Europe eyes strict rules for artificial intelligence

That means AI systems that streamline manufacturing, model climate change, or make the energy grid more efficient would be welcome. But many technologies currently in use in Europe today, such as algorithms used to scan CVs, make creditworthiness assessments, hand out social security benefits or asylum and visa applications, or help judges make decisions, would be labeled as “high risk,” and would be subject to extra scrutiny.

Even if a human proves more biased than the AI alternative, the human is accountable. AI is not. Excluding AI from certain fields might lower efficiency but keep accountability. Sooner or later, one has to decide which is the too is to be valued more than the other.

Industry is likely to take issue with the stringent rules, which they say would make the EU market less appealing and encourage European innovators to launch elsewhere.

So? Is the goal for no one to take any issue? I hear drug trafficker once objected to being regulated too. I wonder why they were ignored. Obviously AI isn’t drug trafficking but the logic that elevates any and all industry backlash as enough of a reason to maybe rethink things is bonkers.

In an interview with POLITICO in March, Eric Schmidt, Google’s former chief and chair of the U.S. National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), said Europe’s strategy won’t be successful, as it is “simply not big enough” to compete.

“Europe will need to partner with the United States on these key platforms,” Schmidt said, referring to American big tech companies which dominate the development of AI technologies.

If the EU chooses accountability over efficiency, success won’t be measured by Eric Schmidt’s definition. As for the necessity to work with US corporations, sure. This doesn’t negate whose laws are to be enforced where. Saying that having to work with US companies, as an implication that the EU will have to conform to someone’s produce instead of the other way around, is simply juvenile.

Epic vs. Apple – notes from a platform streetfight

It’s peripheral to the lawsuit, but for some reason, Epic’s lawyers didn’t ask for the EGS PC’s financial specifics to be redacted from Apple’s filings. (I’m pretty sure they could have, since Apple’s profitability on the App Store did get redacted.)

So we get juicy Apple statements like: “EGS is not profitable and will not be profitable for at least multiple years, if ever. .. Epic lost around $181 million on EGS in 2019… Epic is projected to lose around $273 million on EGS in 2020… Indeed, Epic committed $444 million in minimum guarantees for 2020 alone… Epic projects to lose around $139 million in 2021.”

Those ain’t small numbers! And following the headlines, Tim Sweeney has gone public on Twitter – presumably prompting calls from horrified Epic lawyers – saying: “It has proven to be a fantastic success in reaching gamers with great games and a fantastic investment into growing the business… Apple spins this as “losing money”, but spending now in order to build a great, profitable business in the future is exactly what investment is! It’s equally true whether you’re building a factory, a store, or a game.”

PR, lawyers and idealists carving up facts as it suits them is always a very nice way to exercise simple critical thinking. Apple is correct. Epic Games Store is losing money. There’s no way around that. Tim Sweeney is also right. Said losses are an investment on Epic Games’ part. This doesn’t negate the fact that the store operates at a loss. Both are true. But Sweeney is overenthusiastic as ever. Apple does not claim these losses aren’t an investment, it just picks the data point that suits that side’s argument, as expected in such proceedings. Sweeney, on the other hand, does attempt to say that Apple misrepresents investment as loss. Sweeney is wrong. And he creates just another opening for Apple. I bet Epic’s lawyers just love it when Tim Sweeney mouths off in public.

It’s peripheral to the lawsuit, but for some reason, Epic’s lawyers didn’t ask for the EGS PC’s financial specifics to be redacted from Apple’s filings. (I’m pretty sure they could have, since Apple’s profitability on the App Store did get redacted.)

Oh, boy. Reporters would give 3 arms and 4 legs to get their hands on that number.

Game designers must be included in the conversation around tech ethics | Opinion

“At best, [it’s] somewhat annoying,” he wrote in 2007. “At worst [it’s] aggravating trying to remember which page had the result you are looking for.”

Removing the cumbersome pagination and replacing it with a self-populating infinite scroll proved to be a dramatic UX improvement — enough that years later it became a foundational feature of the ethically dubious attention economy, which describes the category of app or website that competes to capture the most minutes of a user’s day.

Today, Raskin likens his design to “behavioral cocaine” and wishes it never existed. Similar public disavowals have been made by the creator of the now-ubiquitous Like button, and by the creator of the retweet feature.

How’s that for iconic design related remorse?

If designers want to avoid repeating the same mistakes made in the digital age, the design community must do more to understand the unique implications of designing for these experiences — and include game designers in the emerging conversation around design ethics.

This is the basic thesis of this opinion piece but I think it comes off as naive at best. It rests on the assumption that designers have no understanding on what they’re doing which is tough to swallow when thinking of very well established and systematically applied design norms in support of overarching business plans.

It’s a change in corporate culture that’s needed, more often than not, so that management takes designer input into account. But that point isn’t easy to get to, especially in the West, when designers aren’t “rockstars” like directors in cinema and singers or composers can be in music. Most just don’t have the clout required.

Nobody is flying to join Google’s FLoC

Here’s a statement that a Mozilla spokesperson provided to us on the plans for Firefox:

We are currently evaluating many of the privacy preserving advertising proposals, including those put forward by Google, but have no current plans to implement any of them at this time.

We don’t buy into the assumption that the industry needs billions of data points about people, that are collected and shared without their understanding, to serve relevant advertising. That is why we’ve implemented Enhanced Tracking Protection by default to block more than ten billion trackers a day, and continue to innovate on new ways to protect people who use Firefox.
Advertising and privacy can co-exist. And the advertising industry can operate differently than it has in past years. We look forward to playing a role in finding solutions that build a better web.

That assumption is exactly what annoys me when it comes to discussion of such matters, mostly because it’s hardly ever addressed. The fact that advertising has come to be reliant on a wealth of data, the reality that a dearth of data will make online advertising less efficient —to one degree or another; it doesn’t really matter— are what seemingly monopolises any talk of such matters. But I’m still waiting to hear why I, you or any other individual should absolutely have to allow access to any data that isn’t necessary to make something work. And that’s before we contemplate who is accountable for keeping data safe, where and how or accountable to whom upon failure to do so correctly. How is that not the main subject is incomprehensible to me.