A beauty contest was judged by AI and the robots didn’t like dark skin | Technology | The Guardian

The simplest explanation for biased algorithms is that the humans who create them have their own deeply entrenched biases. That means that despite perceptions that algorithms are somehow neutral and uniquely objective, they can often reproduce and amplify existing prejudices. The Beauty.AI results offer “the perfect illustration of the problem”, said Bernard Harcourt, Columbia University professor of law and political science who has studied “predictive policing”, which has increasingly relied on machines. “The idea that you could come up with a culturally neutral, racially neutral conception of beauty is simply mind-boggling.”The case is a reminder that “humans are really doing the thinking, even when it’s couched as algorithms and we think it’s neutral and scientific,” he said.Civil liberty groups have recently raised concerns that computer-based law enforcement forecasting tools – which use data to predict where future crimes will occur – rely on flawed statistics and can exacerbate racially biased and harmful policing practices.“It’s polluted data producing polluted results,” said Malkia Cyril, executive director of the Center for Media Justice.

Source: A beauty contest was judged by AI and the robots didn’t like dark skin | Technology | The Guardian

Chris Christie Reportedly Told Someone To Shut Up At Trump’s Classified Security Briefing: Gothamist

Donald Trump and classified intelligence briefings go together like toothpaste and orange juice. Or maybe that’s not totally accurate since healthy teeth and O.J. are good on their own and Donald Trump is a living Yahoo comments section with a toupee stapled on it. Either way, telling Donald Trump secret national security information seems like a bad idea. Adding the shy, retiring Chris Christie and shouty general Michael Flynn to the briefing would only seem to be a worse idea. And hey what do you know, NBC News reports that Christie told Flynn to shut up in the middle of the briefing. Can’t wait until all these alpha males are deciding how to run the country the old fashioned way.NBC looked into what actually happened at Trump’s August 17th security briefing, after he told a ball-gagged Matt Lauer that his amazing ability to translate body language revealed that people briefing him were pissed at Obama because he didn’t follow their policy advice. Not only was that apparently untrue, but two sources told NBC that Christie either told General Flynn to shut up or to calm down after he repeatedly interrupted the security briefing.And in what’s become a daily ritual, Donald Trump is being accused of lying about a very easily refutable statement. In this instance, one U.S. official told NBC that the briefing officers don’t give policy advice, and another official told the site that intelligence officials are specifically trained not to give away their thoughts through their body language.So, throw another one on the pile of routine lies Trump tells at his public appearances. At least he’s got a very polished and professional policy team in Washington turning his laudanum-addled thoughts into coherent policy proposals in the event he actually wins, right? Why just look right here in the Washington Post:The Trump campaign built a large policy shop in Washington that has now largely melted away because of neglect, mismanagement and promises of pay that were never honored. Many of the team’s former members say the campaign leadership never took the Washington office seriously and let it wither away after squeezing it dry.Maybe this policy expert is still available?

Source: Chris Christie Reportedly Told Someone To Shut Up At Trump’s Classified Security Briefing: Gothamist

Donald Trump’s Remarks Show He’s Mistaken on Sexual Assault in Military – The New York Times

Speaking at a candidates’ forum, Mr. Trump defended one of his Twitter posts from 2013 concerning the high number of sexual assaults in the military, and he said that he had been “absolutely correct” in sending out a message that said, “What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”Mr. Trump also suggested that the solution to the problem was the formation of a separate military justice system — although one is already in existence. That system sits at the center of the debate over how to tackle sexual assault.His comments displayed what was apparently a misunderstanding of the Pentagon’s decades-long struggle to curb such assaults and the military justice system already in place to prosecute them.

Source: Donald Trump’s Remarks Show He’s Mistaken on Sexual Assault in Military – The New York Times

Japan and South Africa Try to Block Proposed Ban on Domestic Ivory Trade | Inter Press Service – “About money and greed”

The Great Elephant Census, an aerial survey that took almost three years and tracked 350,000 square miles, showed that savanna elephant populations in 15 countries had declined by 30 percent – equal to some 144,000 elephants – between 2007 and 2014. The rate of decline is accelerating and is currently running at an annual 8 percent primarily due to poaching, meaning that some 27,000 elephants a year in those countries are being slaughtered for their ivory. Comparative data did not exist for three countries. The sharpest declines were seen in Tanzania and northern Mozambique.

Source: Japan and South Africa Try to Block Proposed Ban on Domestic Ivory Trade | Inter Press Service

Don’t let size fool you! Meet Sweden’s tiniest firefighter – The Local

But although Carlsson demonstrably has the physical strength to handle the job, she insists the firefighter vocation is about more than just muscles and body mass.”You don’t just need to be strong, you need to have the right techniques for carrying, for lifting, for carrying big hoses, there’s a lot of technique, it’s not only about being strong,” she explains.Her first job was a call-out to a forest fire, which saw her and the team battle the blaze for 13 hours straight. But although she says she has not yet had to face the classic scenario most people imagine when they think of firefighters – boldly running into burning buildings to save someone’s life – she will be ready when it comes.”I know that I will have this kind of situation sooner or later and I don’t think you can prepare. When I’m on call, you know, it’s a role, it’s not me as my person, it’s a role and I have to act, I have to do my job, that’s what I’m hired for,” she says.

