US internet firms drop opposition and back bill to fight online sex trafficking

  • Internet Association announces endorsement of bipartisan Senate measure
  • Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter had aggressively fought the bill

Major US internet firms on Friday said they would support legislation to make it easier to penalize operators of websites that facilitate online sex trafficking, marking a sharp reversal for Silicon Valley on an issue long considered a top policy priority.

The decision to endorse a measure advancing in the Senate could clear the way for Congress to pass the first rewrite of a law adopted 21 years ago that is widely considered a bedrock legal shield for the internet industry.

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Google DeepMind is making artificial intelligence a slave to the algorithm | Letters

Google’s role in university artificial intelligence courses alarms Sheila Hayman

Your article (Hi-tech brain drain threatens British university research, 2 November) contains one particularly chilling revelation: that Google DeepMind now runs artificial intelligence courses at UCL and Oxford.

Having met the DeepMind people in my role with the MIT Media Lab, I know that their definition of “intelligence” is so impoverished that it doesn’t extend beyond the abstract calculations that an algorithm can achieve, and completely fails to understand that human intelligence is embodied and distributed throughout our physical selves – and indeed between them, in the mirror neurons that fire in sympathy when we watch a dancer or help an injured friend. In short, it’s not just depressing, it’s bad science.

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