A “Peace and Love” festival meant to promote multiculturalism, anti-sexism and acceptance of refugees devolved into chaos as there were multiple reports of rape and sexual assault apparently by … refugees.
For many days ending last weekend, the “Peace & Love” festival was held in Borlange, Sweden. It was promoted as a “tribute to the millions of people around the world who struggle for a better society.”
Somewhere around 30,000 young people attended the event, which featured musical acts and political rallies. Among those 30,000 were more than a few rape-hungry migrants.
The Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter is reporting that police received dozens of reports of rape, attempted rape and sexual molestation. According to the paper, one rape victim was under the age of 18 and was attacked while in the audience. She was rushed to the hospital after the incident.
Despite the barbaric acts, the newspaper chose not to reveal the names of the suspects who were arrested while the festival was going on. They waited until it was over to announce that they were “foreign men.”
When the press asked to see the police reports, they were told they were “access-protected” and could not be viewed, Breitbart is reporting.
I saw a lot of excitement and happiness a week or so ago around some reports that the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) might possibly include a “right to an explanation” for algorithmic decisions. It’s not clear if this is absolutely true, but it’s based on a reading of the agreed upon text of the GDPR, which is scheduled to go into effect in two years.
Slated to take effect as law across the EU in 2018, it will restrict automated individual decision-making (that is, algorithms that make decisions based on user-level predictors) which “significantly affect” users. The law will also create a “right to explanation,” whereby a user can ask for an explanation of an algorithmic decision that was made about them.
Lots of people on Twitter seemed to be cheering this on. And, indeed, at first glance it sounds like a decent idea. As we’ve just discussed recently, there has been a growing awareness of the power and faith placed in algorithms to make important decisions, and sometimes those algorithms are dangerously biased in ways that can have real consequences. Given that, it seems like a good idea to have a right to find out the details of why an algorithm decided the way it did.
But it also could get rather tricky and problematic. One of the promises of machine learning and artificial intelligence these days is the fact that we no longer fully understand why algorithms are deciding things the way they do. While it applies to lots of different areas of AI and machine learning, you can see it in the way that AlphaGo beat Lee Sedol in Go earlier this year. It made decisions that seemed to make no sense at all, but worked out in the end. The more machine learning “learns” the less possible it is for people to directly understand why it’s making those decisions. And while that may be scary to some, it’s also how the technology advances.
A lawsuit filed earlier this year charging President Barack Obama with waging an illegal war against the Islamic State (or ISIS) was met on Tuesday with a motion from the Obama administration asking the court to dismiss it.
In its motion to dismiss (pdf), the administration argues that Congressional funding for the war amounts to Congressional approval for it.
The lawsuit (pdf) was filed in U.S. district court by Capt. Nathan Michael Smith, an intelligence official stationed in Kuwait, in May. Smith has been assigned to work for “Operation Inherent Resolve,” the administration’s name for the nebulous conflict against the terrorist group ISIS.
“How could I honor my oath when I am fighting a war, even a good war, that the Constitution does not allow, or Congress has not approved?” Smith wrote. “To honor my oath, I am asking the court to tell the president that he must get proper authority from Congress, under the War Powers Resolution, to wage the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.”
According to the 1973 War Powers Resolution, “when the President introduces United States armed forces into hostilities, or into situations where hostilities are imminent,” Smith’s lawsuit reads, “he must either get approval from Congress within sixty days to continue the operation, in the form of a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization, or he must terminate the operation within the thirty days after the sixty-day period has expired.”
Suicide hotlines need to get with the times and offer people support through apps and text, according to new research. The report, published by the non-profit think tank the RAND Corporation, looked at suicide hotlines in California and found that despite a big need for digital help, few hotlines actually offer it.
As lead author Rajeev Ramchand put it in a press release, “digital services lag behind a growing demand and integrating more hotlines into existing health care systems could better connect callers to needed mental health services.”
The report evaluated 12 suicide hotline programs funded by the California Mental Health Services Authority, which hired RAND to conduct the outside review. Researchers surveyed Californians about the mental health services they would use, listened in to hundreds of suicide hotline calls and reviewed the basic functioning of these organizations. They found that these hotlines generally provide what Ramchand refers to as “a trusted and valuable service,” but that they are significantly lacking in many ways, most notably when it comes to technology.