Category: Backchannel

May 11, 2021

How Amazon Paid Unwitting Civilians to Make Alexa Smarter

In 2011, Jeff Bezos dreamt up a talking device. But making the virtual assistant sound intelligent proved far more difficult than anyone could have imagined.


by Brad Stone in Backchannel
May 6, 2021

Everything You’ve Heard About Section 230 Is Wrong

These hallowed 26 words shield internet companies from being held responsible for what people post and share. But the web’s most sacred law is a false idol.


by Gilad Edelman in Backchannel
April 6, 2021

I Called Off My Wedding. The Internet Will Never Forget

In 2019, I made a painful decision. But to the algorithms that drive Facebook, Pinterest, and a million other apps, I’m forever getting married.


by Lauren Goode in Backchannel
April 1, 2021

When the Boss of All Dating Apps Met the Pandemic

Tinder. Hinge. OkCupid. Match. A year ago, Shar Dubey became the CEO of a multibillion-dollar matchmaking empire. Then singles everywhere went into lockdown.


by Arielle Pardes in Backchannel
March 23, 2021

How Audio Pros ‘Upmix’ Vintage Tracks and Give Them New Life

Experts are using AI to pick apart classic recordings from the 50s and 60s, isolate the instruments, and stitch them back together in crisp, bold ways.


by Jesse Jarnow in Backchannel
March 17, 2021

The Buzzy, Chatty, Out-of-Control Rise of Clubhouse

Paul Davison and Rohan Seth’s audio-only app is the tech crush of the pandemic. Now comes the hard part: hosting a global gabfest, without the toxicity.


by Steven Levy in Backchannel
March 16, 2021

The Secret Auction That Set Off the Race for AI Supremacy

How the shape of deep learning—and the fate of the tech industry—went up for sale in Harrah’s Room 731, on the shores of Lake Tahoe.


by Cade Metz in Backchannel
March 4, 2021

Adoption Moved to Facebook and a War Began

As the adoption industry migrates to social media, regretful adoptees and birth mothers are confronting prospective parents with their personal pain—and anger.


by Samantha M. Shapiro in Backchannel