AI researchers want to study AI the same way social scientists study humans

Much ink has been spilled on the black-box nature of AI systems—and how it makes us uncomfortable that we often can’t understand why they reach the decisions they do. As algorithms have come to mediate everything from our social and cultural to economic and political interactions, computer scientists have attempted to respond to rising demands for their explainability by developing technical methods to understand their behaviors.

But a group of researchers from academia and industry are now arguing that we don’t need to penetrate these black boxes in order to understand, and thus control, their effect on our lives. After all, these are not the first inscrutable black boxes we’ve come across.

“We’ve developed scientific methods to study black boxes for hundreds of years now, but these methods have primarily been applied to [living beings] up to this point,” says Nick Obradovich, an MIT Media Lab researcher and co-author of a new paper published last week in Nature. “We can leverage many of the same tools to study the new black box AI systems.”

The paper’s authors, a diverse group of researchers from industry and academia, propose to create a new academic discipline called “machine behavior.” It approaches studying AI systems in the same way we’ve always studied animals and humans: through empirical observation and experimentation.

This doesn’t mean to suggest that AI systems have developed some kind of free will. (They certainly have not; they’re only glorified math models.) But it is meant to move away from viewing AI systems as passive tools that can be assessed purely through their technical architecture, performance, and capabilities. They should instead be considered as active actors that change and influence their environments and the people and machines around them.

So, what would this even look like? A machine behaviorist might interrogate, for example, the impact of voice assistants on a child’s personality development. Or they might examine how online dating algorithms have changed how people meet and fall in love. Ultimately, they would study the emergent properties that arise from many humans and machines coexisting and collaborating together.

“We are all one giant human-machine system,” says Obradovich. “We need to acknowledge that and start studying it that way.”

It’s important to note that most of these ideas aren’t new. Roboticists, for example, have long studied human-computer interaction. And the field of science, technology, and society have what’s known as the “actor-network theory,” a framework for describing everything in the social and natural worlds—both humans and algorithms—as actors that somehow relate to one another. But for the most part, each of these efforts have been siloed in separate disciplines. Bringing them together under one umbrella helps align their goals, formalize a common language, and foster interdisciplinary collaborations. “It will help us find each other,” Obradovich says.

Despite being in a distinct discipline from AI researchers, machine behaviorists should still work closely with them. As the latter discover new ways AI systems behave and affect people, the former can bring those learnings to bear on the system’s designs. The more each discipline can take advantage of the other’s expertise, the more they will be able to ensure that artificial agents benefit humans rather than harm them.

“We need the expertise of scientists from across all behavioral and computational disciplines,” Obradovich says. “Figuring out how to live with machines is a problem too vast for any one discipline to solve alone.”

Google confirms Dark Mode on Android smartphones improves battery life

Dark Mode on Android smartphone helps save battery life, admits Google

Google finally confirmed that the Dark Mode uses less power and helps increase battery life on Android smartphones, SlashGear reported. During a presentation at the 2018 Android Dev Summit, Google urged its developers to use darker colors in their apps to get the best battery life on the end user’s phone.

Generally, when you increase the screen’s brightness, it affects the battery life of the device. Also, the color displayed affects the power consumption of the display.

The Dark Mode basically reverses the color theme of an operating system (OS) or applications by replacing the white background with black. The Dark Mode for long has been associated with better battery life on devices, especially mobile devices.

According to Business Insider, Dark Mode draws 43% lesser power at full brightness compared to “normal mode” in the YouTube app, which normally uses a lot of white. The white color indirectly utilizes more power than darker colors.

Google also admitted their past mistake of encouraging app developers to use the color white for their applications and interfaces, including its own apps with their official Material Design specification for the last few years. The search giant said that they have plans to roll out a Dark Mode for all the Google apps in the future.

Please note that changing to Dark Mode only changes the user interface (UI) color to black background. You may have to manually enable Dark Mode on different applications.

For instance, to enable Dark Mode on your Android smartphone, you need to follow the below steps:

  1. Go to Settings on your phone.
  2. Tap on Display > Advanced > Device Theme.
  3. Tap on Dark.

Similarly, you can enable Dark Mode for YouTube application as given below:

  1. Launch YouTube app on your phone.
  2. Then, tap on your profile icon that appears on the right top corner.
  3. Go to Settings > General.
  4. Tap on the toggle for “Dark theme” to enable it.
  5. Tap on the back button, the theme is automatically saved.

