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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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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. ...

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...

The covid tech that is intimately tied to China’s surveillance state

Sometime in mid-2019, a police contractor in the Chinese city of Kuitun tapped a young college student from the University of Washington on the shoulder as she walked through a crowded market intersection. The student, Vera Zhou, didn’t notice the tapping at first because she was listening to music through her earbuds as she weaved through the crowd....

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...

The moon didn’t die as early as we thought

The moon may have been more volcanically active than we realized. Lunar samples that China’s Chang’e 5 spacecraft brought to Earth are revealing new clues about volcanoes and lava plains on the moon’s surface. In a study published today in Science, researchers describe the youngest lava samples ever collected on the moon.   The...

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