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The race to get Georgia’s 23,000 17-year-olds registered to vote

The race to get Georgia’s 23,000 17-year-olds registered to vote

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.On November 13, Michael Giusto turned 18 years old. Becoming an adult is always a big moment in any teenager’s life. But Giusto’s landmark birthday comes with added responsibility. Thanks to a quirk in Georgia’s laws that requires at least 50% of the vote to win a US Senate seat, both the state’s Senate races are going to a runoff on January 5, 2021.  Giusto, a high school senior from Alpharetta, a suburb north of Atlanta, missed voting in the 2020 election by just 10 days. This time he has the opportunity to vote for his state’s...

November 15, 2020
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The tech industry turns to mask diplomacy

The tech industry turns to mask diplomacy

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.As the coronavirus spread from China across the world earlier this year, two friends in Sydney watched in horror. Milton Zhou is a cofounder of a renewable energy company called the Maoneng Group, which developed some of . Saul Khan is a former partner in an energy efficiency consultancy. They met in a Facebook group for startups, where they bonded over a discussion about using blockchain to track goods as they’re shipped internationally. They had experience buying solar panels and other products from China, and they expected the medical...

April 27, 2020
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A new AI chip can perform image recognition tasks in nanoseconds

A new AI chip can perform image recognition tasks in nanoseconds

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.The news: A , made by combining light-sensing electronics with a on a single tiny chip, can make sense of what it’s seeing in just a few nanoseconds, far faster than existing image sensors. Why it matters: is integral to many applications of AI—from to to smart sensors that act as our eyes in remote locations—and machines have become very good at responding to what they see. But most image recognition needs a lot of computing power to work. Part of the problem is a bottleneck at the heart of traditional sensors, which capture a huge amount of...

March 4, 2020
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Covid-19 “long haulers” are organizing online to study themselves

Covid-19 “long haulers” are organizing online to study themselves

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.Gina Assaf was running in Washington, DC, on March 19 when she suddenly couldn’t take another step. “I was so out of breath I had to stop,” she says. Five days earlier, she’d hung out with a friend; within days, that friend and their partner had started showing three classic signs of covid-19: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Assaf had those symptoms too, and then some. By the second week, which she describes as “the scariest and hardest on my body,” her chest was burning and she was dizzy. Her friend recovered, but Assaf was still...

August 12, 2020
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Bluetooth contact tracing needs bigger, better data

Bluetooth contact tracing needs bigger, better data

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.You might know Bluetooth best for helping you pair your headphones and smartphone, but the 21-year-old wireless technology is getting a new wave of attention now that it’s at the heart of contact-tracing apps designed to show whether you might have been exposed to the novel coronavirus.  Google and Apple, for example, are building a to track contact between people who might spread the disease. The idea is simple: since Bluetooth is constantly scanning for other devices, your phone can use wireless signals to see who you’ve been near....

April 22, 2020
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A college kid’s fake, AI-generated blog fooled tens of thousands. This is how he made it.

A college kid’s fake, AI-generated blog fooled tens of thousands. This is how he made it.

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.At the start of the week, Liam Porr had only heard of GPT-3. By the end, the college student had used the to produce under a fake name. It was meant as a fun experiment. But then one of his posts reached the number-one spot on Hacker News. Few people noticed that his blog was completely AI-generated. Some even hit “Subscribe.” While many have speculated about how GPT-3, the most powerful language-generating AI tool to date, could affect content production, this is one of the only known cases to illustrate the potential. What stood out most...

August 14, 2020
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We halted the global economy, and emissions still may only fall 4% this year

We halted the global economy, and emissions still may only fall 4% this year

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.The global effort to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus has stalled much the global economy, setting up an unintended experiment on the impact on carbon emissions. China’s GDP may have (on a ). The US’s GDP could drop anywhere from 30% to 50% by summer. And Britain’s economic output by 25% this quarter. The ardent hope is that economies will bounce back later in the year as the pandemic recedes, but annual output is still likely to decline in many nations. US GPD, for instance, may fall about 5%, . So what’s all that going to add up to...

April 10, 2020
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How classroom technology is holding students back

How classroom technology is holding students back

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.In a first grade classroom I visited a few years ago, most of the six-year-olds were using iPads or computers. They were working independently on math problems supposedly geared to their ability, while the teacher worked separately with a small group. I watched as one boy, whom I’ll call Kevin, stared at an iPad screen that directed him to “combine 8 and 3.” A struggling reader (like almost all his classmates), he pressed the “Listen” button. But he still didn’t try to provide an answer.“Do you know what combine means?” I asked. Finding that...

December 19, 2019
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These pop songs were written by OpenAI’s deep-learning algorithm

These pop songs were written by OpenAI’s deep-learning algorithm

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.The news: In a fresh spin on manufactured pop, OpenAI has released that can generate catchy songs in a variety of different styles, from teenybop and country to hip-hop and heavy metal. It even sings—sort of.  How it works: Give it a genre, an artist, and lyrics, and Jukebox will produce a passable pastiche in the style of well-known performers, such as , or . You can also give it the first few seconds of a song and it will autocomplete the rest. Old songs, new tricks: Computer-generated music has been a thing for 50 years or more,...

May 1, 2020
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A major flaw has been found in Switzerland’s online voting system

A major flaw has been found in Switzerland’s online voting system

You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.A cryptographic trap door could let someone change votes cast using Switzerland’s online sVote system without being detected, according to a . Verification: The specific issue is the way the system receives and counts votes before shuffling them and anonymizing voter details (everyone provides a birth date and an initialization code). Once they’ve been shuffled, the votes are counted and then decrypted. The trap door means someone could switch all the legitimately cast ballots for fraudulent ones, undetected. A recommendation: The Swiss...

March 12, 2019
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