China’s grand designs to dominate the future of clean energy paid off spectacularly this week.

In a public offering on June 11 in Shenzhen, battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL) raised nearly $1 billion to fund ambitious expansion plans, and its stock has been shooting up every day since. Thanks largely to the company’s new plants, China will be making 70 percent of the world’s electric-vehicle batteries by 2021, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

The rapid rise of CATL is arguably the clearest, though certainly not the only, payoff from China’s calculated efforts to bolster its domestic battery and electric-vehicle industries—two of the most promising sectors in clean energy. These efforts have largely followed the same playbook China used to get ahead in solar panels, including highly automated manufacturing; aggressive efforts to lock in global supply chains; foreign acquisitions and licensing; and hefty doses of government support and protectionism.

China is already the world’s largest car market, but its domestic businesses sell only a small fraction of vehicles and components globally. “China sees EVs as the way to assert their global dominance in automotive,” says Venkat Viswanathan, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon, whose work focuses on batteries. “To make it work you need scale, and they do scale better than anyone else.”

China’s efforts are also part of a broader plan to reduce air pollution, meet soaring domestic energy demands, establish the nation as a leader in fighting climate change, and exert the soft power that comes with global business dominance.

CATL shares rose by the maximum allowed in each of the first three days of trading, giving the Ningde-based company a value of more than $13 billion by the end of trading on June 13. That minted at least three new billionaires, including founder Zeng Yuqun. He effectively spun the business out of Amperex Technology, which makes batteries for consumer gadgets, in 2011. (The company didn’t respond to questions from MIT Technology Review before press time.)

Just seven years later, CATL has built up the biggest lithium-ion manufacturing facilities in the world, according to BNEF. The company can crank out around 17 gigawatt-hours of lithium-ion cells annually, placing it just ahead of Korea’s LG Chem, the Tesla and Panasonic partnership, and China’s electric-vehicle giant BYD.

Flush with capital from its offering, CATL plans to build two new plants and expand existing facilities, pushing its capacity to nearly 90 gigawatt-hours by 2020.
So what fueled CATL’s rapid rise?

The key factor is China’s generous subsidies for domestically produced electric vehicles, which in practice apply only when they use Chinese-built batteries. More recently, the country started to condition that subsidy on higher energy density, prompting battery makers to push their technical limits. That’s also accelerated the shift to a new generation of batteries containing more nickel and less cobalt, a metal that is in increasingly short supply.

“You saw a huge push around the performance of these batteries and the technologies they chose that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise,” says Logan Goldie-Scot, head of energy storage analysis at BNEF.

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That move, along with other efforts by China’s government to encourage consolidation, has also helped weed out lesser players and build the lead of “national champions” like CATL and BYD. CATL has also earned a reputation for putting more effort and funding into research and development than its domestic rivals.

Notably, it’s the only Chinese battery company so far to line up deals to supply foreign automakers, including BMW, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen. Chinese EV batteries generally haven’t earned glowing reviews for their technical performance, but “these deals suggest that gap has narrowed significantly,” Goldie-Scot says.

CATL does face some real risks, however, notes a BNEF research report issued last week. It might overshoot, building too much capacity. It still has stiff competition. And China plans to phase out subsidies for battery makers by 2020, which could level the field for CATL’s foreign rivals.

Tesla is also aggressively cutting costs and expanding production for its lithium-ion cells, with a new facility planned in China. Meanwhile, a number of other regions and nations are considering or establishing strict limits on gas-fueled vehicles, which will draw more players, investment, and customers into the nascent field.

China is developing its own plan to eventually ban sales of new combustion-engine vehicles; it’s already established ambitious quotas for the production of electric vehicles and hybrids. BNEF forecasts that these and other policies will push electric-vehicle sales in China to 2.5 million in 2020, up from nearly 800,000 last year, quadrupling battery demand.

At this point, CATL appears perfectly positioned to benefit from these trends—and drive them. “What they’re bringing online in production is going to fundamentally change the landscape in cost and scale,” Viswanathan says. “It is, by far, the most interesting things in batteries today.”

Google employees quit to protest company’s deal

About a dozen Google employees have resigned in protest over the tech giant’s involvement with a project in which it is helping the Pentagon develop artificial intelligence for military drones.

Codenamed Project Maven, the new technology being developed by Google will analyze aerial surveillance video to look for patterns that can help operators.

