Meta has released its first human rights report after years of accusations that it turns a blind eye to online abuses
In a landmark report, Meta has shared an overview of how online content stokes violence in places like India and Myanmar.
Meta commissioned law firm, Foley Hoag, to conduct the research as part of its due diligence into controversial human rights impacts.
It follows groups like Amnesty International urging Meta stop stalling on these matters.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch says the “selective” and says it “brings us no closer” to understanding the company’s role in the spread of hate speech in India.
Meta says “we’re addressing potential human rights concerns stemming from our products, policies or business practices”.
India is Meta’s largest market by the number of users but rights groups and activists have raised concerns about anti-Muslim hate speech, which is reportedly stoking tensions in the country.
The tech giant says it’s updating its policies to take human rights considerations into account.
Stylish shades with future tech and Meta products
Meta hosted a two-day virtual event, Meta Connect 2023, on September 27-28, focusing on AI and virtual, mixed, and augmented realities.
The event featured presentations, lightning talks, and immersive experiences, giving attendees an insight into the latest advancements and innovations.
Unveiling Meta Quest 3 and Meta Smart Glasses
One of the highlights was the unveiling of the much-anticipated Meta Quest 3 and Meta smart glasses. Mark Zuckerberg, the Founder and CEO of Meta, along with special guests, introduced Meta Quest 3 and elucidated how Meta is pushing the boundaries of mixed reality.
Meta’s foray into smart glasses with a partnership with Ray-Ban showcased their commitment to expanding the realms of reality. The smart glasses promise hands-free communication and a seamless integration of the digital and physical worlds.\
Delving into Meta’s Technological Vision
The event delved into the technological vision of Meta with presentations like “Building the Future” by Michael Abrash, Chief Scientist at Reality Labs, and Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, CTO and Head of Reality Labs. They discussed Meta’s groundbreaking research in contextual AI, neural interfaces, and ultra-realistic codec avatars, fundamental to the future of computing.
Developer Ecosystem and AI Innovations
A significant aspect of the event was the “Developer State of the Union,” providing developers a platform to explore new tools, programs, and features across AI, VR, MR, AR, Meta Horizon Worlds, and Meta Avatars. Additionally, the event highlighted AI innovations through “AI, Llama and more” lightning talks, showcasing Meta’s recent AI developments and tools.
Immersive Experiences in Mixed Reality
On the second day, attendees had the opportunity to explore mixed reality experiences and the potential of Meta Quest 3 through a “Meta Quest and Mixed Reality” lightning talk. This session provided insights into the cutting-edge capabilities and business strategies that drive this next-generation product.
Meta Horizon Worlds: An Immersive Meta Experience
Meta Horizon Worlds, an immersive experience inspired by Meta’s Menlo Park campus, allowed participants to explore a virtual world and even experience Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote in 3D. Attendees could engage with others in Meta Horizon Worlds experiences and earn exclusive rewards.
The surge of urban surveillance
Major cities witness rise in surveillance measures, with increased reliance on Closed-Circuit Television systems.
In recent years, bustling metropolises such as New York, Melbourne, and London have experienced a substantial surge in the deployment of CCTV cameras. These cities are wholeheartedly embracing advanced surveillance technologies, driven by the need to enhance public safety, deter criminal activities, and monitor high-traffic areas effectively.
The proliferation of CCTV networks signifies a response to the evolving security requirements of urban environments, aiming to provide real-time monitoring and swift response capabilities.
However, this upswing in surveillance has ignited significant debates concerning privacy, civil liberties, and the potential misuse of personal data. Striking a delicate balance between security measures and individual rights has become imperative. Notably, some supermarkets in Australia have taken a proactive approach by equipping their staff with body-worn cameras to deter potential incidents of theft, abuse, or untoward behaviour within their premises.
In the realm of home security, Eufy, originally known for vacuums, has transitioned into a high-tier home security supplier. Eufy has introduced a groundbreaking security package with the remarkable ability to seamlessly track a single person across multiple cameras.
Their innovative approach enables effortless tracking of an individual as they move across various cameras within a property. This advancement promises continuous insights into movements and activities, significantly boosting safety measures and streamlining response efforts to potential security threats or incidents.
Despite these upgrades accompanying the rapid digitisation of surveillance systems, CCTV networks face a growing threat from cyber attacks. These digital security risks lay bare the vulnerabilities of these crucial surveillance infrastructures. Hackers can exploit weaknesses in the network, gaining unauthorised access to live feeds, compromising data, and potentially causing disruptions in surveillance operations.
These escalating urban surveillance statistics prompt contemplation on the delicate balance between privacy and security. While CCTV proves effective in deterring crime and enhancing public safety, concerns about privacy and civil liberties persist and are continuously raised.
It seems to be crucial thing that companies continue to navigate this landscape thoughtfully, ensuring that the advancement of surveillance technologies is paralleled with safeguards for individual rights and privacy.
SAG-AFTRA members back a video game industry strike
Game on! With clear resolve to strike a deal, union readies to recommence negotiations armed with authorisation.
In a resounding display of solidarity, members of the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) have endorsed a video game strike authorisation vote with an astonishing 98.32% voting in favour.
The SAG-AFTRA agreement which covered video game performers expired last November and has been extended on a monthly basis as the union negotiated with major video game companies.
The vote was initiated to address issues related to fair compensation, transparent contracts, and improved working conditions for video game voice actors and performers and is an extension of has been unfolding in Hollywood recently.
The resolute decision by the members empowers SAG-AFTRA to negotiate with video game production companies for better terms that adequately value the contributions of performers in this burgeoning sector. The resounding mandate highlights the urgency and importance of addressing the grievances and achieving a fair and mutually beneficial resolution.
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