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

Covid-19

In OneZero. More on Medium.

Generative AI systems could guide future pandemic decision-makers

Photo by Emin BAYCAN on Unsplash

OpenAI’s GPT-3 is the most powerful AI system I’ve ever used. Trained on billions of web pages and tens of thousands of books, the system can generate nearly any kind of text, from news articles to computer code to sea shanties.

The current version of GPT-3, however, was only trained…

How Marc Andreessen’s criticism of governmental responses to Covid misses the mark

Photo by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash

Last week, in an interview with Noah Smith, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen casually referred to the “chronic collapse of state capacity virtually everywhere in our time,” noting that the good news was that “the private sector can and does deliver even under considerable duress, and even when much of our…

Pattern Matching

The company’s campaign to encourage vaccination is fighting against the dynamics of its own platform.

Promotional art showing the Covid-19 Information Center on Facebook.

In the most idealistic view of Facebook’s mission, this is the sort of moment it was built for.

With Covid-19 killing thousands of people every day, humanity is in a race to vaccinate enough of the global population to curb the pandemic — ideally before it evolves in ways that…

‘Vaccine hunters are the result of short supply, disorganization, inadequate sign-up systems, dire circumstances, and crowded hospitals’

A UCHealth pharmacy technician prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during a mass vaccination event in the parking lot of Coors Field on February 20, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

In a Facebook group called Minneapolis Vaccine Hunters, a member recently shared a flyer announcing that a local shelter for people experiencing homelessness would be hosting Covid-19 vaccinations on February 11 — no appointment necessary. …

The changes come months after the start of the vaccine rollout in the U.S.

Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone screen with the words COVID-19 blurred in the background on a laptop screen
Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook announced in a blog post on Monday that it intends to start removing vaccine misinformation from groups and pages, expanding its focus on “debunked claims” about the Covid-19 vaccine.

“We’re running the largest worldwide campaign to promote authoritative information about COVID-19 vaccines,” wrote Kang-Xing Jin, Facebook’s head of health…

A failure at Stanford teaches us the limits of medical algorithms

Close-up of Moderna vaccine. Photo: William Campbell/Getty Images

This story was co-authored by Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, CEO of Parity, an enterprise algorithmic audit platform company.

“The algorithm did it” has become a popular defense for powerful entities who turn to math to make complex moral choices. It’s an excuse that recalls a time when the public was content…

An interview with Dr. Petra Molnar, who spent 2020 investigating the use of drones, facial recognition, and lidar on refugees

Greek refugee camps are among the largest in Europe, and they are overpopulated, with scarce access to water, food, and basic necessities, and under constant surveillance. Photo: Manolis Lagoutaris/AFP/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic unleashed a new era in surveillance technology, and arguably no group has felt this more acutely than refugees. Even before the pandemic, refugees were subjected to contact tracing, drone and LIDAR tracking, and facial recognition en masse. Since the pandemic, it’s only gotten worse. …

Government-mandated drone surveillance and location tracking apps could be here to stay

Photo illustration sources (Getty Images): Borislav; boonchai wedmakawand; Andrew Brookes; Peter Steuart; Dimitri Otis

In early December, after finding 16 people had illegally crossed the border from Myanmar to Thailand and evaded the mandatory quarantine period, the Thai government said it would start patrolling the border with new surveillance equipment like drones and ultraviolet cameras.

In 2020, this kind of surveillance, justified by the…

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