Zoe Schiffer
Zoe Schiffer
Zoe Schiffer is a writer for The Verge, where she reports on tech policy. She also helps publish The Interface, a daily newsletter on social media platforms and democracy. Zoe started her career in tech, writing for companies like Uber and Medallia. In 2019, she completed her master’s in journalism at Stanford where she studied tech and democracy. She also wrote for Vox, KQED, NPR, and the San Francisco Chronicle.Source
Oakland, CA
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Google just beat humans at spotting breast cancer — but it won’t replace them

Google just beat humans at spotting breast cancer — but it won’t replace them

A new study reveals Google AI is often better at detecting breast cancer than actual doctors Google is developing artificial intelligence to help doctors identify breast cancer, according to a research paper published in Nature today. The model, which scans X-ray images known as mammograms, reduces the number of false negatives by 9.4 percent—a hopeful leap forward for a test that currently misses 20 percent of breast cancers, as reported by The New York Times. Today, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women, beat out only by lung cancer in its deadliness and overall...

January 4, 2020
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Glitch workers sign tech’s first collective bargaining agreement

Glitch workers sign tech’s first collective bargaining agreement

Filed under:The contract ensures just cause for any disciplinary actionGlitch workers have signed a collective bargaining agreement with the company — a historic milestone for the tech industry. The contract, which was ratified overwhelmingly by union members, will last for 11 months. It’s the first agreement signed by white collar tech workers in the United States, according to a press release from the Communications Workers of America (CWA). The contract went into effect on February 28th.The agreement — a legal contract between the union and the company — does not include higher wages,...

Mar 2
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After firing a top AI ethicist, Google is changing its diversity and research policies

After firing a top AI ethicist, Google is changing its diversity and research policies

Filed under:The company’s head of AI apologized for his handling of the situationGoogle is changing its policies related to research and diversity after completing an internal investigation into the firing of ethical AI team co-leader , . The company intends to tie the pay of certain executives to diversity and inclusivity goals. It’s also making changes to how sensitive employee exits are managed.Although Google did not reveal the results of the investigation, the changes seem to be direct responses to . After Google demanded that a paper she co-authored be retracted, Gebru told research...

Feb 19
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Google fires second AI ethics researcher following internal investigation

Google fires second AI ethics researcher following internal investigation

Filed under:Margaret Mitchell and Timnit Gebru, co-leads of the ethical AI team, have now both been terminatedGoogle has fired Margaret Mitchell, co-lead of the ethical AI team, after she used an automated script to look through her emails in order to find evidence of discrimination against her coworker Timnit Gebru. .Mitchell’s firing comes one day after Google working on ethics and fairness. Marian Croak, a vice president in the engineering organization, is now leading “a new center of expertise on responsible AI within Google Research,” .“These decisions were made behind our...

Feb 19
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Google will pay $2.5 million to underpaid female engineers and overlooked Asian applicants

Google will pay $2.5 million to underpaid female engineers and overlooked Asian applicants

Filed under:The US Department of Labor alleges systemic pay and hiring discriminationGoogle has agreed to pay $2.5 million to more than 5,500 employees and job applicants impacted by alleged systematic pay and hiring discrimination. that female software engineers were being underpaid. It also identified “hiring rate differences that disadvantaged female and Asian applicants” for Google engineering positions.As part of , Google will hand over $1,353,052 in back pay and interest to 2,565 female engineers. It will also pay $1,232,000 in back pay and interest to 1,757 female engineering...

Feb 2
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Exclusive: Google workers across the globe announce international union alliance to hold Alphabet accountable

Exclusive: Google workers across the globe announce international union alliance to hold Alphabet accountable

Filed under:Alpha Global includes workers from 10 countries, including the United States and GermanyGoogle workers across the world are coming together to form a global union alliance. The newly formed coalition, called Alpha Global, is comprised of 13 different unions representing workers in 10 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Switzerland.comes weeks after (AWU), a minority union affiliated with the Communications Workers of America. AWU after it launched.Alpha Global is affiliated with the UNI Global Union, a federation of labor unions representing 20 million...

Jan 25
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Instacart is firing every employee who voted to unionize

Instacart is firing every employee who voted to unionize

Filed under:The layoffs are hitting 10 unionized workers in Skokie, Illinois, in addition to other Instacart employeesInstacart is laying off every employee who voted to unionize, . The news comes as the company shuts down in-store operations at some grocery stores amid the coronavirus pandemic and doubles down on curbside pickups.The layoffs impact 10 unionized workers at a grocery store called Mariano’s, in addition to other Instacart employees. The group in Skokie, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, voted to unionize last year with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1546 (UFCW). It...

Jan 21
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GitHub admits ‘significant mistakes were made’ in firing of Jewish employee

GitHub admits ‘significant mistakes were made’ in firing of Jewish employee

Filed under:The company is offering the employee his job backGitHub is admitting that a Jewish employee was fired in error and is offering him his job back. The news comes after the company hired an independent law firm to investigate the termination, and found that “significant mistakes were made.” The company’s head of HR, Carrie Olesen, is also resigning.“Yesterday evening, the investigation reached the conclusion that significant mistakes were made that are not consistent with our internal practices or the judgement we expect from our leaders,” wrote GitHub CEO Nat Friedman in an...

Jan 17
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Salesforce says it has taken action against the RNC, but won’t say how

Salesforce says it has taken action against the RNC, but won’t say how

Filed under:The company says it has blocked the RNC from sending emails that could incite violenceSalesforce has “taken action” to stop the Republication National Committee (RNC) from sending emails that could incite violence, though the company won’t say what that action is. The RNC is using ExactTarget, a Salesforce tool, for campaign emails.The move, first reported by , comes after the Trump campaign sent an email urging supporters to “step up RIGHT NOW” and “defend the integrity of this Election” shortly before the breach of the US Capitol on January 6th.The enterprise software company...

Jan 12
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Google workers announce plans to unionize

Google workers announce plans to unionize

Filed under:The union will be open to all Alphabet employees and contractorsA group of Google workers to unionize with the Communications Workers of America (CWA). The will be open to all employees and contractors at Google’s parent company. Its goal will be to tackle ongoing issues like pay disparity, retaliation, and controversial government contracts.“This union builds upon years of courageous organizing by Google workers,” said Nicki Anselmo, a Google program manager. “From fighting the ‘real names’ policy, to opposing Project Maven, to protesting the egregious, multi-million dollar...

Jan 4
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