Category: Opinion

Why using AI to screen job applicants is almost always a bunch of crap


Millions of potential employees are subjected to artificial intelligence screenings during the hiring process every month. While some systems make it easier to weed out candidates who lack necessary educational or work qualifications, many AI hiring solutions are nothing more than snake oil. Thousands of companies around the world rely on outside businesses to provide so-called intelligent hiring solutions. These AI-powered packages are advertised as a way to narrow job applicants down to a ‘cream of the crop’ for humans to consider. On the surface, this seems like a good idea. Anyone who’s ever been responsible for the hiring at…

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The benefits of facial recognition AI are being wildly overstated


Facial recognition technology has run amok across the globe. In the US it continues to perpetuate at an alarming rate despite bipartisan push-back from politicians and several geographical bans. Even China’s government has begun to question whether there’s enough benefit to the use of ubiquitous surveillance tech to justify the utter destruction of public privacy. The truth of the matter is that facial recognition technology serves only two legitimate purposes: access control and surveillance. And, far too often, the people developing the technology aren’t the ones who ultimately determine how it’s used. Most decent, law-abiding citizens don’t mind being filmed…

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Just putting it out there: Ban Wi-Fi on airplanes


In this column, “Just putting this out there…,” we write about the odd ways we engage with tech and the unpopular opinions we form about it. You can read the rest of the articles in this series here. I truly don’t want to be able to go online during flights — no matter how long the flight is. This might be a controversial opinion, but hear me out before you denounce me as a backwards luddite.  First of all, I’ll admit that part of the reason is a sliver of nostalgia. I find it appealing that there’s still one place…

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All I want for Christmas: A custom username for each subreddit


The holidays are upon us, ushering in the time of year we bug our friends and family for presents — but why not bug tech companies as well? If you’ve ever used Reddit, you should join me and demand custom usernames for Christmas. But why, you ask? The answer is simple: shame, creativity, and the multiplicity of man. Shameful secrets I’m late to the game when it comes to Reddit, but even as an outsider I know it’s meant to be the website. It’s got all the information you could dream of — like how much money Owen Wilson has…

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A quantum physics explanation for polyamory, BDSM, and queer people


Quantum physics! Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about sex. Cultural norms would have us believe that human sexuality is divided up into a series of categories. We’re all supposedly somewhere between totally heterosexual and entirely homosexual on the Kinsey Scale, and everyone’s either male, female, in-between, both, or neither. From a quantum mechanics perspective, none of this makes any sense. It’s not that anyone is necessarily “wrong” about human sexuality, it’s that we simply don’t understand it. Sexual preference, gender identity, sexuality, and sex/gender presentation are all subjective ideas reared in the recesses of the human capacity…

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Researchers were about to solve AI’s black box problem, then the lawyers got involved


AI has a “black box” problem. We cram data in one side of a machine learning system and we get results out the other, but we’re often unsure what happens in the middle. Researchers and developers nearly had the issue licked, with “explainable algorithms” and “transparent AI” trending over the past few years. Then came the lawyers. What’s a black box? Black box AI isn’t as complex as some experts make it out to be. Imagine you have 1,000,000 different spices and 1,000,000 different herbs and you only have a couple of hours to crack Kentucky Fried Chicken’s secret recipe. You’re…

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Pichai is a mistake


Silicon Valley is still politely shrugging after the mildly interesting, but definitely important news broke yesterday that Alphabet’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, also the founders of Google, were “stepping aside” from their leadership positions. In a company blog post, the duo said it was time to simplify the two company’s command structures and that both of them would be replaced by Google’s current CEO Sundar Pichai, who has now assumed control of both companies. Well, at least on paper anyway. This story is both exciting – Alphabet is probably the most important company in the world – and boring. Did…

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Vladmir Putin is extricating Russia from the world-wide-web


Tonight, if you live in Russia, it’s time to party like it’s not yet 1989. Soviet KGB agent  President Vladmir Putin is on the brink of unveiling a wall. Some might call it the most beautiful wall the world’s ever seen. It’ll be huge. It’ll cover every square-centimeter of Russian border and, unlike the ridiculous fence we’re building here in the US, his will actually be effective: it keeps ideas out. Reuters today reported that Putin will execute a plan to “replace” Wikipedia with a state-run online encyclopedia. Per the report, the government will spend about $30 million (US) on the…

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Tesla’s Cybertruck looks weird, but so did Apple’s AirPods


Elon Musk warned us. Prior to launch, he’d repeatedly described the Cybertruck as something out of Blade Runner. In 2018, he literally claimed he didn’t care if people liked it, hinting at its divisive design. I should’ve paid attention. For all of Musk’s quirks, I didn’t expect him to roll out a low-poly PS1-looking batmobile last night. How is Tesla actually going to sell this to normal people? Well, probably the same way Apple managed to make AirPods a thing. Admittedly, part of me digs the look in a that-would-be-cool-in-a-movie type of way, but appreciating an aesthetic in a certain context is very different from thinking…

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Or just read more coverage about: Apple,Tesla

Just putting it out there: I’m a sucker for influencer marketing


In this column, “Just putting this out there…,” we write about the odd ways we engage with tech and the unpopular opinions we form about it. You can read the rest of the articles in this series here. Hi, my name is Yessi and, even though I should know better, I’m a complete sucker for influencer marketing. While it brings me great shame to admit this, recent research suggests I’m not alone. The industry is huge. In 2017, eMarketer reported that marketers spent $570 million on influencer marketing globally. In 2018, a staggering $1.6 billion was funneled into sponsored posts on…

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