White Supremacy and Artificial Intelligence

Developing technology that doesn’t perpetuate racism demands putting social values before profit. In her new book Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code, Ruha Benjamin breaks down the “New Jim Code,” technology design that promises a utopian future but serves racial hierarchies and racial bias. When people change how they speak or act in order to conform to dominant norms, we call it “code-switching.” And, like other types of codes, the practice of code-switching is power-laden. Justine Cassell, a professor at Carnegie Mellon’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute, creates educational…

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Are our phones eavesdropping on us?

Smart devices make life easier but security experts say there’s a darkside to the technology. Video of Are our phones eavesdropping on us? Ok Google. Hey Siri? Alexa! Voice recognition has become commonplace for millions of people around the world as consumers become more reliant on the virtual assistants that come with our smart phones and speakers. And while these AI-powered assistants quietly listen for our commands, who else is on the other end? The short answer is pretty much everyone. That’s because while your device is listening for your…

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More than 130 US firms request licenses to sell to Huawei

No licences have been granted to US suppliers since the Chinese telecommunications giant was blacklisted in May. The United States Commerce Department has received more than 130 applications from companies for licenses to sell US goods to China‘s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, three sources said, nearly two months after President Donald Trump said some sales would be allowed. But the Trump administration has not yet granted any licences for sales to the blacklisted company, said the people familiar with the process, who spoke to the Reuters news agency on condition…

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Philip Morris in merger talks with Altria; e-cigarettes at stake

A merger of the two would create a company with a market value of more than $200bn. Philip Morris International Inc and Altria Group Inc are discussing an all-stock merger, potentially reuniting two of the world’s largest tobacco companies in a bid to dominate the fast-growing electronic-cigarette market. Shares of Altria, which was spun out of Philip Morris more than a decade ago, rose more than six percent but later erased gains to trade 3.3 percent lower after CNBC reported the deal had no premium. Philip Morris shares fell 6.8…

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Purdue Pharma reportedly offers $12bn to settle opioid lawsuits

Hoping to turn the page on more than 2,000 legal claims, the drugmaker seeks to strike deal with attorneys. OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and its owners, the members of the Sackler family, have offered to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits against the company for between $10bn and $12bn, the NBC News network reported on Tuesday, citing two people familiar with the mediation. Purdue is among several drugmakers and distributors facing lawsuits that seek to hold them responsible for fueling the United States opioid addiction crisis, which has claimed thousands of…

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‘A coward’: Epstein accusers testify weeks after his suicide

More than a dozen women detail how they said Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused in emotional hearing after his death. A succession of women who said Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused them at a young age voiced anger and defiance in a packed New York courtroom on Tuesday, some lamenting that the financier‘s suicide deprived them of the opportunity to obtain justice. “The fact that I will never have a chance to face my predator in court eats away at my soul,” Jennifer Araoz said during a more than two hour hearing before…

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