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Parlons Futur 29/10/2019 : les 42,000 satellites de SpaceX ; 2 exemples concrets de Crédit Social en Chine ; comment encadrer les armes autonomes

le début de la newsletter à retrouver ici.

Voici les 3 news dont vous trouverez le résumé au format bullet points plus bas :

  • SpaceX compte envoyer en orbite au moins 42,000 satellites à terme, son réseau de communication ouvre dès 2020 ! (pour info, au total l'humanité dispose à ce jour de 2,062 en activité!!)
  • Le système de crédit social en Chine est très largement caricaturé, il est en fait encore très basique : l'exemple concret de 2 villes en Chine
  • Spécialistes des questions militaires et chercheurs en IA s'accordent sur un tronc commun de propositions pour encadrer l'essor des armes autonomes
SpaceX compte envoyer en orbite au moins 42,000 satellites à terme, son réseau de communication ouvre dès 2020 ! (pour info, au total l'humanité dispose à ce jour de 2,062 en activité!!)
  • Il s'agit de ses propres satellites, en vue d'offrir un service de communication haut débit (accès à internet) très bon marché dans le monde entier
  • SpaceX vient de faire la demande officielle pour 30,000 satellites supplémentaires, en plus des 12,000 déjà approuvés par la U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • SpaceX launched the first 60 satellites for the Starlink network aboard a Falcon 9 rocket in May. Another Falcon 9 launch is scheduled to carry more Starlink nodes into orbit from Cape Canaveral in late October or November, followed by as many as 24 Starlink launches next year.
  • Elon Musk a d'ailleur tweeté la semaine dernière en utilisant son embryon de réseau la semaine dernière "Sending this tweet through space via Starlink satellite"
  • Le réseau devrait entrer en service dès 2020 !
  • To build the service, SpaceX will have to launch up to eight Falcon 9 rockets filled with the company's Starlink satellites, SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said
  • She said "We'll continue to upgrade the network until mid to late next year, we're hoping for 24 launches by the end of the year."
  • Musk has said SpaceX will need at least 400 Starlink satellites in orbit for "minor" broadband coverage, and 800 satellites aloft for "moderate" coverage.
  • Ultimately, SpaceX may not need so many satellites in orbit for global coverage. But having them available will allow SpaceX to use some satellites for customized service, Shotwell said
  • Lors d'une conférence avec les investisseurs, COO Gwynne Shotwell a également pu dire :
    • SpaceX achieved what it has largely because of private funding. You can go as fast as you want & you can tolerate failure.
    • Shotwell, on the difference between SpaceX and Blue Origin, said: “I think engineers think better when they’re pushed hardest to do great things in a very short period of time, with very few resources. Not when you have twenty years."
    • About Bezos : They're two years older than us and they've yet to reach orbit. They get $1 billion of "free money" each year but I think engineers work better when they're pushed.
    • We want Starship to fly to orbit next year, we want to land on the Moon with cargo and people by 2022.
    • Next year we're going to be 60 Starlink satellites "every other week." "Once we get to 1200 satellites we will have coverage of the whole globe."
    • Shotwell: Starlink satellites will have roughly a 5 year life in orbit before we refresh. Morgan Stanley estimated this week how much it would cost to deploy our satellites "and they were wayyyyyyyy off."
    • Shotwell: SpaceX's Starlink is way less expensive than OneWeb and "17 times better or cheaper."
    • "Jeff Bezos wants to start a constellation and he's years behind."
    • “If you’re thinking about investing in OneWeb, I would recommend strongly against it. They fooled some people who are going to be pretty disappointed in the near term,” Shotwell said.
      • Pour info, OneWeb est un projet de constellation d'environ 600 satellites de télécommunications circulant sur une orbite basse pour fournir aux particuliers une connexion internet à haut débit dans les régions non desservies par des liaisons terrestres à partir de 2022. Ce projet est développé par la société américaine OneWeb. Les lancements doivent être organisés par Arianespace.
Le système de crédit social en Chine est très largement caricaturé, il est en fait encore très basique : l'exemple concret de 2 villes en Chine
  • Par exemple dans les villes de Xiamen et Fuzhou, le système est volontaire, n'utilise pas l'IA, et ne fonctionne "qu'avec des carottes et pas de bâton"
  • These algorithmically created scores, using data gathered by the local government to assess citizens’ level of “promise keeping” (守信), can be used at places like hospitals and tourist sites, or when paying school tuition fees and borrowing books. However, a look under the hood reveals a reality far from any utopian or dystopian picture.
  • Citizens in the ‘good credit’ region (600–650 and above), which is roughly the average score at the moment, can unlock a range of benefits that can be bucketed into 3 categories:

    • 1. deposit free access,

    • 2. discounted access,

    • 3. priority access to services.

  • In many schemes, more about carrots than sticks, citizens can lose points but receive no direct penalty for a low score.

