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MIT Tech News

How bike parking pods could make US cities better for cyclists

4 days 16 hours ago
In 2015, Brooklyn resident Shabazz Stuart regularly biked to his job at a local business improvement district. Then his bicycle was stolen—the third case of two-wheeled larceny he’d experienced in five years. The theft sent him back to mass transit while he saved up money to buy a replacement. It also put him on a…
Jake Blumgart

Public transport is ditching cash—but here’s why that’s ok

4 days 16 hours ago
There are still parts of Philadelphia’s SEPTA transportation system that accept tokens. But today, in nearly every major American city, you’ll see transit riders tapping their way onto buses and subway platforms using their phones. The shift has been swift. Like so many things consumers brushed off as needlessly complicated before the pandemic—QR codes, order…
Rachel del Valle

The world will need dozens of breakthrough climate technologies in the next decade

5 days 11 hours ago
We’re living in a pivotal decade. By 2030, global emissions must fall by half, mostly through massive deployment of commercial solutions such as wind turbines, solar panels, and electric vehicles. But emerging climate technologies must come to market during this decade too, even if they don’t make much of a dent in emissions right away.…
Varun Sivaram

Computers will be transformed by alternative materials and approaches—maybe sooner than you think

5 days 11 hours ago
In less than a century, computing has transformed our society and helped spur countless innovations. We now carry in our back pockets computers that we could only have dreamed of a few decades ago. Machine-learning systems can analyze scenes and drive vehicles. And we can craft extraordinarily accurate representations of the real world—models that can…
Prineha Narang

Rewriting what we thought was possible in biotech

5 days 11 hours ago
Have you heard? The tech in biotech is nailing it. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) can now figure out who has a condition (perhaps better than your doctor can), establish a medical checklist to diagnose you, and help target likely treatments. AI models can help design drugs or find a new purpose for…
Marzyeh Ghassemi

AI’s progress isn’t the same as creating human intelligence in machines

5 days 11 hours ago
The term “artificial intelligence” really has two meanings. AI refers both to the fundamental scientific quest to build human intelligence into computers and to the work of modeling massive amounts of data. These two endeavors are very different, both in their ambitions and in the amount of progress they have made in recent years. Scientific…
Oren Etzioni

Materials with nanoscale components will change what’s possible

5 days 11 hours ago
In the 24 years I’ve worked as a materials scientist, I’ve always been inspired by hierarchical patterns found in nature that repeat all the way down to the molecular level. Such patterns induce remarkable properties—they strengthen our bones without making them heavy, give butterfly wings their color, and make a spiderweb silk both durable and…
Julia R. Greer

A pro-China online influence campaign is targeting the rare-earths industry

5 days 11 hours ago
An online influence campaign carried out by a group that promotes China’s political interests is targeting Western companies that mine and process rare-earth elements, according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Mandiant. The campaign, which is playing out in Facebook groups and micro-targeted tweets, is trying to stoke environmentalist protests against the companies in…
Patrick Howell O'Neill

The Download: Big Tech’s post-Roe silence, and the US EV charging landscape

5 days 13 hours ago
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. Big Tech remains silent on questions about data privacy in a post-Roe world In the days after the US Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion, tech companies rushed to show their…
Rhiannon Williams

How green steel made with electricity could clean up a dirty industry

5 days 15 hours ago
When you climb up a set of stairs to look over Boston Metal’s newest project, it becomes clear just how big a job it is to cut steel’s climate impact.  The impressive new installation is a pilot reactor that the startup will use to make emissions-free steel. It’s about the size of a school bus,…
Casey Crownhart

The U.S. only has 6,000 fast charging stations for EVs. Here’s where they all are.

5 days 16 hours ago
The United States has around 150,000 fuel stations to refill its fleet of fossil-fuel-burning vehicles. Despite the rapid growth of all-electric vehicles in America—400,000 of them were sold in 2021, up from barely 10,000 in 2012—the country has only 6,000 DC fast electric charging stations, the kind that can rapidly juice up a battery-powered car. (It…
Andrew Moseman

Big Tech remains silent on questions about data privacy in a post-Roe US

5 days 17 hours ago
In the hours and days after the US Supreme Court announced its ruling overturning the constitutional right to abortion, tech companies rushed to show their support for employees living in states where the procedure is now outlawed. Meta, Facebook’s parent company, promised to pay expenses for staffers who need to travel out of their home…
Abby Ohlheiser, Hana Kiros

The Download: Facebook’s misleading cancer ads, and hacking’s next era

6 days 12 hours ago
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. Facebook is bombarding cancer patients with ads for unproven treatments The ad reads like an offer of salvation: Cancer kills many people. But there is hope in Apatone, a proprietary vitamin C–based mixture,…
Rhiannon Williams

Facebook is bombarding cancer patients with ads for unproven treatments

6 days 14 hours ago
The ad reads like an offer of salvation: Cancer kills many people. But there is hope in Apatone, a proprietary vitamin C–based mixture, that is “KILLING cancer.” The substance, an unproven treatment that is not approved by the FDA, is not available in the United States. If you want Apatone, the ad suggests, you need…
Abby Ohlheiser

Metaverse: Open for business?

6 days 15 hours ago
Ever since Facebook’s rebrand to Meta, the metaverse—loosely defined as an extensive online world where interactions happen via digital avatars—has gone mainstream as part of “web3,” the internet’s third act in which users move from consumers to creators to residents in online worlds. The entertainment and gaming industries are at the forefront of today’s metaverse…
Francesca Fanshawe

We need smarter cities, not “smart cities”

6 days 16 hours ago
The term “smart cities” originated as a marketing strategy for large IT vendors. It has now become synonymous with urban uses of technology, particularly advanced and emerging technologies. But cities are more than 5G, big data, driverless vehicles, and AI. They are crucial drivers of opportunity, prosperity, and progress. They support those displaced by war…
Riad Meddeb, Calum Handforth

The hacking industry faces the end of an era

6 days 17 hours ago
NSO Group, the world’s most notorious hacking company, could soon cease to exist. The Israeli firm, still reeling from US sanctions, has been in talks about a possible acquisition by the American military contractor L3 Harris.  The deal is far from certain—there is considerable opposition from both the White House and US intelligence—but if it…
Patrick Howell O'Neill

The US Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. What does that mean?

1 week 2 days ago
The US Supreme Court has ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 legal decision that enshrined abortion as a constitutional right. Ending federal protection for abortion access across the US will have lasting health, emotional, and financial repercussions for millions of people and casts American reproductive rights back 50 years. The final decision…
Rhiannon Williams

Yann LeCun has a bold new vision for the future of AI

1 week 2 days ago
Around a year and a half ago, Yann LeCun realized he had it wrong.  LeCun, who is chief scientist at Meta’s AI lab and one of the most influential AI researchers in the world, had been trying to give machines a basic grasp of how the world works—a kind of common sense—by training neural networks…
Melissa Heikkilä, Will Douglas Heaven
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