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ProPublica Hires Reporter Ava Kofman to Cover Technology

ProPublica announced Thursday that Ava Kofman is joining its staff as a reporter covering technology. She starts on Jan. 21.

Kofman joins ProPublica from The Intercept, where she was a contributing reporter whose work encompassed algorithms, artificial intelligence and surveillance technology. She has written about the unsettling ways schools and police are using face-recognition technology and plans from Axon (formerly Taser) to employ AI to “anticipate” criminal activity. Kofman mined the Edward Snowden archive to reveal the NSA’s pioneering use of voice recognition to spy on people, and she also revealed how companies now do risk assessments of employees by using AI to analyze the sounds of their voices.

In addition to The Intercept, Ava’s work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Magazine (where she also worked as an editor), The Atlantic, The Guardian, The New Republic, VICE and The Nation, among other publications. Along with reporting her own stories, she has worked as a fact-checker and researcher on features and investigations at Al Jazeera America and Rolling Stone, and she served as the editor in chief of online publication The New Inquiry.

“Ava comes aboard at a time when we are expanding our coverage of the central roles that technology, algorithms and social media play in our lives,” ProPublica Managing Editor Robin Fields said. “We’re looking forward to bringing her reporting and analytical coverage of the tech industry to our team.”

“ProPublica’s indispensable coverage of technology was part of what inspired me to become a journalist,” Kofman said. “I’m honored and excited to be joining a newsroom that has set the gold standard for investigations into algorithmic accountability.”

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