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


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Any decent defense attorney will tell you never to participate in a police lineup. Even though the police claim that you’re helping them identify a suspect, a Black person in a police lineup can be implicated in a crime he didn’t commit. …

From critically acclaimed live performances of The Lion King to Beat Battle rooms where 21 Savage, Wiz Khalifa, and Drake judged work from fledgling producers, Clubhouse owes its “unicorn” status and social clout to its Black users, Keith Nelson Jr writes in LEVEL.

“For Black celebrities who are often used…

Big Technology

The tech industry can sideline the press. But should it?

Zappos founder Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/Getty Images

Over Thanksgiving break, a spectacle developed over a forthcoming New York Times story about Coinbase. News of the story first appeared on Coinbase’s blog, where the company posted an email to employees warning of an impending negative article. …

‘Your life gets worse when you start advocating for underrepresented people’

Photo: Kimberly White/Stringer/Getty Images

Timnit Gebru, one of Google’s most prominent researchers on ethics and computer vision, says she was fired this week after sending an email to Google Brain Women and Allies, an internal resource group at the company.

The email alludes to Google censoring one of Gebru’s research papers without talking to…

A scientist warns that bias in facial recognition software could lead to false arrests, lost job opportunities

Ainissa Ramirez says she’s seen Black and dark-skinned colleagues disappear into their virtual backgrounds on Zoom calls a few times this year. And she isn’t the only one.

“I have heard reports that Black people are fading into their Zoom backgrounds because supposedly the algorithms are not able to detect…

A strain of science fiction called visionary fiction empowers activists, artists, and organizers to seed a better future

Science fiction is still regarded as the province of space opera and high technologies run amok — but at its best, it shines a light on the problems and possibilities of our world as it is. Visionary fiction, a practice developed by Walidah Imarisha, author and editor of Octavia’s Brood…

Big Technology

‘Of course it’s performative, but you know what? It’s a better world if brands feel they have to be performative’

Zeynep Tufekci
Photo illustration, image courtesy of Zeynep Tufekci.

OneZero is partnering with Big Technology, a newsletter and podcast by Alex Kantrowitz, to bring readers exclusive access to interviews with notable figures in and around the tech industry.

This week, Kantrowitz sits down with writer and researcher Zeynep Tufekci to discuss the evolution of social media-driven movements, from Gezi…

New research reveals a troubling correlation between lead exposure and incarceration

Kaelynn Lott, a resident at the West Calumet Housing Complex who tested positive for lead poisoning dances with her brother.
Kaelynn Lott, a resident at the West Calumet Housing Complex who tested positive for lead poisoning dances with her brother Kash Lott on September 4, 2016 in East Chicago, Indiana. Photo: Joshua Lott/Stringer/Getty Images

This is The Color of Climate, a weekly column from OneZero exploring how climate change and other environmental issues uniquely impact the future of communities of color.

Remember the water crisis in Flint, Michigan? Even though it began in 2014, there are still families there who bathe their children in…

Leslie Miley, Safiya Noble, and other Black tech thinkers on how to build a more equal industry

In January, Detroit police came to the home of a Black man named Robert Williams and arrested him on his front lawn in front of his wife and two young daughters, then locked him in a filthy cell for 30 hours, according to a lawsuit that the ACLU filed this…

‘Criminality cannot be predicted. Full stop.’

Photo: NurPhoto/Getty Images

More than 500 experts on artificial intelligence, technology, and sociology have signed a letter addressed to a major academic publisher asking to halt the publication of any research that uses machine learning to predict whether someone might commit a crime.

The letter was written in response to a May 5…


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