Stories

Estonia: A city is automating homes to reduce energy consumption

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The city of Tartu installed automated systems in old housing blocks. Using nudges, sensors and automated decision-making, it hopes to reduce energy consumption by two-thirds.

Automated moderation tool from Google rates People of Color and gays as “toxic”

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By Nicolas Kayser-Bril • nkb@algorithmwatch.org • GPG Key A systematic review of Google’s Perspective, a tool for automated content moderation, reveals that some adjectives are considered more toxic t…

Finland: How to unionize when your boss is an algorithm and you’re self-employed

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A group of Finnish couriers launched the Justice4Couriers campaign in 2018. Although they are technically self-employed, they must obey the whims of their platform’s algorithm. They are fighting back.

This man had his credit score changed from C to A+ after a few emails

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Auf Deutsch lesen: Wie ein Schreibfehler die Kreditwürdigkeit senken kann By Nicolas Kayser-Bril • nkb@algorithmwatch.org • GPG Key A 52-year-old man in Hanover, Germany, discovered that he’d been err…

Unchecked use of computer vision by police carries high risks of discrimination

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By Nicolas Kayser-Bril • nkb@algorithmwatch.org • GPG Key At least 11 local police forces in Europe use computer vision to automatically analyze images from surveillance cameras. The risks of discrimi…

In Spain, the VioGén algorithm attempts to forecast gender violence

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By Michele Catanzaro This story is part of AlgorithmWatch’s upcoming report Automating Society 2020, to be published later this year. Subscribe to our newsletter to be alerted when the report i…

Credit scores algorithms keep operating normally even as everything else doesn’t

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By Nicolas Kayser-Bril • nkb@algorithmwatch.org • GPG Key Consumer organizations are calling for a credit score freeze but credit bureaus see no need to change anything as the Covid-19 pandemic wreaks…

Brexit: How EU nationals navigate the automated checks of the “Settled Status” program

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The British Home Office deployed a mobile app for EU citizens to obtain permission to stay in the UK. Some are confident about the partly automated process, others live Kafkaesque experiences.

Google apologizes after its Vision AI produced racist results

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A Google service that automatically labels images produced starkly different results depending on skin tone on a given image. The company fixed the issue, but the problem is likely much broader.

How Dutch activists got an invasive fraud detection algorithm banned

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The Dutch government has been using SyRI, a secret algorithm, to detect possible social welfare fraud. Civil rights activists have taken the matter to court and managed to get public organizations to…

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