Tech Regulations, Face Masks, Genetics, ESG Metrics, AI-Decision Distrust and Crops

This week we begin with an article in Brookings, on the role of data in implementing more regulation and oversight in the technology sector. The next story highlights the privacy concerns over the use of mask recognition software to ensure compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures. Following this, we have an article on the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project, a database containing 54 types of tissues, meant to facilitate the study of gene regulation. The following article is about the need for a hybrid metric system that could ascertain a company’s financial performance as well as environmental and social impact (ESG). Next, we cover the lack of trust in algorithmic, AI-driven decisions by the majority of adults in the UK. To end, we have a story that highlights a surge in the use of satellite data and artificial intelligence to forecast food-production, in the absence of “crop tours”.

Tech cannot be governed without access to its data

In the late 19th century, chemist Harvey W. Wiley analyzed the health effects of processed foods, alerting the nation to how contaminated they were. His 50-year campaign led to the Food and Drugs Act, the Meat Inspection Act, and, eventually, our modern standards of food safety.

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Face-mask recognition has arrived—for better or worse

Public shaming over not wearing a face mask started almost as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic itself. In February, some provinces and municipalities in China made it mandatory to wear masks when in public. News reports soon followed of residents and police chastising the non-compliant, a trend that’s now seen globally.

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‘Invaluable’ database helps solve mystery of how genes are regulated

When the human genome was sequenced almost 20 years ago, many researchers were confident they’d be able to quickly home in on the genes responsible for complex diseases such as diabetes or schizophrenia.

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Where ESG Ratings Fail: The Case for New Metrics

Corporate leaders, investors, and analysts today must deal with two separate and entirely disconnected reporting systems: one for financial results and the other for environmental and social impact, or ESG, performance.

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Big bad data: We don’t trust AI to make good decisions

The UK government’s recent technological mishaps have seemingly left a bitter taste in the mouth of many British citizens. A new report from the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for IT, has now revealed that more than half of UK adults (53%) don’t trust organisations that use algorithms to make decisions about them.

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Satellite Data Fill the Void of Dwindling Crop Tours

The pandemic is helping to usher in a new era of food-production forecasts that rely more on satellite data and artificial intelligence and less on information gathered by people.

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