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Study shows facial recognition misfires with dark-skinned people

It’s most accurate with white men

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Artificial intelligence is only still emerging, but pundits are already decrying how it will soon outsmart mankind. Amid these warnings, AI has yet to overcome a very human prejudice — skin bias.

Recent studies show that AI-powered facial recognition works more accurately with certain skin tones and genders compared to others. MIT researchers Joy Buolamwini and Timnit Gebru recently conducted experiments that tested the accuracy of modern facial recognition.

The experiment compiled 1,270 different facial images from three African countries and three Northern European countries. The difference creates an equal parity between dark-skinned and light-skinned individuals. The test used AI tech from Microsoft and IBM.

The results showed that facial recognition worked better with lighter skin tones rather than darker ones: 11.8 percent error rate for lighter skins versus 19.2 percent for darker skins (the lower the percentage, the better). Further, it shows that the tech performed better with males than females: 8.1 percent for males versus 20.6 percent for females.

As you might expect, males with light skin tones fared way better than females with dark skin tones: 0.3 percent versus a whopping 34.7 percent.

Despite the rigor of their study, the researchers quickly pointed out that there were some AI developers (like Google) who did not want to be included.

Also, they add that accuracy might depend on where the tech was developed. For example, AI recognition developed in Asia might recognize Asian faces more accurately than Caucasian ones.

One study isn’t enough to put down the entire AI industry. The tech is still constantly improving itself. Soon, developers will likely bring error rates down to zero.

However, its current inaccurate state is a warning for those who use AI facial recognition for security and law enforcement.

Right now, facial recognition is most prevalent just in selfie cameras. However, some companies are already adopting the tech to bolster their security by scanning the faces of bad guys. If the current trends continue, your badly shot selfie might incriminate you for a crime you didn’t commit.

SEE ALSO: Chinese woman returned her iPhone X for faulty Face ID

News

Nokia XR20: Rugged smartphone with 4 years of updates

Launched alongside the budget C30 and a 6310 remake

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Fancy a smartphone that could withstand extreme conditions? Well, Nokia now has one — and with guaranteed four years of updates too. The Nokia XR20 is the company’s first rugged smartphone, complete with a host of features.

The design, for a start, is something that you would expect from a rugged smartphone. It’s a bit chunky and for a good reason: the phone is MIL-STD certified, surviving drops from 1.8 meters. The ruggedized casing also helps in shock-proofing the phone. For a peace of mind, the phone also has an IP68 water and dust resistance along with Gorilla Glass Victus on the front.

Now, some people would equate rugged smartphones with outdated specs. This is not the case for the Nokia XR20, as it rocks features on par for the mid-range market.

First up, it has a sizable 6.67-inch IPS FHD+ display with a 20:9 aspect ratio. One unique thing about this display is that it has a maximum brightness of 550 nits, and it can even operate with gloves. It’s also worth mentioning that the front bezels here don’t have any “Nokia” branding at all — a first for the company’s recent smartphone lineup.

The camera on this phone is also par for the course. Up front, there is an 8MP selfie camera located on a centered punch hole. Meanwhile, the rear cameras are made of a main 48MP wide-angle lens and a 13MP ultra-wide-angle lens.

On the performance front, there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 chipset powering the device. It is a mid-range chipset at its best, and fortunately, it has 5G built-in for future-proofing. By default, it comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It also has plenty of support — four years of security updates, plus three years of major OS updates.

For connectivity, it has a lone USB 3.0 Type-C port with Bluetooth 5.1 built in. There’s even a 3.5 mm headphone jack included into the mix. However, Nokia also integrated dual speakers on this device if listening out loud is your jam. Finally, the device can keep up for two days thanks to its 4,630mAh battery.

The device will retail on August 24 for a price of US$ 549. Buyers can get it in two color configurations: Ultra Blue or Granite Grey.

Nokia C30 and 6310: budget and nostalgic pairs

Aside from the rugged XR20, the company also announced two new devices — the Nokia C30 and 6310. The former is a budget device that adds to the fledgling Nokia C-series line-up. It has a big 6.82 HD+ display, complete with a V-notch housing the 5MP selfie camera. The back houses the two rear cameras with a 13 MP wide-angle lens and a 2 MP depth sensor. Nokia is using an Unisoc processor here, along with the trimmed-down Android 11 Go. Furthermore, it comes with a 6,000mAh battery which is humongous for its class.

Image from Nokia

Meanwhile, the Nokia 6310 is revived and modernized 6310 that many people know from the past. Just like you would expect, it features the classic design of the long-gone feature phone but with a twist. It has a curved 2.8-inch display, a rear-facing 0.3MP camera, and Series 30+ OS. Strangely enough, there is Bluetooth 5.0 here yet 4G is nowhere to be found.

Image from Nokia

The Nokia C30 will retail for EUR 99 while the 6310 will go for EUR 40.

Via: GSMArena.com (1) (2)

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Smart Signature Plan 599 is now available

It’s their most affordable Signature Plan to date

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Smart unveils new signature plan for only PhP 599. There are two variations of this plan: a sim-only version and a signature lite with device. For the inclusions of the sim-only plan we have 5 GB monthly data allocation. Followed by unlimited calls and texts to all networks, and 100 minutes of calls to any PLDT landline.

For the signature lite with device, you get 2.5GB monthly data with unlimited calls and texts to all networks. Followed by 25 minutes of calls to any PLDT landline, this sounds like a promising plan for PhP 599.

The signature plan lite is available to new subscribers as well as existing postpaid customers. Customers may sign up for the signature plan lite at any smart store nationwide. Alternatively, you can also book a virtual appointment via Stay Smart.

“Smart’s superior network offers a superior digital experience. By launching our most affordable postpaid plan yet, we aim to empower more Filipinos with this differentiated experience so they can simply achieve more in their chosen career or passion,” said Jane J. Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart.

Smart’s new plan competes directly with Globe’s own plan 599.

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Enterprise

Apple: Leaks are causing wrongly sized iPhone cases

Issues cease-and-desist order

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Leaks have always been an important part of the smartphone cycle. Before a huge smartphone launch, leakers have always found a way to release information before the actual company. Premature information normally doesn’t affect the actual release. However, some companies certainly want to clamp down on leaks. Apple, for one, has always despised leaks. However, the company now has a different purpose for doing so: to prevent wrongly sized phone cases.

Reported by Vice, Apple has issued a cease-and-desist order against a Chinese citizen caught leaking info about upcoming iPhones. The leaker supposedly released prototypes for the devices to the public.

According to Apple, leaks ruin the surprise for consumers especially since they spoil the company’s plans. Additionally, the company says that releasing information outside of Apple’s purview will dupe case manufacturers into making cases of the wrong size especially if the actual products are of a different size.

Historically, Apple has been antagonistic against people leaking company secrets. The company has even filed lawsuits against employees caught smuggling out company secrets. Despite how much hype that leaks can generate for the company, Apple really doesn’t like its leaks.

Currently, there have already been a substantial amount of leaks surrounding the upcoming iPhone 13 series. There have also been hints for next year’s iPhone 14 series.

SEE ALSO: iPhone 14 series might use titanium chassis

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