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2020/01/17 第294期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 Software To Recognize Faces Is Found To Be Biased 臉部辨識系統 有種族性別「偏見」
Female Writers On the Rise in Italy 「斐蘭德效應」HBO製作影集 義大利女作家聲勢漲
Software To Recognize Faces Is Found To Be Biased 臉部辨識系統 有種族性別「偏見」
文/Natasha Singer and Cade Metz

臉部辨識系統 有種族性別「偏見」

The majority of commercial facial-recognition systems exhibit bias, according to a study from a federal agency released recently, underscoring questions about a technology increasingly used by police departments and federal agencies to identify suspected criminals.


The systems falsely identified African American and Asian faces 10 times to 100 times more than Caucasian faces, the National Institute of Standards and Technology reported. Among a database of photos used by law enforcement agencies in the United States, the highest error rates came in identifying Native Americans, the study found.


The technology also had more difficulty identifying women than men. And it falsely identified older adults up to 10 times more than middle-aged adults.


The new report comes at a time of mounting concern from lawmakers and civil rights groups over the proliferation of facial recognition. Proponents view it as an important tool for catching criminals and tracking terrorists. Tech companies market it as a convenience that can be used to help identify people in photos or in lieu of a password to unlock smartphones.


Civil liberties experts, however, warn that the technology — which can be used to track people at a distance without their knowledge — has the potential to lead to ubiquitous surveillance, chilling freedom of movement and speech. Last year, San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley in California and the Massachusetts communities of Somerville and Brookline banned government use of the technology.


“One false match can lead to missed flights, lengthy interrogations, watch list placements, tense police encounters, false arrests or worse,” Jay Stanley, a policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement. “Government agencies including the FBI, Customs and Border Protection and local law enforcement must immediately halt the deployment of this dystopian technology.”


The federal report is one of the largest studies of its kind. The researchers had access to more than 18 million photos of about 8.5 million people from American mug shots, visa applications and border-crossing databases.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology tested 189 facial-recognition algorithms from 99 developers, representing the majority of commercial developers. They included systems from Microsoft, biometric technology companies like Cognitec, and Megvii, an artificial intelligence company in China.


The federal report confirms earlier studies from MIT that reported that facial-recognition systems from some large tech companies had much lower accuracy rates in identifying the female and darker-skinned faces than the white male faces.


Female Writers On the Rise in Italy 「斐蘭德效應」HBO製作影集 義大利女作家聲勢漲
文/Anna Momigliano

Female Writers On the Rise in Italy

In Italy, literary fiction has long been considered a man’s game. Publishers, critics and prize committees have dismissed books by women as chick lit and beach reads. They scoffed at Elena Ferrante, the author of “My Brilliant Friend,” as the writer of mere page-turners.


Then Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels became an international sensation, selling over 11 million copies, inspiring an acclaimed HBO series and cementing her reputation as the most successful Italian novelist in years. Her ascent, and the rediscovery of some of the last century’s great Italian female writers, has encouraged a new wave of women and shaken the country’s literary establishment. Female writers here are winning prestigious prizes, getting translated and selling copies.


Their achievements have set off a wider debate in Italy about what constitutes literature in a country where self-referential virtuosity is often valued over storytelling, emotional resonance and issues like sexism or gender roles.


“Once we were more reluctant to write about certain topics, fearing they could be labeled as ‘women’s stuff,’” said Veronica Raimo, author of the novel “The Girl at the Door,” an exploration of marriage, pregnancy and sexual assault allegations that was translated into English last year. “There was this idea that stories told by women couldn’t be universal. But that’s changing.”


One author to see the progress firsthand is Helena Janeczek, who has been publishing for decades but who in 2018 became the first woman in 15 years to win the Premio Strega, the country’s top literary award.


“That was quite a time gap, wasn’t it?” she said. “But I wasn’t that surprised. The times are changing.”


The book that won her the award, published in October in English as “The Girl With the Leica,” is a historical novel about war photographer Gerda Taro, who was killed in 1937 while documenting the Spanish Civil War with her more famous boyfriend and colleague, Robert Capa.


In the past two years, novels by women have accounted for roughly half of Italy’s top 20 bestsellers in fiction — nearly double the percentage from 2017, according to data released by Informazioni Editoriali, which surveys sales in the country’s bookshops.

根據該國書店銷量調查業者Informazioni Editoriali公布的數據,過去兩年義大利前20名暢銷小說中,女性作品約占一半,占比相較於2017年增加了近一倍。

In interviews, Italian authors, editors, critics, translators and publishers said that female writers have gained extraordinary attention. Some call it “the Ferrante effect.”


“My Brilliant Friend” and the other Ferrante novels showed that “there is a market for fiction by women,” said Daniela Brogi, a contemporary literature scholar at the University for Foreigners of Siena. “And they also gave literary dignity to fiction about women.”



本文用銷售量和改編為影劇作品的盛況為「都會女性文學」(chick lit)平反,認為女性為女性閱讀所寫、主題關於女性的作品,不該被貶抑為「女人家的玩意」(women's stuff),同樣能夠放諸四海皆準(universal)。

導言後的第二段討論文學的定義。簡單說,「形式」跟「內容」孰輕孰重。小說家透過自我指涉(self -referential或自我反射"self-reflexive")的絕技(virtuosity)所打造出的後設小說(metafiction)世界,在義大利文壇備受推崇。義大利已故文壇巨擘卡爾維諾(Italo Calvino)的名作《如果在冬夜,一個旅人》(If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)即為顯例。

優良的文學作品理應形式與內容並重,作者認為義大利長期偏重敘事技巧,以致是否好好地說個故事(storytelling)、引發讀者共鳴(resonance)、和處理性別議題反而沒受到應有的重視。在女性作家紛紛崛起(on the rise)後,文學定義在義國文壇引發熱議,現狀正在改變。

2020 農曆春節期間電子報停刊公告

你可能已經聽說過,鱷魚在攝食時也有流淚的傾向。 不過這不是因為牠們感到抱歉或內疚,而是因為牠們在吃獵物時會觸發淚腺。因此,「流下鱷魚眼淚」便成了展現虛偽感情的古老說法。
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