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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
The EU today published a set of ethical guidelines for "trustworthy AI" — a long wishlist of idealistic principles, many still technically out of reach, meant to keep unwanted harms from the powerful technology at bay.
Kaveh reports: It's an early, earnest attempt to get countries to buy into general ethical principles. But without an enforcement tool, it is unlikely to result in safe AI.
The big picture: Up to now, AI development has largely been a free-for-all.
Why it matters: The driver's seat of global AI policy is still empty, awaiting the country or organization that will set the rules for others to follow.
With today's announcement, the EU has scored the first-mover advantage, says Chris Padilla, IBM's VP for government and regulatory affairs, as it did with GDPR, the landmark privacy bill that has changed the way Big Tech does business in Europe.
What's next: The EU guidelines will soon have stiff competition.
In an interview with Nature, Bengio says, "Self-regulation is not going to work. Do you think that voluntary taxation works? It doesn’t."
Floodwaters in Hamburg, Iowa, March 20. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty
Workers are permanently moving from flood-ravaged towns and cities in the U.S. Midwest, an exodus that could hurt already-struggling manufacturing and agriculture companies, according to a new report.
What's happening: Flooding last month from heavy rains caused more than $3 billion in damage in Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, Wisconsin and elsewhere, the AP reports. Among companies sustaining damage were Big Ag's Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill and Tyson.
Agriculture and manufacturing companies, such as Cargill and Tyson, are among those that are likely to be hit hard by the migration of workers to the Southwest, LinkedIn said.
Neither Cargill nor Tyson responded to emails seeking comment.
April 4, the Ciudad Juarez crossing. Photo: Herika Martinez/AFP/Getty
Wait times are up for cargo trucks crossing at key ports of Mexican entry into the U.S., write the NYT's Kirk Semple and Paulina Villegas.
The reason — a redeployment of some 750 border guards to process arriving migrants.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
An airline goes all-electric (Nicolas Zart - Clean Technica)
A new form of American capitalism (Jim VandeHei - Axios)
The fantastic story of an ant invasion (Tom Junod - Esquire) (h/t Jack Shafer/Don Van Natta)
FB's old-fashioned plan to build its Africa market — lay a cable (Drew FitzGerald - WSJ)
To win the electric car race, China goes cheap (The Economist)
Sagan in 1990. Photo: Bettmann Archive/Getty
A prescient passage from a 1995 book by Carl Sagan that describes the ills of today's world regularly goes viral on social media — most recently over the weekend when it was tweeted by the technologist Dan Kaminsky.
Kaveh writes: It's not hard to see why the passage hits a nerve. In "The Demon-Haunted World," the late Sagan predicts a future in which manufacturing has been shipped overseas, a select few control life-altering technology, and truth is severely devalued. Read Sagan's words, printed nearly a quarter-century ago:
"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness."