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I Tried Predictim AI That Scans for 'Risky' Babysitters
“The black woman being overly penalized—it could be the case that the algorithm learns to associate types of speech associated with black individuals, even if the speech isn’t disrespectful,” Kristian Lum tells me. Dr. Lum is the lead statistician at the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, and has published work in the prestigious journal Nature concluding that “machine-learning algorithms trained with data that encode human bias will reproduce, not eliminate, the bias.”
ethics  algorithms  racism  bias  ee 
yesterday by osi_info_program
Xi presides over meeting on economy, anti-corruption | Xinhua
Efforts should also be continued to fight the "three tough battles" of controlling risks, reducing poverty and tackling pollution, stimulate the vitality of micro entities, and meanwhile innovate and improve macroeconomic regulation.

To raise market confidence, the country will keep economic growth at a reasonable level, further stabilize employment, the financial market, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment, and expectations, the statement said.

By maintaining continuous and healthy economic growth and overall social stability, the country will "lay the decisive foundation for finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC with excellent results," the statement said.

The meeting stressed that changes in the international environment and domestic conditions should be looked at dialectically, urging the Party to be prepared for potential adversities.

The country should continue to seize the important period of strategic opportunity for development and manage its own affairs with firm confidence and initiative, according to the meeting.

It demanded strategic resolve, solid efforts, better coordination, a focus on major contradictions, and well-managed rhythm and intensity, to seek an optimal policy mix and maximum effects.
yesterday by bbishop
China refutes U.S. official's smearing remarks on China-Africa cooperation - Xinhua
In response, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang stressed, "What China cares about is African countries' needs, such as industrialization and agricultural modernization."

"In contrast, it is interesting to see from the remarks of some Americans that, besides its own interests and demands, the U.S. is concerned about China and Russia rather than Africa," Lu added.
yesterday by bbishop
Xi presides over meeting on economy, anti-corruption - Xinhua |
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, presided over a meeting of the committee's Political Bureau Thursday, which studied the economic work for 2019 and planned work for building good conduct and political integrity within the CPC as well as fighting corruption.
2 days ago by bbishop
10 things progressive funders must learn from conservative ones, or we are all screwed | Nonprofit AF
Conservative funders focus on the big picture, act quickly, do not micromanage, provide significant general operating funds, fund for twenty or thirty years, support leaders and movements, engage in policy and politics, and treat grantees as equal partners. Progressive funders—with a few exceptions—intellectualize, are severely risk-averse, focus narrowly, fund isolated strategies and programs, avoid politics, and treat grantees like parasites and freeloaders.
ee  funders 
3 days ago by osi_info_program
Apple IPhone Suppliers Are Said to Mull Move If Tariffs Hit 25% - Bloomberg
Apple Inc.’s suppliers will consider shifting iPhone production away from China should tariffs on U.S. imports skyrocket, but the U.S. company plans to sit tight for now, people familiar with the company’s thinking said.

The tech giant’s suppliers intend to stick with the existing model even if the U.S. levies a 10 percent import tariff on smartphones, the people said, asking not to be identified talking about a private matter. But it will have to reassess the situation should U.S. President Donald Trump decide on a more punitive 25 percent, the people said.
3 days ago by bbishop
US condemns 10 countries for severe religious freedom violations - CNN
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday announced the US has deemed 10 countries guilty of severe religious freedom violations.

The nations -- China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar (also known as Burma), North Korea, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan -- were categorized "Countries of Particular Concern" under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. They were found to have engaged or tolerated "systematic, ongoing, (and) egregious violations of religious freedom."
3 days ago by bbishop
Chinese hi-tech researchers ‘told not to travel to US unless it’s essential’ | South China Morning Post
Staff at a research agency were also told in an internal memo that if they did have to travel to the US, they should remove any sensitive information from their mobile phones and laptops, according to the source who was speaking on condition of anonymity.
3 days ago by bbishop
U.S. Plan to Limit High-Tech Exports Forges on Amid Trade Truce - Bloomberg
The White House has embarked on a long-term strategy to ensure the U.S. maintains its technological lead over China, with Trump’s trade advisers tying the U.S.’s economic interests to protecting national security. Central to that effort are wider controls on a broad range of American exports including artificial-intelligence components, microprocessors and robotics.
3 days ago by bbishop
U.S. weighs China travel warning over Huawei case: sources | Reuters
Such an advisory from the State Department would warn U.S. nationals of the risk that China could retaliate against them for the detention of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, according to one of the sources familiar with the situation
3 days ago by bbishop
My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience — China Partnership
Over 100 members of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, were arrested beginning Sunday, December 9. At the time of publication of this translation, arrests are still being made. Among those taken away were Pastor Wang Yi, senior pastor of Early Rain, and his wife, Jiang Rong, who have not been heard from since Sunday.

Foreseeing this circumstance, Pastor Wang Yi wrote the declaration below to be published by his church should he be detained for more than 48 hours. In it he explains the meaning and necessity of faithful disobedience, how it is distinct from political activism or civil disobedience, and how Christians should carry it out. We thank Brent Pinkall and Amy Cheung for their contributions in translating this letter.
3 days ago by bbishop
Tibet to train Buddhism teachers as part of efforts to adapt religion to socialist society - Global Times
Authorities in Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region launched on Monday the opening session of a five-year training program for Tibetan Buddhism teaching staff as part of efforts to better adapt Tibetan Buddhism to socialist society...

A special textbook was compiled for the course, as monks and nuns are expected to firmly set up the concept that government power is higher than religious power, and that national laws are above religious rules, the report quoted Danke, head of the United Front Work Department of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China, as saying.

Xiong Kunxin, an ethnic studies professor at Tibet University in Lhasa, told the Global Times on Tuesday that some Tibetan monks and nuns only have a vague or no understanding of these topics, which could lead to illegal activities without them even realizing.
3 days ago by bbishop
Top engineer discloses how China deals with foreign intelligence-backed cyber attacks - Global Times
In recent years, without factual basis, some Western countries accused Chinese individuals or groups of conducting cyber attacks in an attempt to steal commercial and military secrets from other countries.

The most recent example is the Marriott data breach that affected 500 million guests' information. In a recent article, Reuters cited unnamed sources as saying that China is the lead suspect in the case.

In reality, China has always been a victim of cyber attacks. The Global Times (GT) reporter Guo Yuandan interviewed Xiao Xinguang (Xiao), the chief technical architect of Beijing-based Antiy Labs, on the cyber threats China has been facing in recent years.
3 days ago by bbishop
Members of unofficial Chinese church vow to defy crackdown and keep meeting | South China Morning Post
More than 100 Protestant Christians from the Early Rain Covenant Church – one of China’s few openly operating unofficial house churches – were snatched from their homes and streets across Chengdu, Sichuan province, in a crackdown that began on Sunday night. Among those detained were church pastor Wang Yi, his wife Jiang Rong, church leaders, members and seminary students.

The round-up in Chengdu is part a broader crackdown on unofficial or underground churches that Beijing launched early this year, bolstered by amendments to the Religious Affairs Regulation that gave grass-roots officials more power to act against churches and impose tougher penalties for “unauthorised religious gatherings”...

Three months ago, Beijing police closed the Zion Church, one of the largest Protestant house churches in China with more than 1,500 regular church-goers.
3 days ago by bbishop
Highlights: Key quotes from the Reuters interview with Trump | Reuters
“Well I think I’d want to speak to China. We’ve spoken to the Justice Department. You know – it wasn’t good what happened with the company, you understand that, in terms of what they did. And this has been a big problem that we’ve had in so many different ways with so many companies from China and from other places. So I want to see what China requests. So far they have not made that request.”

“Whatever’s good for this country, I would do. If I think it’s good for the country, if I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security – I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary.”
3 days ago by bbishop
China Is Preparing to Increase Access for Foreign Companies - WSJ $$
China’s top planning agency and senior policy advisers are drafting the replacement for Made in China 2025—President Xi Jinping’s blueprint to make the country a leader in high-tech industries, from robotics to information to clean-energy cars. The revised plan would play down China’s bid to dominate manufacturing and be more open to participation by foreign companies, these people said.

