Sign in

The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.

Artificial Intelligence

In OneZero. More on Medium.

Open Dialogue

Evan Selinger in conversation with Chris Gilliard

This is Open Dialogue, an interview series from OneZero about technology and ethics.

During the pandemic, educational technology companies experienced a 900% increase in business once schools started shutting down campuses and restricting visitors. These companies swooped in with A.I.-infused software designed to prevent students from cheating. These proctoring algorithms can verify who is taking an exam through facial verification. They can also monitor test-takers, scrutinizing their behavior for signs of irregularities that might indicate cheating, like looking away from the screen.

Critics contend the software promotes unfairness, invasions of privacy, and unduly inflicted anxiety. The situation is so dire…

Open Dialogue

A conversation with the professor who just turned down a $60,000 grant from Google

The graphic text “Open Dialogue” is framed around different sketches of human faces and emotions.
The graphic text “Open Dialogue” is framed around different sketches of human faces and emotions.

Emotion A.I., affective computing, and artificial emotional intelligence are all fields creating technology to understand, respond to, measure, and simulate human emotions. Hope runs so high for these endeavors that the projected market value for emotional A.I. is $91.67 billion by 2024. A few examples are revealing: The automotive industry sees value in algorithms determining when drivers are distracted and drowsy. Companies see value in algorithms analyzing how customer support agents talk and computationally coaching them to be better speakers. And researchers see value in children with autism using A.I.-infused …


Unlocking the medical potential of artificial intelligence requires being more realistic about its limitations

This is Open Dialogue, an interview series from OneZero about technology and ethics.

I’m excited to talk with Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad. Muhammad is the principal research scientist at KenSci, inc., a company specializing in A.I. in health care, and an affiliate professor in the department of computer science at the University of Washington Bothell. I’ve known Muhammad for a long time. When I started teaching philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology, he was one of my first students. Over the years, we’ve kept in touch as Muhammad went on to get his PhD in computer science and eventually became a…

‘Bias audits’ for discriminatory tools are a promising idea, but current approaches leave much to be desired

This op-ed was written by Mona Sloane, a sociologist and senior research scientist at the NYU Center for Responsible A.I. and a fellow at the NYU Institute for Public Knowledge. Her work focuses on design and inequality in the context of algorithms and artificial intelligence.

We have a new A.I. race on our hands: the race to define and steer what it means to audit algorithms. Governing bodies know that they must come up with solutions to the disproportionate harm algorithms can inflict.

This technology has disproportionate impacts on racial minorities, the economically disadvantaged, womxn, and people with disabilities, with…

The pathbreaking MIT professor on her new memoir, and the past, present, and future of our efforts to make technology feel human

In the fall of 1976, Sherry Turkle was recruited to the faculty of MIT to join what would soon become the program on Science, Technology, and Society — one of the nation’s first. After having written a book on French psychoanalysis — a “sociology of the sciences of the mind,” as she describes it — Turkle was fascinated with the cultural forces that shift our thought.

So when she encountered computers for the first time, she had one pressing question on her mind: How would these new machines change us?

Turkle has spent the last four decades investigating that question…

General Intelligence

States still haven’t matched Illinois’ 2008 biometric privacy law

Though most Americans have likely never heard of it, Illinois’ 12-year-old Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) has proven itself to be the country’s strongest legal barrier against the unfettered collection of fingerprint, iris, voice, and facial recognition data.

Other states have taken notice. California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) included biometric data in its broad set of privacy protections when it went into effect in 2020, and just last week Virginia passed its own data privacy act, which experts say is largely modeled on California’s. …

‘Alexa, Call Mom!’ watches, listens, and exploits your grief for capitalistic gain

The author sits in the dark behind the Amazon Echo, which is surrounded by lit candles in a seance-style set up.
The author sits in the dark behind the Amazon Echo, which is surrounded by lit candles in a seance-style set up.

I live in the curious intersection of art, design, and code. For the past two years, I’ve worked with a small group of artists to develop Alexa, Call Mom!, an immersive storytelling installation using Amazon’s Alexa platform. Our project is far from the type of third-party apps you typically see for Amazon’s voice assistant — “Alexa, Play Jeopardy!” and “Alexa, Ask Pikachu to Talk” are two popular examples — as it invites users to engage with Alexa in a way that’s just a bit… off.

Alexa, Call Mom! leads participants through an immersive séance experience. It is a parodic reimaging…

General Intelligence

International regulators have found Clearview AI’s technology breaches their privacy laws

OneZero’s General Intelligence is a roundup of the most important artificial intelligence and facial recognition news of the week.

Clearview AI plans to challenge an Illinois law guarding against private facial recognition databases in the Supreme Court, according to Bloomberg Law.

The Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) has been a thorn in the side of tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple for years, as it prohibits the collection of data like facial recognition images, fingerprints, and iris scans without explicit consent. Workers at conglomerate Del Monte Foods even used the law to challenge a facial recognition time-clock system.

General Intelligence

Andy Jassy is a member of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence

On July 1, Amazon will have a new CEO. Andy Jassy, who is replacing Jeff Bezos, helped build the company’s cloud business from scratch, cementing its servers as a cornerstone of the internet.

But not all of Jassy’s work has been inside Amazon. The incoming CEO is also a commissioner on the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), which was created by Congress in 2018 to advise on how best to use A.I. for war and defense.

The commission is now approaching its final report, which will be submitted to Congress as official recommendations from the 15 commissioners. The… has rejected some legitimate claimants in addition to fraudsters

On January 25, California officials told the public that while the state had paid out $114 billion in unemployment benefits, auditors had found a problem. More than $11 billion of those payouts were fraudulent.

To address this, California officials hired, a 10-year-old startup, to ensure that every person who receives benefits is actually eligible. provides an app where users can upload pictures of their government documents, like a driver’s license and passport, as well as a selfie. The company says it will then use A.I. …

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store