Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

The Download, Mar 28, 2017: AI Speed Boost, Musk’s Mind Meld, and Cellular Computers

The most fascinating and important news in technology and innovation delivered straight to your inbox, every day.

Three Things You Need to Know Today

A Speedy Way for Robots to Teach Themselves
Machine learning could get far faster. The hottest way to have robots teach themselves right now is called reinforcement learning, and it allowed DeepMind to topple the complex game of Go last year. But at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech Digital conference in San Francisco, Ilya Sutskever, from nonprofit machine learning research institute OpenAI, described a new approach that could save an awful lot of time. Our own Tom Simonite explains how OpenAI's so-called evolution strategies can help software learn some activities in minutes, rather than hours.

Do you need The Download? Sign up here to get it for free in your inbox

The Anti-Aging Pill We’ve All Been Waiting For?
A drug derived from Easter Island bacteria extends the life of animals—and humans could be next. Two years ago, Novartis carried out tests to see if a drug could turn back the clock on the immune system of elderly people. Then, just last week, a Boston venture capital company said that it was licensing drugs from the pharmaceutical firm with plans to test them against age-related disease. Our own Antonio Regalado investigates whether a pill to make you younger is on the cards.

Elon Musk’s Plan to Help Humans Remain Relevant
As robots learn faster than ever, humans will need new ways to keep up. At least that’s what Elon Musk thinks: as Vanity Fair reminded us yesterday, he has deep concerns about what could happen when we summon the AI demon. In fact, the great man reckons, perhaps the only way for humans to avoid engineering their own obsolescence is to find a way to meld mind with machine. Right on cue, the Wall Street Journal reports (paywall) that Musk's hotly anticipated neural lace—a piece of hardware to provide a link between brain and computer—is finally taking shape at a new company called Neuralink.

Ten Fascinating Things

Lior Ron, co-founder of the driverless truck company Otto, says that autonomous big rigs will be a normal sight on roads within the next 10 years.

Today, Donald Trump is expected to issue a wide-ranging rollback of Obama’s climate commitments—but the President may yet struggle to achieve all his goals.

A new IVF technique appears to rejuvenate women's ovaries to allow menopausal females to get pregnant using their own eggs.

It still looks like a building site, but one day it could help provide limitless clean energy. The New York Times checks in on troubled nuclear fusion project ITER.

Why fake news may be too big a problem for even Facebook and Google to solve.

Researchers have hacked human cells and reprogrammed their DNA to turn them into simple computers that can obey 109 different sets of logical instructions.

A new analysis suggests that heatwaves, droughts, and floods around the world have been enabled by human impact on wind patterns known as planetary waves.

How material scientists and engineers are toiling to build you a better contact lens.

Amazon is now setting its sights on the Middle East: it's just acquired the Amazon of Dubai, Souq.com, for $650 million.

Do people seem to be taking increasing delight in publicly correcting you on social media? Welcome to the rising trend of getting owned.

Quote of the Day

"There is no such thing as a perfect weapon, and weapons designed to be non-lethal can end up having lethal effects or infringe on people’s rights to speak out and assemble."

— Rohini Haar, from the organization Physicians for Human Rights, explains why building a gun that doesn't kill is harder than you might think.

AI is here.
Own what happens next at EmTech Digital 2019.

Register now
Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    Print + Digital Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

    Technology Review PDF magazine archive, including articles, images, and covers dating back to 1899

    10% Discount to MIT Technology Review events and MIT Press

    Ad-free website experience

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.