AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Alexis Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti. He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press). Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.
Results 11-20 of 103

A Silicon Valley Congressman Takes On Amazon

June 20, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow When Amazon announced last week it intended to acquire the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods, it sent shockwaves through the grocery industry. Other grocers’ share prices plummeted. Analysts predicted Amazon would become a “top five” grocer within a few years. Synergies were imagined. Within all the business chatter, however, a...

If Google Teaches an AI to Draw, Will That Help It Think?

June 8, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Imagine someone told you to draw a pig and a truck. Maybe you’d sketch this: ​ Easy enough. But then, imagine you were asked to draw a pig truck. You, a human, would intuitively understand how to mix the salient features of the two objects, and maybe you’d come up...

The Mysterious Printer Code That May Have Led the FBI to the Alleged NSA Leaker

June 7, 2017 Across the computer security world yesterday, heads were shaking. The FBI filed a criminal complaint against Reality Winner, an NSA contractor, who the agency alleges stole classified documents and shared them with an “online news outlet” believed to be The Intercept. Because the documents in question appear to have been...

How Apple Sees the Near Future

June 6, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Without once saying the words “artificial intelligence,” a stream of Apple executives described a vision of the near future in which Siri, the company’s AI avatar, stitches together the company’s many hardware products. And they introduced a new—and widely anticipated—entry into their lineup: a $349 cylindrical voice-controlled speaker they call...

Is Facebook Doomed?

November 18, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Facebook has won this round of the Internet. Steadily, grindingly, it continues to take an ever greater share of our time and attention online. More than 800 million people use the site on an average day. Individuals are dependent on it to keep up not just with their friends but...

When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

September 29, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Everyone understands what it means to own a plunger. Go to a store, buy the tool, take the physical object home, use it. No contract is required. If you give it away, all its plunging capabilities go with it. If it is stolen, it is lost. If you don't know...

The Internet Is Losing Interest in Computers

September 17, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow You may know Google Trends. It takes all the searches that all the humans (and other users of Google) make, pulls them apart, and deduces what topics people are searching for. It's perhaps the closest we can get to peering into the collective consciousness—and sometimes fascinating patterns emerge. Take this...

What Happens When a Car is Hackable? Science Agency Spends $1M to Find Out

September 9, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Imagine this future scenario: Self-driving cars form an orderly procession down a highway, traveling at precisely the right following distance and speed. All the on-board computers cooperate and all the vehicles travel reach their destinations safely. But what if one person jailbreaks her car, and tells her AI driver to...

Inside Google's Secret Drone-Delivery Program

August 29, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A zipping comes across the sky. A man named Neil Parfitt is standing in a field on a cattle ranch outside Warwick, Australia. A white vehicle appears above the trees, a tiny plane a bit bigger than a seagull. It glides towards Parfitt, pitches upwards to a vertical position, and...

Prepare to Be Shocked

August 14, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Several years ago, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency got wind of a technique called transcranial direct-current stimulation, or tDCS, which promised something extraordinary: a way to increase people’s performance in various capacities, from motor skills (in the case of recovering stroke patients) to language learning, all by stimulating their...