Four things I'm reading this week:
Disrupting Online Extremism Through Advertising: Information control specialists in Russia and China have proven themselves to be incredibly effective at controlling online debate by inserting targeted injects into discussions. Google’s Jigsaw is turning similar insight to a remarkable goal: combatting ISIS’ radicalization efforts online by showing at-risk viewers messages that are critical of ISIS. Initial results have been very positive; it will be fascinating to see where this goes. I’m reading: “How Google aims to disrupt the Islamic State propaganda machine"
- Machine Learning Solutions Absorb Biases from Their Sample Sets: A much-touted AI-judged beauty contest picked almost all white winners. Why? One reason could be that the databases that the AI was trained on mostly contained pictures of Caucasians. So many ways to feed implicit biases into the systems we build… I’m reading: “Why An AI-Judged Beauty Contest Picked Nearly All White Winners"
- Hackers Target the Machine Layer—and That's Probably a Good Sign: At a recent hacking conference, new techniques undermined security by hammering electronic storage until electric charge bled over from one register to another. Hacks targeting the physical layer of machines are not new, but they are very rare. Part of the reason has been that there are so many other, easier ways to get inside, that the sophistication of these types of attacks was simply not necessary. A re-emergence of these physical intrusion techniques could be a sign that increased security is driving hackers to look deeper and deeper for weaknesses to exploit. I’m reading: “Forget Software, Now Hackers Are Exploiting Physics”
- Apple Just Spawned a Cottage Industry in Intercepting W1-Processed Wireless Communications: Apple’s new “airpods” deliver wireless communications for iPhones using a proprietary protocol managed by the new W1 chip. The sheer newness and strangeness of them alone suggests a researcher's goldrush to be the first to crack them. Interestingly, none of the initial coverage seems to be speculating about the security implications… I’m reading: “Apple's AirPods are smart wireless earbuds with a new W1 chip”