How the AI industry profits from catastrophe

These days, Fuentes waits anxiously by her computer, ready to start tasking at a moment’s notice. Some weeks, her hypervigilance leads to nothing; others she brings in a dismal $6 to $8, falling short of the threshold to withdraw her money. On occasion, a high-paying task appears, and she makes $300 in a few hours. […]

Crypto millionaires are pouring money into Central America to build their own cities

Romer collaborated with the Honduran government at first, but they parted ways following disagreements over how his idea was being implemented. (Romer didn’t respond to a request for comment.) Próspera, which broke ground in 2020, plans to implement ultra-low taxes, outsource services typically managed by the public sector, establish an “arbitration center” in place of […]

The Download April 19, 2022: Neo-colonial AI, and aging clocks

The must-reads I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology. 1 Russian soldiers are attacking a 300-mile front in UkraineThe aim is to take full control of the Donbas region in the country’s east. (NYT $)+ Putin’s desire to conquer Donbas is symbolic. (BBC) + The State Department has condemned […]

Artificial intelligence is creating a new colonial world order

In part two, we head to Venezuela, where AI data-labeling firms found cheap and desperate workers amid a devastating economic crisis, creating a new model of labor exploitation. The series also looks at ways to move away from these dynamics. In part three, we visit ride-hailing drivers in Indonesia who, by building power through community, […]

South Africa’s private surveillance machine is fueling a digital apartheid

“Vumacam’s technology is honed for the purpose of preventing crime and as such does not have mass surveillance capability nor intention,” says Pearman. “The concerns of so-called ‘activists’ quoted is propaganda that we deem intentionally malicious, defamatory and without any basis in truth.” MADELENE CRONJE And though crime temporarily decreased during the pandemic, it has […]

AI’s inequality problem

In the US, for instance, during much of the 20th century the various regions of the country were—in the language of economists—“converging,” and financial disparities decreased. Then, in the 1980s, came the onslaught of digital technologies, and the trend reversed itself. Automation wiped out many manufacturing and retail jobs. New, well-paying tech jobs were clustered […]

The man behind ‘R’ – Ross Ihaka and his number-crunching software

Peter Griffin, Editor. 19 April 2022, 11:19 am When it comes to Kiwis who have had influence in the tech world beyond our shores, it’s hard to go past the duo behind the ‘R’ statistical programming language. R is used by millions of people all over the world every day for data analysis, data mining […]

Your iOS app may still be covertly tracking you, despite what Apple says

Getty Images reader comments 17 with 13 posters participating Share this story Last year, Apple enacted App Tracking Transparency, a mandatory policy that forbids app makers from tracking user activity across other apps without first receiving those users’ explicit permission. Privacy advocates praised the initiative, and Facebook warned it would spell certain doom for companies […]

How Bitcoin mining devastated this New York town

Economist Matteo Benetton, a coauthor of the paper and a professor at the Hass School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, says that crypto mining can depress local economies. In places with fixed electricity supplies, operations suck up grid capacity, potentially leading to supply shortages, rationing, and blackouts. Even in places with ample […]