MadHATTERS HATTERs Bulletin Board Free trial

The printed word

19 June Subscribe
Tech news with a HAT perspective 
Issue 92
There's a new data centre in town
The UK DCMS' Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation launched a closed consultation on 13 June for responses to policy considerations on how "advances in how data is used, and the technologies that lie behind it, are transforming the world as we know it." See here.
This important institution is tasked with no less than making sure our society keeps pace with things like how we diagnose illness, deliver public services and tackle climate change. NBD.
We responded, and in so doing put a stake in the ground around data ownership. HATs confer upon their owners intellectual property rights to personal data, and because of the legal, economic and technology architecture of our microservers, the personal data within a HAT can be legally owned, controlled, and processed by individuals - a feather-ruffling statement. Many believe data cannot be owned under UK law. We argue otherwise. (Watch this space as we make the case to the triumvirate of Royal Society, British Academy and TechUK in October).
8 specific questions were offered for consultation by the DCMS, and we were happy to express a bit of opinion in response to solutions that they have put forward to the challenges facing us all. If you don't have enough adrenaline in your system at the moment, you can read all of our thinking here.

But some of the simplest and most important arguments to be had are about ownership. Today, the rights to the intellectual property that data represents are dependent upon where it sits and how it was obtained (to grossly over-simplify). Different rights govern my data on Facebook than the same data held by me on my HAT.
We want the data ownership issue sorting out because it effects a ton of follow-ons. Data access rights depend on ownership, and so do legal expectations of transparency. Data fairness, data liability, and data targeting rights and obligations depend on ownership as well. If we have a societal need that surrounds data, it is in sorting out who can own it.
And of course, we have an opinion on that too. We want - no, need - a data ownership model that will make allocating it around as efficient as possible, involve the fewest externalities (other bits and people), and burden society with the fewest costs. This isn't (just)  a HAT model of ownership - it's a mix of both centralised and decentralised ownership models.

So you, sir or ma'am reading this. If you work at DCMS or helped write the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation Consultation Request. The answer to your question 5 is ownership. Let's sort that out first.

Yours in HAT

Leila Trilby, Editor-in-chief

The simplicity of making basic intelligence artificial

There is an enrapturing piece of writing out by a team at about Amazon's insides, from every possible perspective. It's amazing and can't be adequately described, and so here's a quote from it instead. 

"If you read our map from left to right, the story begins and ends with the Earth, and the geological processes of deep time. But read from top to bottom, we see the story as it begins and ends with a human. The top is the human agent, querying the Echo, and supplying Amazon with the valuable training data of verbal questions and responses that they can use to further refine their voice-enabled AI systems. At the bottom of the map is another kind of human resource: the history of human knowledge and capacity, which is also used to train and optimize artificial intelligence systems. This is a key difference between artificial intelligence systems and other forms of consumer technology: they rely on the ingestion, analysis and optimization of vast amounts of human generated images, texts and videos."

The doghouse

There has been another breach! Is so shocking. We are so surprised. British Airways suffered a breach of thousands of people's data including *trumpets* credit and payment card details. Go to your banks, people, they'll sort you out. Here's the latest about it from TechCrunch.

In addition, Facebook was briefly in the news for a more interesting story than most. They've been withholding a murder suspect's account password from the police. A person of interest in the story (read: suspect) refused to give up the password to his account and was sentenced to 14 months in prison, and now Facebook isn't playing ball either. The most fun story about tech and murder you'll read all week.

Comic of the Week

HAT News
HAT Central. I have redone our space in rural Bartonshire to act as a sweet business hub in Cambridge. It is the best, come and visit me.
Irene abroad. HAT is repping multiple continents again - Irene is in the US for a bit of holidays and a bit of engaging with global universities to talk HAT.
Penny for your thoughts. It's advisory board meeting week in London. We'll all be much wiser by Friday - thanks Alex for hosting. We love you.

Au revoir,

Jonathan Holtby, Community Manager

Previous Issues