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How AI is reinventing what computers are

Fall 2021: the season of pumpkins, pecan pies, and peachy new phones. Every year, right on cue, Apple, Samsung, Google, and others drop their latest releases. These fixtures in the consumer tech calendar no longer inspire the surprise and wonder of those heady early days. But behind all the marketing glitz, there’s something remarkable going on.  Google’s latest offering, the Pixel 6,...


WEDNESDAY 20. OCTOBER 2021


Decarbonizing industries with connectivity and 5G

Around the world, citizens, governments, and corporations are mobilizing to reduce carbon emissions. The unprecedented and ongoing climate disasters have put the necessity to decarbonize into sharp relief. In 2021 alone these climate emergencies included a blistering “heat dome” of nearly 50 °C in the normally temperate Pacific Northwest of the United States and Canada, deadly and destructive...

Rediscover trust in cybersecurity

The world has changed dramatically in a short amount of time—changing the world of work along with it. The new hybrid remote and in-office work world has ramifications for tech—specifically cybersecurity—and signals that it’s time to acknowledge just how intertwined humans and technology truly are. Enabling a fast-paced, cloud-powered collaboration culture is critical to rapidly growing...

Surgeons have successfully tested a pig’s kidney in a human patient

The news: Surgeons have successfully attached a pig’s kidney to a human patient and watched it start to work, the AP reported today. The pig had been genetically-engineered so that its organ was less likely to be rejected. The feat is a potentially huge milestone in the quest to one day use animal organs for human transplants, and shorten waiting lists. How it worked: The surgical team,...


TUESDAY 19. OCTOBER 2021


Getting value from your data shouldn’t be this hard

The potential impact of the ongoing worldwide data explosion continues to excite the imagination. A 2018 report estimated that every second of every day, every person produces 1.7 MB of data on average—and annual data creation has more than doubled since then and is projected to more than double again by 2025. A report from McKinsey Global Institute estimates that skillful uses of big data could...

These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems

An endless variety of virtual creatures scamper and scuttle across the screen, struggling over obstacles or dragging balls toward a target. They look like half-formed crabs made of sausages—or perhaps Thing, the disembodied hand from The Addams Family. But these “unimals” (short for “universal animals”) could in fact help researchers develop more general-purpose intelligence in...


MONDAY 18. OCTOBER 2021


The challenges of hybrid cloud adoption find answers in HCI

Christine McMonigal is director of hyperconverged marketing at Intel Corporation. Never before has the need for businesses to make progress along their digital journeys been more pressing—with more options to evaluate, urgencies to respond to, and complexities to understand in a complex landscape. Shifting demands, fueled in part by the covid-19 pandemic, have driven the need for businesses...


SATURDAY 16. OCTOBER 2021


In unpredictable times, a data strategy is key

More than 18 months after the 2020 coronavirus pandemic struck, it’s clear that the ability to make quick decisions based on high-quality data has become essential for business success. In an increasingly competitive and constantly shifting landscape, companies must be agile enough to tackle persistent challenges, ranging from cost-cutting and supply chain issues to product development and...

This NASA spacecraft is on its way to Jupiter’s mysterious asteroid swarms

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft, named for an early human ancestor whose skeleton provided insights into our species’ muddled origins, has begun the first leg of its 12-year journey. Lifting off from Cape Canaveral early Saturday morning on an Atlas V rocket, Lucy is headed to study asteroids in an area around Jupiter that’s been relatively unchanged since the Big Bang. It will venture farther...


FRIDAY 15. OCTOBER 2021


Machine learning in the cloud is helping businesses innovate

In the past decade, machine learning has become a familiar technology for improving the efficiency and accuracy of processes like recommendations, supply chain forecasting, developing chatbots, image and text search, and automated customer service functions, to name a few. Machine learning today is becoming even more pervasive, impacting every market segment and industry, including...

Reimagining our pandemic problems with the mindset of an engineer

The last 20 months turned every dog into an amateur epidemiologist and statistician. Meanwhile, a group of bona fide epidemiologists and statisticians came to believe that pandemic problems might be more effectively solved by adopting the mindset of an engineer: that is, focusing on pragmatic problem-solving with an iterative, adaptive strategy to make things work. In a recent essay,...


