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MIT Tech News

Facebook’s ad algorithms are still excluding women from seeing jobs

2 days 17 hours ago
Facebook is withholding certain job ads from women because of their gender, according to the latest audit of its ad service. The audit, conducted by independent researchers at the University of Southern California (USC), reveals that Facebook’s ad-delivery system shows different job ads to women and men even though the jobs require the same qualifications.…
Karen Hao

Got your covid shots? You might have to prove it.

2 days 21 hours ago
As covid vaccines roll out in a handful of countries, the next question has become: How do people prove they’ve been inoculated? For months, this conversation—and the ethical questions any “vaccine passport” system would raise—has been theoretical, but over the last few weeks, efforts have become more concrete. Australian airline Qantas started running a trial…
Lindsay Muscato

Forget Boston Dynamics. This robot taught itself to walk

3 days 13 hours ago
A pair of robot legs called Cassie has been taught to walk using reinforcement learning, the training technique that teaches AIs complex behavior via trial and error. The two-legged robot learned a range of movements from scratch, including walking in a crouch and while carrying an unexpected load. But can it boogie? Expectations for what…
Will Douglas Heaven

Preparing for AI-enabled cyberattacks

3 days 16 hours ago
Cyberattacks continue to grow in prevalence and sophistication. With the ability to disrupt business operations, wipe out critical data, and cause reputational damage, they pose an existential threat to businesses, critical services, and infrastructure. Today’s new wave of attacks is outsmarting and outpacing humans, and even starting to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI). What’s known as…
MIT Technology Review Insights

What you need to know about the Facebook data leak

4 days 18 hours ago
The news: The personal data of 533 million Facebook users in more than 106 countries was found to be freely available online last weekend. The data trove, uncovered by security researcher Alon Gal, includes phone numbers, email addresses, hometowns, full names, and birth dates. Initially, Facebook claimed that the data leak was previously reported on in 2019…
Charlotte Jee

The future of work is uniquely human

5 days 13 hours ago
The disruptive shifts of 2020, including covid-19 shutdowns that led to millions of workers working remotely, forced organizations to radically rethink everything from worker well-being, business models and operations to investments in cloud-based collaboration and communication tools. Across every industry, last year’s best-laid plans were turned upside down. So it’s not surprising that technology and…
MIT Technology Review Insights

The CDC’s $1.75 billion sequencing boom may be throwing money at the wrong problem

6 days 10 hours ago
Shortly after President Biden was inaugurated, the man who was being given command of his coronavirus response had a message about what America needed to do. “We’re 43rd in the world in genomic sequencing,” said Jeff Zients at a press conference in January. “Totally unacceptable.” The answer, he suggested, was to “do the appropriate amount…
Cat Ferguson

How the pandemic is fueling the tech industry’s union push

6 days 19 hours ago
The last votes for one of the most closely watched unionization drives in modern history came in on Monday, March 29, and results could be announced shortly. The vote among almost 6,000 workers at an Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama, on whether to join the Retail Warehouse and Department Store Union, or RWDSU, drew…
Eileen Guo

Beauty filters are changing the way young girls see themselves

1 week 2 days ago
Veronica started using filters to edit pictures of herself on social media when she was 14 years old. She remembers everyone in her middle school being excited by the technology when it became available, and they had fun playing with it. “It was kind of a joke,” she says. “People weren’t trying to look good…
Tate Ryan-Mosley

Podcast: In the AI of the Beholder

1 week 3 days ago
Ideas about what constitutes “beauty” are complex, subjective, and by no means limited to physical appearances. Elusive though it is, everyone wants more of it. That means big business and increasingly, people harnessing algorithms to create their ideal selves in the digital and, sometimes, physical worlds. In this episode, we explore the popularity of beauty…
Anthony Green

Error-riddled data sets are warping our sense of how good AI really is

1 week 3 days ago
The 10 most cited AI data sets are riddled with label errors, according to a new study out of MIT, and it’s distorting our understanding of the field’s progress. Data backbone: Data sets are the backbone of AI research, but some are more critical than others. There are a core set of them that researchers…
Karen Hao

A feminist internet would be better for everyone

1 week 3 days ago
This vision of an internet free from harassment, hate, and misogyny might seem far-fetched, particularly if you’re a woman. But a small, growing group of activists believe the time has come to reimagine online spaces in a way that centers women’s needs rather than treating them as an afterthought. They aim to force tech companies…
Charlotte Jee

In pursuit of pragmatic solutions to pervasive problems

1 week 4 days ago
The Alibaba Damo Academy is a unique hybrid research and development (R&D) facility. An academically-oriented independent science organization established in 2017 in Hangzhou, China, it is also an arms-length research affiliate of its founder, Chinese internet technology giant Alibaba. Damo’s project development pipelines are positioned around developing data-enabled technologies for fundamental business and social challenges,…
Francesca Fanshawe

Geoengineering researchers have halted plans for a balloon launch in Sweden

1 week 4 days ago
In an unexpected move, the advisory committee for a Harvard University geoengineering research project is recommending that the team suspend plans for its first balloon flight in Sweden this summer. The purpose of that initial flight was to evaluate the propelled balloon’s equipment and software in the stratosphere. In subsequent launches, the researchers hope to…
James Temple

Deepfake “Amazon workers” are sowing confusion on Twitter. That’s not the problem.

1 week 4 days ago
The news: Ahead of a landmark vote that could lead to the formation of the first-ever labor union at a US-based Amazon warehouse, new Twitter accounts purporting to be Amazon employees started appearing. The profiles used deepfake photos as profile pictures and were tweeting some pretty laughable, over-the-top defenses of Amazon’s working practices. They didn’t…
Niall Firth

Astronomers thought comet Borisov was pretty boring. They were wrong.

1 week 5 days ago
Our solar system is full of comets that whizz by as we track them over centuries. But humans have so far seen only two visiting objects from outside the solar system. There’s ‘Oumuamua, the interstellar asteroid that we think might actually be a flat pancake-like rock originating from the remains of an exoplanet similar to Pluto. It’s…
Neel Patel

An ecosystem to overhaul China’s health care

1 week 5 days ago
Like many countries, China has a health care problem. Changing demographics and lifestyles mean demand for health care is outstripping growth in medical resources and its cost is rising faster than the insurance premium. With 250 million people over the age of 60, the world’s most populous country is ageing. Diseases associated with more affluent…
Francesca Fanshawe
1 hour 55 minutes ago
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