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MIT Tech News

The woman who will decide what emoji we get to use

17 hours 58 minutes ago
Emoji are now part of our language. If you’re like most people, you pepper your texts, Instagram posts, and TikTok videos with various little images to augment your words—maybe the syringe with a bit of blood dripping from it when you got your vaccination, the prayer (or high-fiving?) hands as a shortcut to “thank you,”…
Tanya Basu

Product design gets an AI makeover

1 day 13 hours ago
Engineers are under unprecedented pressure to build products that are used by thousands, if not millions, of consumers every day. Just ask Bernd Zapf. Head of development, new business, and technologies at Heller Group, a machine tool manufacturer in Germany, Zapf says today’s organizations must increasingly “strike a balance between the design, engineering, manufacturing, operation,…
MIT Technology Review Insights

A nonprofit promised to preserve wildlife. Then it made millions claiming it could cut down trees

1 day 18 hours ago
The Massachusetts Audubon Society has long managed its land in western Massachusetts as crucial wildlife habitat. Nature lovers flock to these forests to enjoy bird-watching and quiet hikes, with the occasional bobcat or moose sighting. But in 2015, the conservation nonprofit presented California’s top climate regulator with a startling scenario: It could heavily log 9,700…
Lisa Song, James Temple

The Chinese rocket has safely crash-landed in the ocean

4 days 11 hours ago
Update 5/9, 12:25 a.m. ET: The US Space Force confirmed the booster landed in the Indian Ocean just north of Maldives late Saturday evening. Last week, China successfully launched Tianhe-1, the first part of its new space station, to be completed before the end of 2022. A week later, the mission is still making huge waves—and…
Neel V. Patel

AI consumes a lot of energy. Hackers could make it consume more.

5 days 12 hours ago
The news: A new type of attack could increase the energy consumption of AI systems.  In the same way a denial-of-service attack on the internet seeks to clog up a network and make it unusable, the new attack forces a deep neural network to tie up more computational resources than necessary and slow down its…
Karen Hao

Why mixing vaccines could help boost immunity

5 days 16 hours ago
A dozen covid-19 vaccines are now being used around the world. Most require two doses, and health officials have warned against mixing and matching: the vaccines, they argue, should be administered the way they were tested in trials. But after emerging concerns about the very rare risk of blood clots linked to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine,…
Cassandra Willyard

How China turned a prize-winning iPhone hack against the Uyghurs

5 days 17 hours ago
In March 2017, a group of hackers from China arrived in Vancouver with one goal: Find hidden weak spots inside the world’s most popular technologies.  Google’s Chrome browser, Microsoft’s Windows operating system, and Apple’s iPhones were all in the crosshairs. But no one was breaking the law. These were just some of the people taking…
Patrick Howell O'Neill

How to stop AI from recognizing your face in selfies

6 days 8 hours ago
Uploading personal photos to the internet can feel like letting go. Who else will have access to them, what will they do with them—and which machine-learning algorithms will they help train? The company Clearview has already supplied US law enforcement agencies with a facial recognition tool trained on photos of millions of people scraped from…
Will Douglas Heaven

Why upholding Trump’s Facebook ban won’t break the cycle

6 days 12 hours ago
The night before the Facebook Oversight Board decided to stand by the company’s decision to ban him from its platforms, former president Donald Trump announced—via an exclusive on Fox News—that he’d created a website. Called From the Desk of Donald Trump, it looked like a social media site but was really just a feed of…
Abby Ohlheiser

We reviewed three at-home covid tests. The results were mixed.

1 week ago
Over-the-counter home tests for covid-19 are finally here. MIT Technology Review obtained kits sold by three companies and tried them out. After buying tests from CVS and online, I tested myself several times and ended up learning an important lesson: while some people worry that home tests could miss covid cases, the bigger problem may…
Antonio Regalado

The internet is excluding Asian-Americans who don’t speak English

1 week ago
Jennifer Xiong spent her summer helping Hmong people in California register to vote in the US presidential election. The Hmong are an ethnic group that come from the mountains of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand but don’t have a country of their own, and Xiong was a volunteer organizer at Hmong Innovating Politics, or HIP,…
Tate Ryan-Mosley

Machine-learning project takes aim at disinformation

1 week 1 day ago
There’s nothing new about conspiracy theories, disinformation, and untruths in politics. What is new is how quickly malicious actors can spread disinformation when the world is tightly connected across social networks and internet news sites. We can give up on the problem and rely on the platforms themselves to fact-check stories or posts and screen…
MIT Technology Review Insights

What India needs to get through its covid crisis

1 week 3 days ago
In a cruel irony, India, the world’s vaccine manufacturing powerhouse, is now crippled by a virus for which multiple safe and effective vaccines have been developed in record time. Official reports of more than 380,000 new cases and 3,400 deaths daily, while staggering, likely underestimate the actual toll. As health systems across India buckle under…
Krishna Udayakumar, Andrea Taylor

Here’s what China wants from its next space station

1 week 4 days ago
At 11:23 a.m. local time Thursday at Wenchang, Hainan Island, China launched Tianhe-1, the first module of a new orbital space station. It’s scheduled to be operational by the end of 2022. The launch, which went flawlessly, sets China up for a very busy next two years as it seeks to build upon the decade’s…
Neel V. Patel

The tactics police are using to prevent bystander video

1 week 4 days ago
Kian Kelley-Chung was wearing a black T-shirt with the logo of his documentary and art collective on the day last summer when he found himself filming the Washington, DC, police during a protest. It was August 13, 2020, and Kelley-Chung had been recording Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the city for a couple of months.…
Abby Ohlheiser

New business models, big opportunity: Financial services

1 week 5 days ago
By any measure, 2021 corporate planning isn’t business as usual. As the coronavirus pandemic grinds on, financial services institutions are coming out of crisis mode— addressing immediate cash management and operational challenges—with a renewed readiness for business growth. Fortunately, most businesses across industries are doing a good job of navigating the pandemic and its economic…
MIT Technology Review Insights

Computer vision in AI: The data needed to succeed

1 week 5 days ago
Developing the capacity to annotate massive volumes of data while maintaining quality is a function of the model development lifecycle that enterprises often underestimate. It’s resource intensive and requires specialized expertise. At the heart of any successful machine learning/artificial intelligence (ML/AI) initiative is a commitment to high-quality training data and a pathway to quality data…
Ben Schneider

Some vaccinated people are still getting covid. Here’s why you shouldn’t worry.

1 week 5 days ago
Tens of millions of people in the United States have now been fully vaccinated against covid-19. These people are seeing friends, eating out, and—in rare cases—getting infected. But we shouldn’t panic: these kinds of “breakthrough infections” are entirely expected with any mass vaccine rollout.  According to new figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more…
Cassandra Willyard

The J&J vaccine is back. Next comes trust.

1 week 5 days ago
Last week US regulators recommended resuming use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, after deciding that a side effect involving blood clots was too rare to justify continuing the brief suspension they had imposed: there were just 15 reported instances out of 8 million doses. But even though the pause lasted just 11 days, it…
Mia Sato
1 hour 25 minutes ago
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