His DNA solved a century-old jailhouse rape. The victim: His Grandmother

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Commercial DNA tests showed that Hiram and Bruce were related. But their link proved to be much deeper — and darker — than either could have imagined.

As a black teenager in Compton, California, in the 1970s, Hiram Johnson began to wonder about his father’s fine curly hair, and the light-brown skin that strangers sometimes thought was white.

Hiram knew only a few things about his father’s childhood. Fred Johnson was raised in Jackson, Mississippi, by his mother, Bernice. Fred said that Bernice was a “beautiful black woman,” but he never said a word about his father. All Hiram knew was that his grandfather probably wasn’t black.

Continue reading… “His DNA solved a century-old jailhouse rape. The victim: His Grandmother”

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The best reason for your city to ban facial recognition

 

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The technology isn’t ready. Society isn’t ready. And the law isn’t ready.

This week, San Francisco became the first major U.S. city to bar itself from using facial recognition systems. The city’s Board of Supervisors voted 8–1 on Tuesday to prohibit the police and other public agencies — though not private companies — from using the emerging technology in any form as part of a larger bill to regulate broader surveillance efforts.

Some cheered the move as a victory for privacy and civil liberties. Some criticized it as a blow to law enforcement and public safety. And cynics dismissed it as an empty gesture, given that San Francisco wasn’t using facial recognition technology in the first place. Continue reading… “The best reason for your city to ban facial recognition”

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Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming as biased as we are

When you perform a Google search for every day queries, you don’t typically expect systemic racism to rear its ugly head. Yet, if you’re a woman searching for a hairstyle, that’s exactly what you might find.

A simple Google image search for ‘women’s professional hairstyles’ returns the following:

Continue reading… “Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming as biased as we are”

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