The era of fake writing is upon us
Mar04

The era of fake writing is upon us

Until 2019, it has been the case that if you come across several paragraphs of text on a consistent topic with consistent subjects, you can assume that text was written or structured by a human being. That is no longer true. Over the past year, AI researchers designed computer programs with the ability to generate multi-paragraph stories that remain fairly coherent throughout. As we explain in the video above, these programs create...

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Google and Amazon are now in the oil business
Jan03

Google and Amazon are now in the oil business

Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have been very vocal about their efforts to reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. But as the Wall Street Journal and Gizmodo have reported, these same companies are currently teaming up with the fossil fuel industry to help them squeeze as much oil and gas out of the ground as possible. Oil has always been hard to find and hard to extract, and so the industry has teetered precariously on the edge...

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California’s new privacy law, explained
Dec31

California’s new privacy law, explained

Your data, whether it’s your name, your location, or your shopping habits, has been a commodity for decades now. Collected, bought, sold, shared, transferred — however businesses get it, a lot of them have access to a lot of information about you. They use it in ways you never agreed to (and often that you’re not even aware of), and they make a lot of money off of it. And there wasn’t much you could do to stop them. That’s about to...

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Schools are using facial recognition to try to stop shootings. Here’s why they should think twice.
Dec20

Schools are using facial recognition to try to stop shootings. Here’s why they should think twice.

For years, the Denver public school system worked with Video Insight, a Houston-based video management software company that centralized the storage of video footage used across its campuses. So when Panasonic acquired Video Insight, school officials simply transferred the job of updating and expanding their security system to the Japanese electronics giant. That meant new digital HD cameras and access to more powerful analytics...

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Facebook’s political ad problem, explained by an expert
Dec15

Facebook’s political ad problem, explained by an expert

Facebook started out as Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room project. Now it’s a company that boasts more than 2 billion users and tens of billions of dollars in advertising revenue. Those two data points are tightly linked, and together they create Facebook’s world-shaping power: Facebook users provide the company — knowingly or not — with an enormous amount of data about themselves. And Facebook uses that data to let advertisers reach those...

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How to avoid a dystopian future of facial recognition in law enforcement
Dec15

How to avoid a dystopian future of facial recognition in law enforcement

Everybody’s afraid of facial recognition tech. Civil liberties activists warn that the powerful technology, which identifies people by matching a picture or video of a person’s face to databases of photos, can be used to passively spy on people without any reasonable suspicion or their consent. Many of these leaders don’t just want to regulate facial recognition tech — they want to ban or pause its use completely. Republican and...

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