This is today’s edition ofDownload,Our weekday newsletter provides daily coverage of what’s happening in the tech world.
How the AI industry benefits from disaster
It’s just a temporary side job – a way to earn extra money. Oskarina Fuentes Anaya signed up for Appen, an AI data labeling platform, while she was still in college to land a well-paid position in the oil industry.
But then the economy collapsed in Venezuela. Inflation skyrocketed, and a steady job, once secured, was no longer an option. Her side gigs are now full-time; Temporarily now is the near future.
Today Fuentes lives in Colombia, one of millions of Venezuelan migrants and refugees who have left their country in search of better opportunities. But she’s stuck at home — both by a chronic illness that developed after delayed access to healthcare and by the fuzzy algorithms that decide when she works and how much. the money she earns.
Despite threats from Appen to retaliate against her, she chose to continue recording as a named source. She wants people to understand how her life is to be an important part of the global AI development, but the people who benefit from her work also mistreat her and make her a should be invisible. She wants the people who do this job to be seen.Read full story.
—Karen Hao and Andrea Paola Hernandez
This is the second part of our AI colonialism series, shedding light on how this technology is impoverishing communities and countries that have no say in its development. Parts 3 and 4 will be out later in the week, but you can read the first partthisand introductory essay by Karen Haothis.
Crypto Millionaires Are Pouring Money into Central America to Build Their Own Cities
El Salvador’s Conchagua Volcano, home to a lush eco-tourism site amid its sun-stained forest, is set to host the glittering new Bitcoin City, the country’s president announced in November of this year. 2021. A massive construction project to transform the primeval forest into a vibrant metropolis could soon be underway.
While some politicians and residents believe in the potential of cryptocurrencies to jumpstart the economy, others see history repeating itself. As El Salvador’s experiment took shape as a Bitcoin City, a similar development was underway in Honduras – but the backlash from locals put its future in jeopardy. Advocates hope to spawn hundreds more Bitcoin Cities, but others question who these projects are really for and whether countries that serve as test beds will really benefit. or not.Read full story.
Quote of the day
“Hugs for everyone!”
—A Disney employee praises costumed characters who can hug Disneyland visitors after the no-hug ban went into effect, according to The New York Times.
Things to read
I’ve scoured the internet to find you today’s most interesting/important/scary/fascinating stories about tech.
Ukraine’s ‘internet army’ is pressuring Western brands to withdraw from Russia
And their campaigns seem to be working. (WSJ $)
+ More than one in four people in Ukraine have left their homes. (WSJ $)
+ US and its allies send more weapons to Ukraine. (BBC)
2 What has the zero-covid policy taught China?
It has saved countless lives, but is getting harder and harder to enforce. (Atlantic $)
+ Moderna is optimistic that its new vaccine will better protect against the variants. (NYT $)
3 NASA wants to make a mission to Uranus
We know very little about the distant planet. (Atlantic $)
+ Why are we so focused on sending humans to Mars? (Slate $)
+ Maybe we should send robots instead of astronauts. (Wired $)
5 Twitter may be preparing to reject Elon Musk’s buyout offer
This will force him to reconsider his position. (WSJ $)
+ Regardless of the outcome, Musk’s proposal could end up being good for the company. (FT $)
+ A crypto billionaire wants to join too. (Bloomberg $)
+ Here’s what Twitter’s algorithmic publicity might entail. (CNN)
7 Unmasking the woman behind the Libs of TikTok Twitter account
A Brooklyn real estate agent has played an outsized role in promoting hateful anti-LGBTQ+ articles in America. (WP $)
8 Being sober isn’t just about stopping drinking
Sober influencers are reframing our thinking about alcohol. That’s not always a positive thing. (Wired $)
+ Do people paying to stop drinking help them stay sober in the long run? (Boston Globe $)
9 Why is it so hard to build unbiased AI
For starters, the bias is in the eye of the beholder. (Vox)
+ AI can reduce the number of car accidents. (NYT $)
+ Drivers of self-driving cars in the UK may soon be allowed to watch TV behind the wheel. (Time $)
These 10 Twitter accounts record the writer’s tics
Because you can’t keep repeating yourself. Or can you? (New Yorkers $)
We can still have good things
A place for comfort, fun and distraction during these strange times. (Any comments? Drop me a line or tweet ’em with me.)
+ Congratulations TobyKeith, who at the age of 21 became The oldest living dog in the world.
Louis Theroux is more than just an award-winning documentary filmmaker. You too spit some sick stick (Thanks Tania!)
+ These Easy recipes for sweet treats are speaking my language.
+ If you are starting to worry about what to buy for Mother’s Day, This list is a great starting point.
+ The US government funds research on invisible cloakThat seems like a worthwhile endeavor to me.
+ Do you consider? Talk to your cat on a leash?
+ The World’s Oldest Unopened Easter Egg will make you grateful that Easter is over.