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Seven Must-Read Stories (Week Ending December 27, 2013)

Another chance to catch the most interesting, and important, articles from the previous week on MIT Technology Review.
  1. Google’s Robot Recruits Dominate DARPA’s Rescue Challenge
    Two companies acquired by Google demonstrate remarkable feats of agility and dexterity (albeit slowly) at a competition held in Florida.
  2. Kalashnikov’s Legacy
    A 2005 story in MIT Technology Review explained the ubiquity of the AK-47.
  3. 2013: The Year in Internet Stories
    Fitness bands, watches, smoke detectors: what will be put online next?
  4. 2013: The Best Biomedicine Stories of the Year
    A push for new brain-mapping technology and a ban on some gene patents showcase ongoing advances in biomedical technology.
  5. Q&A with James Kuffner, Google Robotics Researcher
    At a military contest in Miami, a Google scientist discusses the future of robotics.
  6. Novel Circuit Shrinks Laptop Chargers, Could Improve Appliance Efficiency
    A new kind of power adapter is barely bigger than a plug.
  7. 2013: The Year in Communications
    Along with NSA spying revelations, 2013 brought faster wireless technologies, global connectivity expansion, and new communications business models.
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still from Embodied Intelligence video

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pig kidney transplant surgery

Surgeons have successfully tested a pig’s kidney in a human patient

The test, in a brain-dead patient, was very short but represents a milestone in the long quest to use animal organs in human transplants.

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conceptual illustration showing various women&#039;s faces being scanned

A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click

Deepfake researchers have long feared the day this would arrive.

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thermal image of young woman wearing mask

The covid tech that is intimately tied to China’s surveillance state

Heat-sensing cameras and face recognition systems may help fight covid-19—but they also make us complicit in the high-tech oppression of Uyghurs.

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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