Current plans, these people said, call for rolling out the new policy early next year, a time when the U.S. and China are expected to be accelerating negotiations for a deal to end their bruising trade battle.

Odds that the new plan will go far enough in addressing U.S. complaints are long...

A key concession under consideration would be dropping the numerical targets for market share by Chinese companies, these people said...

Chinese officials backing the proposed changes emphasize that China needs to move away from Made in China 2025 and state-led development for its own reasons. President Xi’s economic adviser, Vice Premier Liu He, and other senior officials have criticized Made in China 2025 for creating waste.

Comment: A very big deal if China is really serious about making substantive changes to this plan, rather than repackaging it without making fundamental changes. Only time will tell, but given the history of failed promises of reform and better access for foreigners, people should be wary until Beijing actually delivers. But if real changes are made then it is definitely a win for Trump, foreign firms, and frankly the Chinese economy
3 days ago by bbishop
All eyes on China’s annual conference as President Xi Jinping prepares to unveil economic game plan for 2019 amid trade war tensions with the US | South China Morning Post
Comment: I had heard it would be this week. Sorry about that

The Central Economic Work Conference, which is likely to be held next week, is an annual gathering of Chinese state leaders, ministers, provincial governors and senior advisers that is intended to build a consensus and chart out economic policies for the country’s most important economic issues, from growth to structural reform...

SOME analysts think it will lay the groundwork for another massive stimulus in 2019. I am skeptical:

Iris Pang, the chief Greater China economist at ING, believes they will take the chance to showcase their commitment to “reform and opening up”...

Pang says the Chinese government may be more aggressive in ensuring economic stability, particularly on job markets, as the economy is set to further lose steam in 2019.

Fresh stimulus measures worth 4 trillion yuan (US$579 billion), including tax cuts, special bond issuance and state funds, could be rolled out in 2019 to offset the external uncertainties, she added.

OTHERS not so much:

Lu Ting, the chief China economist at Nomura International in Hong Kong, expects the Chinese government to loosen its restrictions on the property market and increase land supply.

However, Lu said Beijing is unlikely to repeat an all-out stimulus package as the room for easing is now much smaller compared with several years ago due to surging debt, the smaller current account surplus and falling foreign exchange reserves, while the decision-making process is longer due to lack of consensus on direction and strategy.
3 days ago by bbishop
China’s Average Mortgage Rate Stops Rising After 22 Straight Months - Caixin Global
Judging from previous cycles, policymakers usually begin to relax tightening measures after home sales have declined for six months, China International Capital Corp. (CICC) said in a research report. Based on that, CICC projected that the next round of policy easing may come at the end of the first quarter or at the start of the second quarter of 2019, but the fundamentals of China’s real estate market will still face “a year of recession” in 2019.
3 days ago by bbishop
Intro: China's AI Dream - MacroPolo
The Chinese government has stated its intention to turn China into “the world’s primary AI innovation center” by 2030. If China were to meet that goal, it would have a profound impact on the global economy, geopolitical order, and everyday life for citizens around the world.

But what does it take to strengthen national prowess in AI? What are the building blocks or stumbling blocks for China to realize its AI ambitions?

In this series of digital interactives, we will take you through the main building blocks for creating and deploying AI, illuminating unique aspects of the Chinese ecosystem for each one.
3 days ago by bbishop
Exclusive: Central Bank to Create New Home for China’s ‘Too Big to Fail’ Institutions - Caixin Global
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) will replace its Monetary Policy Department II with a macroprudential bureau, according to the sources, who asked not to be named because the information was confidential. The new bureau will retain the majority of the old department’s responsibilities, which include advancing the yuan’s exchange-rate reforms and internationalization, they told Caixin.

After the 2008 global financial crisis, regulators across the globe realized the urgent need to enhance macroprudential regulation, which aims to prevent systemic risks amid increasingly complex financial markets. Macroprudential policy is seen as a key supplement to monetary policy, which focuses more on currency and price stability, as well as economic development.

“Previously there was no clear framework for macroprudential regulation,” a person close to the central bank said. “Based on international experience, it mainly focuses on three dimensions: the foreign exchange (market), (institutions of) systemic importance, and countercyclical adjustment.”
3 days ago by bbishop

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