Darrell West

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Darrell M. West is vice president and director of Governance Studies and holds the Douglas Dillon Chair. He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of TechTank. His current research focuses on artificial intelligence, robotics, and the future of work. West is also director of the John Hazen White Manufacturing Initiative.

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TechTank

TechTank: What We Can Learn About Mars From the Perseverance Exploration?

In February, the latest U.S. rover named Perseverance landed on Mars and began what is expected to be a historic exploration of the Red Planet. Equipped with high-resolution cameras, microphones, drills, scoopers and a helicopter, the mission aims to find evidence of microbial life from 3.5 billion years and decipher what happened to that planet. Already, Perseverance is navigating its landing spot in Jezero Crater, finding rocks that appear to have been molded by water and wind, taking pictures of volcanic rocks, and starting to move around the crater.

TechTank

TechTank: How Companies Surveil Workers and Ways Employees Can Protect Themselves

Today, under the coronavirus quarantines and lockdowns, most of us are working from home. This transition to a virtual world has blurred the lines between professional and personal life … in more ways than one.

We’ve all heard some of the scarier versions of Big Brother. Companies installing technology in their employees’ chairs, that tracks how long they spend at their desks each day. Required employee tracking bracelets, which record how many minutes you spend on your lunch break.

TechTank

TechTank: Ways to Protect Your Privacy and Security With Online Dating Apps

Online dating apps like Tinder collect a large amount of personal information on their users. Tinder’s privacy policy clearly states your data may be used to deliver “targeted advertising.” Even a step beyond that, the policy says “you should not expect that your personal information, chats, or other communications will always remain secure.”

Your online data affects what job offers you have access to on LinkedIn, how much you pay for insuring your car, ads you will see on YouTube and if you can get approved for a loan.

TechTank

TechTank: What Will Tech Policy Look Like in the Next Administration?

With Election 2020 coming to a close, President-elect Joe Biden is moving to assemble his administration and set his policy priorities. The new leader faces many challenging technology issues from antitrust, privacy, and content moderation to China and digital disparities made worse by COVID-19 as well as the kinds of folks to put into key tech policy positions. He does this at a time of diminished Democratic numbers in the House of Representatives and a Senate where party control is yet to be determined.

TechTank

TechTank: How Can We Cope With Zoom Fatigue?

The phrase “telecommuting” was first coined in the early 1970s by a NASA employee named Jack Nilles. Nilles claimed telecommuting could offset traffic congestion, promote resource conservation, and be a major convenience for those so engaged. In addition to the societal and environmental benefits, CEOs of major companies said it increased productivity and offered greater flexibility for workers, as workplaces across the country adopted it as an option.