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A new way to train AI systems could keep them safer from hackers

The context: One of the greatest unsolved flaws of deep learning is its vulnerability to so-called adversarial attacks. When added to the input of an AI system, these perturbations, seemingly random or undetectable to the human eye, can make things go completely awry. Stickers strategically placed on a stop sign, for example, can trick a self-driving...

8 million people, 14 alerts: why some covid-19 apps are staying silent

When France launched its app for digital contact tracing, it looked like it might be a breakthrough for the virus-ravaged country. After going live in June, StopCovid was downloaded by 2 million people in a short space of time, leading ministers to hail the fact that “from the first downloads, the app helps avoid contamination, illness and so deaths”....

Activating the opportunity marketplace and investing in the workforce of the future

This virtual panel session from MIT Technology Review’s EmTech Next conference takes an in-depth look at Deloitte and MIT Sloan Management Review’s recently released research on Opportunity Marketplaces. Right now, businesses are facing a three-dimensional challenge—survival while remaining competitive, re-engagement of the workforce, and...

Microsoft’s solution to Zoom fatigue is to trick your brain

There’s a certain routine to logging on to the now-ubiquitous videoconference: join a screen of Brady Bunch–like squares, ping-ponging your gaze between speakers but mostly staring self-consciously at your own face. What started as a novelty of working at home is now an exhausting ordeal that can leave us feeling mentally wiped out.  Microsoft...

These are the factors that put you at higher risk of dying from covid-19

The news: A study of more than 17 million people in England has confirmed the various factors that are linked with an increase in a person’s risk of dying from covid-19: age; being male, Black, or from an ethnic minority background; or having underlying health conditions. It confirms a lot of previous research, but it’s by far the largest study yet....

How carbon-sucking machines could cut aviation emissions

Two companies have teamed up on a project that could provide a key test of our ability to use synthetic fuel, made from carbon dioxide captured from the air, to cut emissions from aviation. Carbon Engineering, a direct air capture company based in British Columbia, has signed a deal with Aerion, a startup based in Reno, Nevada, that is developing...

Will astronauts ever visit gas giants like Jupiter?

Every week, the readers of our space newsletter, The Airlock, send in their questions for space reporter Neel V. Patel to answer. This week: Can we go to Jupiter? Once we move past the asteroid belt, is it realistic to assume there is a chance humans could ever explore any of the gas giants, like Jupiter, really close to its atmosphere? And...

The internet is changing drastically for Hong Kong’s citizens

The big picture: It’s only been one week since China passed a controversial national security law that gives it vast new powers over Hong Kong, but the internet has already changed dramatically for people in the semi-autonomous city. What sort of powers? The law lets mainland Chinese officials operate in Hong Kong for the first time. It also...

Criminal charges reveal the identity of the “invisible god” hacker

A notorious hacker who made an estimated $1.5 million by stealing information from more than 300 companies and governments in 44 countries has been identified as a 37-year-old man from Kazakhstan.  Known as Fxmsp, the hacker became famous in 2019 when he advertised access and source code for leading cybersecurity companies, amid claims that...

Beyond the AI hype cycle: Trust and the future of AI

There’s no shortage of promises when it comes to AI. Some say it will solve all problems while others warn it will bring about the end of the world as we know it. Both positions regularly play out in Hollywood plotlines like Westworld, Carbon Black, Minority Report, Her, and Ex Machina. Those stories are compelling because they require us as creators...

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