#Cyberculture agenda: “Amsterdam and Helsinki become first cities to launch AI registers explaining how they use algorithms


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Amsterdam and Helsinki today became the first cities in the world to launch open AI registers that track how algorithms are being used in the municipalities. In a press release, the cities said the registers would help ensure that the AI used in public services operates on the same principles of responsibility, transparency, and security as other local government activities. “Algorithms play an increasingly important role in our lives,” said Touria Meliani, Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam. “Together with the city of Helsinki, we are on a mission to create as much understanding about algorithms as possible and be transparent about…

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In January 2019, YouTube began rolling out the system. That’s when Mark Sargent noticed his flat-earth views take a nose dive. Other types of content were getting down-ranked, too, like moon-landing conspiracies or videos perseverating on chemtrails. Over the next few months, Goodrow and Rohe pushed out more than 30 refinements to the system that they say increased its accuracy. By the summer, YouTube was publicly declaring success: It had reduced by 50 percent the watch time of borderline content that came from recommendations. By December it reported a reduction of 70 percent.

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