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Giving algorithms a sense of uncertainty could make them more ethical

Algorithms are best at pursuing a single mathematical objective—but humans often want multiple incompatible things.

Posted on 18 January 2019 | 12:00 pm

Never mind killer robots—here are six real AI dangers to watch out for in 2019

Last year a string of controversies revealed a darker (and dumber) side to artificial intelligence.

Posted on 7 January 2019 | 5:00 pm

Seven New Year’s resolutions for Big Tech in 2019

2018 was a no good, very bad year for Silicon Valley. Here’s some of the things tech giants should commit to do next year to avoid a repeat performance.

Posted on 31 December 2018 | 11:59 am

All the reasons 2018 was a breakout year for DNA data

Gene information on millions of people is revolutionizing how we predict disease, catch criminals, and find new drugs.

Posted on 29 December 2018 | 11:59 am

The biggest technology failures of 2018

From gene-edited babies to guaranteed-fatal brain uploads, it was a bumper year for technology misfires and misuses.

Posted on 27 December 2018 | 12:00 pm

The biggest technology failures of 2018

From gene-edited babies to guaranteed-fatal brain uploads, it was a bumper year for technology misfires and misuses.

Posted on 27 December 2018 | 12:00 pm

Cryptocurrencies crashed in 2018. Now they’re right where they should be.

A year ago, Bitcoin and its brethren were headed to the moon. These days they’re much more grounded.

Posted on 26 December 2018 | 2:00 pm

The day I tasted climate change

Every one of us will have a moment when global warming gets personal.

Posted on 21 December 2018 | 12:00 pm

The day I tasted climate change

Every one of us will have a moment when global warming gets personal.

Posted on 21 December 2018 | 12:00 pm

Science vs. the state: a family saga at the Caltech of China

Three generations of personal and political history show the tensions between the Communist Party’s need for knowledge and its need for ideological control.

Posted on 19 December 2018 | 12:00 pm

China vs. the US: Who wins and who loses

An interview with Yasheng Huang, MIT professor and expert on entrepreneurship in China.

Posted on 19 December 2018 | 12:00 pm

How Google took on China—and lost

It used to be that while Google wanted China, China really needed Google. Not any more.

Posted on 19 December 2018 | 5:00 am

The Reunion: a new science-fiction story about surveillance in China

Technology is making people unhinged and violent. Can an algorithm stop them?

Posted on 16 December 2018 | 12:00 pm

Years before CRISPR babies, this man was the first to edit human embryos

In 2015, an unknown Chinese scientist edited the DNA of human embryos. It was a step on an inexorable path to designer babies.

Posted on 11 December 2018 | 12:00 pm

One of the fathers of AI is worried about its future

Yoshua Bengio wants to stop talk of an AI arms race and make the technology more accessible to the developing world.

Posted on 17 November 2018 | 12:00 pm

The US military is testing stratospheric balloons that ride the wind so they never have to come down

A sensor that can spot the wind direction from miles away will let DARPA’s surveillance balloons hover at the very edge of space in one spot indefinitely.

Posted on 14 November 2018 | 6:00 pm

Digital immortality: How your life’s data means a version of you could live forever

Your family and friends will be able to interact with a digital “you” that doles out advice—even when you’re gone.

Posted on 18 October 2018 | 9:00 am

We can now customize cancer treatments, tumor by tumor

But can any company afford to manufacture one-off medical care?

Posted on 17 October 2018 | 9:00 am

Your next doctor’s appointment might be with an AI

A new wave of chatbots are replacing physicians and providing frontline medical advice—but are they as good as the real thing?

Posted on 16 October 2018 | 11:30 am

Why we can’t quit the QWERTY keyboard

We’ve been using it to type for 144 years. Here’s why it works, and what it would take for us to give it up.

Posted on 13 October 2018 | 9:00 am