For instance, it’s hard to talk about any application of technology in 2020 without addressing the coronavirus pandemic. This was among the motivating factors behind the launch of AI Cures, an MIT initiative that brings together researchers in machine learning and life sciences to accelerate the speed with which antivirals can be identified, evaluated, and ultimately deployed. Its applications in the face of COVID-19 are obvious, but its broader goal of elevating our defense against pathogens of all kinds will remain relevant long after the challenges of the present moment are behind us. In addition to its core research mission, the group has organized impressively inclusive events in recent months, providing a venue for presenters with backgrounds in computer science, infectious disease, cardiology, synthetic biology, and many others. … [Read more...] about An artificial intelligence scholar urges technologists to embrace humility
We can set aside the internal pressure from progressive employees, who have been agitating inside Twitter and Facebook for years to take a harder line against Trump. When push came to shove, few actually quit their high-paying jobs as a matter of principle. The risk of users deleting either app is also overstated. Most people who care enough about politics to feel strongly about Trump aren’t looking to remove themselves from where the action is. Twitter and Facebook provide an outlet for millions of people who want to feel connected, want to feel included, want to feel heard. They’re not giving that up so easily. … [Read more...] about Too little, too late: The cynical calculus of banning Donald Trump
Sephora intends to employ other, more explicit ways of helping Black and brown customers feel welcome in its stores, including rolling out a new greeting system that will be applied to each shopper consistently. The company also says there will be fewer third-party security guards in stores, replaced by “in-house specialists.” Dobbins isn’t sure this will have the intended effect. “What this means is that they’re going to have their own security people, and train them not to racially profile,” he says. “I’m not sure that’s going to work, given that you can’t train away bias.” … [Read more...] about Sephora has a sweeping new plan for combating racism. But will it work?