How a Feel-Good AI Story Went Wrong in Flint

A machine-learning model showed promising results, but city officials and their engineering contractor abandoned it

Alexis C. Madrigal
Jan 3, 2019 · 14 min read
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Workers in Flint, Michigan, replace a lead water-service pipe. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

More than a thousand days after the water problems in Flint, Michigan, became national news, thousands of homes in the city still have lead pipes, from which the toxic metal can leach into the…

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