Give These Apps Some Notes and They’ll Write Emails for You

Michael Shuffet didn’t waste any keystrokes when responding to a message about the automated email writer he’s building. He tapped out “Yes 45m” and clicked a button marked “Generate email.” His app, Compose.ai, drafted a courteous three-sentence reply with a link to schedule a 45-minute call. Shuffet checked it over and clicked Send. Compose is […]

Clarence Thomas Wants to Rethink Internet Speech. Be Afraid

But I suspect a different line of thinking inspired the Thomas comment. A Supreme Court justice’s public reservations about Section 230 do not come in a vacuum. For months now, politicians have been attacking 230. While both sides of the aisle have complaints (including from former Vice President Biden), the most virulent ones come from […]

Cruise Will Soon Hit San Francisco With No Hands on the Wheel

Last week, Waymo, the self-driving-vehicle developer owned by Alphabet, expanded a first-of-its-kind service offering rides to paying passengers around Phoenix—with no one behind the wheel. Videos shared by Waymo and others show its minivans navigating wide, sunny streets with ease. Now rival Cruise, a General Motors subsidiary, has taken a step toward running its own […]

How to Design a Supersonic Plane for the (Fairly Rich) Masses

Then there’s the issue of Concorde’s infamous racket on takeoff and the ear-splitting sonic booms that followed it when it flew above the sound barrier. The XB-1 prototype won’t be particularly quiet—it will use old-school but reliable and easily serviced GE J85-15 military engines originally developed in the 1950s—but it will be flying over open […]

Just as Tech Looked Serious About Diversity, Trump Intervenes

Hiring is necessarily exclusionary. Hiring one person for a position means not choosing someone else. Some forms of exclusion are acceptable (an applicant lacks talent); some are unacceptable (an applicant lacks a penis); and some seem good, but mask bad intentions (an applicant wouldn’t be a good “culture fit,” often a smokescreen for race or […]

Facebook Tweaked Its Rules, but You Can Still Target Voters

Facebook said on Wednesday it will temporarily suspend political advertising after Election Day, November 3. It’s the latest in a series of moves by the social media giant to limit the manipulation that marked the 2016 presidential campaign. But researchers and political strategists say campaigns can still use Facebook to target the voters that they […]

AI Can Help Diagnose Some Illnesses—if Your Country Is Rich

Artificial intelligence promises to expertly diagnose disease in medical images and scans. However, a close look at the data used to train algorithms for diagnosing eye conditions suggests these powerful new tools may perpetuate health inequalities. A team of researchers in the UK analyzed 94 datasets—with more than 500,000 images—commonly used to train AI algorithms […]

Testing Alone Won’t Stop Covid. Just Look at the White House

“Testing alone is not actually protective of anybody without a contact tracing and isolation program, and without use of masks and distancing to make sure that Covid-19 doesn’t spread,” says Smith. “Testing alone is not actually protective of anybody without a contact tracing and isolation program, and without use of masks and distancing.” Rebecca Lee […]