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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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What we can learn from the Facebook-Australia news debacle

What we can learn from the Facebook-Australia news debacle

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Democracies around the world are all mired in one crisis or another, which is why of their health are trending in the wrong direction. Many look at the decline of the news industry as one contributing factor. No wonder, then, that figuring out how to pay for journalism is an urgent issue, and some governments are pushing ahead with ambitious plans. Big ideas for ways to funnel billions of dollars back into newsrooms are rare, but it’s time to take a gamble on more than one.  Such an idea rose to the world’s attention this week: an Australian...

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Author Justin Hendrix
Feb 20
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10 Breakthrough Technologies 2021

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2021

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.This list marks 20 years since we began compiling an annual selection of the year’s most important technologies. Some, such as mRNA vaccines, are already changing our lives, while others are still a few years off. Below, you’ll find a brief description along with a link to a feature article that probes each technology in detail. We hope you’ll enjoy and explore—taken together, we believe this list represents a glimpse into our .We got very lucky. The two most effective vaccines against the coronavirus are based on messenger RNA, a technology...

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Author the Editors
3d ago
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A first-of-its-kind geoengineering experiment is about to take its first step

A first-of-its-kind geoengineering experiment is about to take its first step

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Trapped inside a long glass tube in a ground-floor lab at Harvard University is a miniature copy of the stratosphere.When I visited Frank Keutsch in the fall of 2019, he walked me down to the lab, where the tube, wrapped in gray insulation, ran the length of a bench in the back corner. By filling it with the right combination of gases, at particular temperatures and pressures, Keutsch and his colleagues had simulated the conditions some 20 kilometers above Earth’s surface.In testing how various chemicals react in this rarefied air, the team...

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Author James Temple
Feb 19
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How to Upgrade Judges with Machine Learning

How to Upgrade Judges with Machine Learning

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.When should a criminal defendant be required to await trial in jail rather than at home? Software could significantly improve judges’ ability to make that call—reducing crime or the number of people stuck waiting in jail.In a from the National Bureau of Economic Research, economists and computer scientists trained an algorithm to predict whether defendants were a flight risk from their rap sheet and court records using data from hundreds of thousands of cases in New York City. When tested on over a hundred thousand more cases that it hadn’t...

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Author Tom Simonite
4d ago
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How to have a better relationship with your tech

How to have a better relationship with your tech

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Our dependency on tech has soared during the pandemic. The app analytics company found that people spent around 4 hours and 18 minutes per day on mobile devices in April 2020. That’s a 20% increase from the year before, equating to an extra 45 minutes per day of screen time. Research shows that there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with spending more time on screens—especially right now. Apart from the benefits of connecting with friends, family, and coworkers, turning to tech can help us and even . Not all screen time is created equal, though....

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Author Becca Caddy
Feb 6
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The first black hole ever discovered is more massive than we thought

The first black hole ever discovered is more massive than we thought

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Einstein first predicted the existence of black holes when he published his theory of general relativity in 1916, describing how gravity shapes the fabric of spacetime. But astronomers didn’t spot one until 1964, some 6,070 light-years away in the Cygnus constellation. Geiger counters launched into space detected cosmic x-rays coming from a region called Cygnus X-1. (We now know the cosmic rays are produced by black holes. Back then, scientists disagreed about what it was: Stephen Hawking famously bet physicist Kip Thorne that this signal was...

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Author Neel V. Patel
Feb 18
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The next act for messenger RNA could be bigger than covid vaccines

The next act for messenger RNA could be bigger than covid vaccines

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.On December 23, as part of a publicity push to encourage people to get vaccinated against covid-19, the University of Pennsylvania released footage of two researchers who developed the science behind the shots, Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman, getting their inoculations. The vaccines, icy concoctions of , used a previously unproven technology based on messenger RNA and had been built and tested in under a year, thanks to discoveries the pair made starting 20 years earlier. In the silent promotional clip, neither one speaks or smiles as a...

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Author Antonio Regalado
Feb 5
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Bill Gates: Rich nations should shift entirely to synthetic beef

Bill Gates: Rich nations should shift entirely to synthetic beef

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.In his new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, Bill Gates lays out what it will really take to eliminate the greenhouse-gas emissions driving climate change. The Microsoft cofounder, who is now cochair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and chair of the investment fund , sticks to that we’ll need numerous energy breakthroughs to have any hope of cleaning up all parts of the economy and the poorest parts of the world. The bulk of the book surveys the technologies needed to slash emissions in “hard to solve” sectors like steel, cement,...

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Author James Temple
Feb 14
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He started a covid-19 vaccine company. Then he hosted a superspreader event.

He started a covid-19 vaccine company. Then he hosted a superspreader event.

