Mashable: Twitter to investigate apparent racial bias in photo previews

Mashable: Twitter to investigate apparent racial bias in photo previews. “The first look a Twitter user gets at a tweet might be an unintentionally racially biased one. Twitter said Sunday that it would investigate whether the neural network that selects which part of an image to show in a photo preview favors showing the faces of white people over Black people.”

PC Magazine: Want to Get Verified on Instagram? A Huge Follower Account Isn’t Enough

PC Magazine: Want to Get Verified on Instagram? A Huge Follower Account Isn’t Enough. “Instagram says it noticed that people were turning to the platform to raise awareness and promote the causes they were invested in, especially in the midst of the pandemic, racial tensions, and the 2020 election. So it created a new Instagram Equity team ‘that will focus on better understanding and addressing bias in our product development and people’s experiences on Instagram’—including fairness in algorithms.”

Washington Post: Mark Zuckerberg’s effort to disrupt philanthropy has a race problem

Washington Post: Mark Zuckerberg’s effort to disrupt philanthropy has a race problem. “Through [Chan Zuckerberg Initiative], [Mark] Zuckerberg propagates his worldview far beyond Facebook. And some Black employees say that his philanthropic efforts are stymied by the same desire to appear unbiased that critics of Facebook claim is causing real-world harm to Black communities. In recent months, civil rights leaders, independent auditors and Facebook’s own employees have called out what they perceive as Zuckerberg’s blind spots around race, including his approach to civil rights as a partisan issue, a blinkered view on moderating white supremacy and discomfort discussing anti-Blackness.”

Politico: Trump pressures head of consumer agency to bend on social media crackdown

Politico: Trump pressures head of consumer agency to bend on social media crackdown. “President Donald Trump has personally pushed the head of the Federal Trade Commission to aid his crusade against alleged political bias in social media, according to two people familiar with the conversations — an unusually direct effort by a president to bend a legally independent agency to his agenda.”

EurekAlert: New tool improves fairness of online search rankings

EurekAlert: New tool improves fairness of online search rankings. “When you search for something on the internet, do you scroll through page after page of suggestions – or pick from the first few choices? Because most people choose from the tops of these lists, they rarely see the vast majority of the options, creating a potential for bias in everything from hiring to media exposure to e-commerce. In a new paper, Cornell University researchers introduce a tool they’ve developed to improve the fairness of online rankings without sacrificing their usefulness or relevance.”

Northwestern University: New Tool Maps Racial Disparity in Arrests Across the Country

Northwestern University: New Tool Maps Racial Disparity in Arrests Across the Country. “As communities across America have gathered in recent months to protest police abuses, researchers are taking a close look at how, where, and why racial disparities in policing occur. [Institute For Policy Research] sociologist Beth Redbird is one of them, and with graduate research assistant Kat Albrecht she’s compiled the data for a powerful new visual tool that shows how those disparities have grown over time. With their new police bias map, Redbird and Albrecht show county by county the extent to which Black Americans are arrested at a higher rate than White Americans — a trend that has only accelerated in recent decades. They also include data on the arrests of Asian Americans and American Indians, the latter of whom saw an increase in disparity that matches that among Blacks.”

TechRepublic: AI-powered tool aims to help reduce bias and racially charged language on websites

TechRepublic: AI-powered tool aims to help reduce bias and racially charged language on websites. “Website accessibility tech provider UserWay has released an AI-powered tool designed to help organizations ensure their websites are free from discriminatory, biased, and racially charged language. The tool, Content Moderator, flags content for review, and nothing is deleted or removed without approval from site administrators, according to UserWay.”

Science Blog: Video Game Teaches Productive Civil Discourse And Overcoming Tribalism

Science Blog: Video Game Teaches Productive Civil Discourse And Overcoming Tribalism. “A Carnegie Mellon University researcher is proposing that students can learn to make their civil discourse more productive through an video game powered by artificial intelligence. The educational system targeted toward high schoolers adapts to students’ specific values and can be used to measure — and in some cases reduce — the impact of bias.”

VentureBeat: Artie releases tool to measure bias in speech recognition models

VentureBeat: Artie releases tool to measure bias in speech recognition models. “Artie, a startup developing a platform for mobile games on social media that feature AI, today released a data set and tool for detecting demographic bias in voice apps. The Artie Bias Corpus (ABC), which consists of audio files along with their transcriptions, aims to diagnose and mitigate the impact of factors like age, gender, and accent in voice recognition systems.”

NiemanLab: Coronavirus responses highlight how humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview

NiemanLab: Coronavirus responses highlight how humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview. “Americans increasingly exist in highly polarized, informationally insulated ideological communities occupying their own information universes. Within segments of the political blogosphere, global warming is dismissed as either a hoax or so uncertain as to be unworthy of response. Within other geographic or online communities, the science of vaccine safety, fluoridated drinking water, and genetically modified foods is distorted or ignored. There is a marked gap in expressed concern over the coronavirus depending on political party affiliation, apparently based in part on partisan disagreements over factual issues like the effectiveness of social distancing or the actual COVID-19 death rate.”

MIT Technology Review: AI researchers say scientific publishers help perpetuate racist algorithms

MIT Technology Review: AI researchers say scientific publishers help perpetuate racist algorithms. “An open letter from a growing coalition of AI researchers is calling out scientific publisher Springer Nature for a conference paper it originally planned to include in its forthcoming book Transactions on Computational Science & Computational Intelligence. The paper, titled ‘A Deep Neural Network Model to Predict Criminality Using Image Processing,’ presents a face recognition system purportedly capable of predicting whether someone is a criminal, according to the original press release.”

Arizona State University: ‘To Be Welcoming’ curriculum offers tools to counteract bias

Arizona State University: ‘To Be Welcoming’ curriculum offers tools to counteract bias. “Two years ago, Starbucks asked Arizona State University to develop an online curriculum for all Starbucks employees that is intended to drive reflection and conversation on the topic of bias. Now Starbucks is making those courses available to the public at no cost. The curriculum, a set of 15 modules, is called ‘To Be Welcoming’ and was rolled out in September 2019. The interactive courses were created by ASU faculty experts to share research and information that can help people to think about how they view the world and to consider how other people experience it. “

CNET: Instagram to review how its policies, algorithm impact black users

CNET: Instagram to review how its policies, algorithm impact black users. “Instagram plans to reevaluate its policies in an effort to ensure black voices are heard on the app. In a blog post on Tuesday, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri promised to address inequities in the social media company’s approach to harassment, account verification, content distribution and algorithmic bias.”

NBC News: Current and ex-employees allege Google drastically rolled back diversity and inclusion programs

NBC News: Current and ex-employees allege Google drastically rolled back diversity and inclusion programs. “Since 2018, internal diversity and inclusion training programs have been scaled back or cut entirely, four Google employees and two people who recently left the company told NBC News in interviews. In addition, they said, the team responsible for those programs has been reduced in size, and positions previously held by full-time employees have been outsourced or not refilled after members of the diversity teams left the company.”

Wired: Protests Renew Scrutiny of Tech’s Ties to Law Enforcement

Wired: Protests Renew Scrutiny of Tech’s Ties to Law Enforcement. “THE COLLECTIVE OUTRAGE over the murder of George Floyd has led to nationwide protests, renewed calls for police reform, and uncharacteristically swift support for racial equity from Silicon Valley leaders. The backlash has been swift as well. Critics are calling out many companies now pledging support for Black Lives Matter, accusing them of failing to stop racist language on their platforms and, in some cases, enabling the over-policing and surveillance that protesters now march against.”