Tech companies are helping in Puerto Rico. Residents are unsure if it’s aid or really an investment.

Oct 13, 2017

US-based tech companies are stepping up efforts to restore connectivity in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has deployed balloons to bring cell service back to the island. And Facebook on Monday announced an initiative with the Red Cross to use artificial intelligence and satellite imagery to identify and help areas in need of aid. The social media company's video from the island, however, took flak from tech critics as being insensitive to Puerto Rico.

But how are the major tech companies' efforts being viewed on the island?

“It’s very polarizing,” says Puerto Rico resident Gabriel Rodriguez. “People are really for it or really against it. There are the people that say that of course it’s going to be a great improvement for us … but then there’s a lot of people that are very mad because they say we are selling the island to outside interests.”

To hear more about what tech companies are doing, and about and grass-roots efforts to bring aid to the island, listen to the interview above.


From PRI's The World ©2017 PRI