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MIT Tech News

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

8 hours 14 minutes 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 any other disease in history—but at the same time, the public has been shocked when doctors can’t answer seemingly…
Cat Ferguson

NASA inches closer to printing artificial organs in space

3 days 5 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

4 days 7 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

The best places to find extraterrestrial life in our solar system, ranked

4 days 22 hours ago
If you want to believe, now is the time: the hope that we might one day stumble upon alien life is greater than it ever was. No, it’s not going to be little green men speeding through space in flying disks—more likely microbes or primitive bacteria. But a discovery like that would nevertheless be a…
Neel V. Patel

Holistic decision-making in a digitized health-care environment

5 days 1 hour 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

5 days 8 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

Every workplace can be a place of continual learning

5 days 23 hours 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 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 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 2 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 3 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 4 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

What makes the Delta covid-19 variant more infectious?

1 week 4 days ago
Covid cases are on the rise in England, and a fast-spreading variant may be to blame. B.1.617.2, which now goes by the name Delta, first emerged in India, but has since spread to 62 countries, according to the World Health Organization. Delta is still rare in the US. At a press conference on Tuesday, the…
Cassandra Willyard

Building the engine that drives digital transformation

1 week 4 days ago
Digital transformation has long been a well-established strategic imperative for organizations globally. The effects of covid-19—which have transformed the world into a (perhaps permanently) dispersed collection of individual broadband-connected consumers, partners, and employees—have not disrupted or wholly redefined this trend, instead they have created additional emphasis on digital transformation strategies already well underway. This is…
MIT Technology Review Insights

The coming productivity boom

1 week 4 days ago
The last 15 years have been tough times for many Americans, but there are now encouraging signs of a turnaround. Productivity growth, a key driver for higher living standards, averaged only 1.3% since 2006, less than half the rate of the previous decade. But on June 3, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that US…
Erik Brynjolfsson, Georgios Petropoulos

TikTok changed the shape of some people’s faces without asking

1 week 4 days ago
“That’s not my face,” Tori Dawn thought after opening TikTok to make a video in late May. The jaw reflected back on the screen was wrong: slimmer and more feminine. And when they waved their hand in front of the camera, blocking most of their face from the lens, their jaw appeared to pop back…
Abby Ohlheiser

The next Venus missions will tell us about habitable worlds elsewhere

1 week 4 days ago
When the DAVINCI+ and VERITAS missions to Venus were given the green light by NASA last week, the scientific community was stunned. Most had expected that NASA, which hadn’t launched a dedicated mission to Venus in 30 years, would be sending at least one mission to the second planet from the sun by the end of…
Neel V. Patel
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7 hours 17 minutes ago
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When AI becomes child’s play

1 week 5 days ago
Despite their popularity with kids, tablets and other connected devices are built on top of systems that weren’t designed for them to easily understand or navigate. But adapting algorithms to interact with a child isn’t without its complications—as no one child is exactly like another. Most recognition algorithms look for patterns and consistency to successfully…
Anthony Green

How wearable AI could help you recover from covid

1 week 5 days ago
Angela Mitchell still remembers the night she nearly died. It was almost one year ago in July. Mitchell—who turns 60 this June—tested positive for covid-19 at her job as a pharmacy technician at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago. She was sneezing, coughing, and feeling dizzy. The hospital management offered her a choice. She…
Rod McCullom
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7 hours 17 minutes ago
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