Tim Berners-Lee: we must regulate tech firms to prevent ‘weaponised’ web

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Tim Berners-Lee: ‘What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms.’

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, has called for large technology firms to be regulated to prevent the web from being “weaponised at scale”.

The web can be weaponised – and we can’t count on big tech to stop it

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Silicon Valley isn’t just disrupting democracy—it’s replacing it

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If you want to understand the threat that Silicon Valley poses to culture at large, consider Apple’s $5 billion headquarters. The Cupertino, California, building may seem like paradise to some, with striking architecture—a donut-shaped building featuring the world’s largest piece of curved glass—and lavish details like iPhone-inspired elevator buttons and patented pizza boxes that prevent soggy crusts. Writing for Wired, Stephen Levy quotes one of the architects of the project: “The idea that a beautiful object descended on this verdant, luxurious landscape and that it will be inhabited by 12,000 people: That is a true utopian vision.” (Never mind the lack of onsite childcare in this revolutionary building.)

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Facebook has mapped the population of 23 countries in incredible detail

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In its research into the best way to provide the internet to the entire world, Facebook has mapped where all 7.5 billion people on the planet live. By combining government census data and satellite images along with some help from Facebook’s image recognition neural network, the company can now locate every single man-made structure to within just five meters.

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Facebook’s A.I. system that learned to lie to get what it wants

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We’re beginning to get a glimpse of some of the built-in limits to artificial intelligence.

Humans are natural negotiators. We arrange dozens of tiny little details throughout our day to produce a desired outcome: What time a meeting should start, when you can take time off work, or how many cookies you can take from the cookie jar.

Machines typically don’t share that affinity, but new research from Facebook’s AI research lab might offer a starting point to change that. The new system learned to negotiate from looking at each side of 5,808 human conversations, setting the groundwork for bots that could schedule meetings or get you the best deal online.

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A New, More Rigorous Study Confirms: The More You Use Facebook, the Worse You Feel

The average Facebook user spends almost an hour on the site every day, according to data provided by the company last year. A Deloitte survey found that for many smartphone users, checking social media apps are the first thing they do in the morning – often before even getting out of bed. Of course, social interaction is a healthy and necessary part of human existence. Thousands of studies have concluded that most human beings thrive when they have strong, positive relationships with other human beings.
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The danger behind the algorithm economy

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A few months ago The Washington Post reported that Facebook collects 98 data points on each of its nearly 2 billion users. Among this 98 are ethnicity, income, net worth, home value, if you are a mother, if you are a soccer mom, if you are married, the number of lines of credit you have, if you are interested in Ramadan, when you bought your car, and on and on and on.

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