18 episodes

A podcast about the automation of everything. Host Jennifer Strong and the team at MIT Technology Review look at what it means to entrust artificial intelligence with our most sensitive decisions.

Algorithms decide who receives social services, goes to jail, gets into college, qualifies for loans, or lands a job. We also look to AI to read and interpret our emotions, determining whether we’re happy, sad, angry, distracted… or even a threat. Tech Review’s editors and reporters explore the impact of artificial intelligence on the way our future will work.

In Machines We Trust MIT Technology Review

    • Technology

A podcast about the automation of everything. Host Jennifer Strong and the team at MIT Technology Review look at what it means to entrust artificial intelligence with our most sensitive decisions.

Algorithms decide who receives social services, goes to jail, gets into college, qualifies for loans, or lands a job. We also look to AI to read and interpret our emotions, determining whether we’re happy, sad, angry, distracted… or even a threat. Tech Review’s editors and reporters explore the impact of artificial intelligence on the way our future will work.

    Attention Shoppers: You’re Being Tracked

    Attention Shoppers: You’re Being Tracked

    Cameras in stores aren’t anything new—but these days there are AI brains behind the electric eyes. In some stores, sophisticated systems are tracking customers in almost every imaginable way, from recognizing their faces to gauging their age, their mood, and virtually gussying them up with makeup. The systems rarely ask for people’s permission, and for the most part they don’t have to. In our season 1 finale, we look at the explosion of AI and face recognition technologies in retail spaces, and what it means for the future of shopping.

    We meet:
    RetailNext CTO Arun Nair,
    L'Oreal's Technology Incubator Global VP Guive Balooch,
    Modiface CEO Parham Aarabi
    Biometrics pioneer and Chairman of ID4Africa Joseph Atick

    Credits:
    This episode was reported and produced by Jennifer Strong, Anthony Green, Tate Ryan-Mosley, Emma Cillekens and Karen Hao. We’re edited by Michael Reilly and Gideon Lichfield.

    • 28 min
    Timnit Gebru Tells Her Story

    Timnit Gebru Tells Her Story

    Two weeks after her forced exit, the AI ethics researcher reflects on her time at Google, how to increase corporate accountability, and the state of the AI field.

    We meet:
    Dr. Timnit Gebru

    Find more reporting:
    https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/12/16/1014634/google-ai-ethics-lead-timnit-gebru-tells-story/
    https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/12/04/1013294/google-ai-ethics-research-paper-forced-out-timnit-gebru/

    Google's email to employees:
    https://twitter.com/JeffDean/status/1334953632719011840

    Gebru's email to the listserv Google Brain Women and Allies:
    https://www.platformer.news/p/the-withering-email-that-got-an-ethical

    The petition from Google Walkout:
    https://googlewalkout.medium.com/standing-with-dr-timnit-gebru-isupporttimnit-believeblackwomen-6dadc300d382

    Credits:
    This episode was reported by Karen Hao, edited by Jennifer Strong, Niall Firth, Gideon Lichfield and Michael Reilly, and produced with help from Anthony Green, Emma Cillekens and Benji Rosen.

    • 21 min
    Your Face Could Be Your Ticket

    Your Face Could Be Your Ticket

    Face mapping and other tracking systems are changing the sports experience in the stands and on the court. In part-three of this latest series on facial recognition, Jennifer Strong and the team at MIT Technology Review jump on the court to unpack just how much things are changing. 

    We meet: 
    Donnie Scott, senior vice president of public security, IDEMIA
    Michael D'Auria, vice president of business development, Second Spectrum
    Jason Gay, sports columnist, The Wall Street Journal
    Rachel Goodger, director of business development, Fancam
    Rich Wang, director of analytics and fan engagement, Minnesota Vikings

    Credits: 
    This episode was reported and produced by Jennifer Strong, Anthony Green, Tate Ryan-Mosley, Emma Cillekens and Karen Hao. We’re edited by Michael Reilly and Gideon Lichfield. 

    • 21 min
    No Face... No Service

    No Face... No Service

    Facial recognition technology is being deployed in housing projects, homeless shelters, schools, even across entire cities—usually without much fanfare or discussion. To some, this represents a critical technology for helping vulnerable communities gain access to social services. For others, it’s a flagrant invasion of privacy and human dignity. In this episode, we speak to the advocates, technologists, and dissidents dealing with the messy consequences that come when a technology that can identify you almost anywhere (even if you’re wearing a mask) is deployed without any clear playbook for regulating or managing it.

    We meet: 
    Eric Williams, senior staff attorney at Detroit Justice Center
    Fabian Rogers, community advocate at Surveillance Technology Oversight Project
    Helen Knight, founder of Tech for Social Good
    Ray Bolling, president and co-founder of Eyemetric Identity Systems
    Mary Sunden, executive director of the Christ Church Community Development Corporation

    Credits: 
    This episode was reported and produced by Jennifer Strong, Tate Ryan-Mosley, Emma Cillekens, and Karen Hao. We’re edited by Michael Reilly and Gideon Lichfield.

    • 23 min
    When the Camera Turns on Police

    When the Camera Turns on Police

    Moves have been made to restrict the use of facial recognition across the globe. In part one of this series on face ID, Jennifer Strong and the team at MIT Technology Review explore the unexpected ways the technology is being used, including how the technology is being turned on police.  

    We meet: 
    Christopher Howell, data scientist and protester. 

    Credits: 
    This episode was reported and produced by Jennifer Strong, Tate Ryan-Mosley and Emma Cillekens, and Karen Hao. We’re edited by Michael Reilly and Gideon Lichfield.

    • 17 min
    Encore: What Happens in Vegas… Is Captured on Camera

    Encore: What Happens in Vegas… Is Captured on Camera

    The use of facial recognition by police has come under a lot of scrutiny. In part three of our four-part series on face ID, host Jennifer Strong takes you to Sin City, which actually has one of America’s most buttoned-up policies on when cops can capture your likeness. She also finds out why celebrities like Woody Harrelson are playing a starring role in conversations about this technology. This episode was originally published August 12, 2020.

    We meet: 
    Albert Fox Cahn, Surveillance Technology Oversight Project
    Phil Mayor, ACLU Michigan
    Captain Dori Koren, Las Vegas Police 
    Assistant Chief Armando Aguilar, Miami Police 

    Credits: 
    This episode was reported and produced by Jennifer Strong, Tate Ryan-Mosley and Emma Cillekens. We had help from Benji Rosen and Karen Hao. We’re edited by Michael Reilly and Gideon Lichfield.

    • 24 min

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