What Chatbots Say About US; Will Big Data Kill Privacy?

Posted April 21st, 2016 at 11:21 am (UTC-5)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

A screenshot from Microsoft's Tay and You Twitter account. Tay, an artificial intelligence chatbot was shut down after Internet users taught the program racist and inflammatory rhetoric. (Tay and You Twitter account)

A screenshot from Microsoft’s Tay and You Twitter account. Tay, an artificial intelligence chatbot was shut down after Internet users taught the program racist and inflammatory rhetoric. (Tay and You Twitter account)

What Chatbots Reveal About Our Own Shortcomings

The latest obsession on the technology landscape these days are chatbots, artificial intelligence programs that help Internet surfers get content, services and shopping without any help from humans. Facebook, Microsoft and other tech leaders are looking to capitalize on this technology. Citing a recent incident when Microsoft’s teen chatbot Tay was taught all kinds of vitriol and hate speech by Internet users, writer Jenna Wortham argues that ultimately, technology embodies the values of the society that creates it.

Big Data, Bigger Brother: The Rise of James Bond, Data Scientist

A cache of secret documents revealed by Privacy International shows just how much information British spy agencies are allowed to harvest from the country’s citizens, including confidential medical and financial data. Writer Steve Ranger says spy agencies are turning to big data because the old ways of information-gathering have stopped working. But just how much information are people willing to part with and at what price?

Opera Browser, Sought by Chinese Buyers, Embeds Anti-censorship Tool

Norwegian firm Opera Software ASA, maker of the Opera web browser, has embedded in its latest desktop app an anti-censorship, free VPN client. The move coincides with a bid by a Chinese consortium to acquire the browser – and complicates it. The Chinese would-be buyers include security firm Qihoo 360 Technology and Beijing Kunlun Tech corporations.

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Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

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