Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook promised its users they would have full control over their data, noting that it cut off third-party access to detailed friend information back in 2015. But according to a New York Times story (paywall), Facebook hasn’t been counting mobile devices as third parties, leaving companies like Blackberry, Samsung, and Apple an open door to take and store information without explicit user consent.

Hanna Kozlowska


Or, here’s my personal favorite, as popularized by the philosopher Adam Elga: can you blackmail an AI by saying to it, “look, either you do as I say, or else I’m going to run a thousand copies of your code, and subject all of them to horrible tortures—and you should consider it overwhelmingly likely that you’ll be one of the copies”? (Of course, the AI will respond to such a threat however its code dictates it will. But that tautological answer doesn’t address the question: how should the AI respond?)

Scott Aaronson

AI researchers allege that machine learning is alchemy

Ali Rahimi, a researcher in artificial intelligence (AI) at Google in San Francisco, California, took a swipe at his field last December—and received a 40-second ovation for it. Speaking at an AI conference, Rahimi charged that machine learning algorithms, in which computers learn through trial and error, have become a form of “alchemy.” Researchers, he said, do not know why some algorithms work and others don’t, nor do they have rigorous criteria for choosing one AI architecture over another

Matthew Hutson

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