Tag Archives: AI technology

Obama-appointed judge finds Chicom-owned TikTok is a “hypothetical risk”

In August President Trump issued executive orders to ban TikTok and WeChat in 45 days, citing national security fears.

In December last year the Army banned use of the app on government-issued devices citing that the app is a “cyber threat.”

Apparently that Pentagon advice is not good enough for Obama-appointed Judge Wendy Beetlestone as on Friday she issued an injunction blocking the President’s restrictions of TikTok operating in the U.S. on November 12.

Judge Beetlestone and Obama

From Yahoo:

“TikTok has won another battle in its fight against the Trump administration’s ban of its video-sharing app in the U.S. — or, more accurately in this case, the TikTok community won a battle.

This particular lawsuit was not led by TikTok itself, but rather a group of TikTok creators who use the app to engage with their million-plus followers.

According to the court documents, plaintiff Douglas Marland has 2.7 million followers on the app; Alec Chambers has 1.8 million followers; and Cosette Rinab has 2.3 million followers. The creators argued — successfully as it turns out — that they would lose access to their followers in the event of a ban, as well as the “professional opportunities afforded by TikTok.” In other words, they’d lose their brand sponsorships — meaning, their income.

This is not the first time that the U.S. courts have sided with TikTok to block the Trump administration’s proposed ban over the Chinese-owned video sharing app. Last month, a D.C. judge blocked the ban that would have removed the app from being listed in U.S. app stores run by Apple and Google.

That ruling had not, however, stopped the November 12 ban that would have blocked companies from providing internet hosting services that would have allowed TikTok to continue to operate in the U.S.

The Trump administration had moved to block the TikTok app from operating in the U.S. due to its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, claiming it was a national security threat. The core argument from the judge in this ruling was the “Government’s own descriptions of the national security threat posed by the TikTok app are phrased in the hypothetical.

That hypothetical risk was unable to be stated by the government, the judge argued, to be such a risk that it outweighed the public interest. The interest, in this case, was the more than 100 million users of TikTok and the creators like Marland, Chambers and Rinab that utilized it to spread “informational materials,” which allowed the judge to rule that the ban would shut down a platform for expressive activity.”

Read the whole story here.

Last August I wrote about the threats coming from the Chicoms associated with this app:

“How much of security threat is using TikTok? For starters, it’s owned by the Chicoms.

Second: The app uses facial recognition technology and is storing user’s facial geometry.

Third: The app violates children privacy laws (which is the majority of users). TikTok paid a $5.7 million fine to the FTC in 2019 over collecting personal information from kids under 13, a violation of the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

From what I’ve read online, this app collects more data from a phone than any other app does including IP addresses, contacts, browsing histories and unique device identifiers.

Lastly: It’s owned by the Chicoms.”

I’d bet $1,000 that ANYTHING associated with the Chicoms IS a REAL risk. Especially this:

DCG

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Actress Geena Davis partners with Disney to “spellcheck” scripts for gender biass

I’m sure this will help elevate the quality of crappy movies that come out of Hollyweird…

From Hollywood Reporter: Geena Davis, the Oscar-winning actor and a tireless advocate for female representation onscreen, touched down Thursday in New Zealand to deliver the closing keynote speech at the country’s pioneering Power of Inclusion Summit, which was held in downtown Auckland.

Central to Davis’ presentation was the revelation that her Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has partnered with Walt Disney Studios to deploy a new digital tool that uses AI technology to assess film and television scripts for gender bias.

Named “GD-IQ: Spellcheck for Bias,” the new tool leverages patented machine learning technology developed at the University of Southern California to rapidly analyze the text of a script to determine its number of male and female characters and whether they are representative of the real population at large. The technology also can discern the numbers of characters who are people of color, LGBTQI, possess disabilities or belong to other groups typically underrepresented and failed by Hollywood storytelling.

“I’m very proud to announce we have a brand new partnership with Walt Disney Studios using Spell Check for Bias,” Davis said onstage. “They are our pilot partners and we’re going to collaborate with Disney over the next year using this tool to help their decision-making, identify opportunities to increase diversity and inclusion in the manuscripts that they receive. We’re very excited about the possibilities with this new technology and we encourage everybody to get in touch with us and give it a try.”

Along with rapidly tallying the genders and ethnicities of characters, Spellcheck for Bias can assess the number of speaking lines the various groups have, the level of sophistication of the vocabulary they use and the relative social status or positions of power assigned to the characters by group.

Davis says the goal is not to “shame and blame” screen creators, but rather to reveal the unconscious bias that commonly manifests in even the most well-meaning screenwriter’s work. With the data in hand, informed adjustments can be made to scripts so that they don’t perpetuate stereotypes and their pernicious real-world effects.

The Spellcheck for Bias initiative is an extension of work Davis has been doing for more than 15 years.

She founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media back in 2004 after becoming a mother of a young girl and realizing how grossly underrepresented female characters were, even in children’s entertainment. The organization has since commissioned scores of studies on representation gaps in entertainment, and how such distortions shape societal expectations, and the aspirations or prejudices of under- and over-represented groups.

“I’ve gotten to play lots of cool parts in my career, and I’ve had a lot of personal experience in images shaping cultural norms,” said Davis, a reference to her pioneering roles in such landmark films as Thelma & Louise, A League of Their Own and even the early female-fronted action flick A Long Kiss Goodnight.

The Davis Institute’s mantra is “If girls see it, they can be it.” The organization has commissioned numerous studies showing how screen representations influence real-world behavior of both women and men. One of the actress’ favorite examples is the way the number of girls taking up competitive archery more than doubled shortly after the simultaneous release of The Hunger Games and Pixar’s Brave in 2012 (Davis herself took up archery as a hobby in the late 1990s, and later nearly qualified for the U.S. Olympic Archery team.)

Davis acknowledged the slow-changing nature of gender imbalance in the real world — nowhere more so than in the film industry, where “last year just eight percent of the top 250 films were directed by women.”

“Nearly every sector of our society has a huge gender disparity, particularly in leadership positions,” she continued. “So how long is it going to take to correct that, to reach parity? No matter how hard we work, we can’t snap our fingers and suddenly half the corporate boards are women. It’s going to take a long time to make some of these changes.

“But here’s my theory of change,” she continued. “There’s one category of gross gender inequality where the underrepresentation of women can be fixed absolutely overnight — and it’s onscreen. The very next project somebody makes — the next movie, TV show — can be gender-balanced. We can make this change happen very fast. In the time it takes to create a new show or a new film, we can present a whole new vision of the future. Yes, there are woefully few female CEOs in the world, but half of them can be female onscreen immediately. How are we possibly going to get the number of women and girls interested in STEM careers that we need for science, technology, engineering and math? There can be droves of women in STEM careers now on TV and in movies, and then it will happen in real life.”

DCG

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