(Draft) | Inside AI - December, 30th 2019

Inside AI (Dec 30th, 2019)

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21. Ten months after first announcing the transition, Google absorbed the health division of DeepMind. The London-based AI company — already a subsidiary under Google’s parent, Alphabet — has come under scrutiny in the past over its data-sharing practices, including access to patients' health data without consent. - BBC

22. The U.S. government in October placed eight Chinese AI firms on a blacklist – prohibiting them from doing business with U.S. companies without a license – over alleged human rights violations against Muslim minorities in China’s Xinjiang region. The list includes SenseTime Group Ltd., the world’s largest AI startup, and Megvii Technology Ltd. - BLOOMBERG

Articles: BUSINESS INSIDERSCMPCNBCCAPITAL WATCH

More: Critics have argued that the U.S. blacklist could actually stimulate China's domestic AI chip manufacturing industry. China purchases about 90 percent of its AI chips from foreign companies and the blacklist may force them to find their supplies elsewhere, including at home.

23. Canadian authorities denied visas to 24 prominent AI experts from Africa and South America, preventing them from attending an industry conference in Vancouver. The situation triggered an outcry from industry experts, who argued that such denials are becoming a systemic problem and prevent diversity in the field. - CNN

24. Following criticism from groups like the ACLU, the Department of Homeland Security dropped plans to expand facial recognition checks to U.S. citizens at airports. The department currently only scans non-U.S. citizens traveling into the country, but recently said it could expand that to include all travelers. - TECHCRUNCH

25. A group of Democratic lawmakers recently sent a letter to the U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), voicing concerns about the use of facial recognition technology in federally assisted housing. New York Times article reported on the rising use of face recognition to scan people in public and federal housing buildings. The lawmakers argue that the technology can infringe on basic privacy and protections and has been shown to be inherently biased against people of color, women, and non-cisgender people. - THE HILL

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