Parmy Olson

Former Staff|Innovation

I cover developments in AI, robotics, chatbots, digital assistants and emerging tech in Europe. I've spent close to a decade profiling the hackers and dreamers who are bringing the most cutting-edge technology into our lives, for better or worse. I'm the author of "We Are

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7,497 viewsDec 23, 2019

Best Stories Of The Decade: “The Rags-To-Riches Tale Of How Jan Koum Built WhatsApp Into Facebook’s New $19 Billion Baby”

We're republishing our finest work from the past decade, including this tale of how billionaire Jan Koum founded WhatsApp. It’s arguably the greatest rags-to-riches saga in American history, told hours after he sold his company to Facebook.

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7,592 viewsMar 21, 2019

Doctor App Babylon Health Offers Quick Appointments, But Grapples With Follow-Up Care For Mental Health

A third of London’s mental-health providers are rejecting patient referrals from Babylon Health, a video-calling service used by thousands. Former staff say the startup is struggling to plug into Britain’s healthcare system.

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246,028 viewsMar 13, 2019

Meet The Billionaire Who Defied Amazon And Built Wish, The World’s Most-Downloaded E-Commerce App

Peter Szulczewski’s Wish was the world’s most downloaded shopping app last year. Its ultra-cheap wares make Walmart look like Bergdorf, but his 90 million users can’t afford to care—and their impulse purchases have added up to a $1.4 billion fortune for Szulczewski.

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8,677 viewsMar 12, 2019

Microsoft’s App For The Blind Called A Kid ‘Contemptuous.’ Here’s Why That Matters.

Microsoft’s Seeing AI app narrates the world for its blind users, guessing at a person’s age, gender and even their facial expression. It also offers a hint of how more people will use such tech in the future.

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88,637 viewsMar 10, 2019

How Sony Sped Up A Factory With These Tiny, $35 Computers

Hobbyists and teachers were the first big fans of the Raspberry Pi. Now industrialists are using it as a cheap way to spy on their robots, potentially boosting the Internet of Things market.