Mark Zuckerberg says extent of opioid crisis was biggest surprise of US tour

Speaking about his 30-state tour that sparked rumors of a presidential run, the Facebook CEO added: ‘We have a responsibility to remain optimistic’

The “biggest surprise by far” from Mark Zuckerberg’s listening tour of America is the extent of the opioid crisis, the Facebook CEO said on Friday.

“It’s really saddening to see,” he said, referencing the 64,000 people who died from drug overdoses last year.

Continue reading… …read more

Swift action needed to set framework for AI and machine learning | Letters

Professor Ottoline Leyser puts the case for a stewardship body for data use

Machine learning and artificial intelligence have the potential to make significant improvements to our lives in areas such as health and public services. However, as Ian Sample points out (Computer says no: why making AIs fair, open and accountable is crucial, 6 November), there are real concerns about fairness and accountability. The Royal Society and the British Academy, in Data Management and Use: Governance in the 21st century, make the urgent case for a stewardship body for data use. The governance response must be driven by the overarching principle of human flourishing – recognising that humans do not serve data, but that data must be used to serve humans and human communities. A number of principles follow from this, including the need to protect individual and collective rights and interests. We need an independent, interdisciplinary stewardship body that can identify where there are governance gaps, with the power to urge the right bodies to fill those gaps. Swift action is needed to ensure that this important area of technology operates in a way that deserves and secures public trust.
Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser
Chair of the Royal Society Science Policy Advisory Group

• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

Continue reading… …read more

The doctor, and Facebook, will see you now… | Brief letters

Scottish golf courses | Data protection | Rail strikes | John Lewis Christmas ad | Sheep and celebrities | Rappers’ monikers

Your article (Trump’s resort ‘has ruined protected Scottish dunes’, 9 November) could well have also drawn attention to the current application by two US multimillionaires to similarly develop the Coul links on the Sutherland coast, north of Dornoch. This is a most beautiful, unspoilt stretch of sand dunes; an SSSI and a haven for many varied and rare species of flora and fauna. Lessons must be learned from Trump’s Aberdeen fiasco. Full details and video can be found on the protester’s website at notcoul.com.
Wendy Ritson
Taunton, Somerset

• I always have my location data switched off (Privacy is not enough, 10 November). I was in the doctor’s surgery once and logged on to Facebook. Immediately the practice manager’s profile came up, “we think you may know this person etc”. Coincidence?
Anne Williams
Hove, East Sussex

Continue reading… …read more