11 September 2023

Greetings, and welcome to the AI & Human Rights newsletter, ‘first day back to work, ahhhh £&*!e my inbox’ edition.

There are a couple of interesting facial recognition pieces. The first concerns the (really quite engaging) hunt for suspected terrorist Daniel Khalifa after his escape from Wandsworth prison, and the report that facial recognition was used on surveillance footage obtained in the course of the investigation. This will be – I think – one of the first times that the Metropolitan police will have applied its new retrospective facial recognition policy. The second is a story regarding the Home Office’s apparent intervention into an Information Commissioners Office investigation, concerning the private company Facewatch. This is really a follow up to a story we linked to a few weeks back, reporting leaked information detailing the Home Offices plans to lobby the ICO.

On the economic, social and cultural rights front there is a story about the UK’s use of AI to vet welfare claims, and how a lack of transparency in this regard – and a failure to respond to FOI requests – may see them taken to court.

There is also a super interesting piece on the difficulties involved in using language translation apps throughout the asylum application process. The story itself refers to the US, but I would imagine this is something at least being considered more broadly, and links to the EU’s trial of sentiment analysis at the borders.

I also enjoyed this piece on the use of AI to monitor for air pollution, particularly given its scope for wider application, and particularly as I live in a city with pretty bad air pollution!

Hope you all have a lovely week, thanks as ever to Sarah Zarmsky, and since this is my first day back in the office, and I’m in need of a bit of a pick me up, I’ll leave you with this song by Aaron Frazer, the intro to which I love.

The Guardian, Surveillance centre hailed as critical in capture of escaped terror suspect

404 Media, Buzzy AI Startup for Generating 3D Models Used Cheap Human Labor 

The Guardian, Lost in AI translation: growing reliance on language apps jeopardizes some asylum applications 

The Guardian, UK warned over lack of transparency on use of AI to vet welfare claims | Freedom of information  

Communications of the ACM, Ethics and Equity in AI for Collaborative Learning 

CNN, Suspected Chinese operatives using AI generated images to spread disinformation among US voters, Microsoft says 

MIT Technology Review, Chinese AI chatbots want to be your emotional support  

MIT Technology Review, How one elite university is approaching ChatGPT this school year 

UNESCO, The Promising Future and Responsible Challenges of Generative AI: Insights from Panelists  

DLA Piper, UK Parliamentary Committee sets the stage for the future of artificial intelligence governance policy  

The New York Times, Museum Curators Evaluate A.I. Threat by Giving It the Reins 

Financial Times, We must shape the AI tools that will in turn shape us 

The Conversation, Indigenous knowledges informing ‘machine learning’ could prevent stolen art and other culturally unsafe AI practices

The New York Times, 2 Senators Propose Bipartisan Framework for A.I. Laws  

The Guardian, Search engines required to stamp out AI-generated images of child abuse under Australia’s new code 

The Conversation, AI-narrated audiobooks are here – and they raise some serious ethical questions 

Financial Times, Microsoft pledges legal protection for AI-generated copyright breaches

WIRED, The Generative AI Boom Could Fuel a New International Arms Race

The Conversation, Is AI coming for our kids? Why the latest wave of pop-cultural tech anxiety should come as no surprise   

Financial Times, UK tech tsar warns of AI cyber threat to NHS 

Financial Times, Google will require election ads to ‘prominently disclose’ AI content 

The New York Times, Opinion | The Fight for Your Kids’ Brains Has Already Begun 

WIRED, Generative AI’s Biggest Security Flaw Is Not Easy to Fix 

The Conversation, Experts alone can’t handle AI – social scientists explain why the public needs a seat at the table

The Conversation, Should AI be permitted in college classrooms? 4 scholars weigh in

The Register, X may train its AI models on your social media posts

The Washington Post, AI regulation around the world, from China to Brazil     

Big Brother Watch, Big Brother Watch slams Home Office meddling in private facial recognition probe

Smithsonian Magazine, Using A.I. to Track Air Pollution From Open-Top Coal Trains   

The Independent, Behind the AI boom, the armies of overseas workers in ‘digital sweatshops’ 


Alan Turing Institute, Northumbria University, and Sentencing Academy, The use of AI in sentencing and the management of offenders 

WITNESS, UK Communications and Digital Committee Lords Select Committee Inquiry: Large Language Models

UNESCO, Guidance for generative AI in education and research 

Academic Literature

*Disclaimer: The following articles, chapters, and books have not been evaluated for their methodology and do not necessarily reflect the views of the AI & Human Right Blog 

Anna Rosalie Greipl, Data-driven Learning Systems and the Commission of International Crimes: Concerns for Criminal Responsibility?

Swati Srivastava, Algorithmic Governance and the International Politics of Big Tech 

Events TMC Asser Instituut, 12-13 October 2023, The Hague, DILEMA Conference: Designing international law and ethics into military artificial intelligence

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