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Hashtag Trending Sept. 22 – Facebook climate misinformation; Amazon’s creepy AI cameras; remote work changing cities

Today’s HTT script was prepared by Jori Negin-Shecter.

Facebook is found to be a climate misinformation hub, Amazon’s AI driver cameras cause a stir, and remote work is changing entire cities.

It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Wednesday, September 22, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Despite renewed efforts from Facebook, its action plan to combat misinformation still seems to be inadequate, according to Mother Jones. Watchdog groups have allegedly found dozens of climate denial ads littered throughout the platform, with as many as 8 million views combined. Additionally, advocacy groups continue to call on Facebook leaders to do more to stop the rampant spread of misinformation, though little cooperation has happened to date. Despite a multitude of studies corroborating Facebook’s role in spreading misinformation, the company has maintained their stance on the matter, rejecting many of these studies as “misleading” while taking other steps to reduce misinformation on the site.

Amazon’s AI delivery cameras have been found penalizing drivers for a number of bizarre reasons, including checking side mirrors and being cut off. As reported by Business Insider, the penalties enforced by the AI cameras have significant real world consequences, including limiting Amazon drivers’ abilities to receive better pay, as well as other benefits. Some drivers reportedly described the effort as “dystopian”, as a robot voice “shouts” at drivers, according to one individual interviewed. Despite these concerns, Amazon has reported that accidents have declined since the introduction of the tool to half of their fleet of vehicles. Other traffic violations have similarly seen dramatic decreases according to the Seattle-based company. Amazon also claims that appeals are manually reviewed, meaning that “erroneous events didn’t affect DSPs or drivers.”

Finally, remote work is changing the very nature of cities in the United States. According to an article from GeekWire, the majority of tech workers in Seattle do not expect to return to the office full time. As such, many experts are pondering the impacts that could have on factors such as real estate, social issues, and economic standings. The findings showed that more than 50% of workers would consider moving away from Seattle with the newfound freedom work from home would provide. Work from home has also impacted other issues such as traffic congestion, which now rates significantly lower as a pressing political issue. Finally, researchers are curious as to what impact work from home will have on how Downtowns are utilized, given that less people will be commuting to the city’s core with more flexible working conditions.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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