Amazon Keeps GOing and Going, China Goes Black Mirror, and IBM Goes Against AI Bias

It has been an interesting time since the end of the summer. September has been filled with surprises, emotionally taxing events, and of course more of the silly in technology news. This week’s scary story is Chinese dalliance with being the world’s first digital dictatorship. It’s closer than we think. I talk about Chinese dystopianism, AI checking AI, and more with Mark Starling on First News 570. You can always tune in LIVE.

CHINA EMPLOYS SOCIAL CREDIT TO FIND THE PERFECT CITIZEN
Sometimes, life imitates art. The Chinese government is rolling out a social credit system that will, and I quote, “allow the trustworthy to roam freely under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.” China is using a network of 200 million CCTV cameras, facial recognition, and machine learning technology to identify good and bad citizens. Upstanding citizens (I guess those who pick up the trash) will get discounts to stores and other benefits. Those at the bottom of society will be effectively banned from society. If China pulls this off it will be the world’s first digital dictatorship. Buying too much alcohol might suggest dependence and a citizen will lose points, buying other items like diapers or toilet paper might suggest a citizen is responsible and they’d gain points.
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IN BID TO CURB BIAS IBM CREATES AI TOOL TO DETECT AI BIAS
IBM has created the Fairness 360 Kit which can be used to scan algorithms searching for bias. Example of bias in the past were instances where algorithms weren’t able to distinguish non-white faces. AI is quickly being used to make more automated decisions and the importance of bias-free algorithms is becoming more and more prevalent. Fairness 360 will operate in the cloud and provide a dashboard to show how a companies algorithms are being used to make decisions. Last week, El Goog launched their own tool called What-If which is designed to help algorithm writers tune their algorithms and view how they are working. It amazing. AI is being used to determine if AI is showing bias. I’m not sure what to think about that.
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CONTINUING ITS BID TO SWALLOW ALL OF RETAIL: AMAZON GOES
Amazon is planning to 3000, 3000 cashier-less Go stores by 2021. Go is Amazon’s brick and mortar store offering which offers standard grocery faire without the need for cashiers. Admittedly, I’m a fan of self-service kiosks at grocery stores, and I think Amazon Go can be a winner. Amazon has already purchased Whole Foods, and GO is destined to compete against other supermarkets and convenience stores like 711 with its large selection and quick, fast, in a hurry checkout system. Amazon Go uses RFID, sensors, and cameras to help consumers complete their shopping and checkout experience on their own.
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