The Download

What's up in emerging technology

Yesterday Ispace lander

The Next Moon Mission Might Be Sponsored By a Soda Company

When humans next set foot on the moon’s surface, the scene may be a bit different than the first visit. Rather than an astronaut walking out of a clunky pod emblazoned with their country’s name and planting a flag, picture a lunar lander tricked out… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Ispace

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Photo of the Charging Bull statue near Wall Street in New York City

Hedge Funds Are Increasingly Turning to AI—and That Might Be a Problem

Financial firms have generally been slow to accept artificially intelligent stock pickers. They have already invested billions collectively to bring in quantitative analysts, who do major number crunching as well as develop powerful non-AI algorithms.… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Sam valadi | Flickr

Editor's Pick

Digital Pills Track How Patients Use Opioids

New pill capsules that send a message to a smartphone as they move through the GI tract have emerged as a way to track whether patients are taking their medicine as prescribed. The problem of nonadherence to medication instructions causes about 125,000...

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December 12, 2017 An image of Alice in action

In Russia, There’s an AI Helper That Makes Fun of You—and It’s Wildly Popular

The unfailingly polite tone of personal assistants like Siri and Alexa isn’t to everyone’s taste. Many in Russia, in fact, seem to prefer their AI helpers with sass and a dark sense of humor.

The Moscow-based tech giant Yandex launched a Russian-speaking… Read more

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  • Yandex
SEC Chair Jay Clayton

As it Turns Out, the SEC Doesn’t Completely Hate ICOs

Hours after the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday that it had halted a second initial coin offering in less than a week, SEC chair Jay Clayton published a lengthy statement expressing his views on the controversial new fund-raising… Read more

Image credit:
  • Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
The FF91 electric car looks good, but will it ever get made?

A Wannabe Tesla Rival Appears to Be on a Knife Edge

The electric-car startup Faraday Future is reported to be in dire financial straits. Its FF91 car is billed to have a 378-mile range, 1,050 horsepower, and a 0-to-60 time of 2.39 seconds—but reports suggest that there may never be enough money to actually… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Maurizio Pesce | Flickr
We eat a lot of meat. Should we tax it?

Should We Have a Meat Tax?

Call it the burger lover’s dilemma: we know deep down that it’s awful for the planet, but the beef patty tastes so damn good.

Most of us still chow down. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that the average American consumed 211 pounds of meat per… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • lLkas Budimaier | Unsplash

Editor's Pick

Apps That Hint at a Fanciful Fake Future

Right now, one of the best gadgets for viewing augmented reality or virtual reality may be sitting in your pocket.

Smartphones, especially newer, higher-end models, are getting really good at blending the real and the virtual (as in AR) and transporting...

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December 11, 2017 CBOE trading floor

What Do Bitcoin Futures Mean for the Future of Bitcoin?

Great question, so glad you asked.

A big securities exchange in Chicago on Sunday began selling Bitcoin futures for the first time, something seen by many as an important step toward mainstream usage. But what this really means for Bitcoin and its users… Read more

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  • yuan2003 | Flickr
Man outside with a mosquito trap.

Microsoft Announces $50 Million for Its “AI for Earth” Project

There are plenty of stories about artificial intelligence ending the world as we know it (see 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Terminator, certain Elon Musk tweets). There are fewer about how AI could save the world, but believers are out there. At a gathering… Read more

Image credit:
  • Microsoft