Intelligent Machines

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

Another chance to catch the most interesting and important articles from the previous week on MIT Technology Review.

Sep 25, 2015

1. The Hit Charade
An algorithm might create a playlist you enjoy, but don’t mistake that for creativity.

2. J. Craig Venter to Offer DNA Data to Consumers
A genomic entrepreneur plans to sell genetic workups for as little as $250. But $25,000 gets you “a physical on steroids.”

3. Spinning Synthetic Spider Silk
A California company may have figured out how to use genetic engineering to make extremely versatile fibers the way spiders can.

4. Why America’s Top Mental Health Researcher Joined Alphabet
Tom Insel explains why he’s ready to give Silicon Valley a try.

5. What the VW Scandal Means for Clean Diesel
The revelations about Volkswagen’s diesel emissions hurt not only the German carmaker, but the diesel industry overall.

6. Could Dark Matter Cause Cancer?
Astrophysicists speculate that “mirror” dark matter poses an entirely new form of radiation threat and could cause the mutations that lead to cancer.

7. Make Your Own Buttons with a Gel Touch Screen
Researchers covered a touch screen in gel that can harden into buttons of all shapes and sizes so you can use the display even if you can’t gaze at it.