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.On Sunday, January 24, with Southern California’s intensive-care units (ICUs) at full capacity, a shuttle bus made the short trip from a beachfront hotel in Santa Monica to an open-plan office in Culver City, carrying business executives from as far away as Israel, Hawaii, and Vancouver. Some had paid upwards of $30,000 to attend a pandemic-year rarity: an indoor, in-person, mostly unmasked business conference, called the . Created by Peter Diamandis—who is also the founder or cofounder of several space companies and Silicon Valley innovation...

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Author Eileen Guo
Feb 13
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How a Democrat plan to reform Section 230 could backfire

How a Democrat plan to reform Section 230 could backfire

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Over the last few years, Section 230 of the 1996 US Communications Decency Act has metamorphosed from a little-known subset of regulations about the internet into a major rallying point for both the right and left. So when Democrats, the technology world took notice. There have been other suggestions for how to change Section 230, and from while he was still in office—but the bill, Senators Mark Warner, Mazie Hirono, and Amy Klobuchar, appears to be the most significant step yet toward genuinely reforming it.  The heads of Facebook, Google and...

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Author Bobbie Johnson
Feb 8
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This is how we lost control of our faces

This is how we lost control of our faces

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.In 1964, mathematician and computer scientist first attempted the task of matching suspects’ faces to mugshots. He measured out the distances between different facial features in printed photographs and fed them into a computer program. His rudimentary successes would set off decades of research into teaching machines to recognize human faces. Now shows just how much this enterprise has eroded our privacy. It hasn’t just fueled an increasingly powerful tool of surveillance. The latest generation of deep-learning-based facial recognition has...

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Author Karen Hao
Feb 5
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We’re living in a golden age of sample return missions

We’re living in a golden age of sample return missions

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Observing space rocks from afar is all very well, but sometimes you need to get up close. The biggest questions in space science—how the solar system formed, how it led to life on Earth, and whether there’s ever been life on other nearby worlds—can really only be answered with direct study of the materials from those worlds. And that means grabbing a sample to study back home on Earth. “You can model only so much,” says Tanja Bosak, a geobiologist at MIT. “The samples help us to test and validate how we believe the universe works.” The year...

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Author Neel V. Patel
Feb 2
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The space tourism we were promised is finally here—sort of

The space tourism we were promised is finally here—sort of

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.SpaceX weathered through the onset of the covid-19 pandemic last year to become the first private company to launch astronauts into space using a commercial spacecraft.  It’s poised to build on that success with another huge milestone before 2021 is over. On Monday, the company announced plans to launch the first “all-civilian” mission into orbit by the end of the year. Called Inspiration4, the mission will take billionaire Jared Isaacman, a trained pilot and the CEO of digital payments company Shift4Payments, plus three others into low Earth...

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Author Neel V. Patel
Feb 3
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Humans and technology | MIT Technology Review

Humans and technology | MIT Technology Review

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.A look at how technologies from AR/VR, brain-computer interfaces, and chip implants to health trackers, biometrics and social media are changing the most basic aspects of human life—work, friendship, love, aging, sickness, parenting, learning, and building community.What matters in right now?Load more

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Feb 2
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These virtual robot arms get smarter by training each other

These virtual robot arms get smarter by training each other

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.A virtual —stacking blocks, setting the table, arranging chess pieces—without having to be retrained for each task. It did this by playing against a second robot arm that was trained to give it harder and harder challenges. Self play: Developed by researchers at , the identical robot arms—Alice and Bob—learn by playing a game against each other in a simulation, without human input. The robots use reinforcement learning, a technique in which AIs are trained by trial and error what actions to take in different situations to achieve certain...

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Author Will Douglas Heaven
Jan 22
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What went wrong with America’s $44 million vaccine data system?

What went wrong with America’s $44 million vaccine data system?

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.The first time Mary Ann Price logged into her employer’s system to schedule a vaccine, she found an appointment three days later at a nearby Walgreens pharmacy. She woke up the next day to an email saying it had been canceled. So she logged in again and found an opening that afternoon at the local surgical hospital. “When I showed up, they said they wouldn’t honor it—they were only doing their own staff,” Price says. But when she tried a third time to make an appointment, she was blocked from doing so: according to the system, she was already...

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Author Cat Ferguson
Jan 30
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Lunik: Inside the CIA’s audacious plot to steal a Soviet satellite

Lunik: Inside the CIA’s audacious plot to steal a Soviet satellite

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.In late October 1959, a Mexican spy named Eduardo Diaz Silveti slipped into the US Embassy in Mexico City. Tall and well-spoken with slicked-back hair, Silveti, 30, descended from a family of bullfighters. He had learned spycraft at the Federal Security Directorate, or DFS, Mexico’s secret police. During the Cold War, the capital had become so overrun by Communist spies that the CIA had enlisted the help of the Mexican secret services in their fight against the Soviet Union. “I had to go … to the seventh floor,” Silveti recalled during an...

