Issue 1381 - Monday 7th June, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

NSW police using Azure AI & ML platform on murder and assault investigations

Microsoft has let loose that NSW police are using its Azure "AI/ML-infused Insights policing platform". According to a case study it released, NSW police used Azure to get highlights out of "14,000 pieces of CCTV as part of a murder and assault investigation", recognise objects and vehicles (e.g: "such as a backpack, or a tie, or type of shoes a person of interest might be wearing"). overlay all this evidence on a map, build a timeline of events for persons of interest, transcribe interviews and even help in the "preparation of the brief of evidence for Courts". Don't worry though, Microsoft said "the system has been designed with ethics front and centre, and in consultation with privacy experts with a particular focus on avoiding bias". Oh good.

G7 comes to an agreement to set a 15% minimum global tax rate aimed at mega tech company profits

The G7 economic group (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, USA) have agreed in principle to a "global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% to avoid countries undercutting each other", aimed to curb the legal tax minimisation of companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft. There's no actual laws, but the aim is to "make companies pay more tax in the countries where they are selling their products or services, rather than wherever they end up declaring their profits" and set "a global minimum tax rate so as to avoid countries undercutting each other with low tax rates". The full G7 communique can be read here. The concept will be floated at the G20 conference (which Australia is part of) in Rome later this year.

Facebook, FBI, Bitcoin, W3C & more Facebook news

Something I Saw On The Internet

An explanation for why Waymo hasn't expanded beyond a small part of Phoenix

Waymo's been buzzing its robotaxis around a small part of Phoenix and picking up members of the general public for months now - but why hasn't it at least expanded to similarly bland suburbs? Timothy Lee at Arstechnica has a few guesses at what's impeding Waymo's growth. The most convincing argument put forward is that operating in places where its easy to drive isn't worth it as those people have cars already - because it's easy to drive. Dense cities where ride sharing is profitable are a prick to drive in (so people pay others to do it for them) also happen to be the worst place for a robocar right now. Waymo has more or less mastered those easy scenarios so expansion is a waste of time because they won't learn anything new and won't make a buck due to the market for rides there.

Bargains

The End

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The Sizzle is created on Wathaurong land and acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay my respect to them and their cultures and to elders both past and present.‚Äč