Don’t hold your breath for the moon

In the house in which I grew up, a single framed newspaper front page loomed over us. “MAN ON MOON“, it declared jubilantly, in an enormous, suitably momentous typeface. Subheadings included “‘It’s very pretty up here … a fine, soft surface’” and, of course, “A giant leap for mankind.” One leap forward, three steps back. […]

Cringeworthy Cats trailer reminds us we’re not out of the Uncanny Valley yet

The first Cats trailer offers a disturbing reminder of how easy it still is for films that rely heavily on CG effects blended with human performances to slip into the Uncanny Valley of troubling visual elements.

High-Stakes AI Decisions Need to Be Automatically Audited

Opinion: The current standard for evaluating AI is insufficient. AI systems should be instantly interrogated for bias by a third party.

What Happens When Reproductive Tech Like IVF Goes Awry?

Opinion: Freezers fail. Samples are mislabeled. Embryos get switched. But a lack of regulation leaves those harmed by such negligence without clear recourse.

Don’t blame flawed Silicon Valley for the rot of Wall Street and Washington

The techlash is well underway. Blame Facebook! Blame Google! Blame Amazon! (Apple and Microsoft still seem relatively immune, for now.) And, I mean, there’s a lot of objectively blameworthy behavior there, especially in that first case. But I find myself wondering: why does the ire go beyond that, into irrational territory? What is it about […]

The Toxic Potential of YouTube’s Feedback Loop

Opinion: I worked on AI for YouTube’s “recommended for you” feature. We underestimated how the algorithms could go terribly wrong.