Fragile economies, poor infrastructure, and political instability have made it difficult to introduce new technologies into Africa, with one major exception: cell phones. With few computers or land lines available, these phones are used for a wide range of applications, including digital payments and banking. They’re also used to access online applications such as Ushahidi, a mapping platform that can monitor outbreaks of violence (see TR35, September/October 2010). International telecommunications companies such as Vodafone are trying to expand rapidly throughout Africa, because it’s one of the last places in the world with a large supply of potential customers who don’t already own a cell phone (see “Going from Calls to Connections”).
How a Russian cyberwar in Ukraine could ripple out globally
Soldiers and tanks may care about national borders. Cyber doesn't.
Meet Altos Labs, Silicon Valley’s latest wild bet on living forever
Funders of a deep-pocketed new "rejuvenation" startup are said to include Jeff Bezos and Yuri Milner.
Meta’s new learning algorithm can teach AI to multi-task
The single technique for teaching neural networks multiple skills is a step towards general-purpose AI.
Going bald? Lab-grown hair cells could be on the way
These biotech companies are reprogramming cells to treat baldness, but it’s still early days.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.