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AI models could help companies overcome human bias

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Machine learning algorithms can reinforce human bias, but representatives from HireVue Inc. and Kantar Millward…

Brown recently argued that they may also be able to remove our biases from processes.

HireVue CTO Loren Larsen said the AI models developed by the on-demand video interview platform company not only make the search for strong candidates more efficient, they also make it fairer for those applying.

The technology enables companies to scale the search process, meaning they can “take more chances and just let someone take [an interview] slot,” Larsen said at the recent Emotion AI Summit in Boston. By adding machine learning, HireVue is hoping to take things a step further and reduce human bias in the hiring process.

Take the example of how a candidate’s looks affect the job search. A HireVue data scientist developed an AI model to determine how much attractiveness might factor into hiring decisions. The model was trained on a public database of images and then was used to score attractiveness on a scale from one to 10.

“It turns out that if you got a seven or higher, you’re twice as likely to get hired than if you were a three,” Larsen said. That figure might be palatable if attractiveness equated to job performance, but, HireVue’s study couldn’t find a correlation between the two.

To that end, HireVue has striven to build AI models that can predict a job applicant’s potential performance — without a human in the loop. The models look for “traditional competencies,” according to Larsen, such as a candidate’s emotional awareness; negotiation skills; ability to collaborate, work with a team and learn.

HireVue’s AI models not only consider what’s being said by job candidates, but how it’s being said. They’re trained to factor in facial expressions and emotion — technology that’s powered by Affectiva, a software company spun out of the MIT Media Lab as well as the conference host.

AI models in advertising

At Kantar Millward Brown, a market research company based out of London, Affectiva’s software is helping make the case for more inclusive commercials. The company specializes in “advertising development work.” It helps clients understand how their ads are likely to be received by viewers and then finds ways to make them better.

“Some of that is done in what this audience may think of as a relatively old-school way: We show people the ads and ask them questions,” said Graham Page, executive vice president and head of global research solutions, at the summit.

Some of the work is done in a decidedly modern way. The firm films participants in a focus group as they watch an advertisement, and then it analyzes facial expressions and other  physiological data using Affectiva’s software “to understand the emotional response to the ad as it plays and what the key moments are that really resonated with people,” Page said.

For example, an analysis of advertisements done for Unilever, one of Kantar Millward Brown’s biggest clients, found that the ads categorized as “more progressive,” or more diverse, were 25% more effective than advertisements categorized as “less progressive,” or more stereotypical. And ads categorized as the least progressive were twice as likely to achieve the lowest scores on effectiveness, according to Page.

He described this study and others that have shown similar findings as “instructive” in that they help build a case for other businesses that “things like progressive advertisements are not only ethically the right thing to do, they’re also good for business,” he said.

‘IT departments suck’

IT’s reputation is still dubious, at least according to the VC panelists at the conference. When the moderator asked what advice the VCs could provide startups on how to sell to corporations, Krishna Gupta from Romulus Capital didn’t mince words: “IT departments suck.” He described integration as a rate limiter for many companies.

Janet Bannister, partner at Real Ventures in Montreal, suggested startups fret less about selling against other startups and more about selling against incumbents. She said large companies might understand that a startup can solve a problem better than the technology they’re currently using, but see the startup’s future as uncertain. “Having a strong use case, other customers using the product and great investors that will speak on the company’s behalf” may help assuage a large company’s concerns, she said.

Say what?!?

“Humans are unique. We’re awesome. Let’s get beyond that point and look at the attributes that we need in an artificial intelligence system that would enable us to trust it with more and more functionality. I think it’s a continuum. Just like ethics is a continuum. Morality is a continuum. … And I think we need to invite our machines into that continuum, that struggle, that wrestle that we’re in.” — Babak Hodjat, founder and chief scientist, Sentient Technology

“It’s kind of a tough time to think about how we encourage people to trust AI. And that’s particularly true given that some of the biggest businesses that use AI, particularly in the social sharing space, are at the absolute center of a massive crisis of trust.” — Graham Page, executive vice president and head of global research solutions, Kantar Millward Brown

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Source: https://searchcio.techtarget.com/news/252449410/AI-models-could-help-companies-overcome-human-bias

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UK unveils law to fine social media firms which fail to remove online abuse

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By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Wednesday a planned new law would see social media companies fined up to 10% of turnover or 18 million pounds ($25 million) if they failed to stamp out online abuses such as racist hate crimes, while senior managers could also face criminal action.

The Online Safety Bill also seeks to strengthen the right to freedom of expression, and ensure democratic political debate and journalistic content is protected, the government said.

“It’s time for tech companies to be held to account and to protect the British people from harm. If they fail to do so, they will face penalties,” interior minister Priti Patel said.

Tech firms have been accused of doing far too little to address online abuse, with soccer clubs and other sporting authorities boycotting the world’s biggest social media platforms last month to highlight the growing problem.

The bill will place a duty of care on social media firms and websites to ensure they take swift action to remove illegal content, such as hate crimes, harassment and threats directed at individuals, including abuse which falls below the criminal threshold.

There will also be a requirement to remove and limit the spread of terrorist material, suicide content and child sexual abuse, which they would need to report to the authorities.

Those companies which fail to do so face hefty fines from regulator Ofcom which can also block access to their sites.

