Tech Tent: Can facial recognition fit with a fair society?

Facial recognition Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Western resistance to facial recognition could open the field to China, warn industry experts

Computers are getting ever better at recognising different faces - but on this week's Tech Tent we ask whether facial recognition technology is just too big a threat to privacy.

That is certainly the view of the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU.

This week the rights group urged Amazon to stop providing its Rekognition facial recognition technology to American police forces, saying a guide for the software "reads like a user manual for authoritarian surveillance".

Amazon responded robustly, saying the quality of life would be much worse if new technologies were blocked because of how they might be used.

False start

But Matt Cagle, technology and civil liberties lawyer for the ACLU in California, says the tech firm has unlocked something really dangerous: "This technology can be turned against protesters - it can be targeted at immigrants, and it can be used to spy on entire neighbourhoods."

Read full article Tech Tent: Can facial recognition fit with a fair society?

GDPR: The great data privacy panic

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Media captionWATCH: What GDPR will mean for you?

If you are like me, the last week has provided a great chance to have a GDPR spring clean of your email inbox.

Dozens of emails have arrived with increasingly frantic messages asking me to opt in to keep in touch once the General Data Protection Regulation comes into force.

Read full article GDPR: The great data privacy panic

Samsung AI centre to be based at Cambridge

Samsung Bixby Image copyright Samsung
Image caption One of Samsung's most high-profile uses of AI has been its Bixby smart assistant

Korean tech giant Samsung has announced a major investment in artificial intelligence research in the UK.

The company is to open an AI research lab in Cambridge, in a move that has been welcomed by the prime minister.

Read full article Samsung AI centre to be based at Cambridge

Tech Tent: Europe's driving ambitions

Waymo robot car Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Google's Waymo autonomous cars have been tested extensively among human drivers

In the race to build autonomous vehicles, what is the right balance between encouraging innovation and making sure our cities are safe?

That is one of the big questions we address in this week's edition of Tech Tent.

Read full article Tech Tent: Europe's driving ambitions

GDPR has MPs in a bind

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Across the UK, small businesses are in something of a panic over GDPR. And among those worried about whether they will be ready for the new data protection laws are 650 firms based in Westminster.

I am talking about MPs - and there is worrying evidence that they and their staff may be getting poor advice.

Read full article GDPR has MPs in a bind

Tech Tent: Appointment with a machine

Robot on the phone Image copyright Getty Images

Will a virtual assistant soon be booking you a restaurant table and chatting with your hairdresser about when they can fit you in?

That was the vision of the near future unveiled by Google this week, and on the Tech Tent podcast we discuss whether it is either realistic - or desirable.

Read full article Tech Tent: Appointment with a machine

Magical Money - the ICO crypto-currency boom

Violet Lim
Image caption Ms Lim's internet dating project has not gone as smoothly as hoped

Violet Lim wants to get rich by marrying together internet dating and the latest investment craze.

"Our ICO is about love on the blockchain," the founder of Viola.ai exclaims.

Read full article Magical Money - the ICO crypto-currency boom

Tech Tent: Do we now trust Facebook?

Facebook Dating Image copyright Facebook
Image caption A dating system was one of the big announcements at the F8 gathering

It has been a week where Facebook has gone some way to soothe the concerns of its developers and has seen the company which sparked its data privacy crisis go out of business.

On Tech Tent we ask whether the tide has turned for Facebook - and conclude that it still has a mountain to climb to restore trust.

Read full article Tech Tent: Do we now trust Facebook?

Facebook F8: Can Zuckerberg restore trust at developer conference?

Mark Zuckerberg Image copyright Getty Images

It is shaping up to be the biggest Facebook event ever, with 5,000 developers flying in from around the world.

They'll hear exciting news about the company's plans to advance on many fronts, from artificial intelligence to virtual reality.

Read full article Facebook F8: Can Zuckerberg restore trust at developer conference?

Facebook to vet UK political ads for May 2019 local elections

Facebook's chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer will answer questions from MPs Image copyright Getty
Image caption Facebook's chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer will answer questions from MPs

Facebook's chief technology officer is to promise MPs that the social network will act to make political advertising far more transparent for UK users.

Mike Schroepfer will say that his firm will be ready to authorise ads in time for England and Northern Ireland's May 2019 local elections.

Read full article Facebook to vet UK political ads for May 2019 local elections