technologyreview.com
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MIT Technology Review is a magazine wholly owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and editorially independent of the university. It was founded in 1899 as The Technology Review, and was re-launched without "The" in its name on April 23, 1998 under then publisher R. Bruce Journey. In September 2005, it was changed, under its then editor-in-chief and publisher, Jason Pontin, to a form resembling the historical magazine.Source
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Twitter’s ban almost doubled attention for Biden misinformation

Twitter’s ban almost doubled attention for Biden misinformation

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.The news: When Twitter banned, and then unbanned, links to a questionably sourced New York Post article about Joe Biden’s son Hunter, its stated intention was to prevent people from spreading harmful false material as America heads into the final stretch of the election campaign. But thanks to the cycle of misinformation—and claims from conservatives that social-media platforms are deliberately censoring their views—Twitter managed to do the opposite of what it intended.  According to Zignal Labs, a media intelligence firm, shares of the Post...

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Ohlheiser
5d ago
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Artificial general intelligence: Are we close, and does it even make sense to try?

Artificial general intelligence: Are we close, and does it even make sense to try?

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.The idea of artificial general intelligence as we know it today starts with a dot-com blowout on Broadway. Twenty years ago—before Shane Legg clicked with neuroscience postgrad Demis Hassabis over a shared fascination with intelligence; before the pair hooked up with Hassabis’s childhood friend Mustafa Suleyman, a progressive activist, to spin that fascination into a company called DeepMind; before Google bought that company for more than half a billion dollars four years later—Legg worked at a startup in New York called Webmind, set up by AI...

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Author Will Douglas Heaven
6d ago
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Training a single AI model can emit as much carbon as five cars in their lifetimes

Training a single AI model can emit as much carbon as five cars in their lifetimes

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.The industry is often compared to the oil industry: once mined and refined, data, like oil, can be a highly lucrative commodity. Now it seems the metaphor may extend even further. Like its fossil-fuel counterpart, the process of deep learning has an outsize environmental impact.In a , researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, performed a life cycle assessment for training several common large AI models. They found that the process can emit more than 626,000 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent—nearly five times the lifetime...

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Author Karen Hao
Jun 6
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A radical new technique lets AI learn with practically no data

A radical new technique lets AI learn with practically no data

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Machine learning typically requires tons of examples. To get an AI model to recognize a horse, you need to show it thousands of images of horses. This is what makes the technology computationally expensive—and very different from human learning. A child often needs to see just a few examples of an object, or even only one, before being able to recognize it for life. In fact, children sometimes don’t need any examples to identify something. Shown photos of a horse and a rhino, and told a unicorn is something in between, they can recognize the...

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Author Karen Hao
5d ago
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Room-temperature superconductivity has been achieved for the first time

Room-temperature superconductivity has been achieved for the first time

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Room-temperature superconductors—materials that conduct electricity with zero resistance without needing special cooling—are the sort of technological miracle that would upend daily life. They could revolutionize the electric grid and enable levitating trains, among many other potential applications. But until now, superconductors have had to be cooled to extremely low temperatures, which has restricted them to use as a niche technology (albeit an important one). For decades it seemed that room-temperature superconductivity , but in the last...

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Author Konstantin Kakaes
7d ago
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Live facial recognition is tracking kids suspected of being criminals

Live facial recognition is tracking kids suspected of being criminals

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.In a national database in Argentina, tens of thousands of entries detail the names, birthdays, and national IDs of people suspected of crimes. The database, known as the Consulta Nacional de Rebeldías y Capturas (National Register of Fugitives and Arrests), or CONARC, began in 2009 as a part of an effort to improve law enforcement for serious crimes. But there are several things off about CONARC. For one, it’s a plain-text spreadsheet file without password protection, which can be readily found via Google Search and downloaded by anyone. For...

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Author Karen Hao
Oct 9
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A new social-media platform wants to enforce “kindness.” Can that ever work?

A new social-media platform wants to enforce “kindness.” Can that ever work?

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.In middle school and high school, Nora Tan downloaded the big three of social media. It was only natural. “I grew up in the age when social media was really taking off,” says Tan, a Seattle-based product manager. “I created a Facebook account in 2009, an Instagram account in 2010, a Twitter account after that when I was in high school.” By the time she reached college, Tan was questioning her decision. “I thought about how content should be moderated and how it was being used in political campaigns and to advance agendas,” she says. Troubled...

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Author Tanya Basu
Oct 7
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Inside the strange new world of being a deepfake actor

Inside the strange new world of being a deepfake actor

In 2019, two multimedia artists, Francesca Panetta and Halsey Burgund, set about to pursue a provocative idea. Deepfake video and audio had been advancing in parallel but had yet to be integrated into a complete experience. Could they do it in a way that demonstrated the technology’s full potential while educating people about how it could be abused?To bring the experiment to life, they chose an equally provocative subject: they would create an . Before the launch, US president Richard Nixon’s speechwriters had prepared two versions of his national address—one designated “,” in case things...

