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Sci/Tech

What Does "Ethical" AI Mean for Open Source?

Filed under
OSS
Sci/Tech

It would be an understatement to say that artificial intelligence (AI) is much in the news these days. It's widely viewed as likely to usher in the next big step-change in computing, but a recent interesting development in the field has particular implications for open source. It concerns the rise of "ethical" AI.

In October 2016, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs and, in the UK, the House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee, all released reports on how to prepare for the future of AI, with ethical issues being an important component of those reports. At the beginning of last year, the Asilomar AI Principles were published, followed by the Montreal Declaration for a Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence, announced in November 2017.

Abstract discussions of what ethical AI might or should mean became very real in March 2018. It was revealed then that Google had won a share of the contract for the Pentagon's Project Maven, which uses artificial intelligence to interpret huge quantities of video images collected by aerial drones in order to improve the targeting of subsequent drone strikes. When this became known, it caused a firestorm at Google. Thousands of people there signed an internal petition addressed to the company's CEO, Sundar Pichai, asking him to cancel the project. Hundreds of researchers and academics sent an open letter supporting them, and some Google employees resigned in protest.

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Programming: ProjectQ and Rust

Filed under
Development
Moz/FF
Sci/Tech
  • Open-Source Software Framework Makes Quantum Computing More Accessible

    To help further this field, Häner and a team at ETH Zurich created ProjectQ, a free, open-source software framework for quantum computing that allows users to implement their quantum programs in the high-level programming language Python using a powerful and intuitive syntax. ProjectQ can then translate these programs to any type of back-end, either a simulator run on a classical computer or an actual quantum chip.

  • This Week in Rust 245

    Always wanted to contribute to open-source projects but didn't know where to start? Every week we highlight some tasks from the Rust community for you to pick and get started!

Deep learning and free software

Filed under
Debian
Sci/Tech

Deep-learning applications typically rely on a trained neural net to accomplish their goal (e.g. photo recognition, automatic translation, or playing go). That neural net uses what is essentially a large collection of weighting numbers that have been empirically determined as part of its training (which generally uses a huge set of training data). A free-software application could use those weights, but there are a number of barriers for users who might want to tweak them for various reasons. A discussion on the debian-devel mailing list recently looked at whether these deep-learning applications can ever truly be considered "free" (as in freedom) because of these pre-computed weights—and the difficulties inherent in changing them.

The conversation was started by Zhou Mo ("Lumin"); he is concerned that, even if deep-learning application projects release the weights under a free license, there are questions about how much freedom that really provides. In particular, he noted that training these networks is done using NVIDIA's proprietary cuDNN library that only runs on NVIDIA hardware.

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Meet the Astronaut AI that Runs on Ubuntu

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Sci/Tech
Ubuntu

Meet CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile CompanioN). This free-floating Ubuntu-based cyber colleague has been designed to “mitigate” the stresses of, and share the work during, long-term spaceflight.

And to do that he’s had to boldly go where no AI assistant has gone before: space.

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How Docker Is Helping to Save The World (Literally)

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Server
Sci/Tech

There are many different things that individuals might consider to be a life threatening event and then there are extinction level events, for example an asteroid hitting Earth.

While the idea of an asteroid hitting Earth and ending all life is the stuff of Hollywood movie like Armageddon, it's an actual, though remote, possibility that NASA is investigating, with the help of Docker containers.

NASA is currently developing a mission known as DART - the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, which is a spacecraft that will deploy a kinetic impact technique to deflect an asteroid. Christopher Heistand, DART Flight Software Lead, at the The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) that is helping to build the DART ship, detailed how his group is using Docker.

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Google's do no evil AI style likely to clash with open source approach

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Google
OSS
Sci/Tech
  • Google's do no evil AI style likely to clash with open source approach

    Google outlined its artificial intelligence principles in a move to placate employees who were worried about their work and research winding up in U.S. weapons systems.

    Guess what? It's already too late. There's no way that Google's open source approach and its headline principle to not allow its AI into weapons is going to mesh. Chances are fairly good that the technology already open sourced is in some fledgling weapon system somewhere. After all, TensorFlow and a bunch of other neural network tools are pretty damn handy.

  • Read Google's AI ethics memo: 'We are not developing AI for use in weapons'
  • Google Plans Not to Renew Its Contract for Project Maven, a Controversial Pentagon Drone AI Imaging Program
  • Google promises not to use A.I. for weapons or surveillance, for the most part
  • Google pledges not to develop AI weapons, but says it will still work with the military

    Google has released a set of principles to guide its work in artificial intelligence, making good on a promise to do so last month following controversy over its involvement in a Department of Defense drone project. The document, titled “Artificial Intelligence at Google: our principles,” does not directly reference this work, but makes clear that the company will not develop AI for use in weaponry. It also outlines a number of broad guidelines for AI, touching issues like bias, privacy, and human oversight.

    While the new principles forbid the development of AI weaponry, they state that Google will continue to work with the military “in many other areas.” Speaking to The Verge, a Google representative said that had these principles been published earlier, the company would likely not have become involved in the Pentagon’s drone project, which used AI to analyze surveillance footage. Although this application was for “non-offensive purposes,” and therefore hypothetically permitted under these guidelines, the representative said it was too close for comfort — suggesting Google will play it safe with future military contracts.

Free/Open Source AI Projects

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OSS
Sci/Tech
  • How open-source computing is making AI affordable

    computing and the cloud have brought many previously unaffordable IT options to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The same is becoming true of artificial intelligence (AI), although it brings new challenges to all sizes of company.

