Thanks to a new version of the USB standard, the ubiquitous plug will be able to supply much more powerful devices and could give Nikola Tesla the posthumous last laugh over arch-rival Thomas Edison.
—Tom Simonite, senior editor, IT
The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think
This profile of maverick cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter left me with a feeling that he may be right to dismiss what Google and others call artificial intelligence as mere “trickery.”
China Tries to Clean Up Toxic Legacy of Its Rare Earth Riches
A look at the dirty side of rare earths, crucial materials for wind turbines and laptops.
—Kevin Bullis, senior editor, energy
How Texas Lost the World’s Largest Super Collider
In 1993, budget concerns killed a government project to build the world’s largest supercollider in Texas, delaying the discovery of the Higgs boson and leaving unused miles of tunnels carved below a Dallas suburb.
—Susan Young, biomedicine editor
Twenty-One Under Thirty-Five
A list, similar in vein to our 35 Under 35, but with a focus on product design. Wish list item #1: Soft Light designed by Simon Frambach.
—J. Juniper Friedman, editorial assistant
How to Build a Happier Brain
Q+A with Dr. Rick Hanson, a neuropsychologist, about his book Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence, which explains why human brains are not naturally wired or conditioned for “happiness.”
—Kyanna Sutton, senior Web producer
Every Apple Competitor Bought Twitter Ads for iPad Reveal
I thought this article was interesting. Given the fact that I’m in advertising and I’d never heard the term “ ‘brand-jacking.”
—Rob Finley, West Coast advertising sales executive
America’s Mood Map: An Interactive Guide to the United States of Attitude
Not only was I curious to take the test and learn that Georgia matched my personality (I’ve never been), I found this to be a great example of a “socially shareable” type of editorial.
—James Friedman, director of advertising sales
All Can Be Lost: The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines
In the Atlantic, Nicholas Carr explains why “automation, for all its benefits, can take a toll on the performance and talents of those who rely on it.”
—Brian Bergstein, deputy editor
Corruption in Peru Aids Cutting of Rain Forest
To limit climate change we need clean energy technology, but also to stop deforestation, and communication strategies to tell people things like where the mahogany decking comes from.
—David Talbot, chief correspondent
Meta has built a massive new language AI—and it’s giving it away for free
Facebook’s parent company is inviting researchers to pore over and pick apart the flaws in its version of GPT-3
The gene-edited pig heart given to a dying patient was infected with a pig virus
The first transplant of a genetically-modified pig heart into a human may have ended prematurely because of a well-known—and avoidable—risk.
Saudi Arabia plans to spend $1 billion a year discovering treatments to slow aging
The oil kingdom fears that its population is aging at an accelerated rate and hopes to test drugs to reverse the problem. First up might be the diabetes drug metformin.
Yann LeCun has a bold new vision for the future of AI
One of the godfathers of deep learning pulls together old ideas to sketch out a fresh path for AI, but raises as many questions as he answers.
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