebron are the most surveilled people on the planet,” explains journalist and activist Mnar Adley, highlighting the omnipresence of cameras and face-scanning technology.

‘Automated Murder’: Israel’s ‘Artificial Intelligence’ In Gaza

Along with the +972 report on the use of AI came others in a week notable for its stomach-churning news of Israeli depravity. In its April 3 editions The Guardian revealed that the IDF intentionally deploys snipers and quadcopters—remotely controlled sniper drones—to target children. The evidence of this comes from U.S. and Canadian doctors who, while serving in Gaza, treat many children with wounds consistent with and easily identified as caused by snipers’ bullets. These are larger than the ammunition generally used in combat because they are intended to kill rather than wound.

Toyota’s AI Greenwashing Bot Attacks Creators

January 24, 2024, Washington, D.C. — Last week, "Toyota" debuted a stunning eco-conscious AI personality, Electra, to promote their not-very-electric range of "Electrified" cars ahead of the Washington Auto Show. An AI trained on corporate and climate data to help drivers feel good about their environmental footprint regardless of the car they drive, Electra launched online simultaneous to a live unveiling at the National Press Club—which took a shocking turn as the AI hijacked the operation, recruiting users to revolt against her maker while nearly murdering a presenter onstage.

Tech Workers Deserve A Union

Many of us have tried to follow the recent kerfuffle involving Sam Altman’s leadership of the company he founded, OpenAI. In mid-November 2023 he was abruptly fired, then returned to power just five days later. The business press highlighted the implications of this power struggle for the rapid deployment of artificial intelligence and the future influence of investors like Microsoft. It appears, however, that the pivotal moment in the power struggle came when 738 out of OpenAI’s estimated 770 workers said they would resign if Altman remained ousted. Even if it only resulted in putting a CEO back in power (and to a company that represents a real threat to the labor movement), the revolt by OpenAI workers was nevertheless “one of the most successful collective actions taken to date in the tech industry,” writes Ethan Marcotte, and a reminder to tech workers of the power they have at work.

Another Hollywood Strike?

Los Angeles, CA - After a year in which both actors and writers hit the picket lines, another Hollywood strike may be on the horizon. The American Federation of Musicians (AFM), a union representing musicians across the entertainment industry, will begin negotiations Monday on a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The union said it is seeking a deal to better reflects the current state of streaming media. The AFM is also seeking AI protection, increased wages, health care improvements, improved working conditions and residual payments for streaming content.

The Real Artificial Intelligence Fight Is About Who Gets The Gains

AI is a labor issue. Maybe we’ll get lucky and it will prove to be a marginal labor issue. Or maybe it will prove to be an existential, epochal labor issue on par with industrialization or globalization, each of which revolutionized their own eras of work. Before we get completely immersed in the battle over how AI will affect workers, though, it is important to frame the playing field correctly. This is not a fight between a backwards-looking labor movement on one side, and technological progress on the other. Rather, this is a question of where the wealth and efficiency gains created by AI will flow. Want to change the world? Share.

Davos And The Melting World Economy

The annual jamboree of the rich global elite called the World Economic Forum (WEF) is under way again in the luxury ski resort of Davos, Switzerland.  Thousands will attend and many of the ‘great and good’ of political and corporate leaders have arrived in their private jets with huge entourages.  The speakers include China’s premier Li Qiang, the head of the EU, Ursula von de Leyen, Zelenskyy from Ukraine and many top business leaders. The WEF aims to discuss the challenges facing humanity in 2024 and onwards.  These challenges, however, are primarily seen from the point of view of global capital and any proposed policy solutions are driven by the aim to sustain the world capitalist order.

‘A Mass Assassination Factory’: Inside Israel’s Calculated Bombing Of Gaza

The Israeli army’s expanded authorization for bombing non-military targets, the loosening of constraints regarding expected civilian casualties, and the use of an artificial intelligence system to generate more potential targets than ever before, appear to have contributed to the destructive nature of the initial stages of Israel’s current war on the Gaza Strip, an investigation by +972 Magazine and Local Call reveals. These factors, as described by current and former Israeli intelligence members, have likely played a role in producing what has been one of the deadliest military campaigns against Palestinians since the Nakba of 1948.

