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Artificial intelligence

Your license plate is probably in the massive database ICE just got access to

January 26, 2018

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has signed a contract with Vigilant Solutions, which owns a database of two billion images of license plate tagged with dates, times, and GPS coordinates.

How it could work: According to the Verge, ICE agents could use the database to perform searches that would show every place a license plate was spotted in the past five years. That would allow agents to build a clear profile of where and with whom a person spends time. The system can also send real-time e-mail alerts for new photos of a particular plate.

Taking issue: The ACLU warns that the technology, ostensibly meant for tracking down undocumented immigrants, could be turned into a tool that tracks all Americans.

Deep Dive

Artificial intelligence

What does GPT-3 “know” about me? 

Large language models are trained on troves of personal data hoovered from the internet. So I wanted to know: What does it have on me?

DeepMind has predicted the structure of almost every protein known to science

And it’s giving the data away for free, which could spur new scientific discoveries.

An AI that can design new proteins could help unlock new cures and materials 

The machine-learning tool could help researchers discover entirely new proteins not yet known to science.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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