The People Trying to Make Internet Recommendations Less Toxic

The internet is an ocean of algorithms trying to tell you what to do. YouTube and Netflix proffer videos they calculate you’ll watch. Facebook and Twitter filter and reorganize posts from your connections, avowedly in your interest—but also in their own. New York entrepreneur Brian Whitman helped create such a system. He sold a music analytics startup called The Echo Nest to Spotify in 2014, bolstering the streaming music service’s ability to recommend new songs from a person’s past listening. Whitman says he saw clear evidence of algorithms’ value at Spotify. But he founded his current startup, Canopy, after becoming fearful of their downsides. “Traditional recommendation systems involve scraping every possible bit of data about me and then putting it …

Carlos Ghosn’s lawyer apologises as workman disguise ploy backfires

Former Nissan chief widely mocked for leaving detention dressed as workman A lawyer on Nissan chairs reputation. Not only did the widely mocked getup, intended to throw reporters off the scent, fool no one. It also heightened already intense media interest in Ghosn, who was financial misconduct, emerged from 108 days in detention flanked by officials and sporting dark blue overalls, a light blue cap and a surgical mask. The blue-collar bluff continued when Ghosn got into a silver Suzuki van with a workmans ladder strapped to its roof and was driven across Tokyo to his lawyers office, pursued by media motorcycles and helicopters, . The exact location of his residence, where he was later reunited with his family, remains …

This Big Facebook Critic Fears Techs Business Model

Longtime Silicon Valley investor Roger McNamee met Mark Zuckerberg in 2006, when the Facebook CEO was just 22 and his two-year-old company still only catered to university students. Facebook was young, but McNamee was already convinced it was “the next big thing,” he told WIRED editor in chief Nicholas Thompson on Sunday during a keynote conversation at SXSW 2019 in Austin. “The thing that had killed every attempt at social apps before that [was] essentially that the ability to be anonymous allowed trolls to take over. I was convinced that Mark’s requirement of authenticated identity was literally the holy grail, it was the thing that was going to unlock this opportunity.” There was no investment opportunity at the time; McNamee …

Facebook Will Crack Down on Anti-Vaccine Content

As Clark County, Washington, combats an ongoing measles outbreak, Facebook announced Thursday that it’s diminishing the reach of anti-vaccine information on its platform. It will no longer allow it to be promoted through ads or recommendations, and will make it less prominent in search results. The social network will not take down anti-vaccine posts entirely, however. The company also said it was exploring ways to give users more context about vaccines from “expert organizations.” The decision was widely anticipated: Facebook, along with YouTube and Amazon, has faced criticism from journalists and lawmakers in recent weeks for allowing vaccine misinformation to flourish on their sites. Facebook also told media outlets in February that it was looking into how it should address …

Why Chinese Companies Plug a US Test for Facial Recognition

Last year, Chinese police arrested a man at a pop concert after he was flagged as a criminal suspect by a facial recognition system installed at the venue. The software that called the cops was developed by Shanghai startup Yitu Tech. It was marketed with a stamp of approval from the US government. Yitu is a top performer on a testing program run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology that’s vital to the fast-growing facial recognition industry. More than 60 companies took part in the most recent rounds of testing. The rankings are dominated by entrants from Russia and China, where governments are bullish about facial recognition and relatively unconcerned about privacy. “It’s considered the industry standard and …

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This is the CVS of the future

New York (CNN Business)This is what it looks like when a drug store chain and a health insurer merge. CVS already has 1,100 walk-in MinuteClinics that offer basic care for strep throat or an ear infection.But its HealthHub stores are much better equipped to deal with patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and respiratory illnesses. The revamped stores, with on-site dieticians, nurse practitioners, lab services, and medical supplies on the shelves, signal that CVS wants to move its stores beyond aisles of snack food and toothpaste. “Do you need to have half a row for greeting cards? Probably not. And how many different types of shampoo do you need?” said Lisa Gill, health care analyst at JP Morgan. Houston …