House of Lords Investigating AI ‘Ethics’

AI ethicsWith the advancement of artificial intelligence, the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence is calling on academics, experts, industry insiders, and the public for feedback on the social, economic, and ethical implications of the technology.

Information and Evidence Gathering

Appointed by House of Lords on 29 June 2017, the committee has been tasked to gather evidence and prepare a report by 31 March 2018, and will start listening to statements of evidence in the autumn.

The committee are encouraging concerned sectors to provide their views on how Artificial Intelligence may be or has been affecting them. Evidence will be mainly gathered using a questionnaire.

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New ‘Pay To Read’ Facebook Content Model

pay to read Facebook contentIt has been reported that in a move to satisfy the publishers on its social network, Facebook may soon be moving over to charging its users for reading content on its platform.

Keeping Publishers Happy

Facebook is reported to be in the early stages of talks with various news organisations and publishers on monetising content that is currently being consumed by Facebook users for free on its platform.

This means the company could soon support subscription-based revenue models, making users pay for news and information.

10 Articles a Month

For the present, Facebook is telling its publishers that they can show at least 10 free articles a month before the paywall starts. Publishers will also have full access to and control of subscriber data generated from Facebook.

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Vloggers – A Great Example Of Video To Engage With Your Market

Video vloggers marketingIn the interest of starting the kids early with life skills, The Halifax is enlisting the help of young YouTube stars / ‘vloggers’, to help teach other children about basic money management.

Halifax and the Young Vloggers

What better way is there to communicate with young people than using a combination of their peers, celebrity (vloggers), and a medium that many of them use regularly? This is just what The Halifax, part of Lloyds Banking Group, has decided is a worthwhile tactic pursue, as it has selected children who are YouTube video bloggers, or vloggers, and asked them to create vlogs for 11 to 15 year-olds.

Money Matters

The YouTubers will talk about management in a language that is familiar to the target age bracket and they will offer guidance and information on savings, spending, and online safety.

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Mobile Banking Iris-Scanning

Iris Eye ScannerThis September, TSB customers will just have to look at their phone’s camera to access mobile banking services thanks to the introduction of iris-scanning authentication.

Iris-Scanning Access

TSB customers with Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ will be the first in Europe to use iris-scanning technology to unlock their TSB banking app. As always, users will be required to register their biometric data within the app first, and then use it in lieu of passwords and personal identification numbers.

Authentication Most Secure

Carlos Abarca, TSB’s CIO, is reported to be all for a more customer-friendly approach to identification and authentication and, aside from reducing the time spent on keying in your PIN, iris recognition is believed by many to be the most secure method of verifying a customer’s identity because no two irises are the same.

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Drones To Be Registered, Users To Be Tested!

dronesThe UK government announced last week that drones need to be registered and users may have to undergo safety awareness tests soon.

Accountability and Responsibly

New government rules mean that drone units weighing 250 grams and above now need to be registered online. Owners of these drones will also have to take safety awareness tests to determine their knowledge of UK safety, security, and privacy regulations. The government hopes that these new rules will help to develop accountability among drone owners and encourage them to act responsibly.


The new rules have been introduced after numerous near-miss drone and aircraft incidents (many near airports) which have endangered life and caused major disruption. For example, a drone being flown dangerously close to Gatwick airport earlier this month caused four Easyjet and one British Airways flights to be diverted and Airprox figures show that there were 70 such incidents last year, and 33 so far in this year.

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MoneySuperMarket Fined For Sending Emails

emails on mobile tablet The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined MoneySuperMarket £80,000 for sending 7 million emails to former subscribers who had already opted out of receiving communications from the company.

What Happened?

It has been reported that MoneySuperMarket sent 7.1 million emails over 10 days between 30th November and 10th December 2016 to people who had once been subscribers, but had already opted out of receiving direct marketing correspondence from the price comparison website. This was reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) which then fined MoneySuperMarket £80,000. The company confirmed to the ICO that out of the 7.1m emails sent, 6.7m were received by former subscribers.

Against The Law

According to the ICO, in this case, MoneySuperMarket broke the law and received the fine because they sent direct marketing messages ‘dressed up’ as legitimate updates people who had opted out of receiving all / any kind of communications anyway.

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Australia To Introduce Own Version of ‘Snooper’s Charter’

Snoopers ENCRYPTED spy eyeAustralian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is reportedly seeking to introduce a law that will force technology companies to give law enforcement agencies access to encrypted messages.

Like the UK Investigatory Powers Act

The proposed law is to be introduced with the stated intention of reducing online criminal activity e.g. terrorism, and looks set to be a beefed-up version of the UK’s Investigatory Powers Act (also known as the ‘Snooper’s Charter’).

Give Access To Encrypted Messages

As with the UK’s Act, one of the main aims of Australia’s new law will be to give their government the power to force technology companies to give law enforcement agencies access to encrypted messages / seek an end to the end-to-end encryption model, and oblige them to assist security forces in their investigations in other ways.

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Artificial Intelligence Growth – A Risk To Humans

Artificial Intelligence walle robot disneyIn a recent meeting with the National Governors Association, the US bi-partisan body dealing with state and national public policy and governance, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk reportedly described Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a “fundamental risk to the existence of civilisation.”

Sci-Fi Fears Coming True?

Although we have always wanted to benefit from the strengths of artificially intelligent machines / bots, one of the most popular sci-fi fears is that we create a race that is capable of destroying us. The recent comments from Elon Musk, therefore, appear to have grabbed the headlines by connecting with these fears.

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Samsung Phones For Gold

samsung Galaxy Mobile Phone black on Wooden BenchAn announcement on the Korean website of Samsung indicates that it plans to recover and re-use components, and recycle precious materials from its stock of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, the production of which was stopped last October after incidents of some phones catching fire.

What Happened?

When Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 was introduced in August last year, it was intended to a serious challenger to the Apple’s iPhone 7, but, after a series of reports of Note 7 phones smouldering, catching fire, and exploding (blamed on the battery at the time), the company announced on September 2nd that production was being suspended. In early October 2016, Samsung officially confirmed that it was permanently stopping production of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. At the time, Samsung offered a voluntary replacement programme for users with affected Note 7s.

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Paid Content ‘Fast Lanes’ Possible As US Rules May Be Removed

Fast Lane neutrality The possible scrapping of a 2015 net neutrality order in the US has led to a group of major technology firms, including Alphabet Inc and Facebook, challenging the U.S. Federal Communications Commission on the grounds that it could lead to paid “fast lanes” for web content.

What Order?

The net neutrality order, put in place by the Obama administration, re-classified high-speed internet service providers as if they were utilities i.e. a telecommunications services rather than information ones. This meant that they were then subject to regulation under Title II of the Communications Act which was has been used to preserve an open Internet by stopping broadband providers from elevating one kind of content over another i.e. making sure that all Internet traffic is treated equally.

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