Four short links: 7 June 2018

Algorithmic Accountability, Killing Project Maven, AI Scares Past, and Submarine Data Center

By Nat Torkington
June 7, 2018
  1. Algorithmic Accountability — an interesting refutation of calls for transparency and explainability. Instead, A governance framework for algorithmic accountability is based on the principle that an algorithmic system should employ a variety of controls to ensure operators can: verify it works in accordance with the operator’s intentions, and identify and rectify harmful outcomes. Algorithmic accountability promotes desirable outcomes, protects against harmful ones, and ensures algorithmic decisions are subject to the same requirements as human decisions.
  2. Tech Workers vs. The Pentagon (Jacobin) — interesting insider’s account of how Google workers organized against the Project Maven work for the Pentagon. Also interesting: it revealed that Project Maven was actually a pilot project for future collaborations between Google and the military. In particular, Project Maven was part of Google’s push to win the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract. JEDI is the military’s next-generation cloud that will network American forces all over the world and integrate them with AI. It’s basically Skynet. And all the big cloud providers want to win the contract because it’s worth $10 billion. Google’s workers just took a $10 billion ethical position. Someone’s renegotiating their sales targets down right now…
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  4. Past Visions of Artificial Futures: One Hundred and Fifty Years under the Spectre of Evolving MachinesWe show that discussion of these topics arose in the 1860s, within a decade of the publication of Darwin’s “The Origin of Species,” and attracted increasing interest from scientists, novelists, and the general public in the early 1900s. After introducing the relevant work from this period, we categorize the various visions presented by these authors of the future implications of evolving machines for humanity. We suggest that current debates on the co-evolution of society and technology can be enriched by a proper appreciation of the long history of the ideas involved.
  5. Microsoft’s Submarine Data Center (Motherboard) — shipping container sized, 864 servers, powered by tidal and wind energy, natural cooling, hardware that dies down there will not be replaced. Sysops of the Caribbean, Davy Jones’ Bit Locker, Yo Ho Ho and a Container of Rum…the Dad jokes just write themselves.
Post topics: Four Short Links