  • The carrots in this case take up added importance as being denied access to carrots become the only punishment when there are no sticks for citizens with low scores.

  • Much has been written on China’s Social Credit System (SCS) in global media, including often inaccurate portrayals attributing the denial of some citizens’ ability to buy high-speed rail and flight tickets to a ‘low social credit score’.

  • For example, Fuzhou’s platform collects data from over 630 such entities. The data broadly is classified into includes 4 types:

    • basic data: education, employment status, occupation, marriage status, professional qualifications,

    • positive credit: government conferred honors, contributions to public welfare,

    • notices: over-due loans, utility payments (water, electricity, etc),

    • bad credit: legal violations (civil, administrative, criminal).

  • in these 2 cities, people’s scores are not impacted at all by data from the private sector. So for example people’s online purchases or social media posts, has no impact on the score.

  • Some of the key areas that would boost scores into the outstanding credit includes: a citizen’s timely contribution to the city social security or insurance fund; activities such as volunteering, donating blood, using public transport, separating waste; working in areas of public interest such as teachers or doctors

  • Xiamen uses the FICO score model — used in the United States by mainstream credit rating agencies to assess financial credit worthiness, but remixed with a different set of variables.

  • Neither of these models use machine learning based technologies such as predictive scoring. Therefore the specific question of AI blackbox decision making, a highly controversial issue associated with the application of AI across several industries, is not applicable. Both governments claim to be working on bringing in machine learning (ML) and see Alipay’s Sesame Credit, which uses ML in its scoring model, as the the industry benchmark which they are looking to emulate

  • According to data shared with us, Fuzhou has 1.7 million registered Moli score users (roughly 21% of the city population) and Xiamen has just 210,059 (roughly 5% of city population).

  • In its present iteration the scores seem more like a government version of a loyalty scheme — all citizens get access to the basic service however some can opt-in for fringe benefits for convenience and comfort. Initial data suggests a very low level of awareness about the score in both cities

  • In Xiamen, outside of the library, we did not meet anyone that even knew about the score. There was no advertising or government propaganda around the city either. When asked about this, officials in both cities emphasized a word-of-mouth strategy rather than a concerted top-down propaganda effort that tends to accompany major policy efforts, further reflecting the early-stage experimentation nature of the initiative.

  • With no data from private sector to call upon, where a large amount of a citizen’s digital footprint is generated, it remains to be seen how successful the models built by city governments can be a proxy of an individuals ‘trustworthiness’, and whether the broader system of rewards built around it lead to citizens becoming more law abiding in any meaningful way. As one representative from a company that build credit scoring applications in Guizhou shared at a conference in Beijing, there are no new algorithms and not useful enough data sets

  • Retours d'expérience partagé spar le Berkman Center for Internet & Society, un centre de recherche à l'université Harvard qui traite essentiellement sur l'étude du cyberespace

  • Spécialistes des questions militaires et chercheurs en IA s'accordent sur un tronc commun de propositions pour encadrer l'essor des armes autonomes
    • Summary of Issues Surrounding Autonomous Weapons
      • The potential for beneficial uses of AI and autonomy that could improve precision and reliability in the use of force and reduce non-combatant harm.
      • A desire for some degree of human involvement in the use of force. This has been expressed repeatedly in UN discussions on lethal autonomous weapon systems in different ways.
      • Particular risks surrounding lethal autonomous weapons specifically targeting personnel as opposed to vehicles or materiel.
      • Risk of proliferation to terrorists, criminals, or rogue states.
      • Risk that autonomous systems that have been verified to be acceptable can be made unacceptable through software changes.
      • The potential for autonomous weapons to be used as scalable weapons enabling a small number of individuals to inflict very large-scale casualties at low cost, either intentionally or accidentally.
    • Propositions :
      • A time-limited moratorium on the development, deployment, transfer, and use of anti-personnel lethal autonomous weapon systems. Such a moratorium could include exceptions for certain classes of weapons such as :
        • Anti-vehicle or anti-materiel weapons
        • Non-lethal anti-personnel weapons
        • Research on ways of improving autonomous weapon technology to reduce non-combatant harm in future anti-personnel lethal autonomous weapon systems
        • Weapons that find, track, and engage specific individuals whom a human has decided should be engaged within a limited predetermined period of time and geographic region
      • Define guiding principles for human involvement in the use of force.
      • Develop protocols and/or technological means to mitigate the risk of unintentional escalation due to autonomous systems.
      • Develop strategies for preventing proliferation to illicit uses, such as by criminals, terrorists, or rogue states.
      • Conduct research to improve technologies and human-machine systems to reduce non-combatant harm and ensure IHL compliance in the use of future weapons.
    • J'avais rédigé une analyse très complète des arguments pour et contre les armes autonomes publiée dans le Journal du Net et disponible en anglais ici.
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