2018/11/25: Lawyers and engineers noticed in the early part of this decade that lawmaking and software engineering have a lot in common when it comes to tracking changes to their code—whether it be legal code or software code. The District has managed to take a practice of modern software development and apply it to its legal code by putting its legal code onto GitHub at https://github.com/DCCouncil/dc-law-xml
This isn’t a copy of the DC law. It is an authoritative source. It is where the DC Council stores the digital versions of enacted laws, and this source feeds directly into the Council’s DC Code website at https://code.dccouncil.us/dc/council/code/
Last week, I opened the file on GitHub that had the typo, edited the file, and submitted my edit using GitHub’s “pull request” feature.
2018/10/01: When an algorithm convicts the defendant in a murder trial… that too is life or death.
Some child protective services use an algorithm to decide which kids to take. The algorithm assigns a risk score based on inputs like how many calls the department has received, and if the parents are hostile towards caseworkers.
Other courts already use an algorithm to figure out the recidivism risk—if a criminal is likely to re-offend. The higher the risk, the longer the sentence.
If I smoked a joint or got in a fight in high school, am I 40% more likely to commit a crime?
Will I be assumed guilty based on probability alone? How can I be sure the algorithm isn’t biased?
When ProPublica analyzed the recidivism algorithm, they found that it was racially biased.
O’Neil Risk Consulting & Algorithmic Auditing is another organization looking into how fair the algorithms used by the justice system are. But they admit that even the audits are subjective to a degree.
That’s pretty scary to have algorithms control the criminal justice system. Due process might be replaced by computer processors.
Voss revealed that he hadn't realised that the text he voted in favour of contained Article 12a, which bans taking pictures or videos at sports matches even selfies or short clips of fans in the stands or antics on the field.
This is a longstanding priority of corrupt sports leagues like FIFA, one that tens of millions of European sports fans will be outraged by.
Voss says he doesn't know how Article 12a got back into the Directive, but says he'll "fix it."
2018/08/24: While there is a huge potential for remanufacturing, currently it is estimated that remanufactured products account for a mere 2% of total manufacturing output in Europe.
Ultimately the scaling of the circular economy practices will require enhanced social awareness and a regulatory environment that supports the economic viability of the circular economy business models.
Digitalisation is also expected to support the transition to a circular economy. Big data, for example, can improve traceability of materials, and in turn has the potential to manage the whole life cycle of a product.
More serious in the long term is growing conjecture that current programming methods are no longer fit for purpose given the size, complexity and interdependency of the algorithmic systems we increasingly rely on.
The article suggests re-thinking our legal system to assign blame for any badly malfunctioning algorithms... Solutions exist or can be found for most of the problems described here, but not without incentivizing big tech to place the health of society on a par with their bottom lines.
2018/06/09: Blockchain is a promising technology that is still shock full of hype. Farming is a literally vital component of society that is in dire straits worldwide. What happens if the two try to work together?
What would happen if laws were written and maybe even “executed”, that is applied, as if they were computer software code?
Aurecon will be the first company in Australia to use a visual employment contract, creating a succinct and meaningful visual contract that uses illustrations to complement the text.
Guest blog post by Abbe Marks, Principal Advisor
Nigeria's lawmakers earn more than their counterparts in the US or UK
In tech, you move fast and break stuff. In government, you try to compromise. But the yawning gulf between tech and law is slowly narrowing, thanks to a new breed of 'bridge-builders'...
Legislation is difficult to read and understand. So difficult that it largely goes unread. This is something I learned when I first started building bill drafting systems over a decade ago. It was quite a let down. The people you would expect to read legislation don't actually do that. Instead they must rely on analyses,