Screens are lifesavers right now, but they’re still relationship wreckers

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When you gaze at your phone rather than the people in your life, you’re damaging a fundamental aspect of human bonding. Digital technology has been a lifeline during the COVID-19 health crisis. Yet, its impact on human relationships remains complex. It allows for work and connection in many domains, but does so in ways that are often intrusive , exhausting, and potentially corrosive to face-to-face relationships. Read Full Story

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AI helped Facebook crack down on 68% more hate posts in Q1

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COVID-19 has put a crimp in the company’s human-moderator operation, but it says that its algorithms are getting better at targeting harmful content. Facebook says it took down 68% more hate posts in the first quarter of 2020 than it did in the last quarter of 2019. The company says that the increase is due mainly to the marked improvements in the machine learning systems it uses to track down hateful content on its network. Read Full Story

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Facial recognition technology is inevitable—it’s time we make it human-centered

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As big tech companies press pause on developing this surveillance tool, others are racing to commercialize it. On the back of the Black Lives Matters movement, IBM decided to get out of the facial recognition (FR) business altogether. Amazon announced a one-year moratorium on police use of its FR software, Rekognition, and Microsoft declared that it would do the same until there is a federal law to regulate the technology. Read Full Story

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Steve Jobs’s right-hand woman unleashes on Facebook, likening it to a drug dealer

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Hoffman argued elements of Facebook are “destroying the very fabric of democracy, destroying the very fabric of human relationships, and peddling in an addictive drug called anger.” Steve Jobs’s former right-hand woman, Joanna Hoffman, who has been in the eye of Silicon Valley long enough to see multiple generations of geniuses exerting their whim over technology—and thus, society—has unleashed a scathing attack on Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Read Full Story

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Humans can now infect their pets with the coronavirus

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A pet dog, a Pomeranian, has tested positive for the virus after its owner came down with the disease in Hong Kong. If you’ve got the coronavirus or think you may have it, you’re probably following the recommended precautions of self-isolating from your friends and family. But now it appears that infected people need to isolate themselves from their pets as well. That’s because Hong Kong has reported its first human-to-animal transmission of the coronavirus. Read Full Story

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Moderna is testing a COVID-19 vaccine on humans. This is what they’re not telling you

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Moderna reported positive Phase I testing results for its COVID-19 vaccine and will begin Phase III testing it on 30,000 humans in two weeks. News! Moderna reported positive Phase I testing results for its COVID-19 vaccine and will begin Phase III testing it on 30,000 humans in two weeks. (Separate Phase II trials are underway.) “No matter how you slice this, this is good news,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, our national bearer of bad news, told the Associated Press. Read Full Story

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Google reveals how the pandemic is hitting its bottom line with a ‘significant slowdown’ in ad revenue

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Here’s our first look at Google since the WHO declared a pandemic. Google’s parent company shared its first-quarter earnings report today, its first since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed businesses to slash the money they spend on ads, and Google—which makes the vast majority of its revenue from ads—is already seeing the impact on its bottom line. Read Full Story

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