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The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, Linda Rodriguez McRobbie spotlights Cyborg Botany, a project at the Media Lab aimed to tap into how plants react to their environments. The researchers grew plants with “conductive wires in their intercellular spaces. That allowed the plants to become inconspicuous motion sensors, sending a signal via microelectrodes to a laptop every time someone walked by.”

BBC News

Prof. Fadel Adib speaks with BBC reporter Gareth Mitchell about a new battery-free underwater navigation system that his group developed. Adib explains that one of the key developments behind the new sensors is that they can “harvest power from sound.”

CNN

Visiting Professor Susan Blumenthal writes for CNN about the need for face mask standards to help stem the spread of Covid-19. “Developing a national certification and labeling system for mask effectiveness, educating about their power for preventing infection, and mandating their use are essential components of protecting individuals and communities from viral spread in America's battle against this pandemic,” writes Blumenthal and her co-author.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter KC Ifeanyi writes about “Coded Bias,” which explores how graduate student Joy Buolamwini’s “groundbreaking discovery and subsequent studies on the biases in facial recognition software against darker-skinned individuals and women led to some of the biggest companies including Amazon and IBM rethinking their practices.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Devika Girish reviews “Coded Bias,” a new documentary that chronicles graduate student Joy Buolamwini’s work uncovering how many AI systems can perpetuate race and gender-based inequities. “When you think of A.I., it’s forward-looking,” says Buolamwini. “But A.I. is based on data, and data is a reflection of our history.”

The Boston Globe

Prof. Kevin Esvelt writes for The Boston Globe about the need for transparency surrounding gene-editing research. “We should establish transparent, publicly accessible standards to help determine whether, when, and how research that could impact everyone should proceed,” Esvelt explains.

TechCrunch

MIT researchers have developed a new battery-free, underwater navigation system, reports Darrell Etherington for TechCrunch. “Ultimately, the system and future versions that are based on the same technology could enable future robotic submarine explorers to better map the ocean floor,” writes Etherington, “and perform all kinds of automated monitoring and sub-sea navigation.”

Forbes

Forbes reporter Eva Amsen writes about a new study by researchers from the Media Lab that explores how to credit art developed by AI systems. The researches found that “credit for AI-generated art all depends on how we think and talk about the role of AI.”

WHDH 7

7 News spotlights how MIT researchers have developed a new wearable sensor that can be used to help people with ALS communicate. “The wearable technology, known as Comfortable Decoders, recognizes tiny facial movements that can help patients communicate simple statements, like ‘I’m hungry’ or ‘I love you.’”

Mashable

Mashable reporter Emmet Smith spotlights how researchers from the MIT Media Matter Group have demonstrated how “silk can be harvested sustainably, using silkworms as active designers in the spinning of complex structures.”

The Verge

Verge reporter Kim Lyons writes that a new analysis co-authored by graduate student Dan Calacci finds that an algorithm for a shipping delivery platform has led to reduced payment for workers. The researchers found that “the workers who reported lower wages were making 11 percent less than they did under the previous pay structure.”

Economist

Prof. Fadel Adib has created a new underwater device that not only broadcasts and receives sound, but is also powered by sound, reports The Economist. In the future, Adib and his colleagues hope the device could be used to “transmit information about water temperature, acidity and salinity.”

NBC News

NBC News reporters Lindsay Hoffman and Caroline Kim spotlight graduate student Joy Buolamwini’s work uncovering racial and gender bias in AI systems in a piece highlighting women who are “shattering ceilings, making groundbreaking discoveries, and spreading public awareness during the global pandemic.” Hoffman and Kim note that Buolamwini’s research "helped persuade these companies to put a hold on facial recognition technology until federal regulations were passed.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Mark Wilson spotlights Prof. Ekene Ijeoma’s project, A Counting, which aims to capture audio recordings of the more than 1,300 languages that Americans speak. “The question for A Counting is how we can count to a whole using everyone’s voices to represent,” says Ijeoma, “not just languages, but voices and accents as a way of representing their cultural and ethnic identities.”

Forbes

Researchers from MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative are teaming up with Boston’s Federal Reserve Bank to build and test a hypothetical central bank digital currency, reports Vipin Bharathan for Forbes.