• Tech Solution

    The year deepfakes went mainstream

    In 2018, Sam Cole, a reporter at Motherboard, discovered a new and disturbing corner of the internet. A Reddit user by the name of “deepfakes” was posting nonconsensual fake porn videos using an AI algorithm to swap celebrities’ faces into real porn. Cole sounded the alarm on the phenomenon, right as the technology was about to explode. A year later, deepfake porn had spread far beyond Reddit, with easily accessible apps that could “strip” clothes off any woman photographed. Since then deepfakes have had a bad rap, and rightly so. The vast majority of them are still used for fake … Read More

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  • News

    Indian startups raised $9.3 billion in 2020 – TechCrunch

    The coronavirus pandemic — and a handful of other factors — slowed dealmaking for startups in India this year. Compared to their record $14.5 billion fundraise last year, Indian startups are ending 2020 with about $9.3 billion. This is the first time since 2016 that startups in India, one of the world’s largest startup communities, has raised less than $10 billion in a year, according to consultancy firm Tracxn. The number of deals fell from 1,185 last year to 1,088 in 2020. There were fewer larger sized rounds, too. Rounds with dealsize $100 million or larger fell from 26 … Read More

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  • Tech Solution

    How to build tech products for a diverse user base

    We have seen article after article about the fact that tech companies struggle with diversity at all levels of hiring, leading to toxic cultures for minorities (i.e. pre-2017 Uber). Even the algorithms and AI that underpin these products can have racial or gender biases, with embarrassing outcomes. One topic that has been absent from this conversation is diversity and representation in early product testing. This stage of product development is hugely influential to the direction of a product, as well as who it ultimately serves. For example, if the majority of people who use a brand-new product are … Read More

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  • News

    Not even 5G could rescue smartphone sales in 2020 – TechCrunch

    This was going to be the year of 5G. It was going to be the year the next-generation wireless technology helped reverse some troubling macro trends for the industry — or at the very least helped stem the bleeding some. But the best laid plans, and all that. With about a week left in the year, I think it’s pretty safe to say that 2020 didn’t wind up the way the vast majority of us had hoped. It’s a list that certainly includes the lion’s share of smartphone makers. Look no further than a recent report published by Gartner to … Read More

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  • Tech Solution

    2020 has sucked—but there are some small silver linings

    The consensus is that 2020 has been “the worst.” But there is reason to look back at this year and find the unexpected silver linings of quarantine, particularly when it comes to how we connect with other people. None of these benefits compare with the death and suffering and misery of a terrible year, but here’s a list of the small wins that we can hold onto and nurture as we finally shake the dust of 2020 from our feet.  We could roll over and log into work. Zoom fatigue is real, but online work shouldn’t be treated as an … Read More

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    Music made 2020 better, but we failed to make 2020 better for musicians – TechCrunch

    “Are you okay?” I don’t have a good answer to the question. Knowing full well that I’m talking back to an algorithm — even one asking the same question of everyone with a different band mad-libbed in — doesn’t soften the blow. Am I? Are we? Is anyone, really? In this case, it’s referring to Waxahatchee. I mean, yeah, I totally listened to a lot of Waxahatchee this year. Waxahatchee is good. Saint Cloud was one of my favorite albums of the year. Katie Crutchfield’s music doesn’t exist in the Elliott Smith, Leonard Cohen bin for me. It’s not time … Read More

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