Bias and Brains: 

  • Airbnb has a racism problem. Which is to say, society has a racism problem. Airbnb's distributed nature and the amount of personal choice given to hosts and guests makes it difficult to discover and police patterns of discrimination until after the fact, once harm has already occurred. As of now punitive actions stop at banning a user from the platform, turning it into a game whack-a-mole for bigotry. While it's unreasonable to expect technologies to fix deep, systemic problems like racism on their own, at a minimum they should not exacerbate the situation by reintroducing old problems in new forms. 


Up in the Air: 

  • Walmart is working on drones for warehouse inventory management. Known for their penny stretching practices (they reuse 75 cent cardboard boxes and encourage traveling reps to bring hotel pens back to HQ) they've started to pour some serious money into technology initiatives as political pressure for a higher minimum wage continues. 


Building Things: 


More next week.