How it feels to be sexually objectified by an AI

Deeper Learning

How US police use counterterrorism money to buy spy tech

Grant money meant to help cities prepare for terror attacks is being spent on “massive purchases of surveillance technology” for US police departments, a new report by the advocacy organizations Action Center on Race and Economy (ACRE), LittleSis, MediaJustice, and the Immigrant Defense Project shows. 

Shopping for AI-powered spytech: For example, the Los Angeles Police Department used funding intended for counterterrorism to buy automated license plate readers worth at least $1.27 million, radio equipment worth upwards of $24 million, Palantir data fusion platforms (often used for AI-powered predictive policing), and social media surveillance software. 

Why this matters: For various reasons, a lot of problematic tech ends up in high-stake sectors such as policing with little to no oversight. For example, the facial recognition company Clearview AI offers “free trials” of its tech to police departments, which allows them to use it without a purchasing agreement or budget approval. Federal grants for counterterrorism don’t require as much public transparency and oversight. The report’s findings are yet another example of a growing pattern in which citizens are increasingly kept in the dark about police tech procurement. Read more from Tate Ryan-Mosley here.

Bits and Bytes

hatGPT, Galactica, and the progress trap
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