Hot Clicks: TSA to Test Biometric Security Checkpoints

Hot Clicks: TSA to Test Biometric Security Checkpoints


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Traveling could get easier and faster with fingerprint scans and facial recognition technology.

The Transportation Security Administration has a new roadmap for bringing biometric data into airports nationwide, with long-term plans of using fingerprints and facial scans for screening at security checkpoints and making travel processes faster. And this biometric initiative goes beyond biometric checkpoints — TSA plans to work with Customs and Border Protection to link systems and release biometric tech with partners in phases. The biometric security screening will start with TSA’s Precheck program, but TSA hopes the technology will take over most of the identification process. But first, it needs to build the infrastructure that can check fingerprint and facial recognition data against verified databases at security checkpoints, and some of this tech is already vetted and on its way. Forbes

Fighting Social Media Haters with a New Dashboard

The New America Foundation and the Anti-Defamation League released the Exploring Online Hate dashboard, which looks for trends in hateful activity. The project uses a sample of 1,000 Twitter accounts that groups said show hateful content targeted at protected groups. Then, researchers pick 40 accounts that show hateful behavior, and algorithmically generate a larger dataset of related accounts. The researchers said that by crunching data from Twitter accounts, they can watch the trend of online hate in real time. The dashboard looks similar to Hamilton 68, another online tool that tracks Russian influence operations online but has recieved backlash for its secret list of monitored accounts. The Verge

Facebook Provides Unsettling Hack Updates

The recent attack on Facebook’s computer systems that was thought to have affected 50 million users actually affected 30 million users, but the type of data exposed was a bit worse than the company first thought. Of those 30 million, 14 million users had detailed information stolen from their Facebook profiles, like the last 15 people or things they searched for on Facebook, the last 10 physical locations they checked into, their gender, religion, telephone number, email address, and the types of devices used to get to Facebook. On top of that, users’ names and contact information were stolen from another 15 million profiles, and security tokens were stolen from one million users. Still, Facebook said the hackers didn’t gain access to passwords or credit card info. The New York Times

What Happens when AI Creates Fortunes?

MIT-trained roboticist Alexander Reben wanted to train artificial intelligence to create a generic message typically found in fortune cookies, so he started feeding an algorithm thousands of inspirational expressions he found online. However, the results weren't what he expected. Rather than producing vague and playful advice, Reben’s AI turned dark, and about 75 percent of its fortunes were very negative but funny. Reben called it “artificial philosophy.” For example, one of the fortunes read, "A friend is a wonderful invention; but, then again so is a whole lie." Another read, “Being happy is not as serious as it appears,” and another, "Politicians broke my little house." Reben attributed these responses by explaining that large data sets and complicated algorithms can yield unexpected outcomes. The Washington Post

MIT’s New College for AI

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced a $1 billion commitment to adding a new college to its campus focused on AI education, AI ethics, and on training students studying biology, chemistry, history and linguistics how to use AI in their own field. Fundraising isn’t complete yet, but when it is, the $1 billion will provide a new faculty and space on campus. This initiative is the largest investment in computing and AI by an American academic institution, MIT said, and comes at a pivotal time of technology and computing advancements. And at the core, the new MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, which will be an interdisciplinary hub for computer science, AI, data science and other related fields. MIT News