Wired: African AI Experts Get Excluded From a Conference—Again . “At the G7 meeting in Montreal last year, Justin Trudeau told WIRED he would look into why more than 100 African artificial intelligence researchers had been barred from visiting that city to attend their field’s most important annual event, the Neural Information Processing Systems conference, or NeurIPS. Now the same thing has happened again.”
CNET: Facebook apologizes after anonymous post alleges racism at company. “Facebook apologized Friday after an anonymous online document alleged that black, Latino and Asian women continued to face racism at the company a year after a former employee brought the issue into public view. The post, titled ‘Facebook empowers racism against its employees of color’ and published on Medium, outlines incidents that 12 current and former employees experienced while on the job.”
Mother Jones: Can White Graduates of Racist Schools Unlearn Hate?. “As kids, they were thrown into ‘segregation academies’ in the South—private all-white schools where parents could send their children to avoid the integration of public schools, and where kids were, as one put it, ‘conscientiously and misguidedly furnished with an unbending white universe.’… Now, graduates of those all-white schools are telling stories about the resounding racism they learned—and the decades that some have spent unlearning or trying to unlearn it.”
Ars Technica: Members of violent white supremacist website exposed in massive data dump. “Private data for Iron March, a notorious website for violent white supremacists, has been published online in a stunning leak that exposes a trove of detailed information on as many as 1,000 or more members. The 1GB SQL database appears to contain the entirety of the site’s information, including user names, private messages, public posts, registered email addresses, and IP addresses.” Warning: some of the content quoted in this article is nauseatingly racist.
The Daily Dot: Amazon’s facial recognition misidentified Boston athletes as criminals. “Amazon’s facial recognition technology falsely matched nearly 30 professional athletes to individuals in a mugshot database, the Massachusetts chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said.”
CNN: Zuckerberg said Facebook helped Black Lives Matter. Activists disagree and are bracing for 2020. “Mark Zuckerberg last week invoked Black Lives Matter in explaining why he believes it’s so important to allow free expression on Facebook. But real black activists remember how Facebook (FB) allowed its platforms to be used to take advantage of BLM and African Americans, standing by as Russian trolls created fake pages and events and allowing for the biggest BLM page on the site to be a scam run out of Australia. They don’t trust Facebook to stop that from happening again and so they are taking the fight into their own hands.”
Haaretz: Magic or a Trap? DNA Changes Study of the Past. “The ability to extract and sequence DNA from samples that are thousands and even hundreds of thousands of years old has led to significant breakthroughs in the study of evolution. By sequencing Neanderthal genomes, scientists have learned about the health, physical appearance and settlement patterns of Neanderthals. Even more important, DNA research led to the discovery of formerly unknown hominids…. These successes led researches to apply genetic tools to later periods, and according to some critics that is where the danger lies.”