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A leading AI ethics researcher says she’s been fired from Google

On December 2, the AI research community was shocked to learn that Timnit Gebru had been fired from her post at Google. Gebru, one of the leading voices in responsible AI research, is known among other things for her groundbreaking work in revealing the discriminatory nature of facial recognition, cofounding the Black in AI affinity group, and relentlessly...

Facebook will remove misinformation about covid-19 vaccines

The news: Facebook will remove false claims that have been “debunked by public health experts” about covid-19 vaccines, it has announced. In a post, the company outlined how Facebook plans to apply its existing ban on covid misinformation—which is intended to screen out posts that could lead to “imminent physical harm”—as countries around the world...

This is the most precise 3D map of the Milky Way ever made

Data collected by the European Space Agency’s Gaia observatory has been used to create the most detailed 3D map of the galaxy ever made. The new data set could help scientists unravel many mysteries about the universe’s expansion and the solar system’s future. What is Gaia? Launched in 2013, the Gaia observatory is intended to observe as many...

The way we express grief for strangers is changing

In late March, Claire Rezba heard about the tragic death of Diedre Wilkes. Wilkes, a 42-year-old mammogram technician, had died alone of covid-19 in her home, her four-year-old child near her body. Rezba, a physician based in Richmond, Virginia, was shaken. “That story resonated with me,” she says. “She was about my age.” Wilkes’s death also...

Fair value? Fixing the data economy

Each innovation challenges the norms, codes, and values of the society in which it is embedded. The industrial revolution unleashed new forces of productivity but at the cost of inhumane working conditions, leading to the creation of unions, labor laws, and the foundations of the political party structures of modern democracies. Fossil fuels powered...

Making the workplace safer with innovative covid-19-fighting solutions

As businesses of all sizes welcome a fearful and anxious workforce back to the office, they are simultaneously challenged with ensuring a safe work environment. The stark reality facing business owners still navigating the covid-19 pandemic is the diligence required to limit infectious spread.  Corporations are taking note: plexiglass barriers,...

Podcast: Facial recognition is quietly being used to control access to housing and social services

Facial recognition technology is being deployed in housing projects, homeless shelters, schools, even across entire cities—usually without much fanfare or discussion. To some, this represents a critical technology for helping vulnerable communities gain access to social services. For others, it’s a flagrant invasion of privacy and violation of human...

Japan is about to bring back samples of an asteroid 180 million miles away

On December 5, Earth is getting a delivery of something literally out of this world: some small grains and dust snatched up from an asteroid 180 million miles away. Once safely back on Earth, the fragments of Ryugu will help scientists learn more about how the solar system formed.  JAXA, Japan’s space agency, launched Hayabusa2 six years...

Logging in to get kicked out: Inside America’s virtual eviction crisis

When Gabrielle Diamond and her boyfriend, Brian Cox, showed up for eviction court on October 15, they were more than a little nervous.  The two had been renting a bedroom in transitional housing for veterans in Kansas City, Missouri, since January, paying $600 per month for their month-to-month lease. Almost as soon as they moved in, Diamond...

The election is over, but voter fraud conspiracies aren’t going away

President Trump’s conspiracy-theory-fueled plan to overturn his defeat in the 2020 elections targeted six states that President-elect Joe Biden narrowly won: Wisconsin, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada and Georgia. All six of those states have now certified their vote counts—with recounts sometimes even increasing the victory margin for Biden. ...

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