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Oct 9
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Inside the strange new world of being a deepfake actor

Inside the strange new world of being a deepfake actor

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.In 2019, two multimedia artists, Francesca Panetta and Halsey Burgund, set about to pursue a provocative idea. Deepfake video and audio had been advancing in parallel but had yet to be integrated into a complete experience. Could they do it in a way that demonstrated the technology’s full potential while educating people about how it could be abused? To bring the experiment to life, they chose an equally provocative subject: they would create an . Before the launch, US president Richard Nixon’s speechwriters had prepared two versions of his...

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Author Karen Hao
Oct 9
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The future of mobile AI

The future of mobile AI

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to expand to power everything from security and facial recognition software to autonomous vehicles and mobile apps. In “Women leading the future of mobile AI,” a video series sponsored by Qualcomm Technologies, MIT Technology Review CEO Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau explores the latest AI advances on software tools, mobile platforms, and algorithmic advancements with five women experts, all determined to make AI performance and power efficiency a reality. Also in this content collection, get help untangling...

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Oct 7
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A GPT-3 bot posted comments on Reddit for a week and no one noticed

A GPT-3 bot posted comments on Reddit for a week and no one noticed

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Busted: A bot powered by OpenAI’s powerful GPT-3 language model has been after a week of posting comments on Reddit. Under the username /u/thegentlemetre, the bot was interacting with people on /r/AskReddit, a popular forum for general chat with 30 million users. It was posting in bursts of roughly once a minute. Fooled ya—again: It's not the first time GPT-3 has fooled people into thinking what it writes comes from a human. In August a college student that hit the top spot on Hacker News and led a handful of people to subscribe. And GPT-3 has...

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Author Will Douglas Heaven
Oct 8
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Asbestos could be a powerful weapon against climate change (you read that right)

Asbestos could be a powerful weapon against climate change (you read that right)

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.On a scorching day this August, Caleb Woodall wielded his shovel like a spear, stabbing it into the hardened crust of an asbestos-filled pit near Coalinga, California. Woodall, a graduate student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, was digging out samples from an asbestos mine that’s been shuttered since 1980, a Superfund site on the highest peak in the state’s Diablo Range. He extracted pounds of the material from several locations across San Benito Mountain, shoveled them into Ziploc bags, and shipped them to a pair of labs...

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Author James Temple
Oct 6
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We’re not ready for AI, says the winner of a new $1m AI prize

We’re not ready for AI, says the winner of a new $1m AI prize

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site., a professor at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), is the first winner of the Squirrel AI Award for Artificial Intelligence for the Benefit of Humanity, a new prize recognizing outstanding research in AI. Barzilay started her career working on natural-language processing. After surviving breast cancer in 2014, she switched her focus to . The award will be presented in February 2021 by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). The $1 million prize money, provided by , which we...

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Author Will Douglas Heaven
Sep 23
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How democracies can claim back power in the digital world

How democracies can claim back power in the digital world

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Should Twitter censor lies tweeted by the US president? Should YouTube take down covid-19 misinformation? Should Facebook do more against hate speech? Such questions, which crop up daily in media coverage, can make it seem as if the main technologically driven risk to democracies is the curation of content by social-media companies. Yet these controversies are merely symptoms of a larger threat: the depth of privatized power over the digital world. Every democratic country in the world faces the same challenge, but none can defuse it alone. We...

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Author Marietje Schaake
Sep 29
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The technology that powers the 2020 campaigns, explained

The technology that powers the 2020 campaigns, explained

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Campaigns and elections have always been about data—underneath the empathetic promises to fix your problems and fight for your family, it’s a business of metrics. If a campaign is lucky, it will find its way through a wilderness of polling, voter attributes, demographics, turnout, impressions, gerrymandering, and ad buys to connect with voters in a way that moves or even inspires them. Obama, MAGA, AOC—all have had some of that special sauce. Still, campaigns that collect and use the numbers best win. That’s been true for some time, of course....

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Author Tate Ryan-Mosley
Sep 28
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Deepfake Putin is here to warn Americans about their self-inflicted doom

Deepfake Putin is here to warn Americans about their self-inflicted doom

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.The news: Two political ads will broadcast on social media today, featuring deepfake versions of Russian president Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Both deepfake leaders will be giving the same message: that America doesn’t need any election interference from them; it will ruin its democracy by itself. What are they for? Yes, the ads sound creepy, but they’re meant for a good cause. They’re part of a campaign from the nonpartisan advocacy group RepresentUs to protect voting rights during the upcoming US presidential...

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Author Karen Hao
Sep 29
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SpaceX’s Starlink satellites could make US Army navigation hard to jam

SpaceX’s Starlink satellites could make US Army navigation hard to jam

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.SpaceX has already launched more than 700 Starlink satellites, with to come online in the years ahead. Their prime mission is to provide high-speed internet virtually worldwide, extending it to many remote locations that have lacked reliable service to date. Now, research funded by the US Army has concluded that the growing could have a secondary purpose: doubling as a low-cost, highly accurate, and almost unjammable alternative to GPS. The new method would use existing Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) to provide near-global...

