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MIT Tech News

New business models, big opportunity: Tech/manufacturing

11 hours 15 minutes ago
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic upended the way companies do business. Some are coping better than others—but largely, businesses are optimistic about 2021. That’s especially so for tech-forward organizations in two different industries—technology and manufacturing— that are planning major business initiatives to move beyond crisis response and thrive in a transformed corporate landscape. The pandemic accelerated…
MIT Technology Review Insights

New business models, big opportunity: Retail

11 hours 15 minutes ago
Now is a tough time to be a retailer. Even before the 2020 coronavirus pandemic brought rapid changes to the market, many traditional brick-and-mortar businesses were struggling. For example, from 2011 to 2020, the number of US department stores shrank from 8,600 to just over 6,000. The global crisis only amplified retail challenges. Since March…
MIT Technology Review Insights

US covid contract details are a “trade secret”—according to the contractors

15 hours 15 minutes ago
As the US government pumps billions of dollars into projects aimed at curbing the pandemic, from vaccine development to genomic sequencing, officials claim they are being transparent about how money is being spent. But government contractors have a lot of leeway to hide things, as shown by a recent records request filed by MIT Technology…
Cat Ferguson

NASA’s next lunar rover will run open-source software

16 hours 15 minutes ago
In 2023, NASA will launch VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover), which that will trek across the surface of the moon and hunt for water ice that could one day be used to make rocket fuel. The rover will be armed with the best instruments and tools that NASA can come up with: wheels that can…
Neel V. Patel

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

3 days 13 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.

3 days 16 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

4 days 8 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

4 days 12 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

5 days 13 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

6 days 9 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

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

1 week 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 3 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 5 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
9 minutes 37 seconds ago
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