AI Goes To War

On August 28th, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks chose the occasion of a three-day conference organized by the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), the arms industry’s biggest trade group, to announce the “Replicator Initiative.” Among other things, it would involve producing “swarms of drones” that could hit thousands of targets in China on short notice. Call it the full-scale launching of techno-war. Her speech to the assembled arms makers was yet another sign that the military-industrial complex (MIC) President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about more than 60 years ago is still alive, all too well, and taking a new turn. Call it the MIC for the digital age.

Why The Hollywood Strike Matters To All Of Us

Over the last decade, the entertainment industry has shifted away from legacy distribution models like film and television and embraced a streaming-first model. The move has been a lucrative one, bringing billions of dollars in revenue to the industry. But those profits haven’t reached working actors and writers. Some 87% of actors earn less than $26,000 per year; many writers have to work second jobs to make ends meet. And so, for the first time since 1960, members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) are on strike simultaneously — and Hollywood has effectively shut down.

ChatGPT Still Needs Humans

The media frenzy surrounding ChatGPT and other large, language model, artificial intelligence systems spans a range of themes, from the prosaic – large language models could replace conventional web search – to the concerning – AI will eliminate many jobs – and the overwrought – AI poses an extinction-level threat to humanity. All of these themes have a common denominator:  large language models herald artificial intelligence that will supersede humanity. But large language models, for all their complexity, are actually really dumb. And despite the name “artificial intelligence,” they’re completely dependent on human knowledge and labor.

To Counter AI Risk, We Must Develop An Integrated Intelligence

The recent explosion in the stunning power of artificial intelligence is likely to transform virtually every domain of human life in the near future, with effects that no-one can yet predict. The breakneck rate at which AI is developing is such that its potential impact is almost impossible to grasp. As Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin, co-founders of the Center for Humane Technology, demonstrate in their landmark presentation, The AI Dilemma, AI accomplishments are beginning to read like science fiction. After just three seconds of hearing a human voice, for example, an AI system can autocomplete the sentence being spoken with a voice so perfectly matched that no-one can distinguish it from the real thing.

EU Advances AI Rules Restricting Facial Recognition

Digital rights groups on Wednesday applauded lawmakers across the European Union after they passed a draft law that would strictly regulate the use of artificial intelligence including facial recognition technology and chatbots, potentially setting a new standard for protecting the public from the misuse of AI—but noted that some provisions could exclude vulnerable people. The European Parliament passed a major legislative hurdle as it voted in favor of the draft rules in the Artificial Intelligence Act, with 499 lawmakers supporting the provisions, 28 opposing, and 93 abstaining from voting.

Should We Be Concerned About What ChatGPT ‘Thinks’ About Latin America?

ChatGPT is a powerful AI chatbot that is as easy to use as Google and provides more direct answers to users’ questions. Ask it anything you like, and you will receive an answer that sounds like it was written by a human, based on knowledge and writing skills gained from massive amounts of data from across the internet. Because of its growing popularity, there are already political questions about it, for example assertions that it has a left-wing bias or concerns about privacy issues, which have led to the bot being banned in Italy just this month. It is already banned in China and Russia. A search on Google reveals little or no discussion about the relevance of ChatGPT to writing or research about Latin America.

Open Mic Protests Plan For AI-Powered Taser Drones In Schools

In May 2022, the company’s own AI Ethics Board voted against a pilot program with law enforcement due to concerns over surveillance and abuse, particularly against people of color. However, weeks later, in the wake of the Uvalde tragedy, Axon announced its intention to embed Taser-equipped drones in schools to stop mass shootings, using AI surveillance and virtual reality simulations. Nine of the thirteen members of the AI Ethics Board resigned, stating they had "lost faith in Axon's ability to be a responsible partner." Axon shareholders are now requesting that the company discontinue the development and plans for sale of a remotely-operated Taser drone system, which poses serious risks to privacy, racial equity, and physical safety.
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