Crowdsourced Camera Maps, AI compute needs, and more!

Last Week in AI #101

Mini Briefs

These crowdsourced maps will show exactly where surveillance cameras are watching

While Andrew Cuomo recently signed a bill restricting the use of facial recognition in K-12 schools in New York, the bill doesn't prevent facial recognition from being used in other contexts. In response, Amnesty International is producing a crowd-sourced map of all facial recognition equipped surveillance cameras in New York City. The project enlists volunteers to use their smartphones to identify, photograph, and locate government-owned surveillance cameras with facial recognition capabilities. This map is part of a larger campaign called "Ban the Scan" intended to educate people around the world about the civil rights dangers of facial recognition. Amnesty International hopes to launch similar crowdsourced mapping projects in New Delhi, the West Bank, and Mongolia.

Why the OECD wants to calculate the AI compute needs of national governments

One of the most important ingredients in modern AI algorithms is compute. A new OECD task force, which includes former OpenAI policy director Jack Clark, intends to help governments around the world understand their needs for AI compute. According to Clark, this information will play a role similar to measures of electricity and oil in forming national and international policy. This multinational effort follows the OECD's 2019 effort to bring more than 40 nations together to agree on a set of AI principles. The task force aims to develop a single metric for compute needs, and will begin with establishing the levels of compute in datacenters owned or operated by government agencies and assessing national AI clouds.


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  • Copernican revolutions of the mind - "When Copernicus explained how the earth revolves around the sun rather than the other way around, he figuratively dethroned humanity. Earth, and therefore humanity, was no longer the center of the universe. This change in worldview is commonly referred to as the Copernican Revolution."

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