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Big Revolution - Built with people in mind

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Greetings from my sofa, where I'm pushing on through my working day despite having some horrible illn
 
March 27 · Issue #30 · View online
Big Revolution
Greetings from my sofa, where I’m pushing on through my working day despite having some horrible illness that’s making my head pound. 
This afternoon I’m mentoring startups on the Ignite accelerator, so hopefully my head sorts itself out before then.

Big things you need to know today
- In an unusual move, the US Federal Trade Commission has confirmed that it is investigating Facebook’s privacy practices. The FTC rarely acknowledges ongoing investigations. “The FTC is firmly and fully committed to using all of its tools to protect the privacy of consumers,” the commission says.
- Arizona has forced Uber to suspend all autonomous driving tests in the state following last week’s fatal collision.
- Look out for more local news on Facebook. The News Feed change that prioritises nearby events has now rolled out worldwide.
- Apple has commissioned 12 original TV series since October. The New York Times reports that the company is so keen to get them out that nine of them completely skipped the pilot stage and went ‘straight-to-series.’
- Twitter is set to ban cryptocurrency and ICO ads from today, Reuters reports. The move follows Facebook, Google, and Reddit. No-one wants to be responsible for helping to spread scams.
Programming note
- Apple is holding its education-focused event at a school in Chicago today at 4pm BST/5pm CEST/10am CT/11am ET/8am PT. Recode has a summary of what to expect, including cheaper iPads to take on Chromebooks, and new software for the education market. There’s no livestream, so you’ll have to keep your eye on liveblogs from tech sites if you’re keen to follow the event.
The big thought
Credit: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas
I was amused to see (via David Meyer) that lobby group the Center for Data Innovation wants to have the EU’s tough new GDPR data protection rules amended because they will put EU artificial intelligence companies at a disadvantage. 
The subtext is that those nasty rules to protect the public will stop A.I. operating in mysterious but powerful ways consumers don’t understand.
This is a point I’ve made myself, in as much as GDPR may lead to more ‘powerful’ products in fields like facial recognition being unavailable in the EU. But the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica story has shown that the public doesn’t like their data being used in ways they don’t understand.
A.I. may be less powerful as a result of data protection rules, but that’s a good thing. It’s long overdue that tech companies built their products with privacy and data protection as a primary consideration, not just an afterthought. Powerful A.I. is only a good thing if it’s built with people in mind.
Indeed, recent events may eventually lead to GDPR-style rules being introduced in the USA, and that can only be a good thing.
One big read
Media impartiality is a problem when ignorance is given the same weight as expertise Media impartiality is a problem when ignorance is given the same weight as expertise
Broadcaster James O'Brien on how the media setting well-reasoned arguments off against complete rubbish in the name of ‘balance’ is poisoning the quality of public debate.
One big tweet
Related to this tweet below: I’ve noticed a lot of my contacts joining encrypted messaging app Signal recently, but despite all those notifications, no-one has ever actually contacted me on it. They all stick to apps like those below…
David Pierce
I’d like to avoid having private conversations inside data-hoarding apps, which means ditching:

Gmail
Hangouts
FB Messenger
Instagram
WhatsApp

And like a dozen more. This turns out to be basically impossible
11:28 PM - 26 Mar 2018
That’s all for today...
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