Silicon Valley’s competing philosophies on tech ethics with The New Yorker’s Andrew Marantz

“If Silicon Valley is going to keep telling itself the story that the only uses of their technology will be the most optimistic, the most hopeful, the most salubrious, the most prosocial,” New Yorker staff writer Andrew Marantz told me in Part 1 of this recent conversation for Extra Crunch, “you can try to rebut […]

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The MIT Media Lab controversy and getting back to ‘radical courage’, with Media Lab student Arwa Mboya

People win prestigious prizes in tech all the time, but there is something different about The Bold Prize. Unless you’ve been living under a literal or proverbial rock, you’ve probably heard something about the late Jeffrey Epstein, a notorious child molester and human trafficker who also happened to be a billionaire philanthropist and managed to […]

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A guide to Virtual Beings and how they impact our world

Money from big tech companies and top VC firms is flowing into the nascent “virtual beings” space. Mixing the opportunities presented by conversational AI, generative adversarial networks, photorealistic graphics, and creative development of fictional characters, “virtual beings” envisions a near-future where characters (with personalities) that look and/or sound exactly like humans are part of our […]

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‘The Great Hack’: Netflix doc unpacks Cambridge Analytica, Trump, Brexit and democracy’s death

There are probably many of us who’d wish quite a lot of the last couple of years could be thrown into that temple fire, but this documentary is the first I’ve seen to expertly unpick what has become the real-world dumpster fire that is social media, dark advertising and global politics which have all become […]

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Barack and Michelle Obama are developing podcasts for Spotify

Spotify just announced a partnership with Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company Higher Ground. Through this deal, Spotify says the Obamas will “develop, produce, and lend their voices to select podcasts, connecting them to listeners around the world on wide-ranging topics.” Higher Ground was founded in 2018 as the Obamas signed a content partnership with […]

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Alphabet, Apple, Amazon and Facebook are in the crosshairs of the FTC and DOJ

A new deal between the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission will see U.S. regulators divide and conquer as they expand their oversight of Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook, according to multiple reports. New details have emerged of an agreement between the two U.S. regulators that would see the Federal Trade Commission take […]

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Competition policy must change to help startups fight ‘winner takes all’ platforms, says UK report

A independent report commissioned by the UK government to examine how competition policy needs to adapt itself for the digital age has concluded that tech giants don’t face adequate competition and the law needs updating to address what it dubs the “novel” challenges of ‘winner takes all’ platforms. The panel also recommends more policy interventions […]

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This $550M fund is bringing green tech from the West to China, despite trade tensions

Escalating trade frictions between the U.S. and China have a range of businesses and investors in both countries sweating, but some believe there remains a bright spot where the antagonists can find common ground — fighting environmental issues. One of them is the U.S.-China Green Fund, which does exactly as the name suggests — financing […]

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CEO of Rappler, a media company critical of the Philippines government, is arrested

There’s serious concern around press freedom in the Philippines after Maria Ressa, the CEO of independent media company Rappler, was arrested last night. Ressa, who was CNN’s bureau chief in Manila and then Jakarta prior to starting Rappler in 2011, was arrested on cyber libel security charges for an article published in 2012, according to […]

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