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Author Jeff Maysh
Jan 28
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China’s surging private space industry is out to challenge the US

China’s surging private space industry is out to challenge the US

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.China’s space program might have been slowed by the pandemic in 2020, but it certainly didn’t stop. The year’s highlights included sending a rover to Mars, bringing moon rocks back to Earth, and testing out the next-generation crewed vehicle that should take taikonauts into orbit—and possibly to the moon—one day.  But there were a few achievements the rest of the world might not have noticed. One was the November 7 launch of Ceres-1, a new type of rocket that, at just 62 feet in height, is capable of taking 770 pounds of payload into low Earth...

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Author Neel V. Patel
Jan 21
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2020

2020

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Here is our annual list of technological advances that we believe will make a real difference in solving important problems. How do we pick? We avoid the one-off tricks, the overhyped new gadgets. Instead we look for those breakthroughs that will truly change how we live and work. We’re excited to announce that with this year’s list we’re also launching our very first editorial podcast, Deep Tech, which will explore the the people, places, and ideas featured in our most ambitious journalism. .

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Author Russ Juskalian
Jan 21
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AIs that read sentences are now catching coronavirus mutations

AIs that read sentences are now catching coronavirus mutations

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Galileo once observed that nature is written in math. Biology might be written in words. (NLP) algorithms are now able to generate protein sequences and predict virus mutations, including key changes that help the evade the immune system. The key insight making this possible is that many properties of can be interpreted in terms of words and sentences. “We’re learning the language of evolution,” says Bonnie Berger, a computational biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the last few years, a handful of researchers—including...

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Author Will Douglas Heaven
Jan 14
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These five AI developments will shape 2021 and beyond

These five AI developments will shape 2021 and beyond

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.The year 2020 was profoundly challenging for citizens, companies, and governments around the world. As covid-19 spread, requiring far-reaching health and safety restrictions, artificial intelligence (AI) applications played a crucial role in saving lives and fostering economic resilience. Research and development (R&D) to enhance core AI capabilities, from autonomous driving and natural language processing to quantum computing, continued unabated.   Baidu was at the forefront of many important AI breakthroughs in 2020. This article outlines...

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Author Baidu
Jan 14
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Five ways to make AI a greater force for good in 2021

Five ways to make AI a greater force for good in 2021

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.A year ago, none the wiser about what 2020 would bring, I on the pivotal moment that the AI community was in. The previous year, 2018, had seen a series of high-profile automated failures, like and . In 2019, the field responded with more talk of AI ethics than ever before. But talk, I said, was not enough. We needed to take tangible actions. Two months later, the coronavirus shut down the world. In our new socially distanced, remote-everything reality, these conversations about algorithmic harms suddenly came to a head. Systems that had been...

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Author Karen Hao
Jan 8
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How to reform the attention economy business model of Big Tech

How to reform the attention economy business model of Big Tech

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.This week a violent mob mounted the biggest attack on the Capitol, the seat of American democracy, in more than 200 years, driven by the false belief that the presidential election had been stolen. The chief author of that claim was President Donald Trump, but the mob’s readiness to believe it was in large part a product of the attention economy that modern technology has created. News feeds on Facebook or Twitter operate on a business model of commodifying the attention of billions of people per day, sorting tweets, posts, and groups to...

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Author Tristan Harris
Jan 10
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The scramble to archive Capitol insurrection footage before it disappears

The scramble to archive Capitol insurrection footage before it disappears

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.As a violent mob incited by President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol on January 6, halting the procedure in Congress to formally certify Joe Biden as president-elect, a Redditor with the username Adam Lynch began on the subreddit r/DataHoarder—a forum dedicated to saving data that might be erased or deleted. “Archiving videos before potential removal from various websites …” it began.  The thread included a link to upload files to , a New Zealand–based cloud storage service. Within minutes, the thread was so inundated with Twitter links,...

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Author Tanya Basu
Jan 8
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How an internet lie about the Capitol invasion turned into an instant conspiracy theory

How an internet lie about the Capitol invasion turned into an instant conspiracy theory

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Just as well-known, easily identifiable far-right figures livestreamed themselves invading the Capitol in Washington, DC, a lie started spreading around the Trump-supporting internet: What if the mob was actually a group of antifa activists trying to make the president’s supporters look bad? The rumor was false, and debunked repeatedly—not least by the words and actions of the who were leading the charge in front of a live audience. The lie had been seeded already, since are peppered through the history of far-right online spaces. A typical...

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Ohlheiser
Jan 7
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