Tech Team


Gender equality doesn’t spell more girls in STEM [The Atlantic]

You’d think that equal opportunity for boys and girls at school would mean more women working in STEM. Au contraire, according to a new study published in Psychological Science. The researchers delved into the puzzling fact that women in countries of equal opportunity are less likely to end up in maths and science roles. Their conclusion? Women in countries with more gender discrimination are choosing the best route to financial independence, which is often through STEM professions. The academics suggested that those enjoying equal opportunity – often in welfare states – tend to feel free to choose the career of their dreams. And that may not be in STEM. Passions and science don’t always coincide.

Is tech being designed to bring out the worst in us? [Vox]

In a podcast not to be missed, Ezra Klein sat down with Tristan Harris to talk about the current state of tech, especially the attention economy. Tristan’s company Apture was acquired by Google in 2011 and what he saw inside the Google machine worried him. His gripe – companies are putting so much effort into making products more addicting but aren’t designing them with human nature in mind. Tristan has since left Google and co-founded the Center for Humane Technology and is a big critic of Silicon Valley’s drive to addict us all. Check out the podcast where he and Ezra discuss “Time Well Spent,” why well-meaning tech leadership continues to make bad decisions and what it looks like to take back control of your time.

Will we manage to control artificial intelligence? [The Guardian]

More cybercrimes, political disruption and physical attacks. According to a group of 26 experts, that’s what lies ahead within the coming years. Although their report estimates that there’s no better defence against AI than AI itself, they suggest that researchers have to consider the potential misuse of AI at an early stage and to make regulatory frameworks that avoid improper use of new technologies. Does this mean that if academics and politicians don’t take actions quickly, AI will empower malicious individuals to threaten people’s life? This is for sure something that decision makers will have to keep an eye on.

The end of the selfie stick? Not just yet [New York Times]

For years, since the arrival of the first consumer drones, manufacturers have been working hard to develop autonomous devices capable of flying solo or with very little human interaction. A couple of MIT alumni just got closer to making this a reality with their R1 drone created by a start-up called Skydio. At a retail price of $2,499 it is far from becoming a drone for the masses but as the company – and soon others too – start selling more of these self-flying drones, prices are likely to drop while technology keeps improving. In the picture-obsessed world we live in, we are bound to see more and more of these techno-birds happily flying around snapping pictures of their masters. So while we wait for regulation to catch up, remember to smile, there may be a drone passing by.


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