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MIT Tech News

French spyware bosses indicted for their role in the torture of dissidents

6 hours 1 minute ago
Senior executives at a French spyware firm have been indicted for the company’s sale of surveillance software to authoritarian regimes in Libya and Egypt that resulted in the torture and disappearance of dissidents. While high-tech surveillance is a multibillion-dollar industry worldwide, it is rare for companies or individuals to face legal consequences for selling such…
Patrick Howell O'Neill

Why China’s kicking out the crypto miners

9 hours 21 minutes ago
The news: China’s intensifying crackdown has sent cryptocurrency prices tumbling. China has been upping its regulatory squeeze on cryptocurrencies for some time, but it now looks likely that over 90% of Bitcoin mining capacity in the country will shut down, according to a report in the Global Times, which is published by the Chinese state.…
Charlotte Jee

Scientists might have spotted tectonic activity inside Venus

1 day 5 hours ago
Venus might be hell, but don’t call it a dead planet. Amid surface temperatures of up to 471 °C and surface pressures 100 times greater than those on Earth, new research suggests the planet might still be geologically active. That’s encouraging news to people who think it could once have hosted life (or that it might still…
Neel V. Patel

Navigating a surprising pandemic side effect: AI whiplash

1 day 8 hours ago
Amid the many business disruptions caused by covid-19, here’s one largely overlooked: artificial intelligence (AI) whiplash. As the pandemic began to upend the world last year, businesses reached for every tool at their disposal—including AI—to solve challenges and serve customers safely and effectively. In a 2021 KPMG survey of US business executives conducted between January…
Ellen Campana, Swami Chandrasekaran

Work in Asia’s data age

1 day 12 hours ago
The steady advance of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation technologies has been reshaping work and jobs for the past decade. Well before covid-19, robust debates were underway about the future of work and what potential scenarios for employment might emerge.  While many Asian markets have met the challenge of containing the spread of covid-19 with…
MIT Technology Review Insights

It took a pandemic, but the US finally has (some) centralized medical data

1 day 15 hours ago
Throughout the pandemic, there has been serious tension between what the public wants to know and what scientists have been able to say for certain. Scientists have been able to learn more about covid, faster, than about any other disease in history—but at the same time, the public has been shocked when doctors can’t answer…
Cat Ferguson

NASA inches closer to printing artificial organs in space

4 days 12 hours ago
In America, at least 17 people a day die waiting for an organ transplant. But instead of waiting for a donor to die, what if we could someday grow our own organs? Last week, six years after NASA announced its Vascular Tissue Challenge, a competition designed to accelerate research that could someday lead to artificial…
Tatyana Woodall

Bias isn’t the only problem with credit scores—and no, AI can’t help

5 days 14 hours ago
We already knew that biased data and biased algorithms skew automated decision-making in a way that disadvantages low-income and minority groups. For example, software used by banks to predict whether or not someone will pay back credit-card debt typically favors wealthier white applicants. Many researchers and a slew of start-ups are trying to fix the…
Will Douglas Heaven

Holistic decision-making in a digitized health-care environment

6 days 8 hours ago
Smart data integration can help to increase the quality of data-based decision-making, especially in scenarios where clinical decision-makers face multiple barriers and challenges along the patient pathway. And this is critically important in today’s digitized health-care environment where the quality of decision-making depends on the quality and availability of the underlying data. In medicine, decision-making…
Siemens Healthineers

We investigated whether digital contact tracing actually worked in the US

6 days 15 hours ago
In the spring of 2020, the first versions of covid-19 exposure notification systems were released to the public. These systems promised to slow the disease’s spread by providing automated warnings to people who came into contact with the virus. Now, over a year later, residents in over 50 countries—including half of US states—can opt into…
Betsy Ladyzhets

Uyghurs outside China are traumatized. Now they’re starting to talk about it

6 days 16 hours ago
Mustafa Aksu had a bad track record with therapists. Growing up in China, he was bullied by his Han Chinese classmates for being Uyghur. This made him constantly anxious, and his stomach often hurt, so much that sometimes he threw up. A concerned teacher referred him to counseling, but Aksu was skeptical it could help.…
Andrew McCormick

Every workplace can be a place of continual learning

1 week ago
While businesses in every sector have been working toward a digital transformation for the past several years, covid-19 accelerated this shift across industries. New technologies are advancing at a pace that requires employers to continuously retrain their workforce to stay current. Organizations must become places of learning if they are to prepare workers for jobs…
Joe Schaefer

Taxing digital advertising could help break up big tech

1 week 1 day ago
For the past several years, economists, and government leaders have regularly sounded alarms about the dangers of big tech monopolies. On her 2020 campaign website, for example, Senator Elizabeth Warren said “big tech companies have too much power, too much power over our economy, our society, our democracy.” In the months since the election, politicians…
MIT Technology Review Insights

Inside the fight to reclaim AI from Big Tech’s control

1 week 1 day ago
Timnit Gebru never thought a scientific paper would cause her so much trouble.  In 2020, as the co-lead of Google’s ethical AI team, Gebru had reached out to Emily Bender, a linguistics professor at the University of Washington, and the two decided to collaborate on research about the troubling direction of artificial intelligence. Gebru wanted…
Karen Hao

Anti-vaxxers are weaponizing Yelp to punish bars that require vaccine proof

1 week 3 days ago
On the first hot weekend of the summer, Richard Knapp put up a sign outside Mother’s Ruin, a bar tucked in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. It had two arrows: one pointing vaccinated people indoors, another pointing unvaccinated people outdoors. The Instagram post showing the sign (above) quickly went viral among European anti-vaxxers on Reddit. “We started…
Tanya Basu

These creepy fake humans herald a new age in AI

1 week 4 days ago
You can see the faint stubble coming in on his upper lip, the wrinkles on his forehead, the blemishes on his skin. He isn’t a real person, but he’s meant to mimic one—as are the hundreds of thousands of others made by Datagen, a company that sells fake, simulated humans. These humans are not gaming…
Karen Hao

Clinical trials are better, faster, cheaper with big data

1 week 5 days ago
Clinical trials have never been more in the public eye than in the past year, as the world watched the development of vaccines against covid-19, the disease at the center of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Discussions of study phases, efficacy, and side effects dominated the news. The most distinctive feature of the vaccine trials was…
MIT Technology Review Insights
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