Michelle Bovée

Facial Recognition Systems: A Tool to Combat Human Trafficking?

Walk through almost any neighborhood in Manhattan and law enforcement can trace your path, tracking your movements on the 8,000-plus cameras that blanket the city. Attend an event at Madison Square Garden and building security—and advertisers—will rely on facial-recognition technology to track attendance and prevent people believed to be threats from entering the building. Fly…

Walled Gardens: Google’s Misstep Highlights Threats to Internet Freedom

On Tuesday, December 11th, 2018, Google CEO Sundar Pichai found himself testifying in front of the House Judiciary Committee. Subjects discussed ranged from artificial intelligence to political bias to manipulation of search results. Project DragonFly was also on the table, though Pichai was quick to dismiss the endeavor. He told the committee that Google has…

Artificial Intelligence Politicians: More Gimmick than Reality

Non-human candidates frequently grace local and national electoral ballots. Limberbutt McCubbins was the first feline presidential candidate in the US; Darth Vader ran for mayor of Odessa, Ukraine; and a rhinoceros named Cacareco was elected to Sao Paolo’s city council. Typically these candidates are nominated as a joke or as a protest, political or otherwise.…

Not Safe for Facebook: Censorship and the Modern Public Square

Semi-nude paintings by Austrian artist Egon Schiele surprised recent riders of the New York subway, London Tube, and Cologne bus. The works were part of an ad campaign launched by the Vienna Tourism Board. Originally, they were supposed to stand on their own as advertisements for the Leopold Museum. City regulators protested this request to…

Influencer Marketing for International Development—or International Chaos?

Singapore’s Instagram users got a bit of a surprise in January: dozens of influencers (users with anywhere from 1,000 to 35,000 followers) posting mundane statuses about finance and budgeting. Singapore’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) paid over 50 influencers to post about the budget in advance of Budget Day, when MOF seeks public feedback on the…

Saudi Cinemas Herald Regional Transformation

In 1982, ultra-conservative clerics pressured the King of Saudi Arabia to close down all movie theaters, citing the threat they posed to religious and cultural identity. Thirty-five years later, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman—the same Crown Prince who recently arrested over 200 influential Saudis and spent a record $450 million on a da Vinci painting—announced…

About Face: Facial Recognition & Border Security

The recently launched iPhone X uses facial recognition technology to unlock the phone rather than fingerprint scanners or the comparatively old-fashioned passcode, ostensibly to make the phone more secure. As evidenced by the long lines on launch day and the robust secondary market, many consumers seem to have a fairly blasé attitude towards the fact…

African Nations Over the Moon

Space, the final frontier, has so far been out of reach for the majority of African countries, even as the space race raged on across North America, Europe, and Asia. Only over the last decade or so have a handful of African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and Ethiopia, started to extend their sights…

Currency Wars: Repressive Regimes Turned Crypto-Criminals

Bitcoin was first mentioned in a research paper from late 2008 as a form of money that would be untraceable and free from interference by governments and central banks. Anyone with a computer can buy and sell bitcoin and transactions are instantaneous, which has attracted attention from a variety of sectors, from international development to…

Game of Tourism: Cities Seek to Limit Tourism while Others Woo Foreign Visitors

If you have been inspired by Game of Thrones to visit beautiful Dubrovnik, Croatia, the site of the fictional capital of King’s Landing, you may find yourself out of luck: the Mediterranean city, long a popular tourist destination, has been so overrun that mayor Mato Franković announced plans to limit the number of visitors allowed…

Facial Recognition Systems: A Tool to Combat Human Trafficking?

Walk through almost any neighborhood in Manhattan and law enforcement can trace your path, tracking your movements on the 8,000-plus cameras that blanket the city. Attend an event at Madison Square Garden and building security—and advertisers—will rely on facial-recognition technology to track attendance and prevent people believed to be threats from entering the building. Fly…

Walled Gardens: Google’s Misstep Highlights Threats to Internet Freedom

On Tuesday, December 11th, 2018, Google CEO Sundar Pichai found himself testifying in front of the House Judiciary Committee. Subjects discussed ranged from artificial intelligence to political bias to manipulation of search results. Project DragonFly was also on the table, though Pichai was quick to dismiss the endeavor. He told the committee that Google has…

Artificial Intelligence Politicians: More Gimmick than Reality

Non-human candidates frequently grace local and national electoral ballots. Limberbutt McCubbins was the first feline presidential candidate in the US; Darth Vader ran for mayor of Odessa, Ukraine; and a rhinoceros named Cacareco was elected to Sao Paolo’s city council. Typically these candidates are nominated as a joke or as a protest, political or otherwise.…

Not Safe for Facebook: Censorship and the Modern Public Square

Semi-nude paintings by Austrian artist Egon Schiele surprised recent riders of the New York subway, London Tube, and Cologne bus. The works were part of an ad campaign launched by the Vienna Tourism Board. Originally, they were supposed to stand on their own as advertisements for the Leopold Museum. City regulators protested this request to…

Influencer Marketing for International Development—or International Chaos?

Singapore’s Instagram users got a bit of a surprise in January: dozens of influencers (users with anywhere from 1,000 to 35,000 followers) posting mundane statuses about finance and budgeting. Singapore’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) paid over 50 influencers to post about the budget in advance of Budget Day, when MOF seeks public feedback on the…

Saudi Cinemas Herald Regional Transformation

In 1982, ultra-conservative clerics pressured the King of Saudi Arabia to close down all movie theaters, citing the threat they posed to religious and cultural identity. Thirty-five years later, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman—the same Crown Prince who recently arrested over 200 influential Saudis and spent a record $450 million on a da Vinci painting—announced…

About Face: Facial Recognition & Border Security

The recently launched iPhone X uses facial recognition technology to unlock the phone rather than fingerprint scanners or the comparatively old-fashioned passcode, ostensibly to make the phone more secure. As evidenced by the long lines on launch day and the robust secondary market, many consumers seem to have a fairly blasé attitude towards the fact…

African Nations Over the Moon

Space, the final frontier, has so far been out of reach for the majority of African countries, even as the space race raged on across North America, Europe, and Asia. Only over the last decade or so have a handful of African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and Ethiopia, started to extend their sights…

Currency Wars: Repressive Regimes Turned Crypto-Criminals

Bitcoin was first mentioned in a research paper from late 2008 as a form of money that would be untraceable and free from interference by governments and central banks. Anyone with a computer can buy and sell bitcoin and transactions are instantaneous, which has attracted attention from a variety of sectors, from international development to…

Game of Tourism: Cities Seek to Limit Tourism while Others Woo Foreign Visitors

If you have been inspired by Game of Thrones to visit beautiful Dubrovnik, Croatia, the site of the fictional capital of King’s Landing, you may find yourself out of luck: the Mediterranean city, long a popular tourist destination, has been so overrun that mayor Mato Franković announced plans to limit the number of visitors allowed…