back to article Another free web course to gain machine-learning skills (thanks, Finland), NIST probes 'racist' face-recog – and more

As much of the Western world winds down for the Christmas period, here's a summary of this week's news from those machine-learning boffins who haven’t broken into the eggnog too early. Finland, Finland, Finland: The Nordic country everyone thinks is part of Scandinavia but isn’t has long punched above its weight on the …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the Epoch Media Group"

    Is there any link between these assholes and the Ethos group of assholes who are taking over .org for their own profit ?

    Just wondering. The smell is similar.

    1. Apollo-Soyuz 1975

      Re: "the Epoch Media Group"

      It looks to be affiliated with the Falun Gong movement's mass media effort:

  2. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    "African American"?

    C'mon, not every black person is American or have African ancestry! I am so amazed that this adjective is still tolerated in the USA.

  3. Claverhouse Silver badge

    'Hemmingway', eh ?

    Isn't it time to accept that everything done by a white person is racist, and they need to be pre-emptively condemned beforehand, as a matter of course ?

    Just like all deaths, if you positively correlate hard enough, are ultimately due to smoking.


    One campaign, originating in the country of Georgia, had 39 Facebook accounts, 344 Pages, 13 Groups, and 22 Instagram accounts, now all shut down. The network was linked to the nation's Panda advertising agency, and was pushing pro-Georgian-government material.

    Adding to the noise on the internet, and I agree advertising is a pest, but I'm struggling to find the real harm here.

    Couldn't be that Facebook is holding up a minor scapegoat to show it's deadly resolve ?

    From Georgia: Georgian authorities appear linked to hundreds of fake Facebook pages



    Speaking of deadly resolve... The Georgian opposition has some skeletons...

    The survey findings showed that for many people in the post-Soviet circles, the spirit of this bloody tyrant of the 20th century, who shot and exiled over 20 million people, is still alive and highly respected. For example, in Georgia, 45% of respondents expressed a positive attitude towards Stalin.

    In Stalin’s native town – Gori, ‘the Great Leader’ is almost equal to God–inviolable and immortal. He has many followers there: people who believe that Joseph Dzhugashvili (Stalin) is the greatest person ever born (or who will ever be born) in Georgia.

    Stalin: God, Superstar



    I have absolutely no idea why fondness for a noted villain, like Cromwell in the Eastern Counties, or Napoleon in Corsica, or the Krays in London Town should be positively correlated to the fact they were adventitiously born in a particular place.

  4. Danny 2 Silver badge


    I'm going to take the AI course. Maybe the certificate will confer safe passage when the machines start killing us all.

    Finns don't like when we refer to cold things as 'Baltic' - "The Baltic is a very warm sea in summer". Also, they hate we assume they are resistant to cold houses - "In Finland it is only cold outdoors".

  5. quartzz

    but FB still kept the $9.5m advertising fee... all in it's T's&C's of course? "we reserve the right to remove accounts...and keep the payments".

  6. revenant

    "AL still racist and sexist"

    Not really, I think. What these results seem to show is that the algorithms are at a very draft stage of development in that they only work well with a subset of the population, and are therefore useless for any meaningful work.

    Of course, if they are actively used in ways that directly affect the population then their use is indeed racist or sexist, as appropriate.

    I wonder if they are equally bad at recognizing faces across the range of ages that exist - are they also ageist?

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

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