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The next pandemic is already here. Covid can teach us how to fight it.

It was August 2017, and pleasant and breezy in the central mountains of Madagascar. The passengers loading their bags into the minibus leaving Ankazobe, a small town in the highlands, were grateful for the morning coolness. It would be warm and sticky on the trip they were taking to Antananarivo, the island’s million-person capital 100Continue reading “The next pandemic is already here. Covid can teach us how to fight it.”

Podcast: Hired by an algorithm

If you’ve applied for a job lately, it’s all but guaranteed that your application was reviewed by software—in most cases, before a human ever laid eyes on it. In this episode, the first in a four-part investigation into automated hiring practices, we speak with the CEOs of ZipRecruiter and CareerBuilder, and one of the architectsContinue reading “Podcast: Hired by an algorithm”

French spyware bosses indicted for their role in the torture of dissidents

Senior executives at a French spyware firm have been indicted for the company’s sale of surveillance software to authoritarian regimes in Libya and Egypt that resulted in the torture and disappearance of dissidents. While high-tech surveillance is a multibillion dollar industry worldwide, it is rare for companies or individuals to face legal consequences for sellingContinue reading “French spyware bosses indicted for their role in the torture of dissidents”

Why China’s kicking out the crypto miners

The news: China’s intensifying crackdown has sent cryptocurrency prices tumbling. China has been upping its regulatory squeeze on cryptocurrencies for some time, but it now looks likely that over 90% of its bitcoin mining capacity in the country will shut down, according to a report in the Global Times, which is published by the ChineseContinue reading “Why China’s kicking out the crypto miners”

Scientists might have spotted tectonic activity inside Venus

Venus might be hell, but don’t call it a dead planet. Amid surface temperatures of up to 471 °C and surface pressures 100 times greater than those on Earth, new research suggests the planet might still be geologically active. That’s encouraging news to people who think it could once have hosted life (or that it might stillContinue reading “Scientists might have spotted tectonic activity inside Venus”

Navigating a surprising pandemic side effect: AI whiplash

Amid the many business disruptions caused by covid-19, here’s one largely overlooked: artificial intelligence (AI) whiplash. As the pandemic began to upend the world last year, businesses reached for every tool at their disposal—including AI—to solve challenges and serve customers safely and effectively. In a 2021 KPMG survey of US business executives conducted between JanuaryContinue reading “Navigating a surprising pandemic side effect: AI whiplash”

Work in Asia’s data age

The steady advance of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation technologies has been reshaping work and jobs for the past decade. Well before covid-19, robust debates were underway about the future of work and what potential scenarios for employment might emerge.  While many Asian markets have met the challenge of containing the spread of covid-19 withContinue reading “Work in Asia’s data age”

It took a pandemic, but the US finally has (some) centralized medical data

Throughout the pandemic, there has been serious tension between what the public wants to know, and what scientists have been able to say for certain. Scientists have been able to learn more about covid, faster, than any other disease in history—but at the same time, the public has been shocked when doctors can’t answer seeminglyContinue reading “It took a pandemic, but the US finally has (some) centralized medical data”

NASA inches closer to printing artificial organs in space

In America, at least 17 people a day die waiting for an organ transplant. But instead of waiting for a donor to die, what if we could someday grow our own organs? Last week, six years after NASA announced its Vascular Tissue Challenge, a competition designed to accelerate research that could someday lead to artificialContinue reading “NASA inches closer to printing artificial organs in space”

Bias isn’t the only problem with credit scores—and no, AI can’t help

We already knew that biased data and biased algorithms skew automated decision-making in a way that disadvantages low-income and minority groups. For example, software used by banks to predict whether or not someone will pay back credit-card debt typically favors wealthier white applicants. Many researchers and a slew of start-ups are trying to fix theContinue reading “Bias isn’t the only problem with credit scores—and no, AI can’t help”