    Even though many of the commercial, high-profile products are aimed at Global 2000 companies, and others marketed at SMEs are perhaps heavier on hype than intelligence, the smarter smaller organisations can learn, build on and use AI techniques right now, with those same open-source and
    .

  • Free Ebook Offers Insight on 16 Open Source AI Projects

    Open source AI is flourishing, with companies developing and open sourcing new AI and machine learning tools at a rapid pace. To help you keep up with the changes and stay informed about the latest projects, The Linux Foundation has published a free ebook by Ibrahim Haddad examining popular open source AI projects, including Acumos AI, Apache Spark, Caffe, TensorFlow, and others.

    “It is increasingly common to see AI as open source projects,” Haddad said. And, “as with any technology where talent premiums are high, the network effects of open source are very strong.”

Scientific Linux 7.5 Released As RHEL 7.5 Rebuild

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Red Hat
Sci/Tech

Testing of the release candidate earlier this month went well and out now is the official Scientific Linux 7.5 release.

Scientific Linux 7.5 is the re-spin derived from upstream Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 and its many changes/improvements.

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How Netflix Deploys Open Source AI to Reveal Your Favorites

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Sci/Tech

In this AI based Science article, we explore How Netflix adopted an Open Source Model to improve their Entertainment Recommender Systems.
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Open Sourcing the Hunt for Exoplanets

Filed under
Google
OSS
Sci/Tech
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Python wriggles onward without its head

At the third annual PyBay Conference in San Francisco over the weekend, Python aficionados gathered to learn new tricks and touch base with old friends. Only a month earlier, Python creator Guido van Rossum said he would step down as BDFL – benevolent dictator for life – following a draining debate over the addition of a new way to assign variables within an expression (PEP 572). But if any bitterness about the proposal politics lingered, it wasn't evident among attendees. Raymond Hettinger, a Python core developer, consultant and speaker, told The Register that the retirement of Python creator Guido van Rossum hasn't really changed things. "It has not changed the tenor of development yet," he said. "Essentially, [Guido] presented us with a challenge for self-government. And at this point we don't have any active challenges or something controversial to resolve." Read more

Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

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  • How to Install HTTP Git Server with Nginx on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • Everything You Need to Know about Linux Containers, Part I: Linux Control Groups and Process Isolation
  • Robert Roth: Five or More GSoC
  • Adventures with NVMe, part 2
    A few days ago I asked people to upload their NVMe “cns” data to the LVFS. So far, 643 people did that, and I appreciate each and every submission. I promised I’d share my results, and this is what I’ve found:
  • The Next Challenge For Fwupd / LVFS Is Supporting NVMe SSD Firmware Updates
    With UEFI BIOS updating now working well with the Fwupd firmware updating utility and Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) for distributing these UEFI update capsules, Richard Hughes at Red Hat is next focusing on NVMe solid-state drives for being able to ship firmware updates under Linux. Hughes is in the early stages at looking to support NVMe firmware updates via LVFS/fwupd. Currently he is hoping for Linux users with NVMe drives to send in the id-ctrl identification data on your drives to him. This data will be useful so he knows what drives/models are most popular but also for how the firmware revision string is advertised across drives and vendors.
  • [Older] Language, Networking Packages Get Updates in Tumbleweed
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  • Red Hat Inc Risk Points versus Technology
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  • Nerd Knobs and Open Source in Network Software
    Tech is commoditizing. I've talked about this before; I think networking is commoditizing at the device level, and the days of appliance-based networking are behind us. But are networks themselves a commodity? Not any more than any other system. We are running out of useful features, so vendors are losing feature differentiation. This one is going to take a little longer… When I first started in network engineering, the world was multiprotocol, and we had a lot of different transports. For instance, we took cases on IPX, VIP, Appletalk, NetBios, and many other protocols. These all ran on top of Ethernet, T1, Frame, ATM, FDDI, RPR, Token Ring, ARCnet, various sorts of serial links ... The list always felt a little too long, to me. Today we have IPv4, IPv6, and MPLS on top of Ethernet, pretty much. All transports are framed as Ethernet, and all upper layer protocol use some form of IP. MPLS sits in the middle as the most common "transport enhancer." The first thing to note is that space across which useful features can be created is considerably smaller than it used to be.
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  • Building microprocessor architectures on open-source hardware and software
     

    "The real freedom you get from open source projects is much more, and more important than the fact that you don't have to pay for it," Frank Gürkaynak, Director of ETHZ's Microelectronics Design Center, writes in an article posted on All About Circuits. "Researchers can take what we provide and freely change it for their experiments. Startup companies can build on what we provide as a starting point and concentrate their time and energy on the actual innovations they want to provide. And people who are disturbed by various attacks on their systems [1, 2] have the chance to look inside and know what exactly is in their system."

  • Create DIY music box cards with Punchbox
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  • Fund Meant to Protect Elections May Be Too Little, Too Late
    The Election Assistance Commission, the government agency charged with distributing federal funds to support elections, released a report Tuesday detailing how each state plans to spend a total of $380 million in grants allocated to improve and secure their election systems. But even as intelligence officials warn of foreign interference in the midterm election, much of the money is not expected to be spent before Election Day. The EAC expects states to spend their allotted money within two to three years and gives them until 2023 to finish spending it. Election experts have expressed skepticism that the money will be enough to modernize election equipment and secure it against state-sponsored cyber threats.