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Tuna data?

7 March Subscribe
Tech news with a HAT perspective 
Issue 115

Tuna data, or how we can all learn from a small animal that can't breathe

In 2014, Google bought an AI company that would go on to set some pretty golden standards for "cool stuff you can do with AI" around the world (beating up Starcraft players, mastering Go). DeepMind Health, an arm of that company, then won a contract with the NHS to use citizens data to solve technology challenges with machine learning. They created cool things like the "Streams" app that helps identify kidney failure in a hospital.

In July 2017, the Information Commissioners Office examined the NHS--DeepMind deal, identifying questionable treatment of patient data and ultimately causing it to be revised. DeepMind helpfully identified that "mistakes had been made and lessons needed to be learned."

In November it was announced that Deepmind Health would be brought closer in to the Google hivemind

As this movement (like the WhatsApp --> Facebook movement) gets closer to bein' real, it's worth thinking a little bit about the burden to consent. NHS-meets-DeepMind isn't illegal anymore (that we know of) but the patients whose information is now just that little bit closer to living in Google's advertising servers never individually consented to it being there, and they never will. It feels wrong to have a multi-million market merger means your kidney status is available to the highest bidder. 

As data gets passed on, becoming second and then third hand information, it gets dirty, and we stop caring about it. My data may be precious, but data about me sourced from someone who got it from someone else doesn't feel super valuable or important. 

That's where we lose power and autonomy - in the cracks. AI and algorithms, like apps and governments, should get their information straight from the source, where the permission and transaction for it can clearly be seen. 

Data rights protected. There should be a little badge over the good data somewhere, like there is for tuna that's ethically sourced. You could even sell it to advertisers (she says, with a smirk).

Yours in HAT,

Leila Trilby, Editor-in-chief

The present


Jibo is dead, long live Jibo. The social robot tried and failed to make money, but it will live on in our hearts.

The Guardian and the Toronto Star (a big Canadian newspaper) reported last week that Facebook had worked to influence hundreds of politicians in a “secretive global lobbying operation” to ensure data privacy laws are favourable to the company. At this point they're pretty much just trolling us.

At least they've lost 15 million users in the last 2 years.

Of course, the flip side of it is that the tech giants (and all of us) are actually super affected by regulation changes, and they've started writing to Westminster asking it to identify the difference between "illegal" and "harmful". (It's whim, right?)

The future


A campaign to end Google Chrome.

Tomorrow you'll buy clothes on your computer (hah!). Alternative title: Our friends at Metail made the BBC!

The doghouse

So, there's a thing about third parties on websites already. When you load a web page, a bunch of the stuff that means it takes its sweet time is created by some advertiser or tracker or whatever. A story/post from someone named Doug Sillars has recently uncovered the elusive 4th and 5th parties now. Third-party developers sending you scripts unsolicited can actually be pinging fourth-parties who if they choose get code from fifth parties (!) and on and on. And that's why the Internet's broken.

HAT News

Learning. The HAT-Wolfson Symposium on the Digital Person is back! 30 April 2019, reserve your seat today.

Bam. The HAT deck is shiny, we're talking to friendlies, it's raise time again! Have you always wanted to hear a HAT pitch from yours truly? Hit reply and I'll pitch it to you, it's good practice.

Wilkommen. A warm welcome to new HAT partners DataTrader and LLEnt, both doing research-friendly HAT applications. Great to have you on board!

Jonathan Holtby, HAT Community Manager

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