Source: Don’t let size fool you! Meet Sweden’s tiniest firefighter – The Local

Norway hairdresser on trial for refusing client in hijab – The Local

The 47-year-old hairdresser told the court she saw the hijab as a political symbol representing an ideology that frightens her, rather than as a religious symbol. “I see it as a totalitarian symbol. When I see a hijab, I don’t think of religion, but of totalitarian ideologies and regimes,” she told the judges, cited by daily VG. “A hijab is not religious, it’s political,” she added. Described by Norwegian media as a former activist in Islamophobic movements such as Pegida, Hodne recently told TV2 news channel that the headscarf was a symbol of “Islamic ideology” — which she called “evil” — just like “the swastika is that of Nazism”. She said that accepting a woman in hijab as a client would have meant she would have had to turn away male customers, since the woman would not have been able to expose her hair with men present.

Source: Norway hairdresser on trial for refusing client in hijab – The Local

Ferguson protest leader Darren Seals shot and found dead in a burning car | US news | The Guardian

More than 100 people gathered Tuesday night for a candlelight vigil at the site where Seals’ body was found, friends said. Activists who attended the vigil said they were furious to find that police had not taped off the crime scene, and that there were still bullet casings on the ground they thought police should have collected as evidence.“We were literally stepping on the ashes from his car and his body,” said Tamara “Bates” Dodd, a St Louis hip-hop artist and activist. “That was probably the thing that shook me up the most, seeing little kids walking past, not knowing what they’re standing on.”Local activists were also troubled by the parallels between Seals’ death and the 2014 murder of 20-year-old Deandre Joshua, who was shot and left in a burning car on the same night a grand jury chose not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in Brown’s death. In all, according to one activist’s count, five other men in the St Louis area have been shot and left in burning cars since 2014.“Many people are really worried. We don’t know if there’s some type of movement serial killer on the loose,” said Patricia Bynes, a protester and former Democratic committeewoman for Ferguson.

Source: Ferguson protest leader Darren Seals shot and found dead in a burning car | US news | The Guardian

The Dancing Medicine. | Rebelle Society

Why, as we grow, do we disconnect from the medicine of our divine, inner child? Why do we block an untamed trust in the wisdom of our non-linear instincts? Why do we stop harvesting the beauty of a flexible mind?

Because society values clear divisions between children and adults. Because we become wounded and afraid. Because we do not want to be rejected.

Source: The Dancing Medicine. | Rebelle Society

The Lonely Path – sister-hood magazine. A Fuuse production by Deeyah Khan.

Early next morning I heard quite a commotion. I could see faintly through the fabric placed over the small window. Someone was trying to come in through the door at the other end of the courtyard. Someone was speaking in English!‘Yes, but I’d like to check all the same…’‘Help! In here – behind the green cloth on the window!’ I howled.A few tense moments passed; the door opened, and in came a tall English man, and a Pakistani woman.My father and mother, and various relatives all followed.‘Are you Leyla Ali?’I nodded, my body trembling profusely.‘I’m Roger Ellis, from the British High Commission, and this is my assistant. We’re here to help, if that’s what you want.’I looked at my father’s face, dark with indignation, his nostrils flaring. My mother stood behind him, fear casting a gloomy shadow all around her.I nodded again.My father spoke coldly, but steadily, ensuring I heard every single word. ‘If you leave now, you’re dead to us. You’ll never see your family again. Think carefully before you take this huge step. It can never be undone.’Why did it have to be like this?If I chose my family, I chose a marriage I didn’t want with a man I didn’t love.If I chose not to marry him, I had to leave, and be a stranger to my family forever.That was a choice? Some choice!‘I love you both, but I can’t sacrifice my whole life to a marriage I don’t want, just so you can please your biradari, over and above me, your child. Am I so insignificant? Do I matter so little? Abbu you can’t really love me if you’re prepared to do that. I won’t stay.’I turned to Mr Ellis.‘I am ready.’On the drive to Islamabad, I was told what would happen next; where I would stay, where I would be housed when I got to the UK, what support I would get – but it didn’t help me feel any better. I was petrified of how I would survive alone. The last twenty-one years with my family was all I had known.A spasm of painful sombreness jolted through my body.I didn’t ask to be born. I didn’t ask to be treated so unjustly, yet I had to live with the consequences. I had taken the lonely path; and it was loneliness I feared most.

Source: The Lonely Path – sister-hood magazine. A Fuuse production by Deeyah Khan.

Soledad O’Brien calls out CNN for “mainstreaming racism” Nails it!

“And then Donald Trump will say, ‘Hillary Clinton, she’s a bigot.’ And it’s covered, the journalist part comes in, ‘They trade barbs. He said she’s a bigot and she points out that he might be appealing to racists.’ It only becomes ‘he said, she said.’ When in actuality, the fact that Donald Trump said she’s a bigot without the long laundry list of evidence, which if you looked at Hillary Clinton’s speech, she actually did have a lot of really good factual evidence that we would all agree that are things that have happened and do exist. They are treated as if they are equal.”

Source: Soledad O’Brien calls out CNN for “mainstreaming racism”