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Dec 5, 2021

Clearview AI Is Enroute to Win an US Patent for Facial Recognition Technology

Posted by in categories: government, law enforcement, robotics/AI, surveillance

The government wants to have a “search engine for faces,” but the experts are wary.

If you haven’t heard of Clearview AI then you should, as the company’s facial recognition technology has likely already spotted you. Clearview’s software goes through public images from social media to help law enforcement identify wanted individuals by matching their public images with those found in government databases or surveillance footage. Now, the company just got permission to be awarded a U.S. federal patent, according to Politico.

The firm is not without its fair share of controversy. It has long faced opposition from privacy advocates and civil rights groups. The first says it makes use of citizens’ faces without their knowledge or consent. The latter warns of the fact that facial recognition technology is notoriously prone to racially-based errors, misidentifying women and minorities much more frequently than white men and sometimes leading to false arrests.

Dec 4, 2021

Clearview AI will get a US patent for its facial recognition tech

Posted by in categories: government, internet, law enforcement, robotics/AI, security

Clearview AI is about to get formal acknowledgment for its controversial facial recognition technology. Politico reports Clearview has received a US Patent and Trademark Office “notice of allowance” indicating officials will approve a filing for its system, which scans faces across public internet data to find people from government lists and security camera footage. The company just has to pay administrative fees to secure the patent.

In a Politico interview, Clearview founder Hoan Ton-That claimed this was the first facial recognition patent involving “large-scale internet data.” The firm sells its tool to government clients (including law enforcement) hoping to accelerate searches.

As you might imagine, there’s a concern the USPTO is effectively blessing Clearview’s technology and giving the company a chance to grow despite widespread objections to its technology’s very existence. Critics are concerned Clearview is building image databases without targets’ knowledge or permission, and multiple governments (including Australia and the UK) believe the facial recognition violates data laws. The tech could theoretically be used to stifle political dissent or, in private use, to stalk other people. That’s not including worries about possible gender and race biases for facial recognition as a whole.

Dec 1, 2021

China: Citizen journalist Zhang Zhan detained over Wuhan reporting | DW News

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law enforcement

Citizen journalist now close to death.


Citizen journalist Zhang Zhan is in a Chinese prison for reporting from Wuhan during the height of the city’s coronavirus outbreak in 2020. Her family says she is on hunger strike and could be near death. All calls for her release have gone unheeded.

Continue reading “China: Citizen journalist Zhang Zhan detained over Wuhan reporting | DW News” »

Nov 30, 2021

Benefits Of “Deepfaking” The Mind In Creating Brain-Computer Interfaces

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law enforcement, robotics/AI

Most times when we think of deepfakes, we think of the myriad negative applications. From pornography to blackmail to politics, deepfakes are a product of machine learning. They create a lie that is so realistic that it is hard to believe it is not the real thing. In a society plagued by fake news, deepfakes have the potential to do a substantial amount of harm.

But a recent team of researchers found another use for deepfakes — to deepfake the mind. And using machine learning to simulate artificial neural data in this way may make a world of difference for those with disabilities.

For people with full body paralysis, the body can seemingly become a prison. Communicating and the simplest of tasks may appear to be an insurmountable challenge. But even if the body is frozen, the mind may be very active. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) offer a way for these patients to interact with the world.

Continue reading “Benefits Of ‘Deepfaking’ The Mind In Creating Brain-Computer Interfaces” »

Nov 23, 2021

Singapore’s Tech Utopia Dream Has Become a Surveillance State Nightmare

Posted by in categories: law enforcement, robotics/AI, surveillance, transportation

This new reality promises robotic dogs to enforce social distancing and publicly owned flying taxis to provide transportation since private vehicles are only available to the rich. The technology is currently being rolled out in other western nations, including Canada.

On a hard disk somewhere in the surveillance archives of Singapore’s Changi prison is a video of Jolovan Wham, naked, alone, performing Hamlet.

Nov 17, 2021

Notorious Emotet Botnet Makes a Comeback with the Help of TrickBot Malware

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, law enforcement

The notorious Emotet malware is staging a comeback of sorts nearly 10 months after a coordinated law enforcement operation dismantled its command-and-control infrastructure in late January 2021.

