The Next Web: Algorithms associating appearance with criminality have a dark past

The Next Web: Algorithms associating appearance with criminality have a dark past. “‘Phrenology’ has an old-fashioned ring to it. It sounds like it belongs in a history book, filed somewhere between bloodletting and velocipedes. We’d like to think that judging people’s worth based on the size and shape of their skull is a practice that’s well behind us. However, phrenology is once again rearing its lumpy head. In recent years, machine-learning algorithms have promised governments and private companies the power to glean all sorts of information from people’s appearance.”

Rutgers University: Rutgers Law Professor Authors Algorithm Database for Public Research

Rutgers University: Rutgers Law Professor Authors Algorithm Database for Public Research. “Rutgers Law School Professor Ellen P. Goodman, the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy and Law (RIIPL), and MuckRock have launched a new, open database of automated decision systems and algorithms used in city, county, state, and other public entities across the United States. The database, which is open to the public, is the result of a yearlong reporting and research project conducted by RIIPL and MuckRock into more than 200 instances of algorithmic policy being instituted across America.”

The Verge: ICE rigged its algorithms to keep immigrants in jail, claims lawsuit

The Verge: ICE rigged its algorithms to keep immigrants in jail, claims lawsuit. “A new lawsuit claims Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rigged software to create a ‘secret no-release policy’ for people suspected of breaking immigration laws. ICE’s New York office uses a risk assessment algorithm to recommend that an arrestee be released or detained until a hearing. But the New York Civil Liberties Union and Bronx Defenders say the algorithm was changed in 2015 and again in 2017, removing the ability to recommend release, even for arrestees who posed no threat.”

ZDNet: AI’s big problem: Lazy humans just trust the algorithms too much

ZDNet: AI’s big problem: Lazy humans just trust the algorithms too much. “It’s all well and good to recommend that humans consistently monitor the decisions made by AI systems, especially if those decisions impact decisive fields like warfare or policing. But in reality, how good are humans at catching the flaws of those systems?”

Slate: How Algorithmic Bias Hurts People With Disabilities

Slate: How Algorithmic Bias Hurts People With Disabilities. “A hiring tool analyzes facial movements and tone of voice to assess job candidates’ video interviews. A study reports that Facebook’s algorithm automatically shows users job ads based on inferences about their gender and race. Facial recognition tools work less accurately on people with darker skin tones. As more instances of algorithmic bias hit the headlines, policymakers are starting to respond. But in this important conversation, a critical area is being overlooked: the impact on people with disabilities.”

Smarter government or data-driven disaster: the algorithms helping control local communities (MuckRock)

MuckRock: Smarter government or data-driven disaster: the algorithms helping control local communities. “Does handing government decisions over to algorithms save time and money? Can algorithms be fairer or less biased than human decision making? Do they make us safer? Automation and artificial intelligence could improve the notorious inefficiencies of government, and it could exacerbate existing errors in the data being used to power it. MuckRock and the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy & Law (RIIPL) have compiled a collection of algorithms used in communities across the country to automate government decision-making.”

Search Engine Watch: The perils of tricking Google’s algorithm

Search Engine Watch: The perils of tricking Google’s algorithm. “Google has been regularly introducing algorithm updates to improve the quality of its search results. But it also penalizes sites that employ unethical or outdated practices to rank higher. This can adversely impact a brand’s reputation and bottom line. Ideally, these updates should be used as a guide for improving a site’s UX, ranking on SERPs is an end result that will follow. Read on to know the ill-effects of chasing Google’s algorithms. There’s also a bonus involved! You will also learn some effective tips to stay on top of these updates while boosting your business reputation.”