Rebecca Heilweil
Rebecca Heilweil
Rebecca Heilweil is reporter for Open Sourced, covering artificial intelligence, algorithms, and automation. She has written for Wired, Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, among other outlets. She has spoken on Marketplace and iHeartRadio.Source
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RECENT ARTICLES
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How can we ban facial recognition when it’s already everywhere?

How can we ban facial recognition when it’s already everywhere?

A growing number of gadgets are scanning your face.Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.Facial recognition is having a reckoning. Recent protests against racism and police brutality have shined a available to law enforcement, and major tech companies are temporarily backing away from facial recognition and .Late last month, we learned of the caused by a faulty facial recognition system, involving a Black man in Michigan identified by software that Detroit’s police chief later admitted had a . And a policy group from the , a computing society with...

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Rebecca Heilweil
2d ago
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Networks of self-driving trucks are becoming a reality in the US

Networks of self-driving trucks are becoming a reality in the US

The self-driving truck company TuSimple is laying the groundwork for a futuristic autonomous freight industry.Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.Fully autonomous trucking may be one step closer to reality. On Wednesday, the San Diego-based self-driving startup TuSimple announced what it’s calling the world’s first autonomous freight network. That means that the company is laying the groundwork for delivering a lot more of our stuff with self-driving trucks.TuSimple is hardly the only company working to making fully automated shipping a reality....

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Rebecca Heilweil
4d ago
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Facebook’s war against one of the internet’s worst conspiracy sites

Facebook’s war against one of the internet’s worst conspiracy sites

Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.It’s been a year since Facebook deleted the page for Natural News for violating the company’s rules about spam. This was a big deal for Natural News, a conspiracy site that had attracted on its Facebook page. Then in May, Facebook took further action by banning the Natural News domain so that any link to the site would be blocked, along with some pages that frequently shared its content. Still, Natural News content has found ways to stick around.As one of the internet’s oldest and most prolific sources of health...

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Rebecca Heilweil
Jun 25
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Why it matters that IBM is getting out of the facial recognition business

Why it matters that IBM is getting out of the facial recognition business

Researchers have for years warned about the problems with facial recognition. Now Big Blue is ditching the tech.Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.The news that might not sound huge at first. The company’s commitment to opposing this type of racially biased surveillance technology fits into a welcome trend of actions being taken after anti-police brutality protests . Although some are already warning that IBM’s move , others say it’s a significant step in the right direction.IBM is taking a stand against the development of technology that can lead...

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Rebecca Heilweil
Jun 10
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Amazon suspends police access to its facial recognition technology. But only for one year.

Amazon suspends police access to its facial recognition technology. But only for one year.

The announcement will likely turn attention to federal lawmakers as well as other companies selling the technology.Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.In a statement released on Wednesday, Amazon announced that the company would institute a one-year moratorium on police use of Rekognition, the company’s facial recognition software. The move follows earlier this week that IBM would no longer offer facial recognition products, citing the technology’s potential for abuse or misuse. As scrutiny of law enforcement ramps up, it looks as though there could...

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Rebecca Heilweil
Jun 10
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Feds flew an unarmed Predator drone over Minneapolis protests to provide "situational awareness"

Feds flew an unarmed Predator drone over Minneapolis protests to provide "situational awareness"

The US has a long history of surveilling protesters, but the technology used to do so has grown more powerful.Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.On Friday, a Predator surveillance drone operated by United States Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) diverted from its normal route along the Canadian border in order to circle the skies over Minneapolis. Hours earlier, as thousands demonstrated following the death of , a black man who died after a police officer held his knee to Floyd’s neck for several minutes. (The officer has since been fired and .) And...

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Rebecca Heilweil
May 29
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Beware of these futuristic background checks

Beware of these futuristic background checks

Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.Unemployment in May reached , but companies like Postmates and Uber have continued to hire new workers during the . If you’re interested in this kind of gig, however, there’s a good chance you’ll need to pass an AI-powered background check from a company like Checkr. This might not be as easy as it sounds.Checkr is on the forefront of a new and potentially problematic kind of hiring, one that’s powered by still-emerging technology. Those hoping to quickly get extra work complain that Checkr and others using AI to...

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Rebecca Heilweil
May 11
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Tesla needs to fix its deadly Autopilot problem

Tesla needs to fix its deadly Autopilot problem

Tesla is facing heat from federal officials following an investigation into a fatal crash involving its Autopilot.Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.Tesla is facing heat from federal officials following another fatal accident involving Autopilot. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving feature in a 2018 fatal car crash, adding yet another accident to the technology’s already worrisome record. What’s even more concerning is that Tesla doesn’t appear too interested in addressing these concerns.That Tesla’s...

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Rebecca Heilweil
Mar 9
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