News From Around The Noosphere
Amazon faced backlash to day as news that it has given law enforcement agencies access to its Rekognition technology — image-recognition software that employs deep learning and can be used to track faces, among other things. From "The Next Web":
The bottom line: Facebook’s involvement in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, and Google’s inexplicable choice to help the US military develop image recognition AI, are fairly small potatoes compared to this. Amazon has essentially chosen to help the US government institute a big brother state to rival China’s. It’s a sad day for democracy.
Scientists have been using RF technology to monitor and track wildlife species for a long time, but the internet of things has kicked the practice into overdrive, as it has become easier than ever to outfit animals with increasingly sophisticated sensors. This provides a researchers with tremendous amount of data, but some worry there may be unintended consequences. As one historian of science puts it, "Humanity [is] bringing to the project of conserving nature the exact same control, and dominating urges, that they brought to the project of destroying nature."
Seven months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria ravaged much of the Carribbean, over 20,000 people are still without electricity in Puerto Rico.
While regulators report that more than 98 percent of utility customers have their power back, the remaining 2 percent of customers represents more than 22,000 people that can’t turn on the lights, refrigerate food, or run water pumps. That so many Americans have languished so long without electricity is a national embarrassment.With Hurricane Season's official start date less than two weeks away, many on the island are wondering not only how they will rebuild the electrical grid that was damaged last year, but also what will happen in the storms to come.
A leaked Google design video depicts a dark and disturbing vision of data collection and social engineering. The video, produced by former head of design at X — Google's semi-secret R&D studio — seems to place the value of data above human agency, and asks viewers to consider themselves "not as the owners of this information but as custodians, transient carriers, or caretakers." For their part, Google insists that the leaked video was a speculative design exercise, and was intended to be disturbing.
In The Mesh is an editorially independent project supported by goTenna.