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We can’t afford to stop solar geoengineering research

Last month, I attended the American Geophysical Union meeting in New Orleans, where 26,000 geoscientists convened in person and virtually to share the latest Earth and climate science. Maybe a hundred of those people were there to talk about research on solar geoengineering—the idea of reflecting a fraction of incoming sunlight to cool a warming planet....

Five risks of moving your database to the cloud

Moving to the cloud is all the rage. According to an IDC Survey Spotlight, Experience in Migrating Databases to the Cloud, 63% of enterprises are actively migrating their databases to the cloud, and another 29% are considering doing so within the next three years. This article discusses some of the risks customers may unwittingly encounter when...

A new era for data: What’s possible with as-a-service

For organizations in today’s complex business environment, data is like water—essential for survival. They need to process, analyze, and act on data to drive business growth—to predict future trends, identify new business opportunities, and respond to market changes faster. Not enough data? Businesses die of thirst. Dirty data? Projects are polluted...

How a Russian cyberwar in Ukraine could ripple out globally

Russia has sent more than 100,000 soldiers to the nation’s border with Ukraine, threatening a war unlike anything Europe has seen in decades. Though there hasn’t been any shooting yet, cyber operations are already underway.  Last week, hackers defaced dozens of government websites in Ukraine, a technically simple but attention-grabbing act...

Meta’s new learning algorithm can teach AI to multi-task

If you can recognize a dog by sight, then you can probably recognize a dog when it is described to you in words. Not so for today’s artificial intelligence. Deep neural networks have become very good at identifying objects in photos and conversing in natural language, but not at the same time: there are AI models that excel at one or the other, but...

All charges against China Initiative defendant Gang Chen have been dismissed

The US Justice Department has filed a motion to dismiss all charges against MIT mechanical engineering professor and nanotechnologist Gang Chen, nearly one year to the day after he was indicted on charges relating to his alleged failure to disclose relationships and funding from Chinese entities. From the start, Chen had maintained his innocence,...

This group of tech firms just signed up to a safer metaverse

The internet can feel like a bottomless pit of the worst aspects of humanity. So far, there’s little indication that the metaverse—an envisioned virtual digital world where we work, play, and live—will be much better. As I reported last month, a beta tester in Meta’s virtual social platform, Horizon Worlds, has already complained of being groped. ...

Sustainability starts in the design process, and AI can help

Artificial intelligence helps build physical infrastructure like modular housing, skyscrapers, and factory floors. “…many problems that we wrestle with in all forms of engineering and design are very, very complex problems…those problems are beginning to reach the limits of human capacity,” says Mike Haley, the vice president of research at Autodesk....

Tonga’s volcano blast cut it off from the world. Here’s what it will take to get it reconnected.

Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha‘apai, an underwater volcano off the coast of Tonga, has erupted several times in the last 13 years, but the most recent, on January 15, was likely its most destructive. The blast has had global consequences: more than 6,000 miles away, waves caused by the eruption drowned two people in Peru. But the effect of the volcanic...

Going bald? Lab-grown hair cells could be on the way

Biologists at several startups are applying the latest advances in genetic engineering to the age-old problem of baldness, creating new hair-forming cells that could restore a person’s ability to grow hair. Some researchers tell MIT Technology Review they are using the techniques to grow human hair cells in their labs and even on animals. A...

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