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MIT Technology Review

Meet the Innovators Under 35 Who Are Coming to EmTech 2017

Come to EmTech where you’ll hear from the 2017 nominees including the young innovators seen here. This is your opportunity to discover future trends and to understand the technologies that will drive the new global economy. <a href="http://events.technologyreview.com/emtech/17/?utm_medium=ps_slider&amp;utm_source=trsite&amp;utm_campaign=emtech2017&amp;utm_term=conference&amp;utm_content=iu35&amp;discount=IU35@EMTECH">Register now</a>.

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    Viktor Adalsteinsson

    In his lab at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Viktor Adalsteinsson has put an automated system in place that scans blood samples for traces of tumor DNA—a so-called liquid biopsy. Collecting genetic information on advanced cancers might lead to clues about what drives the disease in later stages and what drugs to give patients.…

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    Gene Berdichevsky

    As employee number seven at Tesla, Gene ­Berdichevsky was instrumental in solving one of its earliest challenges: the thousands of lithium-­ion batteries the company planned to pack into its electric sports car caught fire far more often than manufacturers claimed. His solution: a combination of heat transfer materials, cooling channels, and battery arrangements that ensured…

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    Radha Boya

    Beneath a microscope in Radha Boya’s lab, a thin sheet of carbon has an almost imperceptible channel cutting through its center, the depth of a single molecule of water. “I wanted to create the most ultimately small fluidic channels possible,” explains Boya. Her solution: identify the best building blocks to reliably and repeatedly build a…

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    Jessica Brillhart

    Traditional filmmaking techniques often don’t work in virtual reality. So for the past few years, first as the principal filmmaker for virtual reality at Google and now as an independent filmmaker, Jessica Brillhart has been defining what will. Brillhart recognized early on that in VR, the director’s vision is no longer paramount. A viewer won’t…

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    Joshua Browder

    Joshua Browder is determined to upend the $200 billion legal services market with, of all things, chatbots. He thinks chatbots can automate many of the tasks that lawyers have no business charging a high hourly rate to complete. “It should never be a hassle to engage in a legal process, and it should never be…

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    Tracy Chou

    Silicon Valley loves data. But until recently, there was one subject where tech companies showed little interest at all in the numbers: the diversity of their workforces. It’s not that the statistics were downplayed—the numbers didn’t even exist. Today most big tech companies have issued public reports on diversity, and there’s an independent, crowdsourced data…

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    Abdigani Diriye

    “Like many Somalis, I ended up fleeing my homeland because of the civil war, back in the late 1980s. At age five I moved to the U.K. because I had family there and was able to get asylum. I grew up in a fairly nice part of London and went on to get a PhD in…

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    Adrienne Felt

    The next time you open up Google’s Chrome Web browser, take a look at the little green icon that appears in the left corner of the URL bar whenever you’re on a secure website. It’s a lock, and if it’s green it signals that the website you’re on is encrypting data as it flows between…

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    Phillipa Gill

    Five years ago, when Phillipa Gill began a research fellowship at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, she was surprised to find that there was no real accepted approach for empirically measuring censorship. So Gill, now an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst,  built a set of new measurement tools…

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    Tallis Gomes

    Tallis Gomes had spent four years as the CEO of EasyTaxi, the “Uber of Brazil,” when he decided in 2015 to aim the same concept in a new direction—the beauty industry. His on-demand services platform, called Singu, allows customers to summon a masseuse, manicurist, or other beauty professional to their home or office. Scheduling is…

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    Kathy Gong

    Kathy Gong became a chess master at 13, and four years later she boarded a plane with a one-way ticket to New York City to attend Columbia University. She knew little English at the time but learned as she studied, and after graduation she returned to China, where she soon became a standout among a…

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    Ian Goodfellow

    A few years ago, after some heated debate in a Montreal pub, Ian Goodfellow dreamed up one of the most intriguing ideas in artificial intelligence. By applying game theory, he devised a way for a machine-learning system to effectively teach itself about how the world works. This ability could help make computers smarter by sidestepping…