“The draft Bill contains reserved powers for Ofcom to pursue criminal action against named senior managers whose companies do not comply with Ofcom’s requests for information,” the government said. “These will be introduced if tech companies fail to live up to their new responsibilities.”

The proposed law will also require companies to safeguard freedom of expression, and reinstate material unfairly removed.

It will also forbid tech firms from discriminating against particular political viewpoints, and Ofcom will hold them to account for the arbitrary removal of journalistic content, the government added.

($1 = 0.7068 pounds)

(Reporting by Michael Holden)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/uk-unveils-law-fine-social-media-firms-fail-remove-online-abuse/14589

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U.S. senator asks firms about sales of hard disk drives to Huawei

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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior Republican U.S. senator on Tuesday asked the chief executives of Toshiba America Electronic Components, Seagate Technology, and Western Digital Corp if the companies are improperly supplying Huawei with foreign-produced hard disk drives.

Senator Roger Wicker, the ranking member of the Commerce Committee, said a 2020 U.S. Commerce Department regulation sought to “tighten Huawei’s ability to procure items that are the direct product of specified U.S. technology or software, such as hard disk drives.”

He said he was engaged “in a fact-finding process… about whether leading global suppliers of hard disk drives are complying” with the regulation.

Western Digital said in a statement to Reuters it “stopped shipping to Huawei in mid-September 2020 to comply with new rules issued by the Department of Commerce. We requested a license to ship products to Huawei in September 2020. Our application is still pending.”

The other companies and Huawei did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Wicker asked the companies if they believed the regulation “prohibits shipment of hard disk drives to Huawei or any affiliate without a license” and the status of all license applications to ship covered products to Huawei.

Wicker also copied Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on the letter and encouraged her act “against any company found to be circumventing any part” of the rule, saying Huawei poses “serious harm” to national security.

The Commerce Department action in August was also aimed at cracking down on its access to commercially available chips.

In August, former President Donald Trump’s administration also added 38 Huawei affiliates in 21 countries to the U.S. government’s economic blacklist raising the total to 152 affiliates since first adding Huawei in May 2019.

Washington has pushed governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, arguing the company would hand over data to the Chinese government for spying. Huawei has denied spying for China.

(Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and David Gregorio)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/us-senator-asks-firms-sales-hard-disk-drives-huawei/14588

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EA signals gaming boom extending run with upbeat annual forecast

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By Tiyashi Datta

(Reuters) -Electronic Arts Inc on Tuesday forecast annual adjusted revenue above analysts’ estimates, betting that demand for its titles, including “FIFA 21” and “Apex Legends,” would stay strong even as COVID-19 restrictions ease.

The video gaming industry has been a big pandemic winner thanks to a surge in engagement from gamers staying indoors. U.S. consumer spending on video games rose 18% in March to a record $5.6 billion, according to data from research firm NPD.

But speedy vaccinations and easing curbs have encouraged people to head outdoors, raising concerns that the gaming boom would soon fade.

EA on Tuesday signaled it expected the momentum to continue, estimating full-year adjusted revenue to be $7.30 billion, higher than a Refinitiv IBES estimate of $6.61 billion.

“We expect to continue to drive strong organic growth in Apex Legends in fiscal 2022 and expand the franchise to new platforms with the launch of Apex Mobile in the back half of the year,” Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen said on a post-earnings call.

The company’s shares were nearly 3% higher at $145.05 in extended trading.

EA has been expanding its customer base and mobile gaming footprint through deals for companies including UK-based Codemasters, known for racing titles “F1” and “Dirt”, and “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” creator Glu Mobile.

However, the costs of the acquisitions and some minor tax changes impacted its fourth-quarter profit, Jorgensen said in an interview with Reuters.

Net income for the quarter ended March 31 fell to $76 million, or 26 cents per share, from $418 million, $1.43 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.23 per share, beating expectations of $1.05 per share. Revenue of $1.49 billion also exceeded estimates of $1.39 billion.

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/ea-signals-gaming-boom-extending-run-upbeat-annual-forecast/14587

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Judge in U.S. case against Facebook delays trial preparation

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The judge in the U.S. government’s antitrust case against Facebook Inc said on Tuesday the social media company’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit “raises a number of serious challenges” and put the discovery process on hold.

In a brief order, Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said he expected to rule on the motion to dismiss next month.

“Given that Facebook’s motion to dismiss raises a number of serious challenges to the complaint,” the judge wrote in a brief order, it would be premature to exchange documents until he has a chance to decide if some or all of the complaint will be tossed out.

Facebook had asked the court to dismiss both lawsuits, one brought by the Federal Trade Commission and the other by a big group of states, alleging they were brought “in the fraught environment of relentless criticism of Facebook for matters entirely unrelated to antitrust concerns.”

Facebook said in a second filing that a recent Supreme Court ruling meant the FTC lawsuit against it calling for the sale of WhatsApp and Instagram should be dismissed. The company argued that the high court ruling allows the FTC to use a particular section of the FTC Act only to demand that behavior stop.

The FTC and a big group of states filed separate lawsuits last year that accused Facebook of breaking antitrust law to keep smaller competitors at bay by snapping up rivals, such as its 2012 acquisition of Instagram for $1 billion and of WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion.

All told, the federal government and states filed five lawsuits against Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google last year following bipartisan outrage over use and misuse of social media clout both in the economy and the political sphere.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/judge-us-case-facebook-delays-trial-preparation/14586

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