It comes as military bosses say the thousands of military and civilian intelligence analysts are ‘overwhelmed’ by the amount of video being recorded over the battlefield by drones with high resolution cameras.

A number of Google employees had expressed dissatisfaction with the company’s involvement due to the ethical concerns related to helping the Pentagon with its controversial drone program.

Specifically, Google workers feel that human beings – and not algorithms – should be responsible for conducting military-related operations.

They also believe that Google should have no ties to the military whatsoever.

News of the resignations was reported on Monday by Gizmodo.

The web site also reported that among the many employees who are still at the company there is anger over what they perceive is management’s being less attentive to their concerns.

In years past, Google executives have reportedly encouraged their work force to be up front in voicing their opinions about potentially controversial business decisions.

‘Over the last couple of months, I’ve been less and less impressed with the response and the way people’s concerns are being treated and listened to,’ one employee who resigned said.

Aside from the resignations, some 4,000 Google employees circulated an internal petition expressing their opposition to the company’s involvement in Project Maven.

The petition demands that the company cut all ties to Project Maven and pledge to avoid any future contracts with the Pentagon or other militaries.

But Google management appears to be unmoved by employee opposition.

The Mountain View, California-based is intent on submitting a bid for a massive cloud contract with the Department of Defense.

The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) is a plan that would have Silicon Valley provide basic cloud computing services to the military, according to Gizmodo.

The multi-billion dollar contract is being sought by the largest tech firms in what is becoming a fierce competition between the likes of Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, and Rean Cloud LLC, according to Tech Crunch.

Google has responded to employee opposition by claiming that its work on Project Maven is non-combat in nature.

The company also claims that it is merely providing the Pentagon with open source software – meaning that the military could still use the technology even if it didn’t pay Google.

But the resigning employees say that Google should be a company devoted solely to advance technology in the civilian realm.

‘It’s not like Google is this little machine-learning startup that’s trying to find clients in different industries,’ a resigning employee said.

‘It just seems like it makes sense for Google and Google’s reputation to stay out of that.’

The resigning employee also said that Google promised to look into ethical concerns only after it officially entered into its contract with the Pentagon.

Those concerns, the employee said, ‘should have been addressed before we entered this contract.’

Tech workers across a number of Silicon Valley companies are opposed to their firms entering into partnerships with the Department of Defense.

A group that calls itself the Tech Workers Coalition comprising of employees from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM circulated an online petition demanding that Silicon Valley companies shun contracts with the Pentagon.

‘We are tech industry employees concerned about the lack of accountability, accuracy, and safety in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in offensive capabilities of the U.S. Military,’ the petition read.

‘Many of us signing this petition are faced with ethical decisions in the design and development of technology on a daily basis.

‘We cannot ignore the moral responsibility of our work.

‘We believe that tech companies should not be in the business of war, and that we as tech workers must adopt binding ethical standards for the use of AI that will let us build the world we believe in.

‘Google should break its contract with the Department of Defense (DoD).

‘We invite all supporters to join us in amplifying our demand for private tech companies to stay out of the business of war.’

Another petition signed by over 250 academics from the fields of artificial intelligence, ethics, and computer science expresses support for the Google employees while also calling for a comprehensive ban on autonomous weapons systems and ‘killer robots.’

‘If ethical action on the part of tech companies requires consideration of who might benefit from a technology and who might be harmed, then we can say with certainty that no topic deserves more sober reflection – no technology has higher stakes – than algorithms meant to target and kill at a distance and without public accountability,’ the letter states.

‘Google has moved into military work without subjecting itself to public debate or deliberation, either domestically or internationally.

‘While Google regularly decides the future of technology without democratic public engagement, its entry into military technologies casts the problems of private control of information infrastructure into high relief.’

 Google declined to comment on the resignations, though it did release a statement in April which read: ‘An important part of our culture is having employees who are actively engaged in the work that we do.

‘We know that there are many open questions involved in the use of new technologies, so these conversations – with employees and outside experts – are hugely important and beneficial.

‘The technology is used to flag images for human review and is intended to save lives and save people from having to do highly tedious work.

‘Any military use of machine learning naturally raises valid concerns.

‘We’re actively engaged across the company in a comprehensive discussion of this important topic and also with outside experts, as we continue to develop our policies around the development and use of our machine learning technologies.’

Biometric credit card technology – An Overview

Of late there are several companies that are making use of technology to prevent plastic card related fraudulent activities by making use of the concept of biometric fingerprint activated debit and credit cards.

