advertisement advertisement advertisement Remember way back when you didn’t yet know how to use a toilet? No? It’s (probably) been a while since you mastered the art, but ask any new parent and they’ll tell you it can be arduous trying to teach their toddler bathroom skills. A few years ago, the Toy Lab team at Ideo began exploring ways to ease the experience, and found that guidance from older siblings was hugely beneficial. Leveraging a three-year relationship with the Sesame Workshop , Ideo developed a prototype where Elmo–who is often seen by tots as an older sibling figure–would offer encouragement over the phone. (As a 30 Rock aficionado, I have to point out that Pete Hornberger used this technique–iPhone, Elmo voice, potty training, and all–in an episode from 2007.) advertisement The concept tested incredibly well, and it was apparent that extending the character’s furry reach would be beneficial in aiding other elements of growing … [Read more...] about Ideo Recruits Elmo For App That Helps Potty Train Kids
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advertisement advertisement advertisement I have spent the better part of my adult life seeking an avenue for impact . I h ave tried my hand at affecting social, economic, and humanitarian change through a number of different platforms — from journalism to diplomacy to big tech . This drive is deeply personal; galvanized by events that predate my own birth, propelled by the serendipity of my upbringing and the very real possibility of where I might have ended up if not for hard work and some luck. It is an unusual and nonlinear path to venture, but each foray has only strengthened my conviction not only in technology for impact, but also in the transformational — and too often overlooked — power of intersectional entrepreneurs. advertisement advertisement Growing up in the Bay Area may have contributed to my passion for technology and entrepreneurship, but it was less about my geography and more about the … [Read more...] about 4 reasons why these underdog founders are the future of our economy
advertisement advertisement advertisement Timnit Gebru—a giant in the world of AI and then co-lead of Google’s AI ethics team—was pushed out of her job in December. advertisement advertisement Gebru had been fighting with the company over a research paper that she’d coauthored, which explored the risks of the AI models that the search giant uses to power its core products—the models are involved in almost every English query on Google , for instance. The paper called out the potential biases (racial, gender, Western, and more) of these language models, as well as the outsize carbon emissions required to compute them. Google wanted the paper retracted, or any Google-affiliated authors’ names taken off; Gebru refused. After the company abruptly announced Gebru’s departure, Google AI chief Jeff Dean insinuated that her work was not up to snuff—despite Gebru’s credentials and history of groundbreaking research . The backlash … [Read more...] about ‘This is bigger than just Timnit’: How Google tried to silence a critic and ignited a movement
advertisement advertisement advertisement Image: Buy Life campaign advertisement advertisement This week Alicia Keys launched an ingenuous campaign that leverages her celebrity to fund her charity, Keep A Child Alive . Like actor, Edward Norton , and his fund-raising platform Crowdrise , Alicia has enlisted the power of her celebrity to help improve the lives of children affected by AIDS. In her case, the campaign is especially daring in that each of the participating celebrities is dying digitally–meaning they will no long post or tweet on Facebook or Twitter– until their fans raise $1 million to revive them and improve the lives of countless children. This campaign is a powerful demonstration of social networking on three levels. First, Alicia has embraced her commodification as a celebrity and is leveraging her fan base to help her achieve social change. Second, the campaign is given breadth and power through her … [Read more...] about Digital Death, Extended Life
advertisement advertisement advertisement Even before the pandemic, mass transit in the U.S. had been struggling: 2018 marked the fourth straight year of ridership decline across the country, and though 2019 offered some hope with two full quarters of ridership growth, the pandemic crushed that progress. For public transit systems, fewer riders means less revenue, compounding longstanding funding issues. But with the Biden administration now in place, transit experts see hope for their industry’s future—one that is inextricably tied to climate goals and social equity—as long as the administration can get them the funding and federal policies they need. advertisement advertisement Just because fewer people are riding subways and buses doesn’t mean they don’t want, or need, transit as an option. In New York City, subway ridership is down about 70% compared to the year before, but the drop for bus ridership hovers closer to 55%. … [Read more...] about Can Biden save public transit from the pandemic?