1. Facebook Outage Reveals AI Image Tags
We all know Facebook has a knack for advertising with impeccable accuracy, but we’ve never been able to see how they actually do it. Today, we got a peek into the social media empire’s secrets. Facebook is experiencing an outage that is causing photos to buffer. Instead, the unloaded photos show something rather interesting—they reveal the way Facebook uses AI to tag the photos with keywords. The photos would have words in the top corner like “image may contain: cat.”
How does this target us?
By analyzing photos and tagging keywords, Facebook uses that data and shows you ads that would target you directly. It is one of the worlds biggest data gathering operations; it has made the visual world machine readable. It’s amazing what happens behind the scenes of something we use every day of our lives.
(Source: The Verge)
2. Sidewalk Labs Plans ‘Smart City’
Google’s sibling company Sidewalk Labs has a vision for a redevelopment of Toronto. They recently released documents with their plans to redevelop a stretch of Toronto’s waterfront into a “smart” city. Their plans began in 2017 with the announcement of a complete redesign to layout a “groundbreaking blueprint for the neighborhood of the future.”
What will this futuristic city look like?
The document details plans for smart features to be placed within the neighborhood. This includes snow-melting roadways, an underground delivery system and a slew of data collecting sensors. The city is to be made environmentally friendly and will support people from different income levels—everyone’s dream city. This city is the first step toward using cutting-edge technology in forward-looking urban design to make an inclusive community and we cannot wait for the real thing.
Check out their plans here.
3. Google & Facebook Under Investigation
After facing months of investigations over privacy and security issues, Facebook and even Google are facing more fines—this time in the UK. Since March, Google has already faced a $1.7B fine for abusive online ad practices and another $5B fine for antitrust practices across its mobile OS Android. Because Facebook and Google, along with their subsidiaries like Instagram and YouTube, hold most of the market for online advertising, they are being scrutinized for taking advantage of their platforms.
What is the UK doing about this?
The Competition and Markets Authority kicked off an investigation on Wednesday to look into digital advertising and online platforms as it pertains to Facebook and Google. Since they comprise of the majority of the advertising market, there is a danger of monopoly of power that could challenge us economically and politically.
Google is also under investigation by the EU over how it collects personal data for the purpose of online advertising. Looks like these two tech giants really need to step up their game.