US Companies Help Censor the Internet in China, Too

It is unclear how many people died when Chinese troops cleared pro-democracy protests from Beijing’s Tiananmen Square 30 years ago this week. Local authorities said it was 241. A cursory search of the web or social media will show that human rights organizations estimate a death toll many times higher—unless you’re in China. Chinese tech companies such as search engine Baidu and social media platform Tencent block Tiananmen-related posts and pages to comply with the country’s authoritarian internet rules. Some US companies do their bit, too. Apple and Microsoft censor information in China as a condition of accessing the country’s lucrative but circumscribed population of more than 800 million netizens. For Microsoft, that means keeping content the government deems sensitive …

The Pentagon Wants Your Thoughts About AI but May Not Listen

In February, the Pentagon unveiled an expansive new artificial intelligence strategy that promised the technology would be used to enhance everything the department does, from killing enemies to treating injured soldiers. It said an Obama-era advisory board packed with representatives of the tech industry would help craft guidelines to ensure the technology’s power was used ethically. In the heart of Silicon Valley on Thursday, that board asked the public for advice. It got an earful—from tech executives, advocacy groups, AI researchers, and veterans, among others. Many were wary of the Pentagon’s AI ambitions and urged the board to lay down rules that would subject the department’s AI projects to close controls and scrutiny. “You have the potential of large benefits, …

Venture investors and startup execs say they dont need Elizabeth Warren to defend them from big tech

Responding to Elizabeth Warren’s call to regulate and break up some of the nation’s largest technology companies, the venture capitalists that invest in technology companies are advising the presidential hopeful to move slowly and not break anything. Warren’s plan called for regulators to be appointed to oversee the unwinding of several acquisitions that were critical to the development of the core technology that make Alphabet’s Google and the social media giant Facebook so profitable… and Zappos. Warren also wanted regulation in place that would block companies making over $25 billion that operate as social media or search platforms or marketplaces from owning companies that also sell services on those marketplaces. As a whole, venture capitalists viewing the policy were underwhelmed. …