Keeping us safe
+South Wales police have had a very slight judicial rap over the knuckles for their semi-legal use of face recognition technology, following a case brought by a guy who was merely out shopping being found (wrongly) on a ‘watch list.’ In that case, it is clear that the force’s artificial intelligence systems weren’t quite up to speed. But now we’re all wearing facemasks and the whole surveillance scheme is up the spout. Perhaps we may all be told to wear face masks with our names on them, or maybe bar codes. I’m sure there’s a technical fix for this dilemma. It could be sold on the basis of being a bees knees, world beating track and trace system. Everything the state does is merely designed to keep us safe.
+John Swinney, the SNP’s education minister has offered a fulsome apology following the downgrading of Scottish A-level results (that was yet another successful algorithmic exercise). But his apology will do little harm to the SNP who will be able to claim they are at least being honest. It sounded quite refreshing compared to what we have to put up with south of the border.
+And in another day of breathless news, the Russians have it seems launched a Covid-19 vaccine, appropriately named ’Sputnik-5.’ Apparently Putin’s daughter has already taken the vaccine (shades of John Gummer here). Whether or not the drug works safely is clearly an issue, but hey—Russian athletes did pretty well in the Olympics didn’t they? Perhaps the same expertise is at play here. And surely Donald Trump will want to be first in the queue to order a few billion shots of it? Will there be a deal? Could this be Putin’s opportunity to save Trump’s re-election hopes?
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