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Author Mark Harris
Sep 28
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Why kids need special protection from AI’s influence

Why kids need special protection from AI’s influence

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Algorithms can change the course of children’s lives. Kids are interacting with Alexas that can record their voice data and influence their speech and social development. They’re binging videos on TikTok and YouTube pushed to them by recommendation systems that end up shaping their worldviews. Algorithms are also increasingly used to determine what their education is like, whether they’ll receive health care, and even whether . Sometimes this can have devastating effects: this past summer, for example, thousands of students after —used in lieu...

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Author Karen Hao
Sep 17
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A patient has died after ransomware hackers hit a German hospital

A patient has died after ransomware hackers hit a German hospital

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.For the first time ever, a patient’s death has been linked directly to a cyberattack. Police have launched a "negligent homicide" investigation after ransomware disrupted emergency care at Düsseldorf University Hospital in Germany. The victim: Prosecutors in Cologne say a female patient from Düsseldorf was scheduled to undergo critical care at the hospital when the September 9 attack disabled systems. When Düsseldorf could no longer provide care, she was transferred 19 miles (30 kilometers) away to another hospital. The hackers could be held...

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Author Patrick Howell O'Neill
Sep 18
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AI ethics groups are repeating one of society’s classic mistakes

AI ethics groups are repeating one of society’s classic mistakes

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.International organizations and corporations are racing to develop global guidelines for the ethical use of artificial intelligence. Declarations, manifestos, and recommendations are flooding the internet. But these efforts will be futile if they fail to account for the cultural and regional contexts in which AI operates. AI systems have repeatedly been shown to cause problems that disproportionately affect marginalized groups while benefiting a privileged few. The global AI ethics efforts under way today—of which there are dozens—aim to help...

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Author Abhishek GuptaVictoria Heath
Sep 14
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How a Google Street View image of your house predicts your risk of a car accident

How a Google Street View image of your house predicts your risk of a car accident

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Google Street View has become a surprisingly useful way to learn about the world without stepping into it. People use it to plan journeys, to explore holiday destinations, and to virtually stalk friends and enemies alike.But researchers have found more insidious uses. In 2017 a team of researchers used the images to study the distribution of car types in the US and then used that data . It turns out that the car you drive is a surprisingly reliable proxy for your income level, your education, your occupation, and even the way you vote in...

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Author Emerging Technology from the arXiv
Apr 30
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People who really miss the office are listening to its sounds at home

People who really miss the office are listening to its sounds at home

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Earlier this year, before the pandemic and lockdowns, audio engineer Stéphane Pigeon received an unusual request: would he consider making sounds that replicated the office? “I said, ‘No, no, no, I will not do it!’” says Pigeon, the creator of , which has become a cult resource among people looking for background noise to help them focus on work. “I thought, ‘That is so confusing. People don’t want to listen to those sounds.’” But Pigeon continued to receive more requests. So when the pandemic hit, he eventually gave in and set to work. Since...

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Author Tanya Basu
Sep 10
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This know-it-all AI learns by reading the entire web nonstop

This know-it-all AI learns by reading the entire web nonstop

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Back in July, OpenAI’s , dazzled with its ability to churn out paragraphs that look as if they could have been written by a human. People started showing off how GPT-3 could also autocomplete code or fill in blanks in spreadsheets. In one example, Twitter employee Paul Katsen tweeted “the spreadsheet function to rule them all,” in which by itself, pulling in data for US states: the population of Michigan is 10.3 million, Alaska became a state in 1906, and so on. Except that GPT-3 can be a bit of a bullshitter. The population of Michigan has...

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Author Will Douglas Heaven
Sep 4
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Elon Musk’s Neuralink is neuroscience theater

Elon Musk’s Neuralink is neuroscience theater

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Rock-climb without fear. Play a symphony in your head. See radar with superhuman vision. Discover the nature of consciousness. Cure blindness, paralysis, deafness, and mental illness. Those are just a few of the applications that Elon Musk and employees at his four-year-old neuroscience company Neuralink believe electronic brain-computer interfaces will one day bring about. , and some are unlikely to ever come about. But in a “product update” on Friday, Musk, also the founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, joined staffers wearing black masks to...

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Author Antonio Regalado
Aug 30
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A strange rhythm in space

A strange rhythm in space

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Far outside our galaxy, 500 million light-years away, intense, random bursts of radio waves have been flashing for four days at a time. Then 12 days of inactivity follow before the curious 16-day cycle begins again. Observed consistently over 500 days by a Canadian-led team of astronomers, including researchers at MIT, the phenomenon is an astrophysical mystery. Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are short flashes of radio waves thought to be the product of small, distant, extremely dense objects, though exactly what those objects might be is...

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Author Jennifer Chu
Aug 19
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