The struggle between the use of math for benevolent or malevolent purposes carries from at least WWII into today’s debates on AI.
Editor: Mona Sloane
Protesters of the World, Unite
Individual protests, like those in Hong Kong, may be defeated. But the global protest movement is only beginning.
Data Free Disney
Each day, 50,000 people enter Disney’s theme parks, along with their phones, purchases, locations, and photos. What happens to the data?
Are Spotify’s Vibes the End of Segregated Listening? (That’s Not What the Data Says.)
What kind of world does Spotify—through its algorithmic sorting of millions of users’ desires, through our aggregated listening—produce for us to hear?
“Democracy Depends on It”: Carissa Véliz on Privacy and Ending Data Surveillance
“There is nothing shocking or radical about ending an economic practice that has too many negative externalities.”
“Content” Erases Wall Between Fact & Fiction
“We’ve never had a period like this in modern American history,” lamented Governor DeSantis in April 2020, one with “such little new content.”
“Just Use the Telephone, Please”: Hannah Zeavin on the Power of Teletherapy
“You can have really intense intimacy over distance, sometimes only because distance is there.”
The 21st-Century Social Scientist
“If we want technologies that will not undermine our humanity, social analysts must join with other researchers.”
The Art of Intelligence
Art made by AI subverts our usual understandings of creativity as a uniquely human power.
Connecting Dots to Challenge E-Carceration
Whether tracking a migrant traveling thousands of miles or someone on parole at home, carceral tech is reaching into all walks of life.
(A)I, Rapper: Who Voices Hip-Hop’s Future?
If we accept AIs crafting rap, we repeat the same exploitation that currently separates Black and brown artists from the fruits of their labor.
The Healing Power of Virtual Cuteness
Violence underlies the whimsical colonizing of an island in “Animal Crossing.” But perhaps it holds promise for political repair, too.
Face Surveillance Was Always Flawed
The mugshot was invented in the 1880s. A century later, face surveillance has gone digital but remains as flawed as ever.
How to See Silicon Valley: Talking with Mary Beth Meehan and Fred Turner
"The ways in which the community itself is breaking down felt like end game capitalism."
The Future Is Not a Solution
How might we learn resilience, care and community in the face of crisis–climate, political, cultural, economic or otherwise?
The Planet Needs Collective Action—Not Tech
Digital tech cannot stop climate change merely by “greening” individual consumption.
Prison Tech Comes Home
Landlords’, bosses’ and schools’ intrusion of surveillance technologies into the home extends the carceral state into domestic space.
The Manifest Destiny of Computing
Today is overwhelmingly defined by white-supremacist violence and the whiteness of AI technology. Can seeing them together help defeat them both?
The Ten Thousand Things
“I am supposed to be writing this essay, ostensibly on technology, but not for the first time, I believe I am unable to write; and not writing, doubt that I will I ever write again.”
Can Algorithmic Bias Teach Us about Race?
Machines learned racism from humans. Perhaps humans can now learn about that racism from the very machines they taught.