Author: Rhiannon Williams

The Download: Uber’s flawed facial recognition, and police drones
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The Download: Uber’s flawed facial recognition, and police drones

Plus: Twitter is ill-equipped for the next major natural disaster This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. Uber’s facial recognition is locking Indian drivers out of their accounts One evening in February last year, a 23-year-old Uber driver named Niradi

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The Download: a long covid app, and California’s wind plans

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. A new app aims to help the millions of people living with long covid The news: A new app could help people with long covid cope with their condition by giving them a

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The Download: circumventing China’s firewall, and using AI to invent new drugs

As protests against rigid covid control measures in China engulfed social media in the past week, one Twitter account has emerged as the central source of information: @李老师不是你老师 (“Teacher Li Is Not Your Teacher”).  People everywhere in China have sent protest footage and real-time updates to the account through private messages, and it has posted

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The Download: the West’s AI myth, and Musk v Apple

While the US and the EU may differ on how to regulate tech, their lawmakers seem to agree on one thing: the West needs to ban AI-powered social scoring. As they understand it, social scoring is a practice in which authoritarian governments—specifically China—rank people’s trustworthiness and punish them for undesirable behaviors, such as stealing or

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The Download: AI conquers Minecraft, and babies after death

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. A bot that watched 70,000 hours of Minecraft could unlock AI’s next big thing The news: An AI that binged on 70,000 hours of people playing Minecraft has learned how to play the

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The Download: climate responsibility, and AI training data shortages

The UN climate conference wrapped up over the weekend after marathon negotiations that ran way over. The most notable outcome was the establishment of a fund to help poor countries pay for climate damages, which was hailed as a win. Beyond that, some leaders are concerned there wasn’t enough progress at this year’s talks. Consequently, everyone is pointing

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The Download: Twitter may only last weeks, and Meta’s unforced AI error

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. Former Twitter employees fear the platform might only last weeks Recently-departed Twitter staff have told MIT Technology Review they worry that the platform has weeks to live based on current staffing levels, mass

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The Download: cattle’s deadly tick-borne disease, and molten salt batteries

In the spring of 2021, Cynthia and John Grano, who own a cattle operation in Culpeper County, Virginia, started noticing some of their cows slowing down and acting “spacey.” They figured the animals were suffering from a common infectious disease that causes anemia in cattle. But their veterinarian had warned them that another disease carried

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The Download: what Twitter’s collapse would mean, and crypto’s meltdown

Almost from the time the first tweet was posted in 2006, Twitter has played an important role in world events. The platform has been used to record everything from the Arab Spring to the ongoing war in Ukraine. It’s also captured our public conversations for years Musk himself acknowledges that Twitter is a public forum

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The Download: capturing carbon with seagrass, and China’s election interference

For years, Tidal, a project within Alphabet’s “moonshot factory” X division, has been using cameras, computer vision and machine learning to get a better understanding of life beneath the oceans, including monitoring fish off the coast of Norway.   Now, MIT Technology Review can report, Tidal hopes its system can help preserve and restore the world’s

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