Ben Shepard
Ben Shepard

World News

Find out what’s happening in Science & Society around the world. Discover changes to science policy and law, new scientific study results, Supreme Court rulings, debates about nature versus nurture, and news about the sharing of genetic information.

Wed, Apr 10

Nita Farahany to Talk Neurotech, Privacy Rights at ISU Monday

Maybe you’ve heard about Neuralink, the company co-founded by Elon Musk that’s developing a brain chip.

Or maybe you’ve heard of the SmartCap-made headband used by thousands of companies worldwide that uses EEG sensors to detect how tired a user is.

Almost certainly, you’re familiar with the concept of an MRI, a form of medical imagining technology that uses radio waves and magnetic fields to create an image of the internal parts of the body — like the brain.

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Wed, Apr 10

AI Chatbots Sucked Up Troves of Data. Now Copyright Holders Want a Cut

HOW do ChatGPT and other chatbots generate written works, images and music to rival the output of a talented human? By ingesting content that people already created and identifying patterns in the material so they can produce something new. These generative artificial intelligence platforms have hoovered up 19th-century novels, beat poetry, draft contracts, movie scripts, photo essays, millions of songs and everything in between on the way to becoming the most disruptive technological force since the invention of the internet.

It turns out this vast trawling of mankind’s past endeavors doesn’t come for free. News organizations, novelists, music publishers and others whose copyrighted works were fed into the chatbots’ large language models as part of their training are demanding a share of the profits.

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Tue, Apr 09

How AI Risks Creating A ‘Black Box’ At The Heart Of Us Legal System

Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an expanding — and often invisible — role in America’s legal system. While AI tools are being used to inform criminal investigations, there is often no way for defendants to challenge their digital accuser or even know what role it played in the case.

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Mon, Apr 08

A Breakthrough Online Privacy Proposal Hits Congress

While some states have made data privacy gains, the US has so far been unable to implement protections at a federal level. A new bipartisan proposal called APRA could break the impasse.

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Tue, Mar 19

Backdoors That Let Cops Decrypt Messages Violate Human Rights, EU court says

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that weakening end-to-end encryption disproportionately risks undermining human rights. The international court’s decision could potentially disrupt the European Commission’s proposed plans to require email and messaging service providers to create backdoors that would allow law enforcement to easily decrypt users’ messages.

This ruling came after Russia’s intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service (FSS), began requiring Telegram to share users’ encrypted messages to deter “terrorism-related activities” in 2017, ECHR’s ruling said. A Russian Telegram user alleged that FSS’s requirement violated his rights to a private life and private communications, as well as all Telegram users’ rights.

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