Companies like SmartMetric, Zwipe, and Visa have taken the initiative. It is being said that biometric fingerprint technology has the ability to change the scenario of the manner in which card payments are made worldwide thereby restricting fraudsters to carry out their horrendous activities.

However, there is an important implication in this. This concept can be applied for preventing fraud at that takes place at POS or Point of Sale. However, experts emphasize that preventing fraud at POS is just not enough; it has to be also effective for CNP or Card-not-present transactions.

Statistical data

The Nilson Report states that in the year 2014 alone, the losses incurred on credit card fraud amounted to a whopping USD$16.31 billion across the globe. And interestingly, United States alone suffered losses worth USD$7.86 billion. The type of fraud that caused the loss in figures includes losses from card-not-present transactions, stolen cards, lost cards, and counterfeiting. And what is even more striking is that experts still predict that fraudulent activity related to plastic cards (debit as well as credit cards) will amount to a loss worth more than USD$35.54 billion by the year 2020.

To counteract the fraudulent activities, MasterCard came into a contract with Zwipe in the year 2014 and the world’s first biometric contactless payment card was launched. It had fingerprint sensor that was integrated. Soon companies like Visa followed suit and its designs were based entirely on Visa (EVM) chip standard, MasterCard, and EuroPay. The aforesaid cards work on the principle of “match-on-card” authentication and makes use of biometric readers at the terminals (ATM).

Aside from the above, SmartMetric came up with EMV compliant biometric plastic card, which makes use of a built-in fingerprint reader inside the card, which enables to identify the identity of the cardholder.

Banking sector opt for prevention methods for credit card frauds

The small chip that you get to see on your plastic cards is the first line of defense when it comes to preventing credit card fraud. In fact banks are carrying out experiments to improve upon means of combating plastic card frauds. In fact, fingerprint scanners are also being tested by banks.

Concept of Motion Code

The concept of Motion code has been found to fight credit card fraud in a totally new manner. In this the CVV number that is on the reverse side of the cards is nothing but a display that is mainly digital in nature.

The fact that the number is constantly changing makes it impossible for anyone to use the number for fraudulent transactions. If at all anyone tries to misuse it, he won’t be able to.

Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and Apple Pay refrain from sending the actual or so called real plastic card numbers to the merchants. Instead they make use of so called one-time code that prevents your original digits from being transmitted to the merchants.

It has been observed that so called “fingerprint validation technology” is effective even in case of smartphone digital wallets as in Apple Pay. However, there is one hitch and that is this concept does not work well with the older phones. And for this reason every effort is being made so that the older phones can be made compatible with appropriate biometric verification tools thereby curbing the incidence of CNP or card-not-present transactions. Other options that are being tried out for preventing credit card frauds are voice recognition and facial recognition. And it is being apprehended that it is not too far when these technologies will be implemented too.

LaunchCode Offers Free Coding Courses to Help You Get a Dream Job

LaunchCode offers free coding classes to help you launch your career in technology

LaunchCode is a non-profit organization based in St. Louis, Missouri, that works with hundreds of companies to set up paid apprenticeships in technology for talented people who lack the traditional qualifications to get a good job. The non-profit startup has trained more than 1,000 people with essential computer skills for free that has helped them in getting a job in the tech industry.

Now, LaunchCode has figured out a distinct method way to teach people with all backgrounds how to code before assisting them in finding an apprenticeship.

Those interested need to apply online for a LaunchCode apprenticeship. The startup offers a 20-week introduction to computer programming course, wherein the apprentice is taught computer coding skills. During the course of the program, mentors help apprentices’ grow their skills while providing feedback on their progress and help them to finish the program. Then, LaunchCode will match the apprentice with one of their 500 employer partners for a paid apprenticeship. The non-profit says more than four out of five apprentices become full-time hires.

Tampa Bay has been listed as one of LaunchCode’s six locations across the country. The first class in Tampa had started in 2017, and on Thursday night, it hosted its first graduation ceremony at Nielsen Media Research’s headquarters in Oldsmar.

Kyla Rieger, a Tampa Bay resident, who was a stay at home mom for nine years, decided to re-enter the workforce but did not know where to begin.

“I tried to learn to code on my own, but it’s hard to know where to start,” she said.

That’s when she saw an ad on Facebook for LaunchCode Tampa Bay. 

LaunchCode is expected to come up with their second round of applications shortly. For more information, click here.

