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Seven Must-Read Stories (Week Ending October 11, 2014)

Another chance to catch the most interesting, and important, articles from the previous week on MIT Technology Review.
  1. Can Sucking CO2 Out of the Atmosphere Really Work?
    A Columbia scientist and his startup think they have a plan to save the world. Now they have to convince the rest of us.
  2. The Contrarian’s Guide to Changing the World
    Investor Peter Thiel has inspiring advice for wanna-be entrepreneurs, but he is unrealistic about where technology really comes from.
  3. An Industrial-Size Generator That Runs on Waste Heat, Using No Fuel
    Startup Alphabet Energy has its first product: what it says is the world’s largest thermoelectric generator.
  4. Should Industrial Robots Be Able to Hurt Their Human Coworkers?
    Standards bodies are wrestling with the impact of accidental robot strikes.
  5. Lighting Sheets Would Use Half as Much Power as Lightbulbs
    OLEDs are highly efficient but expensive. Better materials and manufacturing methods are changing that.
  6. An Optical Trick Makes Disappearing Messages Harder to Screenshot
    An app called Yovo uses a clever trick to make it hard to preserve its ephemeral messages.
  7. Winners of the Nobel Prize for Physics Enabled Ultra-Efficient Lighting
    The blue LED might save more energy than just about any other technology.
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The big new idea for making self-driving cars that can go anywhere

The mainstream approach to driverless cars is slow and difficult. These startups think going all-in on AI will get there faster.

biomass with Charm mobile unit in background
biomass with Charm mobile unit in background

Inside Charm Industrial’s big bet on corn stalks for carbon removal

The startup used plant matter and bio-oil to sequester thousands of tons of carbon. The question now is how reliable, scalable, and economical this approach will prove.

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The hype around DeepMind’s new AI model misses what’s actually cool about it

Some worry that the chatter about these tools is doing the whole field a disservice.

images created by Google Imagen
images created by Google Imagen

The dark secret behind those cute AI-generated animal images

Google Brain has revealed its own image-making AI, called Imagen. But don't expect to see anything that isn't wholesome.

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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