Google apologizes again for bias results

Google once again was in hot water for its algorthim which meant looking up happy families in image search would return results of happy white famalies.

Of course the last time, Google photos classified black people as gorillas.

Some friends have been debating this and suggested it wasn’t so bad, but its clear that after a few days things were tweaked. Of course Google are one of many who rely on non-diverse training data and likely are coding their biases into the code/algorithms. Because of course getting real diverse training data is expensive and time consuming; I guess in the short term so is building a diverse team in their own eyes?

Anyway here’s what I get when searching for happy families on Friday 2nd June about 10pm BST.

logged in google search for happy families
Logged into Google account using Chrome on Ubuntu
incognito search for happy families
Using incognito mode and searching for happy families with Chrome on Ubuntu
Search for happy families using a russian tor and chromium
Search for happy families using a russian tor node on Chromium on Ubuntu

 

Our embarssment is destorying people’s lives

I just posted a blog about undressed which I tagged , as I recognise certain people will find the whole premise a little difficult to stomach? So because of this, I thought I’d post a blog I have had as draft for a long while.

Sex works rights… Why?

It’s the injustice which winds me up. Like the debate around Ecstasy, I haven’t got any skin in the game (if there was a better word I’d use it) but I can see the logical conclusion without social/societal bias.

The idea of sex workers is something which makes people go red. run away or ignore the whole thing. It’s frankly shocking and so crazy that we haven’t grown up enough to talk about this in a practical way. I mean there are many peoples lives at risk simply because we go all red when thinking about sex.

There are sorry parallels with the sorry state of sex education in schools.

Everyone has an opinion about how to legislate sex work (whether to legalize it, ban it or even tax it) … but what do workers themselves think would work best? Activist Toni Mac explains four legal models that are being used around the world and shows us the model that she believes will work best to keep sex workers safe and offer greater self-determination. “If you care about gender equality or poverty or migration or public health, then sex worker rights matter to you,” she says. “Make space for us in your movements.”

Valerie Scott always wanted to be a sex worker and has extensive experience in her chosen profession. She is a founding member and legal co-ordinator of Sex Professionals of Canada, a sex worker rights organization. She has been a passionate advocate for her colleague’s human, civil, and legal rights for the past 30 years. She has testified at Canada’s Senate and at several Parliamentary committees. She has spoken at numerous community meetings, colleges, universities, and conferences about the humanity of sex workers and the need for full decriminalization of adult sex work.

Both are powerful talks, and well worth watching. Deep down it’s about the rights of people to live a life without violence, fear and shame.They both talk about New Zealand which  decriminalised sex work and rejected the legalisation model used in Sweden. The reasoning is very sound and very enlighten.

Hopefully more countries will follow suit or at least try (similar to the legalisation of drugs maybe?) because right now the whole sex work industry sounds like a total mess. (just like the UK right now, to be honest) Too many people (mainly women) are caught in the middle one way or another. Frankly we all are letting down these people by simply not listening.

A world written by one slice of a very big pie

Diversity in the digital sector, its the thing which I and many many others are banging about. In recent times, I have been thinking about this a lot and even more in regards to the Mozilla Festival.

This year one of the ambitions in Mozfest is…

How can we leverage the web to include more people, across gender, class, race and age? How can we be humble yet proactive in overcoming real discrimination and exclusion?

On a related note… , sent me a tweet to his idea to put together a digital diversity alliance.

I do want to make the digital world diverse, I am seriously worried about where we are going. There are signs that things will get better for some but its clear we need to look diversity not just one segment of the whole pie. I understand this is incredibly hard but its so important that the aim is the moon not just the upper atmosphere.

Mr Robot says Fcuk society

Recently I watched Mr Robot and a few other films (I promise no spoilers) but it emphasize the problem with a mono culture for me.

A young computer programmer (Malek) who suffers from social anxiety disorder and forms connections through hacking. He’s recruited by a mysterious anarchist, who calls himself Mr. Robot.

The problem with the mono culture around the digital industry is in my mind self evident. This is bad but its going to get way worst

As software makes its way into more services and those services in turn become a larger part of our lives through law, economics, social norms plus practically through the internet of things, synthetic biology, etc. It’s important to think about software as having an opinion of some kind.

