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Seven Must-Read Stories (Week ending December 26, 2015)

Another chance to catch the most interesting and important articles from the previous week on MIT Technology Review.
  1. The 6 Most Important Things That Happened in Virtual Reality in 2015
    A lot happened in virtual reality this year; here are the key things to remember.
  2. A Giant Leap (Backward) for Space Travel
    By successfully returning one of its rockets to Earth, SpaceX has shown a way to revolutionize the space industry.
  3. In the Future, Magnets May Track Your Fingers in Virtual Reality
    Oculus and university researchers are working on a project that relies on electromagnets to keep an eye on all your fingers in virtual space.
  4. Hot and Violent
    Researchers have begun to understand the economic and social damage caused by climate change.
  5. Early Intervention
    We need therapies to help those with Down syndrome reach their potential.
  6. A Master Algorithm Lets Robots Teach Themselves to Perform Complex Tasks
    One researcher has developed a simple way to let robots generate remarkably sophisticated behaviors.
  7. Brain Scars Detected in Concussions
    A closer look at the brains of soldiers who have suffered concussions reveals evidence of injuries that were invisible to conventional imaging methods.
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open sourcing language models concept
open sourcing language models concept

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

transplant surgery
transplant surgery

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.

Muhammad bin Salman funds anti-aging research
Muhammad bin Salman funds anti-aging research

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
Yann LeCun

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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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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