Congratulations on accomplishing everything on your to-do list for the week. (I'm assuming the only thing on the list was "make it to Friday.")
Today's Login is 1,357 words, a 5-minute read
Photo: Ina Fried/Axios
Activists and journalists have been telling us for years that we are handing too much of our human autonomy over to machines and algorithms. Now artists have a showcase in the heart of Silicon Valley to highlight concerns around facial recognition, algorithmic bias and automation.
Why it matters: Art and technology have been partners for millennia, as Steve Jobs liked to remind us. But the opening of "Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI" tomorrow at the de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park puts art in the role of technology's questioner, challenger — and sometimes prosecutor.
The big picture: "Uncanny Valley" confronts exhibition goers with powerful images of data monetization, algorithmic bias and the loss of humanity.
For one of several pieces in the exhibit, Agnieszka Kurant relied on millions of collaborators.
Another piece by Kurant, "Conversions #1," uses sentiments from tweets from activists around the world to manipulate liquid crystal paint on an interactive canvas.
Other pieces of note:
"Tech is never neutral," said Schmuckli. "That is a myth."
My thought bubble: This exhibition has a way of cutting to the heart of the issues in ways that all of the legislative proposals and interest group statements don't, even as they raise similar concerns.
Details: The exhibit runs through Oct. 25. If you are going to be in the Bay Area between now and then, it's definitely worth checking out.
Sony and Oculus parent Facebook both said on Thursday that they are pulling out of next month's Game Developer Conference in San Francisco over coronavirus concerns. Meanwhile, AT&T is joining IBM in skipping next week's RSA security conference in San Francisco.
The big picture: While these two shows are still slated to continue, other events have been scrapped altogether, including Barcelona's Mobile World Congress, one of the tech industry’s biggest global events, and Facebook's global marketing conference.
Several Chinese companies have also pulled out due to travel restrictions, gamesindustry.biz reported.
What they're saying:
T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank, Sprint's majority shareholder, getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most other shareholders will receive the previously agreed-upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to close the deal as early as April 1.
Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most other shareholders intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.
Under the revised deal:
Under the revised deal, SoftBank can get back some of its previously surrendered shares if T-Mobile reaches certain stock price targets.
The bigger picture: The new deal comes after a judge rejected a challenge from a number of states that had sought to block the deal on antitrust grounds.
California's Public Utilities Commission still has to approve the deal, while a judge also must sign off on a settlement reached with the Justice Department. That settlement will see the combined company sell some of its prepaid assets to Dish Network so that company can build a new competitor in the wireless market.
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas accused Google in a lawsuit of illegally amassing schoolchildren's personal data through G Suite for Education products that the tech giant lets kids in the state use for free, Axios' Orion Rummler reports.
The big picture: There are at least 80 million students and teachers using these products across the world, Google revealed in a blog post last January.
Details: Balderas alleges that Google is collecting kids' geolocation information, contact lists, visited websites, voice recordings and terms searched on Google and YouTube without parental consent.
What they're saying:
"These claims are factually wrong. G Suite for Education allows schools to control account access and requires that schools obtain parental consent when necessary. We do not use personal information from users in primary and secondary schools to target ads. School districts can decide how best to use Google for Education in their classrooms and we are committed to partnering with them."— Jose Castaneda, Google spokesperson, in a statement to Axios
"Students and parents are a vulnerable audience who have little say in what products kids must use, and companies are taking advantage of them. We have long had a law in place, COPPA, to protect kids' data, and it is important that state leaders like AG Balderas step up to protect children."— James P. Steyer, founder of nonprofit Common Sense
We all have those days sometimes.