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Seven Must-Read Stories (Week Ending May 14, 2016)

Another chance to catch the most interesting, and important, articles from the previous week on MIT Technology Review.
May 13, 2016
  1. The Unbelievable Reality of the Impossible Hyperloop
    Startup Hyperloop Technologies has started shooting magnetically levitated capsules along a track in Las Vegas to show off a radical idea for the future of freight and mass transit.
  2. In Global Shift, Poorer Countries Are Increasingly the Early Tech Adopters
    In some corners of the world, the poorest populations are the first to benefit from new technologies that are improving health.
  3. Gene Therapy’s First Out-and-Out Cure Is Here
    A gene therapy for an inherited immune disease completes a 27-year journey.
  4. Injectable Gel Generates New Blood Vessels
    An experimental treatment helps diabetic mice grow new blood vessels. It could offer new hope to people with vascular disease.
  5. Coffee Under Threat
    Starbucks’s efforts to head off climate change and its impact on coffee bend to business realities.
  6. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Keep Falling in the U.S.
    Despite continued economic growth, emissions in the U.S. are on a steady decline thanks in large part to cheap natural gas.
  7. To Make Fresh Water without Warming the Planet, Countries Eye Solar Power
    Solar-powered desalination is ideal—if only the cost comes down.
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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
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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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