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Ideas

School Surveillance Will Never Protect Kids From Shootings

The failure is not only in the spurious systems, but in the belief that more data can improve them.

Section 230 Is a Last Line of Defense for Abortion Speech Online

Dobbs should be a wake-up call for anyone seeking to undercut the immunity protections afforded by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

How Dobbs Threatens to Torpedo Privacy Rights in the US

The US Supreme Court’s privacy rulings chart an old battle and could inform life after Roe.

The History of Predicting the Future

Humans have long tried to determine the shape of what’s to come. But even the most advanced technology can’t solve the fundamental issues with predictions.

If AI Is Predicting Your Future, Are You Still Free?

Part of being human is being able to defy the odds. Algorithmic prophecies undermine that.

Predicting Death Could Change the Value of a Life

New technology promises to forecast the length of your life. But for disabled people, measuring mortality can prove fatal.

Crime Prediction Keeps Society Stuck in the Past

So long as algorithms are trained on racist historical data and outdated values, there will be no opportunities for change.

The Creepy TikTok Algorithm Doesn’t Know You

The uncanny, addictive AI has turned math into a mystical force—and flattened humanity into a series of codes.
Ideas

Democracy Is Asking Too Much of Its Data

The latest US Census—used to decide representation in Congress—is flawed. One surprising solution? Enlarge the House of Representatives.
Ideas

Are You Ready to Be Surveilled Like a Sex Worker? 

FOSTA/SESTA laws deplatformed sex workers and set the stage to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Ideas

One Day, AI Will Seem as Human as Anyone. What Then?

A Google engineer's claim that the LaMDA program is sentient underscores an urgent need to demystify the human condition.
Opinion

America’s Armed Forces Are Weaker Without Roe

Here’s what Congress, the DOD, and the VA can do to ensure troops’ access to abortion—and improve the nation’s security.
Ideas

How ‘The Dress’ Sparked a Neuroscience Breakthrough

The color debate that broke the internet raised new questions about the relationship between perception and consciousness.
Ideas

Generative Art Is Challenging What It Means to Be Human

In the age of NFTs, artists who collaborate with machines are forcing new questions around intellectual property, process, and the value of art.
Baby Monitor

Parents Need to Know What’s Going On Inside Their Day Care Apps

After months of digging into privacy and security issues around these apps, I have some serious concerns. 
Ideas

Russia Should Pay for Its Environmental War Crimes

The legal challenges are steep, but scientists are recording the war’s devastating impact on Ukraine’s land and wildlife.
Ideas

The Story You’ve Heard About Cities and the Drug Crisis Is Wrong

Calling San Francisco and other places “failed” cities for liberal policies is bad journalism. At worst, it exacerbates harm.
Ideas

My Problem With Pronouns

The thing about identity is, it changes over space and time.
Ideas

It’s Time to Burn Medical Consent Forms

Attempts at reform have not gone far enough. The problem isn’t the documents—it’s how to frame consent in the new health ecosystem.

What Black One Direction Fans Reveal About Activism

Pop music fans know that their faves can't change the world's systemic problems—that's not what they're asking for.
Ideas

‘Is This AI Sapient?’ Is the Wrong Question to Ask About LaMDA

The bigger problem is what happens when we act as if AIs are conscious, and how that could be used against us.
Ideas

The Sexist Pseudoscience at the Heart of Biology

For centuries, zoological law taught that sexual inequality was inevitable. Then women began studying Darwin for themselves. 
Ideas

The Genre-Transcending Mastery of The Staircase

The true-crime tale lends itself to the fact-fiction danse macabre.
IDEAS

Life Is Great in the Age of No Secrets

It was fun looking at the world as a huge conspiracy theory, but then I realized: There’s no such thing as hidden knowledge. 
Cloud Support

Prediction Engines Are Like Karma: You Get What You Stream

WIRED’s spiritual advice columnist on the virtues of sharing a streaming profile and screwing with algorithms.
Left Click

This Is the Internet That Socialists Want

We asked Internet for the People author Ben Tarnoff about why antitrust isn't enough, and whether profit motive is the root of all of Big Tech's problems.
Ideas

Therapists Should Build a New Cultural Competence: ‘Onlineness’

Therapy doesn’t work without understanding, and the “extremely online” deserve to have their experiences taken seriously.
Ideas

The Internet Needs You-Are-Here Maps

We spend so much of our time online without knowing where we are—or how fragmented we've become. Locating ourselves can help us leave our bubble.