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Making Machine Learning Fun And Accessible for Kids

By Sarah T. Vu on 06 May 2019

Adventures in building a text training page suitable for kids with Cognimates.
Sarah T. Vu and students from the Shady Hill School learning how to train a robot to recognize them with Cognimates

How it all started...

Hi, my name is Sarah, and while I normally prefer to write code, I am writing this blog post to tell you all about a project I’ve been working on for the majority of the past year. This project is called Cognimates, and it’s a platform for AI Education that originated from an MIT Media Lab project. Our original platform was used in our research workshops with kids age 7–14 all around the world (read more about our research). Through this experience, our team collected a lot of user feedback from children, and at the end of last year, we began to formulate a design to revamp the platform and grow it into a more sustainable, open-source project.

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Building a Better Period-Tracking App (Podcast)

By Julia Kloiber on 12 Apr 2019

Bloomberg met with Bl00dyhealth – the team behind the open source period tracker Drip. They talked about period tracking tools and how targeted advertising, third-party data sharing and tracking make most menstruation apps just as problematic as they are popular. You can listen to the whole podcast episode here.

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For more democratic design processes!

By Clara Juliano on 31 Mar 2019

The Oracle for Transfeminist Technologies is to me way more than a graphic design or illustration project. As a researcher, the Oracle for Transfeminist Technologies is also part of an on-going methodological investigation, and has a lot to contribute with emerging research practices and different forms of knowledge construction in design research, as it suggests an active political approach for research and practice in this area. It’s an opportunity to further explore engaged and participatory design processes, while creating spaces for debate around emerging and urgent issues. I want to invite you for a quick journey through this process, and explore the Oracle from a different, designerly perspective.

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Why we built our own period tracker

By Julia Friesel on 25 Feb 2019

If you’re reading this and you have a menstrual cycle, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve used a cycle tracking app before – like millions of people do every day. And yet, there is a shocking lack in the diversity of how these apps are designed. Most cycle trackers are full of regressive notions of femininity, pink is still the color of choice. Maybe someday I will understand what flowers and butterflies have to do with blood flowing out of my vagina each month. Even beyond the reinforcement of gender stereotypes, the data handling policies of most of these apps is questionable. The Electronic Frontier Foundation reported in 2017 how many of these applications do not secure user data appropriately when transmitting it to their servers and what happens to the data once it gets there is often quite obscure to the users.

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