Huawei-Sponsored Podcast Blasts American AI Firms Catching Child Sex Predators.


New York Times podcast sponsored by Huawei, a Chinese Communist Party-linked technology firm, criticizes U.S. artificial intelligence companies praised for catching child sex predators.

What’s more, Kara Swisher’s recent “Sway” podcast relies on analysis from Joy Buolamwini, a researcher from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab which has taken millions of dollars linked to Jeffrey Epstein. MIT Media Lab “aggressively sought the financial support of the convicted sex offender Epstein,” according to WIRED, and hosted him as a guest “at least nine times from 2013 to 2017.”

“Epstein appeared to serve as an intermediary between the lab and other wealthy donors,” The New Yorker also notes.

Buolamwini and MIT Media Lab have attacked several artificial intelligence (AI) firms – most aggressively Clearview AI.

This firm, however, has been credited with helping law enforcement catch child sexual predators similar to Epstein.

“Law enforcement agencies across the United States and Canada are using Clearview AI — a secretive facial recognition start-up with a database of three billion images — to identify children who are victims of sexual abuse. […] Investigators say Clearview’s tools allow them to learn the names or locations of minors in exploitative videos and photos who otherwise might not have been identified,” even The New York Times notes.

Buolamwini and MIT Media Lab dismiss these advances over fears of “systemic bias” and “racist” algorithms and applications.

And beyond the suspicious ties between the MIT Media Lab and Epstein, the podcast is also sponsored by a Chinese Communist Party-linked tech firm involved in AI: Huawei.

“This podcast is supported by Huawei Technologies USA,” a mid-show advertisement reveals before praising the company as using “technology for good.”

Huawei, however, has extensive links to both the Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army, prompting the U.S. State Department to identify it as an “arms of the state – or, more precisely, the Chinese Communist Party.” Labeled a “national security threat” by the Trump administration and a decades-long Chinese military collaborator by the U.S. Department of Defense, Huawei routinely provides the Chinese Communist Party backdoor access to its products, networks, and devices.

The U.S. State Department also emphasized that the Chinese Communist Party uses Huawei as an “instrument not only for making money but also for pursuing the Party-State’s agenda and fulfilling its strategic objectives […] deeply enmeshed in Beijing’s system of oppression at home and its increasingly assertive strategic ambitions globally.”

When pressed on the use of AI by the Chinese Communist Party, Buolamwini fails to offer substantive condemnation of the regime’s application of the technology for Uyghur oppression and social credit score systems.

“One thing we have to look at is the fact that we’re a democracy, and so the level of state control and state intervention and also the level of coordination and the level of data collection is on a different level than the U.S. because we’re looking at different kinds of political systems in the first place,” she posits in defense of the communist regime.

Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is freelance reporter.

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