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futuribile / curating futures - Issue #4

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Aloha! Welcome to the newcomers and thanks to everybody else for staying tuned. There are a couple of
 
May 3 · Issue #4 · View online
futuribile / curating futures
Aloha!
Welcome to the newcomers and thanks to everybody else for staying tuned. There are a couple of things I’d like to highlight in this round:
1. Europe is finally officially positioned on Artificial Intelligence
2. We have an absurd copyright (or shall I say censorship?) law to fight.
I took the time to go through what happened on the AI front in Europe in the past couple of months, which were extremely crucial. You can find my compendium here: I report on the AI EU strategy, the budget envisioned, and the main Member States initiatives. I also highlight some criticalities.
Re: the copyright/censorship law, there is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Julia Reda, who is doing a great job in analysing the situation and pushing for change. You can read here and here a couple of her articles. In short, the law limits how we can share links and upload media, to benefit the business models of media conglomerates. To actively do something, you can write to or call a MEP and convince as many people as possible to do so. The hashtag is #SaveTheLink. 
Below, a selection of good reads.
Enjoy,
Marta Arniani

Blockchain ta mère
Digital ID
It’s a matter of fact, refugee camps are a testbed for blockchain-based ID systems. The question with such infrastructures is whether they will put ownership of digital IDs in the hands of the people being represented or simply become an easier way for corporations and states to control people’s digital existence. Ultimately, this challenge goes beyond the humanitarian field, as blockchain-based ID networks are increasingly attracting PRIVATE investments. Indeed, projects like the Decentralised Identity Foundation, the Sovrin Foundation (just joined by IBM) and uPort are fully led by private companies, whereas ID2020 sees a public-private partnership.

Crypto halal
Islamic finance is a fascinating topic: it does not allow speculation (activity must be based on tangible assets) and investments that offer returns via interest payments. How does it deal with the hot topic, cryptocurrencies? The most conservative positions consider them prohibited under Islamic law because they are “ambiguous” and provide anonymity to criminals. Recently, the top Islamic finance scholars behind the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) came together to decide whether investing in cryptocurrencies is allowed by the sharia, but apparently, there are no major conclusions from the meeting. Previously, the same body provided startups with a mean for circumventing the problem: anchoring crypto to gold. The new trend are indeed gold-backed, Shariah-compliant cryptocurrencies: the most successful are HelloGold (Malaysia) and OneGram (Dubai).
Reading list
When the robot Sophia was given Saudi Kingdom citizenship, many pointed out the irony of this in a country where women were only given the right to drive recently. Even more worrying is the notion of corporate personhood: “Giving AI anything close to human rights would allow firms to pass off both legal and tax liability to these completely synthetic entities. Basically, the entire legal notion of personhood breaks down.”
“Taste classifies, and it classifies the classifier” (Bourdieu). If our taste is dictated by data-fed algorithms controlled by massive tech corporations, then we must be content to classify ourselves as slavish followers of robots. Great long read about fashion, taste, and tech.
A very good account of how deep learning was born and of its limits.
Algorithmic Accountability: A Primer explores issues of algorithmic accountability, or the process of assigning responsibility for harm when algorithmic decision-making results in discriminatory and inequitable outcomes.  Check out also the Manifesto for an algorithmic humanitarianism.
Joito Ito (MIT Media Lab director) suggest replacing artificial intelligence with extended intelligence
Richard Stallman’s latest proposal on how to keep personal data safe and here his latest interview for the NY Mag.
The Gender Shades project evaluates the accuracy of AI-powered gender classification products. Spoiler: they are not that accurate.
Why inclusion matters for the future of Artificial Intelligence: the Berkman-Klein Centre makes a stand and launches a new web resource.
#IAmGay: Chinese civil society 1 - Weibo 0.
A Chinese artist bought online the data of 300 000 people and made public art out of it. Chapeau.
Archeology of the imaginary: life in 2018 as predicted by people in 1918. Futurology: life in the AI future predicted by people in 2018.
Do you trust this computer? A documentary.
A compendium of early 2018 research on fake news sites and media bias.
If you think about it, GDPR is making Facebook discriminating its users against their geographic location.

Public administration hurdles: you can’t regulate a hugely complex computer system with a clipboard and a pen. It will take intelligent technology to regulate intelligent technology. 
An account of how neighbourhood activists in Barcelona are appropriating new technologies into the old-fashioned politics of community development.
My friend Simone from OONI has made a short documentary about internet censorship in Cuba. 🇨🇺
The latest publication by Privacy International about privacy and freedom of expression in the age of Artificial Intelligence.
Anxious? Let’s close this issue with calm interfaces.
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That’s all! Thanks for reading and sharing.
Aloha,
Marta Arniani
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