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Did you know NZ is a leader in governmental use of AI?… there’s been a call for an independent regulator here to monitor & address the associated risks of the tech

From theconversation.com

New Zealand is a leader in government use of artificial intelligence (AI). It is part of a global network of countries that use predictive algorithms in government decision making, for anything from the optimal scheduling of public hospital beds to whether an offender should be released from prison, based on their likelihood of reoffending, or the efficient processing of simple insurance claims.

But the official use of AI algorithms in government has been in the spotlight in recent years. On the plus side, AI can enhance the accuracy, efficiency and fairness of day-to-day decision making. But concerns have also been expressed regarding transparency, meaningful human control, data protection and bias.

In a report released today, we recommend New Zealand establish a new independent regulator to monitor and address the risks associated with these digital technologies.


Read more: To protect us from the risks of advanced artificial intelligence, we need to act now


AI and transparency

There are three important issues regarding transparency.

One relates to the inspectability of algorithms. Some aspects of New Zealand government practice are reassuring. Unlike some countries that use commercial AI products, New Zealand has tended to build government AI tools in-house. This means that we know how the tools work.

But intelligibility is another issue. Knowing how an AI system works doesn’t guarantee the decisions it reaches will be understood by the people affected. The best performing AI systems are often extremely complex.

To make explanations intelligible, additional technology is required. A decision-making system can be supplemented with an “explanation system”. These are additional algorithms “bolted on” to the main algorithm we seek to understand. Their job is to construct simpler models of how the underlying algorithms work – simple enough to be understandable to people. We believe explanation systems will be increasingly important as AI technology advances.

A final type of transparency relates to public access to information about the AI systems used in government. The public should know what AI systems their government uses as well as how well they perform. Systems should be regularly evaluated and summary results made available to the public in a systematic format.


Read more: Avoid the politics and let artificial intelligence decide your vote in the next election


New Zealand’s law and transparency

Our report takes a detailed look at how well New Zealand law currently handles these transparency issues.

New Zealand doesn’t have laws specifically tailored towards algorithms, but some are relevant in this context. For instance, New Zealand’s Official Information Act (OIA) provides a right to reasons for decisions by official agencies, and this is likely to apply to algorithmic decisions just as much as human ones. This is in notable contrast to Australia, which doesn’t impose a general duty on public officials to provide reasons for their decisions.

But even the OIA would come up short where decisions are made or supported by opaque decision systems. That is why we recommend that predictive algorithms used by government, whether developed commercially or in-house, must feature in a public register, must be publicly inspectable, and (if necessary) must be supplemented with explanation systems.

Human control and data protection

Another issue relates to human control. Some of the concerns around algorithmic decision-making are best addressed by making sure there is a “human in the loop,” with a human having final sign off on any important decision. However, we don’t think this is likely to be an adequate solution in the most important cases.


Read more: Automated vehicles may encourage a new breed of distracted drivers


A persistent theme of research in industrial psychology is that humans become overly trusting and uncritical of automated systems, especially when those systems are reliable most of the time. Just adding a human “in the loop” will not always produce better outcomes. Indeed in certain contexts, human collaboration will offer false reassurance, rendering AI-assisted decisions less accurate.

With respect to data protection, we flag the problem of “inferred data”. This is data inferred about people rather than supplied by them directly (just as when Amazon infers that you might like a certain book on the basis of books it knows you have purchased). Among other recommendations, our report calls for New Zealand to consider the legal status of inferred data, and whether it should be treated the same way as primary data.

Bias and discrimination

A final area of concern is bias. Computer systems might look unbiased, but if they are relying on “dirty data” from previous decisions, they could have the effect of “baking in” discriminatory assumptions and practices. New Zealand’s anti-discrimination laws are likely to apply to algorithmic decisions, but making sure discrimination doesn’t creep back in will require ongoing monitoring.

The report also notes that while “individual rights” — for example, against discrimination — are important, we can’t entirely rely on them to guard against all of these risks. For one thing, affected people will often be those with the least economic or political power. So while they may have the “right” not to be discriminated against, it will be cold comfort to them if they have no way of enforcing it.

There is also the danger that they won’t be able to see the whole picture, to know whether an algorithm’s decisions are affecting different sections of the community differently. To enable a broader discussion about bias, public evaluation of AI tools should arguably include results for specific sub-populations, as well as for the whole population.

A new independent body will be essential if New Zealand wants to harness the benefits of algorithmic tools while avoiding or minimising their risks to the public.

Alistair Knott, James Maclaurin and Joy Liddicoat, collaborators on the AI and Law in New Zealand project, have contributed to the writing of this piece.

SOURCE

https://theconversation.com/call-for-independent-watchdog-to-monitor-nz-government-use-of-artificial-intelligence-117589

https://www.biometricupdate.com/201905/academics-call-on-new-zealand-to-regulate-ai-as-brookings-issues-guidance

Image by Computerizer from Pixabay

 

Department of Conservation Independent Poisoned Cow Investigation – nothing “independent” about it (GrafBoys)

So the authorities have finished investigating themselves … three weeks it’s taken for a truly ‘in depth’ report passing all of the blame predictably, onto the victims of the said drop.

Thanks to the GrafBoys for their truly independent coverage of this issue.

Published on Oct 23, 2018

The Department of Conservation has initiated an ‘independent” investigation following the death of 8 cows killed in its recent aerial 1080 poisoning operation. But is the independent investigation really independent?

The very Govt organization that issues consents for 1080 drops is to conduct the ‘independent’ review of DoC’s recent aerial operation that killed 8 cows

“Waikato Regional Council will undertake the independent review. NZ Herald.

Related: https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/2018/09/29/with-an-estimated-158-stock-deaths-pa-in-nz-docs-proposed-independent-review-of-the-waikato-1080-drop-that-killed-8-cows-is-rare-indeed/

This is all very in-house isn’t it? Not unlike how the Police investigate themselves. Or how Monsanto long ago in the 1970s tested Roundup themselves for safety. Also a bit like asking the second hand car dealer to check over the car you are looking to purchase.

Dr Meriel Watts appealed to Environment Waikato (now Waikato Regional Council, WRC) in 2010 to desist from the use of 1080 as they considered the issuing of up to 20 year consents for aerial dispersal of the said product:

“Re: EPRO and EcoFX Resource Consent Applications

Dear Mr Laing,

I am writing to you on behalf of Pesticide Action Network Aotearoa New Zealand to express our profound opposition to Environment Waikato’s anachronistic proposal to allow 10- or 20-year resource consents to EPROand EcoFX to aerially disperse 1080 in the region.

As you are no doubt aware, 1080 is classed by the World Health Organisation as an Extremely Hazardous pesticide (Class 1a WHO). You may not be aware that as such it falls within the category of Highly Hazardous Pesticides for which the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) is seeking a global phase out.

That Environment Waikato is contemplating 10 or 20 year consents to use, let alone aerially disperse, 1080, when a UN agency is promoting a global phase out of all such pesticides is extraordinary. I can only assume that you officers are not aware of the situation.

To issue consents of 10 or more years duration also flies in the face of ERMA’s concern about such on-going widespread dispersal of 1080 in the environment, and their support for more research into alternatives. There will be no room for introduction of alternatives in the EW region if these consents are granted.”

1080 is a broad-spectrum poison: it kills all oxygen-breathing animals and organisms. This alone is reason enough to cease dispersing it into the environment. It indiscriminately kills and contaminates everything from the insects that underpin the native fauna food chain to precious native birds, dogs and farm animals. There are so many recorded instances that there is no need to elaborate on them here. Nor the fact that the suffering of these animals on the way to death is extremely inhumane.

That New Zealand has such a history of poisoning its indigenous species, livestock and companion animals is a shame we have to live with. But we do not need to perpetuate it. Thankfully the era of poisoning everything we don’t like is passing, and intelligent new, targeted approaches to pest management are taking its place.

It is time now for Environment Waikato to move forward with the rest of the world, and introduce alternatives. Trapping has been shown to be an effective method of controlling possums, at the same time utilising a valuable resource for the benefit of the national economy, and trapping technology is continually improving. On the other hand, years of experience of 1080 dispersal has shown that this approach is not sustainable, it has to be repeated at regular intervals, each time with its negative consequences for the environment.

Pesticide Action Network therefore urges you to reject the idea of extended resource consents for aerial dispersal of 1080, and to instead focus your resources on rapid introduction of sustainable, environmentally friendly, and socially supportive alternatives such as trapping.

Yours sincerely,

Meriel Watts, PhD,

Pesticide Action Network

SOURCE

When a PHD & author of 2 well known books* on the effects of poisons on human beings & environments, takes the time to warn those who are mandating widespread poisoning of the environment of the dangers therein, you would think that that authority would heed the warning. But no, not only have they continued dropping 1080, it increases yearly. And the rules have even been changed so that 1080 can be delivered straight into waterways without a consent from council!

Indeed since that time the Government itself has been busy making the product for the country (NZ) that was already using 80% or thereabouts of the world’s supply. Cleverly re branding it to make its image slightly more palatable to the non questioning public.

2openlab

We are expected to now believe that an investigation into this recent incident involving the death of 8 cows (including aborted calves) by the very organization that is not only a branch of the same tree and pro 1080, will be independent? 

They are all under the same Government umbrella!  DoC, Regional Council, Orillion. May as well save themselves the time, money & effort because we can fairly safely bet on what the outcome will be.

*(The Poisoning of New Zealand, 1994 – and – Pesticides and Breast Cancer, 2007) 

‘I will win this’ – Penny Bright and her fight with Auckland Council

An interview with awesome Auckland activist, anti corruption campaigner, whistle blower and three times Mayoral candidate,  Penny Bright. This strong and caring woman is like a dog with a bone on issues of justice and anti corruption.

From Radio Live

She’s loathed by many councils and government officials.

Loud, relentless, persistent, annoying, opinionated and independent – all words you could use to describe anti-corruption campaigner and veteran activist Penny Bright.

She’s the Auckland woman in a decade-long fight with Auckland Council. They’re looking to sell her home to recover $34,000 in unpaid rates and penalties.

Penny Bright spoke candidly to RadioLIVE’s Ryan Bridge about her life and why she’s so annoying.

READ MORE & LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW

http://www.radiolive.co.nz/home/video/2018/tea-for-two–penny-bright.html

30 solid scientific studies that prove vaccines are linked with autism

(NaturalNews) These thirty scientific studies show a link between vaccines and autism, disproving the myth that no official research papers exist to support what alternative doctors have been saying for years.

We have compiled a list of 30 scientific studies that show a link between vaccines and autism, disproving the myth[1] that no official research papers exist to support what alternative doctors have been saying for years.

(Article by Sean Adl-Tabatabai, republished from http://www.trueactivist.com)

These papers can be shown to medical doctors and public health officials who wish to see peer reviewed scientific studies to back up the claims that autism is a direct result from receiving a vaccination[2].

The first research paper presented was the first one ever written on the subject, from 1943. Child Psychiatrist Leo Kanner discovered 11 children over the course of several years who displayed a novel set of neurological symptoms that had never been described in the medical literature, where children were withdrawn, uncommunicative and displayed similar odd behaviors. This disorder would become known as “autism.” In the paper, Dr. Kanner noted that onset of the disorder began following the administration of a small pox vaccine. This paper was published in 1943, and evidence that vaccination causes an ever increasing rate of neurological and immunological regressions, including autism[3], has been mounting from that time until now.

Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact[4]Leo Kanner, Johns Hopkins University, 1943

“Since 1938, there have come to our attention a number of children whose condition differs so markedly and uniquely from anything reported so far, that each case merits – and, I hope, will eventually receive – at detailed consideration of its fascinating peculiarities.”

All of Kanner’s cases were born after, and began to appear following, the introduction of Eli Lilly’s new form of water-soluble mercury in the late 1920s used as an anti-fungal in forestry, a wood treatment product in the lumber industry and as a disinfectant and anti-bacterial in the medical industry under the name of “Thimerosal” that was included in vaccines[5].

READ MORE

http://www.naturalnews.com/055446_vaccines_austim_scientific_studies.html

NZ Professional Firefighters Union reveals Christchurch firefighter crews were stood down at nightfall, day one, while the Port Hills fires burned – an independent inquiry sought

christchurch-fires.jpg
Photo Credit: NZPFU

Christchurch Firefighters Frustrated and Bewildered

The New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union, representing all career front line firefighters can reveal that Christchurch Fire Service Crews (career firefighters) were stood down and told to return to Stations while the catastrophic Christchurch fires continued to burn – said Derek Best, Secretary of the Union.

The Union can reveal that Rural Fire Officials in charge of the incident stood down all career firefighters battling the blaze. The order to stand down was given at nightfall in day one; leaving career firefighters frustrated, bewildered and disappointed.

The fire was left to burn out of control and the frustrated firefighters could see the flames from their Stations. Ninety minutes later, the alarm was re-raised and Christchurch firefighters responded back to find the fire had gained significant momentum and was seriously threatening many properties.

As a result of returning to the locality from which they had been stood down from, they saved at least six houses from total destruction – said Derek Best.

READ MORE


A further article from Stuff certainly confirms the need for an enquiry

Port Hills firefighter allegedly threatened with arrest for fighting blaze

Andy Nicholson says he was told he would be arrested if he didn’t stop fighting the fire on his rural Early Valley Road property.

Nicholson is part of a local fire brigade that was fighting the Port HIlls, Christchurch, fire on Monday night with a water tanker.

A video filmed by his 19-year-old son Robert shows him driving up to a neighbour’s house to try battle the blaze before realising the situation was too dangerous.

“The most important thing is to get to a fire early [but] by the time we got to Ken’s place this thing was astronomical. The fire had rocketed up to the edge [of the road]. It had engulfed everything.

READ MORE:
Analysis: What could have been done to stop the Port Hills blaze?
Devastation of the Port Hills fires from above
Firefighters were sent home early from Christchurch fire response

“We knew we couldn’t stop the fire so we got out of there.”

He went back to protect his own property, where there is now damage to his pasture and fences. Luckily his house and livestock made it through the fire unscathed.

But, he said, a policeman forced him to leave nevertheless, allegedly saying he would be arrested if he didn’t comply with the evacuation order.

READ MORE


From TVNZ:

(Read & see videos at the link)

Christchurch firefighters were told to “stand down” by Rural Fire officials and return to their stations on the first day fires started to engulf the Port Hills, the NZ Professional Firefighters Union says.

“The fire was left to burn out of control and the frustrated firefighters could see the flames from their stations,” Secretary Derek Best told 1 NEWS.

It wasn’t until 90 minutes later the alarm was raised to respond.

“As a result of returning to the locality from which they had been stood down from, they saved at least six houses from total destruction,” said the union. (TVNZ)

About 450 homes have been evacuated since the fires started burning on Monday, with eleven destroyed.

As a result of the stand down, the union says it is starting to question whether more houses could have been saved.

“The union and firefighters seriously question the tactical command decisions made and believes the tactics adopted were significantly flawed,” Mr Best said.

The union says there is an urgent need for a full and independent inquiry.

READ MORE


This is not right at all. Sending firefighters away?  This is tragic. May justice be done, and a full and independent inquiry be conducted. What are the chances? We’ll see.

EnvirowatchRangitikei

 

200 Evidence-Based Reasons NOT To Vaccinate

FREE Research PDF Download!

200 Evidence-Based Reasons NOT To Vaccinate - FREE Research PDF Download!
Photo credit: greenmedinfo

Quick download here

(Please read the description for context of what you are getting, and what to do with it.)

The media, your pediatrician, politicians and health authorities like the CDC and FDA claim that vaccines are safe and effective. So why do hundreds of peer-reviewed studies indicate the opposite is true? Read, download, and share this document widely to provide the necessary evidence-based counterbalance to the pro-vaccination propaganda that has globally infected popular consciousness and discussion like an intractable disease. 

It is abundantly clear that if the present-day vaccine climate, namely, that everyone must comply with the CDC’s one-size-fits-all vaccination schedule or be labeled a health risk to society at large, is to succumb to open and balanced discussion, it is the peer-reviewed biomedical evidence itself that is going to pave the way towards making rational debate on the subject happen.

With this aim in mind, GreenMedInfo.com has painstakingly collected over 300 pages of study abstracts culled directly from the National Library of Medicine’s pubmed.gov bibliographic database on the wide-ranging adverse health effects linked to vaccines in the today’s schedule (over 200 distinct adverse effects, including death), as well as numerous studies related to vaccine contamination, and vaccine failure in highly vaccine compliant populations.

This is the literature that the media, politicians and governmental health organizations like the CDC, pretend with abject dishonesty does not exist – as if vaccine injury did not happen, despite the over 3 billion dollars our government has paid out to vaccine injured through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund since it was inaugurated in 1986.

We have written extensively about this research previously, highlighting different studies, focusing on translating their implications to the lay persons (view our vaccine article section here), but we believe that collecting and condensing solely the primary literature itself makes a much more powerful statement.

This document is being made free to download to the world at large in order to encourage the lay public, health professionals, activists, and elected officials alike to read, acknowledge and share the voluminous literature with their family, friends, colleagues and related stakeholders. You will find this research undermines the national and global agenda to continue to expand the vaccine schedule (on behalf of a vaccine industry that is indemnified against lawsuit for defective or harmful products), with increasing legislative pressure to remove exemptions and mandate them against the evidence of harm and at best equivocal effectiveness as a preventive health measure.

If the vaccination arm of modern medicine today is to continue to promote itself as a science- and evidence-based practice, it must acknowledge and incorporate the implications of the research we are releasing here, or lose any pretense at credibility. Failing to do so will reveal that the widespread push to remove your choice in the matter is agenda and not evidence driven, and due to the fact that vaccines all  carry the risk of irreversible harm and even death (any vaccine insert proves this), it clearly violates the Nuremberg code of medical ethics to promote them as a priori safe and effectiveness….

READ MORE HERE and download the pdf file: 

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/200-evidence-based-reasons-not-vaccinate-free-research-pdf-download

How Does Vaccinated Children’s Health Compare to Unvaccinated Children? You’ll be Surprized

While there have been no official US government-sponsored studies comparing the health of vaccinated to unvaccinated children, several independently funded studies have been done in the US and overseas. The majority of these studies have been conducted abroad, but many involve American children.

What do these studies show? The research demonstrates conclusively that unvaccinated children enjoy far superior health when compared to those vaccinated. Unvaccinated children experience almost no incidence of autism, autoimmune disorders, asthma, allergies, diabetes and other common childhood diseases which have reached epidemic proportions in recent years.

Read More: https://vactruth.com/2016/06/03/vaccinated-vs-unvaccinated/

New Tech Shows Why You Can’t Trust Anything You See on the News

Most people who’ve learned to question will know by now that what is called ‘mainstream media’ (I call it lamestream) can no longer be trusted to inform you of news facts in an unbiased and truthful manner. The ownership of the media for starters is now down to around six corporations, from many times that say ten years ago.

media-con

Remember, corporations don’t have your best interests at heart. What we see and hear is carefully funneled to us … selectively at that. What you don’t get to see, just as important as what you do, creating the desired perception of reality to suit. You may not have been aware but during recent TPPA protests throughout NZ, the Herald reported  a few hundred protesters, when in fact there were 25K+. Currently then your best shot at getting to the truth of all news is to visit truth sites on the internet. Your daily newspaper is just not going to do that for you. Unless of course you are only wanting data on last week’s dog trials and some gardening and culinary advice.

To complicate matters further, according to this video, you will see how what you learn is manipulated to an even more devious degree with even more refined technology that can artificially create the reporter’s body language for you … and more …

EnvirowatchRangitikei

 


 

Published on Mar 21, 2016

https://youtu.be/YKkuWX406q4 I’m not even sure what to write for a description. What else can you say? It’s the Matrix.

More info on Stanford’s website: http://www.graphics.stanford.edu/~nie

Face2Face: Real-time Face Capture and Reenactment of RGB Videos (CVPR 2016 Oral): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohmaj

We Need to Talk about Sandy Hook: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxTaf

H/T Dag Wood

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