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    Svenja Hinderer

    Problem: Over 85,000 Americans receive artificial heart valves, but such valves don’t last forever, and replacing them involves a costly and invasive surgery. In children, they must be replaced repeatedly. Solution: Svenja Hinderer, who leads a research group at the Fraunhofer Institute in Stuttgart, Germany, has created a biodegradable heart valve that studies strongly suggest…

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    Eyad Janneh

    In the video, two flat black bags resembling large hot-water bottles expand slowly, gradually lifting a collapsed concrete-and-rebar wall and creating a space between the wall and a mound of rocks beneath. The film shows a test of a design by Eyad Janneh and his team at nonprofit Field Ready that is now being deployed…

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    Bill Liu

    Bill Liu thinks he can do something Samsung, LG, and Lenovo can’t: manufacture affordable, flexible electronics that can be bent, folded, or rolled up into a tube. Other researchers and companies have had similar ideas, but Liu moved fast to commercialize his vision. In 2012, he founded a startup called Royole, and in 2014 the…

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    Lorenz Meier

    Lorenz Meier was curious about technologies that could allow robots to move around on their own, but in 2008, when he started looking, he was unimpressed—most systems had not yet even adopted the affordable motion sensors found in smartphones. So Meier, now a postdoc at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, built his…

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    Neha Narkhede

    The business world is drowning in data, but Neha Narkhede is teaching companies to swim. As an engineer at LinkedIn, Narkhede helped invent an open-source software platform called Apache Kafka to quickly process the site’s torrent of incoming data from things like user clicks and profile updates. Sensing a big opportunity, she co-founded Confluent, a…

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    Franziska Roesner

    What would hacks of augmented reality look like? Imagine a see-through AR display on your car helping you navigate—now imagine a hacker adding images of virtual dogs or pedestrians in the street. Franzi Roesner, 31, recognized this challenge early on and is leading the thinking into what security and privacy provisions AR devices will need…

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    Olga Russakovsky

    “It’s hard to navigate a human environment without seeing,” says Olga Russakovsky, an assistant professor at Princeton who is working to create artificial-intelligence systems that have a better understanding of what they’re looking at. A few years ago, machines were capable of spotting only about 20 objects—a list that included people, airplanes, and chairs. Russakovsky…

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    Austin Russell

    Most driverless cars use laser sensors, or lidar, to map surroundings in 3-D and spot obstacles. But some cheap new sensors may not be accurate enough for high-speed use. “They’re more suited to a Roomba,” says Austin ­Russell, who dropped out of Stanford and set up his own lidar company, Luminar. “My biggest fear is…

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    Michael Saliba

    Crystalline-silicon panels—which make up about 90 percent of deployed photovoltaics—are expensive, and they’re already bumping up against efficiency limits in converting sunlight to electricity. So a few years ago, Michael S­aliba, a researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, set out to investigate a new type of solar cell based on a…

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    Angela Schoellig

    Safety never used to be much of a concern with machine-learning systems. Any goof made in image labeling or speech recognition might be annoying, but it wouldn’t put anybody’s life at risk. But autonomous cars, drones, and manufacturing robots have raised the stakes. Angela Schoellig, who leads the Dynamic Systems Lab at the University of…

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    Gang Wang

    Artificial intelligence has reached “a critical point,” says Gang Wang—it’s moved beyond the lab and is now ready for mass-market consumer products. Wang, who joined Alibaba’s AI lab in March, is at the forefront of the push to make AI practical for consumer products, and he’s doing it for one of the world’s most ambitious…

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    Gregory Wayne

    Greg Wayne, a researcher at DeepMind, designs software that gets better the same way a person might—by learning from its own mistakes. In a 2016 Nature paper that Wayne coauthored, it was demonstrated that such software can solve things like graph problems, logic puzzles, and tree structures that traditional neural networks used in artificial intelligence…

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    Jianxiong Xiao

    Jianxiong Xiao aims to make self-driving cars as widely accessible as computers are today. He’s the founder and CEO of AutoX, which recently demonstrated an autonomous car built not with expensive laser sensors but with ordinary webcams and some sophisticated computer-vision algorithms. Remarkably, the vehicle can navigate even at night and in bad weather. AutoX…