Category: Backchannel

June 22, 2021

He Thought He Could Outfox the Gig Economy. He Was Wrong

Jeffrey Fang was a ride-hailing legend, a top earner with relentless hustle. Then his minivan was carjacked—with his kids in the back seat.


by Lauren Smiley in Backchannel
June 8, 2021

What Really Happened When Google Ousted Timnit Gebru

She was a star engineer who warned that messy AI can spread racism. Google brought her in. Then it forced her out. Can Big Tech take criticism from within?


by Tom Simonite in AI Hub
May 25, 2021

Freedom, Mayhem, and the Uncertain Future of Revel’s Mopeds

People went wild for its shared rides. Then came trouble. Now the startup is hellbent to prove it can be cool and safe—and exactly what cities need.


by Kate Knibbs in 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