Study: Only 18% of data science students are learning about AI ethics

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The neglect of AI ethics extends from universities to industry

 A study by data science firm Anaconda found an absence of AI ethics initiatives in both academia and industry.

Amid a growing backlash over AI‘s racial and gender biases, numerous tech giants are launching their own ethics initiatives — of dubious intent.

The schemes are billed as altruistic efforts to make tech serve humanity. But critics argue their main concern is evading regulation and scrutiny through “ethics washing.”

At least we can rely on universities to teach the next generation of computer scientists to make. Right? Apparently not, according to a new survey of 2,360 data science students, academics, and professionals by software firm Anaconda.

Only 15% of instructors and professors said they’re teaching AI ethics, and just 18% of students indicated they’re learning about the subject.

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The pandemic will cleave America in two

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Some will emerge from this crisis disrupted and shaken, but ultimately stable. Others will come out of it with much more lasting scars.

Viruses aren’t picky. They tear through neighborhoods and nations, infecting whomever they can, and the new coronavirus is no exception: The pain of the present pandemic will be felt—is already being felt—by just about everyone in the United States and all over the world, in one way or another. After the pandemic has run its course, no one will be wholly untouched.

At the same time, there will be stark disparities in how certain segments of the American population experience this crisis. Some of these disparities will be the result of luck or coincidence—a matter of where someone happened to travel, what line of work they chose, or what city they live in. But in a country that was highly unequal in so many ways well before it had a confirmed case of COVID-19, other disparities will be sadly predictable, falling along racial and class lines, as well as other fateful divides.

In the coming months and years, there will really be two pandemics in America. One will be disruptive and frightening to its victims, but thanks to their existing advantages and lucky near misses with the virus, they will likely emerge from it relatively stable—physically, psychologically, and financially. The other pandemic, though, will devastate those who survive it, leaving lasting scars and altering life courses.

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Coronavirus upended the trillion-dollar events business. Here’s how it can come back

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The global events industry generates more than $1 trillion in economic activity. Needless to say, it has been decimated by the coronavirus. After the lockdowns end and our health authorities tell us it’s safe to gather in groups, we need a plan to ease people back into real events. Virtual events won’t cut it in the long term — not just for participants but also for our economy.

The typically busy spring lineup of galas, receptions, multiday conferences, and fundraisers has been wiped out. Democratic convention planners last week announced they would delay until August, but questions abound about how exactly that would work and still keep people safe. Campaigns, advocacy groups, and charities, meanwhile, are scrambling to adapt and think about what the fall will look like — and whether they’ll have a fall at all.

The stakes are high. In the United States alone, the event planning business generates $325 billion of direct spending and helps support more than 5.9 million jobs with $249 billion of labor income. These jobs support the planners, audio-visual technicians, caterers, venues, cooks, waiters, and everyone else who helps produce the events we all enjoy.

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Americans on the move to escape the coronavirus

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Lisa Pezzino brushes her teeth at her retreat in Big Sur, Calif., 140 miles from her city home in Oakland.

The mass migration looks urgent and temporary but might contain the seeds of a wholesale shift in where and how Americans live.

This story and all coronavirus stories are free to the public. Please support us as we do our part to keep the community safe and informed.

Back home in Oakland, California, Lisa Pezzino and Kit Center built a life that revolved around music and the people who make it – the musicians who recorded on Pezzino’s small label and performed in places where Center rigged the lights and sound equipment.

Where they are now, deep in the redwood forest near Big Sur, 140 miles south along the California coast, there is mostly the towering silence of isolation. A tiny cabin, an outdoor kitchen, just one neighbor. This is life in the flight from the virus.

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Socially aware algorithms are ready to help

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Better coding, not just laws and regulations, is the solution for tech’s failure to address the needs of actual humans

Calls for stronger government regulation of large technology companies have become increasingly urgent and ubiquitous. But many of the technology failures we hear about every day—including fake news; privacy violations; discrimination; and filter bubbles that amplify online isolation and confrontation—have algorithmic failures at their core.

For problems that are primarily algorithmic in nature, human oversight of outcomes is insufficient. We cannot expect, for example, armies of regulators to check for discriminatory online advertising in real time. Fortunately, there are algorithmic improvements that companies can and should adopt now, without waiting for regulation to catch up.

Given their frequent media portrayal as mysterious black boxes, we might be worried that rogue algorithms have escaped the abilities of their creators to understand and rein in their behaviors. The reality is thankfully not so dire. In recent years hundreds of scientists in machine learning, artificial intelligence and related fields have been working hard at what we call socially aware algorithm design. Many of the most prominent and damaging algorithmic failures are well understood (at least in hindsight), and, furthermore, have algorithmic solutions.

