This month’s roundup of news from the technology sector includes the bias problem in AI; an Ethernet-powered hotel and more.
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The risks of leaning on AI without addressing bias
Artificial intelligence has the potential to amplify the biases it's fed, according research reported on by The New York Times, which compared the phenomenon to “the way a child mimics the bad behavior of his parents.”
The newspaper points to Google’s BERT technology, which scrapes information from “old books, Wikipedia and news articles,” as an illustration of this issue.
“BERT and its peers are more likely to associate men with computer programming, for example, and generally don’t give women enough credit,” the Times reports. “One program decided almost everything written about President Trump was negative, even if the actual content was flattering.”
A look at one hotel powered over Ethernet
Architectural Digest took a look at The Sinclair Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas, a 17-floor, 164-room property renovated to be powered over Ethernet, making it “one of the most ecologically sound hotels in the world when it opens in a few weeks.”
“With POE, the Sinclair will power more than 2,000 lights and amenities via an IP address on a computer network, which will not only reduce the building’s energy consumption by 30% to 40% but will allow the property to forgo the need to hire electricians, saving thousands in labor costs,” the news outlet reports. “If a light or other POE device goes out anywhere between the hotel’s basement restaurant and the rooftop bar, the Sinclair will be alerted through an immediate notification.”
A governmental fight over 5G
Different parts of the U.S. government are having a territory fight over regulation of 5G networks and the radio spectrum it will occupy, The Wall Street Journal reports.
“The Federal Communications Commission, which sets policy for spectrum licenses, has openly fought with the Commerce Department, which houses agencies that use spectrum for weather satellites that are crucial to predicting hurricanes,” the newspaper reports. “The departments of Transportation, Energy and Education have also objected to various plans to open up airwaves for faster networks. And amid all the fighting, a top Trump appointee responsible for mediating spectrum disputes abruptly quit this spring.”
Some worry the problem will handicap the U.S. in a tech arms race with China.
“We need the federal government to reduce its holdings of spectrum,” FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said. “It’s a very big deal, and it’s a very big problem.”
Compiled by Sean McCracken.