technology
So You Automated Your Coworkers Out of a Job

During his first day on the job at a small 3D-modelling company, Griffith noticed that his new colleagues’ workstations were hopelessly out of date. So he took the initiative to suggest some automation upgrades to the higher-ups, who concurred. Two years later, 20 employees—some of them good friends—were out of work. Read More >>

robots
The World Bank Says Robots Aren’t Killing Jobs Yet. Don’t Listen To It.

Last week, the World Bank released its annual World Development Report, and the headline news this go round, as relayed by Bloomberg and others, is basically that “Robots Aren’t Killing Jobs.” Which, good news, if true. Read More >>

google
CES 2019: Google’s Nod to a Universal Translator Was a Smart Move in a Bid for AI Dominance

Last year was a rough one on AI’s public profile, and rightfully so. Major programs powered by machine learning, like Amazon’s recruiting software, were revealed to be biased against women. Others were dangerously ill-conceived, like Predictim’s babysitter-vetting algorithm. Even some of the biggest tech companies themselves stood up and said, look, facial recognition is out of control, please regulate us. So it makes sense that Google would lead its 2019 bid for dominance in the AI arena with a feature that drives towards one of our most widely beloved science fictional ideas: a universal translator. Read More >>

amazon
The Biggest Sign Yet That Automation Is Taking Over at Amazon

The day after Christmas, Amazon celebrated its own annual holiday tradition: announcing record-breaking sales in a very long press release that affirms its status as the largest retailer in the known universe. As such, Jeff Bezos’s Big Store said that in 2018, it surpassed its own sales records with “More Items Ordered Worldwide Than Ever Before.” Of course, Amazon announces some version of that milestone just about every year, as it continues to upend brick-and-mortar stores and march into new digital markets around the globe. Read More >>

technology
The Deadly Recklessness of the Self-Driving Car Industry

Autonomous vehicles were supposed to make driving safer, and they may yet—some of the more optimistic research indicates self-driving cars could save tens of thousands of lives a year in the US alone. But so far, a recklessness has defined the culture of the largest companies pursuing the technology—Uber, Google, and arguably even Tesla—and has led directly to unnecessary crashes, injury, even death. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
The First Cross-Country, Autonomous-Car Trip Is an Ethical Minefield

Anthony Levandowski—formerly of Google, where he reportedly contributed to at least one serious crash and did not alert the police while overseeing its self-driving car programme, and of Uber, where he allegedly imported stolen secrets from Google and was fired after being sued over it—rides again. Read More >>

technology
The Ancient Origins of Automation

The robots are coming for our jobs, artificial intelligence is ascendant, and invisible programs are taking over our lives. “Automation” is the word that comes up in each of those contexts and plenty more. It’s certainly one of the looming concepts of Our Times—a business imperative, an economic driver, a utopian ideal. We’re automating work, systems, services. Surveillance, commerce, manufacturing, policing. Everything, almost, or trying to. Read More >>

ai
Here’s Who Stands to Lose Most in the Booming, Male-Dominated World AI Is Creating

There is a lot more artificial intelligence, and it is sprouting and multiplying everywhere. In schools, in job openings, in media coverage. The number of AI-based startups, conferences, research papers, and patents is skyrocketing. That’s perhaps the simplest way to frame the findings of the 2018 AI Index Report, which collects data around a number of the most pertinent trends in artificial intelligence. And one of those trends offers the latest evidence that the world is poised for a wave of job-threatening automation. Read More >>

uncategorized
The Five Most Worrying Trends in Artificial Intelligence Right Now

Artificial intelligence is already beginning to spiral out of our control, a new report from top researchers warns. Not so much in a Skynet kind of sense, but more in a ‘technology companies and governments are already using AI in ways that amp up surveillance and further marginalise vulnerable populations’ kind of way. Read More >>

augmented reality
The Magic Leap Con

“Today, our world feels divided.” Rony Abovitz, CEO of the infamous mixed reality startup Magic Leap stood awkwardly on a circular stage, surrounded by hundreds of attendees of his company’s first developer conference, and first major public-facing event, eyeing a teleprompter, arms behind his back. “It feels broken,” he said. “Our new medium of spatial computing feels fresh. It doesn’t carry the baggage and negative headlines that are dominating the news today.” Read More >>