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Deep learning can almost perfectly predict how ice forms

Researchers have used deep learning to model more precisely than ever before how ice crystals form in the atmosphere. Their paper, published this week in PNAS, hints at the potential to significantly increase the accuracy of weather and climate forecasting. The researchers used deep learning to predict how atoms and molecules behave. First, models were trained on small-scale simulations of 64...

How to craft effective AI policy

A conversation about equity and what it takes to make effective AI policy. This episode was taped before a live audience at MIT Technology Review’s annual AI conference, EmTech Digital. We Meet: Nicol Turner Lee, director of the Center for Technology at the Brookings Institution Anthony Green, producer of the In Machines We Trust podcast…

A bioengineered cornea can restore sight to blind people

A bioengineered cornea has restored vision to people with impaired eyesight, including those who were blind before they received the implant. These corneas, described in Nature Biotechnology today, could help restore sight to people in countries where human cornea transplants are in short supply, and for a lower price. Unlike human corneas, which must be transplanted within two weeks, the...

China has censored a top health information platform

China has censored DXY, the country’s leading health information platform. On August 9, DXY fell silent across social media, where it boasts over 80 million followers. Five of its Weibo accounts were suddenly suspended with a vague explanation that they had violated “relevant laws and regulations,” while its accounts on WeChat and Douyin (the domestic version of TikTok) stopped...

The Download: tech’s gender gap, and how Gen Z handles misinformation

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. Why can’t tech fix its gender problem? Despite the tech sector’s great wealth and loudly self-proclaimed corporate commitments to the rights of women, LGBTQ+ people, and racial minorities, the industry remains mostly a…

Why can’t tech fix its gender problem?

A full decade has passed since Ellen Pao filed a sexual discrimination suit against her employer, the legendary Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins. Two years later came the toxicity and misogyny of Gamergate, followed by #MeToo scandals and further revelations of powerful tech-business men behaving very badly. All catalyzed an overdue public reckoning…

Google examines how different generations handle misinformation

A habit called “lateral reading” is a core part of any good fact-checking routine. It means opening up a bunch of tabs and doing multiple searches to verify the facts, source, or claims made in a piece of online information. So it seemed like great news when a new study from Poynter, YouGov, and Google indicated that Generation Z is adopting this technique more than any previous...


WEDNESDAY 10. AUGUST 2022


Psychedelics are having a moment and women could be the ones to benefit

Nikhita Singhal’s breath still catches when she talks about how her life changed. A psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto, Singhal says it was using psychedelic drugs—ayahuasca, ketamine, and MDMA—that finally addressed the eating disorder she’d had since she was seven years old. “It was really emotionally and psychologically painful,” she says, recounting a…


TUESDAY 9. AUGUST 2022


Social media is polluting society. Moderation alone won’t fix the problem

We all want to be able to speak our minds online—to be heard by our friends and talk (back) to our opponents. At the same time, we don’t want to be exposed to speech that is inappropriate or crosses a line. Technology companies address this conundrum by setting standards for free speech, a practice protected under federal law. They hire in-house moderators to examine individual pieces of...

The cognitive dissonance of watching the end of Roe unfold online

I learned on a liveblog that I had lost the right to have an abortion. When the United States Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade on the morning of June 24, 2022, I was one of the nearly 16,000 people reading SCOTUSblog, a news site launched 20 years ago, which has no official relationship with the Supreme Court, which has never been granted press credentials to the court, and which won a...


MONDAY 8. AUGUST 2022


The Download: corruption in China’s chip sector and VR’s psychedelic experiments

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. Corruption is sending shock waves through China’s chipmaking industry The news: China’s chipmaking industry has descended into chaos, with at least four top executives associated with a state-owned semiconductor fund recently arrested on…


SATURDAY 6. AUGUST 2022


VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence

Fifteen years ago, David Glowacki was walking in the mountains when he took a sharp fall. When he hit the ground, blood began leaking into his lungs. As he lay there suffocating, Glowacki’s field of perception swelled. He peered down at his own body—and, instead of his typical form, saw that he was made up of balled-up light. “I knew that the intensity of the light was related to the...


FRIDAY 5. AUGUST 2022


Corruption is sending shock waves through China’s chipmaking industry

China’s chipmaking industry descended into chaos last week, with at least four top executives associated with a state-owned semiconductor fund arrested on corruption charges. It’s an explosive turn of events that could force the country to fundamentally rethink how it invests in chip development, according to analysts and experts.  On July 30, China’s top anticorruption institution...

Automated techniques could make it easier to develop AI

Machine-learning researchers make many decisions when designing new models. They decide how many layers to include in neural networks and what weights to give inputs at each node. The result of all this human decision-making is that complex models end up being “designed by intuition” rather than systematically, says Frank Hutter, head of the machine-learning lab at the University of Freiburg...


THURSDAY 4. AUGUST 2022


This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting

In a search for novel forms of longevity medicine, a biotech company based in Israel says it intends to create embryo-stage versions of people in order to harvest tissues for use in transplant treatments. The company, Renewal Bio, is pursuing recent advances in stem-cell technology and artificial wombs demonstrated by Jacob Hanna, a biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot....


WEDNESDAY 3. AUGUST 2022


Researchers repaired cells in damaged pig organs an hour after the animal’s death

A new system stopped the deterioration of cells in pig organs one hour after the animal’s death, a finding that suggests cells don’t die as quickly as previously understood. The technology successfully restored blood circulation and repaired damaged cells in the pigs. The research, described in Nature today, could pave the way to making human organs more viable for transplantation by making...

Everything you need to know about the monkeypox vaccines

The global outbreak of monkeypox has so far led to more than 24,000 cases in over 80 countries, and the World Health Organization has warned that the window of opportunity to contain the disease and prevent it from becoming endemic outside Africa is rapidly closing. Vaccines represent a potentially crucial measure. Monkeypox vaccines are already being deployed around the world, and news reports...


TUESDAY 2. AUGUST 2022


EV tax credits could stall out on lack of US battery supply

The US Senate Democrats came to a climate compromise last week, releasing the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The 725-page bill laid out hundreds of billions of dollars for climate programs, and if it passes, it could help the US achieve a reduction in carbon emissions of up to 40% from the 2005 peak. One of the bill’s key climate components is an extension of the electric vehicle tax...


MONDAY 1. AUGUST 2022