China’s AI wizards want to entertain you, cure you, and dominate the world

At EmTech Digital, three Chinese executives highlighted how far AI has come in the country-and its plans for the future.

The Chinese government has a massively ambitious plan to lead in the field of artificial intelligence by 2030. It’s investing billions of dollars in a technology park in Beijing dedicated to AI. It wants to shape the standards that will govern the field. And it’s fostering the development of impressive AI startups, which raised more money last year than American ones.

At MIT Technology Review’s annual EmTech Digital conference in San Francisco this week, several Chinese executives spoke about the advances their firms had made in AI.

What’s clear from the discussions is the impressive progress their companies have been making in a range of AI-powered technologies from computer vision, to speech recognition and natural language processing.

Some of these firms have been growing at breakneck speed. ByteDance, which runs a hugely popular news app called Toutiao, now has over 700 million monthly active users, and some 120 million people open its app every day. Such scale gives it a massive amount of data on which to train algorithms that create a personalized menu of articles, videos and other content that it serves up to its customers. In particular, it has mastered the art of using AI to help people create and disseminate short videos, some 20 million of which are uploaded to its platform every day.

Wei-Ying Ma, the head of the company’s AI lab, talked about its Snapchat-like approach to enhancing photographs using AI and about its other offerings such as a Quora-like Q&A discussion forum. The company also has ambitious plans to use AI to, for instance, create personalized commentaries for sports games. The AI would learn about a person’s favorite players and then use a combination of video from a game and information about players scraped from the web to generate tailored coverage.

“We believe that content creation is really the next frontier,” said Ma. Of course, the Chinese government watches closely what is published, so it’s no surprise that ByteDance has an army of human moderators to supplement the AI that polices what’s published.

One of the reasons for AI’s rapid advance in China is the amount of research now under way there. SenseTime, which provides facial recognition technology for things such as image analysis and payments services, has a research team that includes 150 PhDs in artificial intelligence on its staff, and has published nearly 120 papers at the world’s top AI conferences since 2015—more than American giants like Facebook and Google.

Dahua Lin of SenseTime, who is also a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, showed off technology that can deliver a frame-by-frame analysis of movies to, say, extract the most exciting moments in a film that can be delivered as highlights.

Shipeng Li, a technical adviser to iFLYTEK, one of the four tech firms along with Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent, designated as national leaders in various fields of AI, highlighted some of the advances that his company had made in fields like healthcare, where iFLYTEK’s virtual doctor service had become the first to pass the country’s national medical exam, coming in the top 5% of “students” when it took the test in 2015.

Li stressed that although China was making great strides domestically, he and many other technologists recognize the need for global collaboration on things like research and standards in AI. “Our goal is to use AI to create a better world, not just a better country,” he said.

Nanobot’ viruses tag and round up bacteria in food and water


NEW ORLEANS — Viruses engineered into “nanobots” can find and separate bacteria from food or water.

These viruses, called bacteriophages or just phages, naturally latch onto bacteria to infect them. By tweaking the phages’ DNA and decking them out with magnetic nanoparticles, researchers created a tool that could both corral bacteria and force them to reveal themselves. These modifications can boost the sensitivity and speed of rooting out bacteria in tainted food or water, the researchers reported March 20 at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society.

“You’re taking the power of what evolution has done … to bind bacteria, and then we’re just helping that out a little bit,” said Sam Nugen, a food and biosystems engineer who leads the team designing these phages at Cornell University.

Competing technologies for detecting bacteria use antibodies, the product of an immune response. But these are expensive to produce and work best in a narrow temperature and pH range. In contrast, phages “exist everywhere,” making them potentially more broadly useful as bacteria hunters, Nugen said. “They’ve had to evolve to bind well in much broader conditions than antibodies.”

Phages identify and grab bacteria using proteins on their leglike tail fibers, which form a strong bond with compounds on the bacterial cell surface. To infect the cell, the phage injects its genetic material. This hijacks the cell, forcing its machinery to produce phage clones.

Nugen and collaborators programmed phages to tag E. coli bacteria. The team’s engineered phages contained extra DNA that told the bacteria to make an easily detectable enzyme. When the infection caused the bacterial cells to rupture and release the new phages, a chemical reaction involving the enzyme produced a measurable signal: light, color or an electric current. For example, the phages exposed E. coli in milk and orange juice by turning the liquids red or pink.