Larry Lessig

Lawrence Lessig wrote a fantastic book called code: and other laws of cyberspace. Where be talked about code as law because the law is always playing catch up to the code, algorithms, systems and ultimately opinions baked into the code. Imagine trying to reason with a drone carrying guns, when you naturally act outside of the parameters set by somebodies idea of how people should act (or is that the American police force now?). Reminds me of a colleague at work who during BarCampMediaCity somebody thought was drunk and should be told to leave. But anybody who knows him, knows thats his natural state.

united colours of benetton advert
Ah Remember those united colours of benetton adverts? Maybe Tech needs more these…?

Sounds extreme but the example is pointing at the same thing. Its unconscious bias and unfortunately its being baked into software, hardware and the services we use. But unlike us its not got the chance to recognise the bias and correct its self (as such).

THIS IS BAD!

Why am I not taking Toby up on his ask?

Simple

You have time to help create the best Digital Diversity Alliance in the whole wide world.  It’s not a full-time job but we need committed individuals brimming with passion and drive.

I am time poor, I have a lot of things happening including helping out at a dyslexia group in Manchester and I’m trying to commit to less stuff till I get things in a reasonable state. Its a shame but I need to be honest with myself and its not fair on those who can do a equal or a better job but can also dedicate more attention than myself. Hate to be the one hold back such a great alliance.Take good fortune Toby and if I can help in future, I certainly would like to feed into the alliance in some way. I’d like to start this by encouraging you to float the idea in a workshop at Mozfest 2015. Equally if you too would like to have a less bleak, diverse and collaborative future. Contact Toby in his post

The height factor?

Tall woman (photo: Marion) #floreo #panni

Josh sent me a link to this survey of people in the UK and more interestingly the height factor.

“Love the way you (don’t) lie: Manchester men among most honest online daters in UK, survey reveals”

Dating site WhatsYourPrice.com, which allows members to bid for their dates, released a survey about how often people lie on their online dating profiles. The study asked 15,200 UK members, and Manchester came out in the top five in honesty. The poll revealed that 82% of Manchester men are honest on their profiles, ranking them fourth highest in the country. Manchester women came in at sixth with 78% being honest. The study found that overall 34% of women and 21% of men lie on their online dating profiles.

Ok so nothing new there…

Embellishments included in online profiles can range from small tweaks such as adding a few inches onto height to fabrications of fictional identities. The study shows however, that women most frequently lie about their age and career, while men are most likely to lie about their height and career. Founder and CEO of WhatsYourPrice.com Brandon Wade said: “It’s interesting, though not surprising, that men are lying about their careers. “In this economy, it is very likely that a man is unsatisfied with his career, and might embellish his online dating profile as he would a resume to make himself more appealing.”

Interesting height still matters for a number of a reasons… I know men who wont date anyone taller than themselves Okcupid has something to say about this too

REALITY: People are two inches shorter in real life.

Okcupid has tons of interesting stats to answer the question Do taller guys have more sex? The answer, to a degree, is yes, and they then expand on it… But whats even more interesting is the fact 5′ 4″ woman gets 60 more contacts each year than a six-footer.

It’s plain from these two charts that women six feet or taller are either less attractive to men or are considered too intimidating to message. The data also raises the interesting possibility that these tall women are much more likely to sleep with a man who does approach them. Compare the 6′ 0″ woman to her 5′ 4″ counterpart: the taller woman gets hit on about two-thirds as much, yet has had slightly more sex partners.

But back to the other post…

Dating expert Alex Mellor-Brook of Select Personal Introductions, Manchester, says that the survey shows how difficult the dating game has become. He said: “It’s great that the guys in Manchester are doing so well in telling the truth.

“I can understand height being a point that guy’s lie about.

“It is one of the main criteria that would be high on a woman’s wish list.

“Fashion has a lot to do with this, as shoes get higher, women do not want to be towering over their guy.

So generally, Men prefer shorter women and women prefer tall men? (not saying I do personally) Thats got to suck for the short guys, specially with the trend to towards women with bigger and taller platforms shoes… But what I’m more interested in the fact height factors really high in the list when it could be a problem.

Even when Year of making love experts (if you can call them that and thanks to Pebaline for spotting our YOML expert sticking his nose in on other stuff) were shocked by the reaction of couples who had an unbalanced in height towards the female.

Single black male have a ton of reasons and also ask the same question. The ones which is most cutting and which seems to go through most peoples minds is…

Masculinity In her own words “Being tall gives you that athletic persona, and makes you more of a man”.

There seems to be a height factor…Superficial, stupid, old fashioned? like it or not…