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Tech Team

When Instagram ruins your family dinner  [CityLab]

Some of us remember the complaints of people living close to hotspots when Pokémon GO came out, but you probably have not heard of Instagram disturbing people’s sleep and down time at home. A small street in Paris, with colourful houses and small cobblestones, has become a trending Instagram photo spot. With over 31,000 pictures linked to #RueCremieux, residents complain about rappers shooting videos, bachelorette parties, dance videos and even yoga aficionados blocking their doorway! Neighbours are asking to close the street on weekends and evenings – if they can’t block the users virtually, it’ll have to be manually…

A blind spot for self-driving cars [Vox]

Training AI systems to drive cars was never going to be simple or without some road bumps. Well, the road just got bumpy. According to a new study out of the Georgia Institute of Technology, people with darker skin tones are more likely to be hit by a self-driving car. Why? Automated vehicles seem to be better at detecting pedestrians with lighter skin tones. The study analysed how often the models correctly detected the presence of people with lighter and darker skin tones, and it turns out there was 5 percentage point difference. An important issue to monitor for the future of AVs and another reason to make sure the tech workforce is diverse.

The digital energy balance’s paradox [Financial Times]

3.7%? No, this is not a new rate for the proposed “digital tax”, but the ICT sector’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions according to a new report by The Shift Project. A bit more than half comes from the use of digital technologies; the production of digital devices is responsible for the remainder. The authors of the report call for “digital sobriety” to limit the ICT’s energy consumption. Quite a challenge when the economy and society at large increasingly rely on ICT products and services. As many sectors to become “smarter” in the coming years, will that be enough to decrease their greenhouse gas emissions?

Netflix and learn [The Guardian]

Interested in picking up or practising a foreign language? Well Netflix could now help you out with the launch of Language Learning with Netflix which allows users to watch a foreign language show with subtitles in the original language and in English. Created by two independent developers with a passion for languages, the tool could help turn Netflix and chill into Netflix and learn. With the rates of school children learning second languages decreasing, this could help pique their interests through an activity they probably already enjoy.

Where privacy fails, will competition tame the power of tech? [MIT Technology Review]

Much of the buzz surrounding big tech today is about privacy. Tech giants play the part of privacy champions, like Facebook in Mark Zuckerberg’s essay on privacy for social media. But if privacy becomes a product and not a goal, maybe sceptics have a point. Facebook makes profits because it has billions of users, yes, but mainly because most of them surrender some privacy as advertisement space. With this business model, is privacy protection across WhatsApp-Facebook-Instagram really the point? If a monopoly is so powerful to set its own rules, shouldn’t competition tame it by breaking it down?

In case you haven’t had enough…

Facebook’s global lobbying against data privacy laws [Guardian]

Shark or baseball? Inside the ‘black box’ of a neural network [Wired]

Is ethical AI even possible? [New York Times]

Why the life insurance company wants to creep on your Instagram [New Yorker]

India should look to Europe as its model for data privacy [Financial Times]

These cameras can spot shoplifters even eefore they steal [Bloomberg]

Global acceptance of AI grows, but many still wary of government use [Wall Street Journal]

Etsy just became the first global e-commerce company to offset all of its shipping emissions [FastCompany]

Mark Zuckerberg has a different definition of “privacy” than you and me [Quartz]

Don’t look now: why you should be worried about machines reading your emotions [Guardian]