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In the Media

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NPR

Prof. Daron Acemoglu speaks with Greg Rosalsky of NPR’s Planet Money about AI’s potential effect on jobs, specifically the translation business. “I think how good AI has become is often exaggerated,” says Acemoglu. “But there is pretty much nothing that humans do as meaningful occupation that generative AI can now do. So in almost everything it can at best helps humans, and at worst, not even do that.”

Financial Times

Prof. Yasheng Huang joins a Financial Times podcast to speak with James Kynge about how China’s technological advancement and economic growth could be threatened by the country’s increasing authoritarianism. “My own prediction is that if Chinese domestic policy doesn’t change substantially, the pace of technological and scientific progress that we have witnessed during the reform era, that pace is going to slow down,” Huang says.

CNN

Researchers at MIT have discovered the composition of primordial black holes and “potentially discovering an entirely new type of exotic black hole in the process,” reports Jacopo Prisco for CNN. “We were making use of Stephen Hawking’s famous calculations about black holes, especially his important result about the radiation that black holes emit,” says Prof. David Kaiser. “These exotic black holes emerge from trying to address the dark matter problem — they are a byproduct of explaining dark matter.”

Politico

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have “outlined the costs and benefits of artificial intelligence in health care, education and the workforce,” reports Ruth Reader, Daniel Payne, and Carmen Paul for Politico. The researchers say “policymakers should study the real-world implications of the technology and consider using AI to inform policy,” writes Politico

National Geographic

MIT researchers have discovered “a new way to interfere with a certain bacterial enzyme that may lead to a new class of antibiotics,” reports Meryl Davids Landau for National Geographic. 

Forbes

Mario Ho '17, cofounded NIP Group, "an esports organization with a team of 125 pro gamers from China, Europe and Brazil," reports Zinnia Lee for Forbes. “NIP Group said it plans to expand into new markets such as Southeast Asia, North America, the Middle East, Japan and Korea,” explains Lee. “The company added that it would further expand its businesses in areas including esports education, digital collectibles and licensing of intellectual properties.”

Bloomberg

Asadej Kongsiri MBA '99 has been named the new President of The Stock Exchange of Thailand, reports Anuchit Nguyen for Bloomberg. The stock exchange says “with Asadej’s extensive experience in the financial markets, board members ‘are confident in his ability to lead and navigate the evolving financial landscape,’” writes Nguyen.

Newsweek

MIT researchers have created an amber-like material that preserves DNA so it can store data, improving on current methods that use particles of silica or require freezing, reports Pandora Dewan for Newsweek. The team “demonstrated their material by embedding and subsequently removing a DNA sequence encoding the music for the Jurassic Park theme song,” Dewan explains. “Following this process, they sequenced the molecule and confirmed that no errors had been introduced into the DNA sequence.”

The Guardian

Prof. Sherry Turkle warns against AI systems that simulate deceased partners, making it hard for the bereaved to “let go,” reports Dan Milmo for The Guardian. Breakthroughs in generative AI are enabling realistic conversations, but experts harbor concerns about the vulnerability of users and lack of regulation. “It’s something we are inflicting on ourselves because it’s such a seductive technology,” Turkle says.

Forbes

Prof. Sara Seager, Prof. Robert Langer and Prof. Nancy Kanwisher have been awarded the 2024 Kavli Prize for their work in the three award categories: astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience, respectively, reports Michael T. Nietzel for Forbes. According to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, this award honors scientists with outstanding research “that has broadened our understanding of the big, the small and the complex,” writes Nietzel. 

New Scientist

MIT researchers used tools of computational complexity and mathematical concepts to prove that no analysis of the Super Mario Bros video game level “can say for sure whether or not it can ever be completed,” reports Matthew Sparkes for New Scientist. “The idea is that you’ll be able to solve this Mario level only if this particular computation will terminate, and we know that there’s no way to determine that, and so there’s no way to determine whether you can solve the level,” says Prof. Erik Demaine. 

The Washington Post

Prof. Regina Barzilay spoke at The Futurist Summit: The Age of AI – an event hosted by The Washington Post – about the influence of AI in medicine. “When we're thinking today how many years it takes to bring new technologies [to market], sometimes it's decades if we’re thinking about drugs, and very, very slow,” Barzilay explains. “With AI technologies, you've seen how fast the technology that you're using today is changing.”

Forbes

Researchers at MIT have found that prospective job applicants who utilized basic AI modules in their application process were, on average, more likely to get hired and receive higher wages, reports Maria Gracia Santillana Linares for Forbes. “[Applicants] with access to the technology are more likely to get hired without any negative implications [from] employers,” says graduate student Emma Wiles.

WBUR

Research Scientist Jim Aloisi, director of the MIT Transit Research Consortium, joins WBUR’s Radio Boston to discuss the indefinite pause on New York’s congestion pricing program. The main failure recently seen, Aloisi explains, is lack of communication about congestion pricing, which fails to “let people understand how flexible and therefore fair and equitable this pricing tool can be, if we want it to be.”

Forbes

Cofounded by postdoctoral associate Wen Shuhao and postdoctoral fellows Ma Jian and Lai Lipeng, biotech startup Xtalpi "combines AI, quantum physics, cloud computing and robotic automation to find novel molecules that could be developed into new medicines,” reports Zinnia Lee for Forbes. “Xtalpi has also recently expanded into discovering new chemical compounds for applications such as agriculture, cosmetics, healthcare, as well as petrochemicals and new materials for electric vehicle batteries,” writes Lee.