The researchers also loaded the phages with nanoparticles with a magnetic iron and cobalt core. Once the phages latched onto the bacteria, researchers could use a magnet to round the bacteria up even before the bacteria ruptured and announced their presence. This allowed the researchers to detect low concentrations of bacteria: less than 10 E. coli cells in half a cup of water. Conventional methods grow the bacteria into colonies to find them, which can take up to two days. But using the phages, Nugen and his colleagues skipped this step and found the cells within a few hours.

Using phages for magnetic separation would be “really nice for food and environmental samples because they tend to be really dirty,” said Michael Wiederoder, a bioengineer at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Massachusetts, who was not involved in the research. The salt, sugar and fats in food can slow the reactions of antibody-based tests, he said.

Also, the phages infect only bacteria that can reproduce, allowing testers to tell the difference between live cells and those killed by antibiotics, heat or chlorine. With food, “whether the bacteria are alive or dead is the difference between you getting sick and not,” Wiederoder said.

The nanobots could also prove useful for blood or other human samples. There, phages would provide a way to find resistant bacteria left alive after a course of antibiotics.

The next challenge: tinkering with the phages to tune which bacteria they go after. In nature, phages prey on specific species. But in food, it may be helpful to detect several common offenders, like E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria, or, alternatively, to have greater discrimination to find only the pathogenic E. coli and leave the rest.

Oracle wins legal battle against Google over use of Java code in Android


Oracle wins appeal against Google in landmark copyright case

The never ending legal battle between Oracle and Google took a new twist on Tuesday when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington ruled that Google’s use of Java shortcuts to develop Android “went too far” and was “a violation of Oracle’s copyrights”. This decision could see Google pay Oracle billions in damages, as the eight-year-long dispute between the two software giants draws near a close, reports Bloomberg.

For those unaware, Java was created by Sun Microsystems back in the 1990s and Oracle acquired the company in 2010. The legal battle between Oracle and Google formally started in 2010 over bits of Java code called Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) – a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. APIs are useful as developers don’t have to write new code from scratch to implement every new function or change it for every new type of device.

Eight months after the purchase, Oracle accused Google of using its copyrighted APIs in its Android mobile operating system and filed a lawsuit. Since then, both the companies have gone through federal trials and multiple appeals courts in the U.S.

In May 2016, Oracle lost the plagiarism case it had filed against Google, as the search giant had argued that the copying fell within the “fair use” provision of copyright law, which meant it was free to use. At that time, a jury of 10 unanimously agreed with Google who found that the search giant’s use of declaring code, and the structure, sequence, and organization of Java APIs was fair use.

Google at the time, said that its victory at trial was “a win for the Android ecosystem; for the Java programming community and for software developers who rely on open and free programming languages to build innovative consumer products.”

However, Oracle went ahead and appealed the ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and asked them to overrule the federal jury’s decision taken in May 2016 that says Google’s use of Oracle software didn’t violate copyright law. As of 2016, Oracle sought $9 billion in damages as part of the lawsuit it first filed in 2010.

Finally, the U.S. Court of Appeals in its decision on Tuesday (March 27, 2018) ruled that Google’s use of APIs was “unfair as a matter of law.”

“The fact that Android is free of charge does not make Google’s use of the Java API packages noncommercial,” the three-judge panel wrote in its decision. It also pointed out that Android has made more than $42 billion in revenue from advertising and that Google had not made any changes of the copyrighted material.

“There is nothing fair about taking a copyrighted work verbatim and using it for the same purpose and function as the original in a competing platform,” it stated.

Oracle said its APIs are freely available to those who want to build applications for computers and mobile devices, but draws the line at anyone who wants to use them for a competing platform or to embed them in an electronic device.

Welcoming the ruling, Dorian Daley, an Oracle executive vice president and the company’s general counsel, in a statement said, “The Federal Circuit’s opinion upholds fundamental principles of copyright law and makes clear that Google violated the law. This decision protects creators and consumers from the unlawful abuse of their rights.”

On the other hand, Google and its supporters said that extending copyright protection to APIs, would threaten innovation and lead to higher costs for consumers.

“We are disappointed the court reversed the jury finding that Java is open and free for everyone,” Google said in a statement. “This type of ruling will make apps and online services more expensive for users. We are considering our options.”

Google is likely to ask the three-judge panel to reconsider its decision or ask the full appeals court to review the decision. The case could even go all the way to the Supreme Court of the U.S.

The case has been closely followed by the tech industry because of its extensive implications for software innovation and copyright law