According to a new report from security researcher Luca Ebach, the infamous TrickBot malware is being used as an entry point to distribute what appears to be a new version of Emotet on systems previously infected by the former. The latest variant takes the form of a DLL file, with the first occurrence of the deployment being detected on November 14.

Nov 9, 2021

Regeneron’s COVID antibody drug shows protection for up to 8 months

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law enforcement

The antibody therapy, REGEN-COV, is currently authorized in the United States to treat people with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 and for prevention of infection in those exposed to infected individuals, and others at high risk of exposure in settings such as nursing homes or prisons. [USN: L4N2P640O]

The extended authorization could help boost sales of Regeneron’s antibody cocktail, in the face of competition from oral COVID-19 pills such as those being developed by Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and Merck & Co (MRK.N).


Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Monday a single dose of its antibody cocktail reduced the risk of contracting COVID-19 by 81.6% in a late-stage trial, in the two to eight months period following the drug’s administration.

Continue reading “Regeneron’s COVID antibody drug shows protection for up to 8 months” »

Oct 9, 2021

AI Weekly: EU facial recognition ban highlights need for U.S. legislation

Posted by in categories: food, government, information science, law enforcement, privacy, robotics/AI, security, terrorism

This week, The European Parliament, the body responsible for adopting European Union (EU) legislation, passed a non-binding resolution calling for a ban on law enforcement use of facial recognition technology in public places. The resolution, which also proposes a moratorium on the deployment of predictive policing software, would restrict the use of remote biometric identification unless it’s to fight “serious” crime, such as kidnapping and terrorism.

The approach stands in contrast to that of U.S. agencies, which continue to embrace facial recognition even in light of studies showing the potential for ethnic, racial, and gender bias. A recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that 10 branches including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, and Homeland Security plan to expand their use of facial recognition between 2020 and 2023 as they implement as many as 17 different facial recognition systems.

Commercial face-analyzing systems have been critiqued by scholars and activists alike throughout the past decade, if not longer. The technology and techniques — everything from sepia-tinged film to low-contrast digital cameras — often favor lighter skin, encoding racial bias in algorithms. Indeed, independent benchmarks of vendors’ systems by the Gender Shades project and others have revealed that facial recognition technologies are susceptible to a range of prejudices exacerbated by misuse in the field. For example, a report from Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology details how police feed facial recognition software flawed data, including composite sketches and pictures of celebrities who share physical features with suspects.

Continue reading “AI Weekly: EU facial recognition ban highlights need for U.S. legislation” »

Sep 17, 2021

US Government’s New Chevy Suburbans Cost $3.6 Million Each

Posted by in categories: government, law enforcement, security, transportation

GM Defense, a subsidiary of General Motors, was recently awarded a contract to develop next-generation SUVs for the government’s fleet.

This specific contract was awarded by the US Department of State, and the vehicles will be built to support the Diplomatic Security Service. Diplomatic Security is a federal law enforcement agency charged with securing diplomatic assets and personnel. In 2,020 GM Defense also got the contract to build the army’s new infantry squad vehicle based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. That particular contract was more extensive and, at the time of writing, valued at $213.4 million. The eventual goal was 2,065 vehicles.

Sep 9, 2021

Department of Commerce establishes National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee

Posted by in categories: economics, government, law enforcement, policy, robotics/AI

US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo has announced that the Commerce Department has established a high-level committee to advise the President and other federal agencies on a range of issues related to artificial intelligence (AI). Working with the National AI Initiative Office (NAIIO) in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Department is now seeking to recruit top-level candidates to serve on the committee.

A formal notice describing the National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee (NAIAC) and the call for nominations for the committee and its Subcommittee on Artificial Intelligence and Law Enforcement appears in the Federal Register published today.

“AI presents an enormous opportunity to tackle the biggest issues of our time, strengthen our technological competitiveness, and be an engine for growth in nearly every sector of the economy,” said Secretary Raimondo. “But we must be thoughtful, creative, and wise in how we address the challenges that accompany these new technologies. That includes, but is not limited to, ensuring that President Biden’s comprehensive commitment to advancing equity and racial justice extends to our development and use of AI technology. This committee will help the federal government to do that by providing insights into a full range of issues raised by AI.”

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