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Recode Daily: Google’s voice assistant depends on the labor of hundreds of underpaid, subcontracted linguists

Plus: Should white supremacists be allowed on Twitter? 

A man looks at a display of phones and voice assistants “Made by Google.” Alex Wong/Getty Images

Google’s voice assistant depends on the labor of hundreds of underpaid, subcontracted linguists. The Alexa competitor’s ability to purchase household items, schedule your day, and answer an array of trivia is actually a bit of “smoke and mirrors” that relies on datasets assembled by underpaid contractors who hope to get permanent positions at Google. This is the latest in a string of criticism directed at tech companies like Google that rely on temporary workers for jobs similar to those of their full-time employees.
[Julia Carrie Wong / Guardian]

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Special counsel Robert Mueller made his first public comments since releasing the results of the Russia investigation. He’s reluctant about testifying before Congress, but didn’t go as far as absolving President Trump: “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
[Andrew Prokop / Vox]

Should white supremacists be allowed on Twitter? Would banning them work? Twitter is researching those and a number of other related questions with the help of academics. The academics Motherboard spoke with applauded the effort but said Twitter should have done this a long time ago.
[Jason Koebler and Joseph Cox / Vice]

A security company is building a database of bad behavior for banned bar patrons. Is it security or mass surveillance?
[Susie Cagle / Medium]

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[Kara Swisher]

10 things we should all demand from Big Tech right now. Experts help us design an algorithm bill of rights.
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Facebook and Twitter removed thousands of fake accounts from Iran. It looks like Russia isn’t the only country messing with American politics.
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You can now import a spreadsheet to Excel by taking a picture of it with your iPhone.


Recode and Vox have joined forces to uncover and explain how our digital world is changing — and changing us. Subscribe to Recode podcasts to hear Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka lead the tough conversations the technology industry needs today.