The download: the best stories of 2022 and the next step for AI

The download: the best stories of 2022 and the next step for AI

The download: the best stories of 2022 and the next step for AI

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s happening in the tech world.

Our favorite stories of 2022

We like to think we’ve had a great year here at MIT Technology Review. Our stories have won numerous awards (this story from our magazine won AAAS Gold) and our investigations have helped shed light on unjust policies.

So this year, we asked our writers and editors to look through the last 12 months and try to pick just one story they liked the most, and then tell us why. That’s what they said.

What’s next for AI

In 2022, AI has become creative. AI models can now produce remarkably compelling text, images, and even video, with just a little prompting. It’s only been nine months since OpenAI sparked the explosion of generative AI with the launch of DALL-E 2, a deep learning model capable of producing images from textual instructions. This was followed by a breakthrough from Google and Meta: AIs capable of producing video from text. And it’s only been a few weeks since OpenAI released ChatGPT, the latest great language model to ignite the internet with its startling eloquence and consistency.

The pace of innovation this year has been remarkable, and at times overwhelming. Who could have seen it coming? And how to predict the sequel?

Our in-house experts Will Douglas Heaven and Melissa Heikkilä take us through the four big trends they believe will shape the AI ​​landscape in 2023. Read full article

Brain stimulation could be more invasive than we think

Today, there are many neurotechnologies that can read what’s going on in our brains, change how they work, and change the wiring. Deep brain stimulation, for example, involves implanting electrodes deep in the brain to stimulate neurons and control how regions of the brain fire. It is considered quite invasive, in the medical sense.

Other treatments, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, which involves passing a figure-8-shaped device over a person’s head to deliver a magnetic pulse to parts of the brain and interfere with its activity, are considered “non-invasive” because they act from the outside. the brain. But if we can reach into a person’s mind, even without piercing the skull, how non-invasive is the technology really? Read the full story.

—Jessica Hamzelou

Jessica’s story is from The Checkup, her weekly newsletter covering everything there is to know about biotechnology. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Thursday.

Podcast: The future of agriculture is in space

AI is used in agriculture to precisely target weeds and optimize irrigation practices. It is also used in unexpected ways, such as to track the condition of cow pastures, from space. We travel from test farms to orchards in the first of a two-part series on agriculture, AI and satellites.

Listen on Apple Podcasts or wherever you normally get your podcasts.

The unavoidable

I’ve scoured the internet to find you today’s funniest/important/scariest/fascinating stories about technology.

1 Sam Bankman-Fried Was Freed On $250 Million Bail
He faces house arrest pending trial. (BBC)
+ It is one of the largest bails in US history. ($Bloomberg)
+ Crypto Twitter is not impressed with its comfortable terms. (Corner Telegraph)

2 Severe storm forces US airlines to cancel flights
+ Disrupt Christmas trips left, right and center. (WSJ$)
+ It is due to sweep most of the United States and Canada. (Wired $)

3 We don’t know how effective nasal covid vaccines are
And because we’re not collecting the right kind of data, we may never know. (Atlantic $)
+ Two inhaled covid vaccines have been approved, but we don’t yet know how effective they are. (MIT Technology Review)
+ Life expectancy in the United States has fallen again. (Axios)

4 Twitter starts showing how many people have seen your tweets
This is yet another of Elon Musk’s whistles. (Tech Crunch)
+ Twitter seems to be collapsing right now. (Atlantic $)
+ We are witnessing the brain death of Twitter. (MIT Technology Review)

5 ByteDance stalks journalists
His staff gained access to their IP addresses inappropriately to try to determine if they had crossed paths with ByteDance employees. (Forbes)
+ After all that, the company found no leaks. (FT$)
+ TikTok is desperately trying to curry favor with the United States. (Reuters)

6 NFTs are at a crossroads
Their value has plummeted, but the evangelists refuse to give up. (Wired $)
+ Some crypto devotees are trying to take their losses on the chin. (Vice)

7 Immigrant tech workers who were laid off are caught in limbo
Losing their jobs means their families are also unable to work, leaving many with little choice but to leave the United States. (The Guardian)
+ For this startup founder, the bankruptcy of his company was a bit of a relief. (Information $)

8 This year has been a pivotal year for electric vehicles
They are no longer just synonymous with Tesla. (voice)
+ Why electric vehicles won’t replace hybrid cars anytime soon. (MIT Technology Review)

9 The Japanese Space Agency Sends A Toy-Like Rover To The Moon
The cute ball is designed by the famous toy manufacturer Tomy. (New Yorkers $)
+ The Perseverance rover has deposited its first sample tube. (The register)

10 We’re living the very first BeReal Christmas
Unfortunately, originality is extremely rare. (Vice)

quote of the day

“Against all odds and pessimistic scenarios, Ukraine has not fallen. Ukraine is alive and dynamic.

—Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanks the US Congress for its financial support to Ukraine and its people 10 months after the Russian invasion, reports CNN.

The big story

Startups race to replicate breast milk in the lab

December 2020

Like many mothers, Leila Strickland struggled with breastfeeding. She struggled to feed her son, and three years later her daughter, and spent all day, every day nursing or pumping to stimulate her milk flow.

Strickland, a professor of vascular physiology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, started thinking about how she could use a process like the one developed by Dutch food tech company Mosa Meat to create artificial beef, but for cells that produce breast milk.

For years, she struggled to maintain funding for the project, and she nearly gave up on the idea. But in May 2020, Biomilq, a company she founded, received $3.5 million from a group of investors led by Bill Gates. Biomilq is now in a race with competitors to shake up the infant nutrition world in a way not seen since the birth of the now $42 billion infant formula industry. Read the full story.

—Haley Cohen Gilliland

We can still have beautiful things

A place of comfort, pleasure and distraction in these strange times. (Have ideas? Send me a message ortweet them to me.)

+ I admit that I had not heard of it flirting with onion emojis so far.🧅
+ Even millennials are starting to find millennials cringe.
+ A fearless guide to all Netflix’s nerdy party movies – watch at your own risk.
+ This chef bravely reinvents the classic Italian Christmas panettone, with a Sicilian twist.
+ How to make New Year’s resolutions that you will actually stick to.


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