Robots won’t take your job and more in this week’s staff picks

 In News, Staff Picks

Happy Friday! Here are the most interesting tech stories we read this week. We’re retiring the Staff Picks series after today, but we have more fun in store for you in 2018.

Google is hiring 10,000 reviewers to clean up YouTube (Read by Alexandria H.)

 Every week, a new story about a robot scares everyone into thinking they won’t have a job in the very near future. Contrary to this notion, Google is opting for a more human touch. The tech giant is hiring over 10,000 people to sift through YouTube videos and comments to remove any offensive content that does not fall in line with its policies. Google still plans on enlisting the help of machine learning to automate and expedite this process, but the company understands that a more manual element is required. It’s important for companies to do the ethical thing and ensure their platforms aren’t a place for violence or hate speech, and it’s great that Google isn’t relying solely on bots and AI technology to tackle the task.

Here’s an internet off button for when you just can’t take it anymore (Read by Alexandria H.)

 The internet is a large place with lots of information coming at you all the time. Needless to say, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. So what’s the solution? An internet off button, of course! Joseph Ernst, an artist and filmmaker, created a Chrome extension called “Nothing on the Internet” with the sole purpose of giving users that much-needed break. With the click of a button, the extension temporarily removes all of the copy and images from a webpage, leaving you with nothing but empty boxes. Ernst admits this is more of a conceptual tool, but if you find you’re in need of a quick hiatus from the constant flow of content, yet unable to pull yourself away from your computer, this browser extension is for you.

Apple wants to know your heart rate. For science. (Read by Heidi O.)

Who needs a cardiologist when you have an Apple Watch? This week, the tech giant partnered with Stanford University to begin a medical study that analyzes Apple Watch user activity to monitor for irregular heartbeats. If a participant’s data shows signs of irregularity, they will be notified and given the option to partake in a free online medical consultation. This study gives me hope that perhaps the key to preventing late diagnoses is right here, on our wrists.

Can this water park make fun more inclusive? (Read by Heidi O.)

It may be winter, but you need to check out this water park! Unfortunately, many special needs children (and adults) have access to few leisurely activities. Morgan’s Wonderland, a San Antonio water park designed to be enjoyed by people with or without special needs, aims to solve that problem. The park uses technology to ensure ultra-accessibility, including its waterproof wheelchairs that run on air, not batteries— the first of their kind. If you’re searching for a heartwarming story, this is it.

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