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People are sick of drinking. Investors are betting on the ‘sober curious’

New York(CNN Business) Getaway in Brooklyn was comfortably full for a Saturday night, when I came in to try my first “shrub” — an acidic beverage made from vinegar, fruit, sugar, club soda and zero alcohol.

I ordered a carrot-and-ginger shrub and hoped it would be palatable. I was pleasantly surprised, drank the whole thing and, voila, was not even tipsy. Even more exciting: my bill. It was a mere $15 for two drinks and a bread bowl — to soak up the non-alcoholic beverages, of course.

Getaway is a sober bar, a new kind of dry nightlife option that is cropping up in New York City. The idea is to provide outlets for people who want to socialize in a bar-like location, but without having to drink alcohol.

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From coworking to a smart city.

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This year is the 10th anniversary of my decision to devote myself to the creation of the models of social changes. After banging my head against the wall, trying to scale the default coworking business model, I realized that only city-wide catalyst models such as smart city can survive and are ones of the pillars of the future of coworking business as well as cities itself.

It took some time when I tried to persuade the atomized community of small coworking owners that our model will not sustain and will probably end up very, very soon, but they didn’t want to listen. Next year, the network of publicly financed spaces turned up into business, disrupting the co-working space in every major city.

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No cash needed at this cafe. Students pay the tab with their personal data

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At Shiru Cafe in Providence, R.I., students “pay” for coffee, but not with money.

Shiru Cafe looks like a regular coffee shop. Inside, machines whir, baristas dispense caffeine and customers hammer away on laptops. But all of the customers are students, and there’s a reason for that. At Shiru Cafe, no college ID means no caffeine.

“We definitely have some people that walk in off the street that are a little confused and a little taken aback when we can’t sell them any coffee,” said Sarah Ferris, assistant manager at the Shiru Cafe branch in Providence, R.I., located near Brown University.

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Culturally sensitive robots are here to care for the elderly

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Humans are living longer, healthier lives. That’s great, but there’s a downside — the growing elderly population requires an entire industry of (expensive) caregivers, and we’ll likely need even more of them in the future.

Care robots might be able to do some of that work. Researchers suspect robots could help elderly people with everything from staying active to remembering their medications. Now researchers in Europe and Japan are working to make sure those robots don’t offend the people they’re supposed to take care of — they’re making what they say are the world’s first robots with a sense of cultural norms.

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India’s bodybuilding boom reflects a nation coming of age

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A group of twenty-something guys are crammed into a small room, flexing their muscles and applying thick layers of fake tan on dark brown skin. It’s approaching 40°C outside but, inside this windowless pen, it’s hard to breathe. Sweat is running freely and the air is thick with a tang of muscle spray as guys attempt to accentuate their bulges before stepping out on stage.

Bodybuilding is booming across India. Mr Universe-inspired competitions and gyms are popping up everywhere, from small towns in the middle of nowhere to megacities like Delhi and Mumbai.

In just over a decade, economic prosperity has transformed a struggling nation into a country developing at rapid speed, with smartphones becoming ubiquitous and tech hubs competing with the growth of Silicon Valley

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One of Estonia’s first “e-residents” explains what it means to have digital citizenship

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An online community survey recently asked me where I’m based. Without hesitation, I answered “Estonia.” You might ask: as a US citizen, why in the world did I do that? But as crazy as it may sound, Estonia is the country to which I feel most loyal today. I am one of the country’s first “e-Residents,” and I feel more welcome there than pretty much anywhere else in the world.

Hold on: an e-what?

I’m an Estonian e-Resident. A virtual resident, sort of. Let me explain.

In 2014, Estonia, a country previously known as much for its national singing revolution as anything else, became the first country in the world to launch an e-Residency program. Once admitted, e-Residents can conduct business worldwide as if they were from Estonia, which is a member of the EU. They are given government-issued digital IDs, can open Estonian bank and securities accounts, form and register Estonian companies, and have a front-row seat as nascent concepts of digital and virtual citizenship evolve. There is no requirement to have a physical presence in Estonia.

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The rise of the computer-generated celebrity

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A new generation of celebrities is selling out concerts, starring in commercials, and amassing huge Instagram followings. But none of them exist—corporeally, anyway. In recent years, and starting in Japan, technology and social media have spawned a digital demimonde of computer-generated stars, ranging from fake musicians and models to company mascots who appear as holograms (like Betty Crocker, with AI). When they’re not entertaining you, they’re trying to convince you of their humanity, and even the more cartoonish among them have fleshed-out personalities. In a way, it’s the purest expression of celebrity, which has always been an elaborate illusion. CGI starlets, though, “are much easier to control,” says Ryan Detert, CEO of the branding firm Influential. Except when they misbehave.

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