THURSDAY 14. OCTOBER 2021


Getting the most from your data-driven transformation: 10 key principles

The importance of data to today’s businesses can’t be overstated. Studies show data-driven companies are 58% more likely to beat revenue goals than non-data-driven companies and 162% more likely to significantly outperform laggards. Data analytics are helping nearly half of all companies make better decisions about everything, from the products they deliver to the...

Facebook wants machines to see the world through our eyes

We take it for granted that machines can recognize what they see in photos and videos. That ability rests on large data sets like ImageNet, a hand-curated collection of millions of photos used to train most of the best image-recognition models of the last decade.  But the images in these data sets portray a world of curated objects—a picture gallery that doesn’t capture the mess of...


WEDNESDAY 13. OCTOBER 2021


Covid conspiracy theories are driving people to anti-Semitism online

A warning: Conspiracy theories about covid are helping disseminate anti-Semitic beliefs to a wider audience, warns a new report by the antiracist advocacy group Hope not Hate. The report says that not only has the pandemic revived interest in the “New World Order” conspiracy theory of a secret Jewish-run elite that aims to run the world, but far-right activists have also worked to convert...

Podcast: The story of AI, as told by the people who invented it

Welcome to I Was There When, a new oral history project from the In Machines We Trust podcast. It features stories of how breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and computing happened, as told by the people who witnessed them. In this first episode, we meet Joseph Atick— who helped create the first commercially viable face recognition system. Credits: This episode was produced by...


TUESDAY 12. OCTOBER 2021


AI fake-face generators can be rewound to reveal the real faces they trained on

Load up the website This Person Does Not Exist and it’ll show you a human face, near-perfect in its realism yet totally fake. Refresh and the neural network behind the site will generate another, and another, and another. The endless sequence of AI-crafted faces is produced by a generative adversarial network (GAN)—a type of AI that learns to produce realistic but fake examples of the data it...


MONDAY 11. OCTOBER 2021



FRIDAY 8. OCTOBER 2021


Video: How cheap renewables and rising activism are shifting climate politics

The plummeting costs of renewables, the growing strength of the clean energy sector, and the rising influence of activists have begun to shift the politics of climate action in the US, panelists argued during MIT Technology Review’s annual EmTech conference last week. Those forces allowed President Joe Biden to put climate change at the center of his campaign and helped build momentum behind...


THURSDAY 7. OCTOBER 2021


It’s 20 years since the first drone strike. It’s time to admit they’ve failed.

After the Taliban took over Kabul in mid-August, a black-bearded man with a Kalashnikov appeared on the streets. He visited former politicians and gave a sermon during Friday prayers at the capital’s historic Pul-e-Khishti mosque. But the man, passionate and seemingly victorious, was no mere Taliban fighter among tens of thousands of others: he was Khalil ur-Rahman Haqqani, a Taliban leader...


WEDNESDAY 6. OCTOBER 2021


A French company is using enzymes to recycle one of the most common single-use plastics

Plastic is an environmental scourge, and most isn’t recycled. Enzymes, nature’s catalysts, may be able to help. In late September, Carbios, a French startup, opened a demonstration plant in central France to test this idea. The facility will use enzymes to recycle PET, one of the most common single-use plastics and the material used to make most beverage bottles.  While we’ve...


TUESDAY 5. OCTOBER 2021


The Facebook whistleblower says its algorithms are dangerous. Here’s why.

On Sunday night, the primary source for the Wall Street Journal’s Facebook Files, an investigative series based on internal Facebook documents, revealed her identity in an episode of 60 Minutes. Frances Haugen, a former product manager at the company, says she came forward after she saw Facebook’s leadership repeatedly prioritize profit over safety. Before quitting…

Millions of people rely on Facebook to get online. The outage left them stranded.

One of the last messages that Vaiva Bezhan sent on Facebook Messenger on Monday afternoon, Central European Time, was a bit of a cliffhanger—and incredibly time sensitive. The Lithuanian photojournalist is co-organizer of the Afghan Support Group, one of many volunteer initiatives trying to help evacuate vulnerable Afghans in the wake of the Taliban takeover by any means possible. She was...