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Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter Victoria Song writes that a new study by researchers from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) finds that “not only do rideshares increase congestion, but they also made traffic jams longer, led to a significant decline in people taking public transit, and haven’t really impacted car ownership.”

Corriere della Sera

Researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed a robotic dog outfitted with a tablet that allows doctors to visit with emergency room patients remotely. “The robot could therefore avoid the risk of exposure to Covid-19 by healthcare professionals and help save the personal protective equipment necessary for each visit,” writes Ruggiero Corcella of Corriere della Sera.

New Scientist

In an article for New Scientist, Vijaysree Venkatraman reviews a new book by Kate Darling of the Media Lab, which explores whether we should think of robots as more like animals than humans. “Unlike animals, robots are designed, peddled and controlled by people, Darling reminds us. Her timely book urges us to focus on the legal, ethical and social issues regarding consumer robotics to make sure the robotic future works well for all of us,” writes Venkatraman.

 

New York Times

Graduate student Joy Buolamwini joins Kara Swisher on The New York Times' “Sway” podcast to discuss her crusade against bias in facial recognition technologies. “If you have a face, you have a place in this conversation,” says Buolamwini.

USA Today

USA Today reporter Barbara VanDenburgh spotlights Media Lab research specialist Kate Darling’s new book, “The New Breed: What Our History with Animals Reveals about Our Future with Robots.” VanDenburgh writes that in the book, “An MIT Media Lab researcher and technology policy expert argues that treating robots more like we treat animals, with a bit of humanity, will serve mankind well.”

The Interchange

On The Interchange podcast, Prof. Jessika Trancik discusses her research exploring the cost declines in lithium-ion batteries and what it will take to reach mass-market adoption of electric vehicles.

The Economist

A new study by Prof. Jessika Trancik and postdoctoral associate Micah Ziegler examining the plunge in lithium-ion battery costs finds that “every time output doubles, as it did five times between 2006 and 2016, battery prices fall by about a quarter,” reports The Economist. “A doubling in technological know-how, measured by patent filings, is associated with a 40% drop in price.”

Forbes

Writing for Forbes, Joseph Coughlin, director of the Age Lab, explores some of the surprises that Millennials, Gen X’ers, and younger Boomers have learned living at home for an extended period during the Covid-19 pandemic. "While Covid quarantine is certainly not entirely like retirement, there are more than a few similarities,” writes Coughlin. “The friction and complexities it has added to daily life are enough for many to question brochure-based thinking of what retirement might be.”

VICE

A study by researchers from MIT, Yale and Purdue finds that leaving the camera on during video meetings is a contributor to carbon dioxide emissions, reports Hannah Smothers for Vice. “Just one hour of videoconferencing or streaming, for example, emits 150-1,000 grams of carbon dioxide (a gallon of gasoline burned from a car emits about 8,887 grams), requires 2-12 liters of water and demands a land area adding up to about the size of an iPad Mini,” the researchers write.

The Boston Globe

Through his art and information-based work, Prof. Ekene Ijeoma “finds the humanity in data points,” writes Cate McQuaid for The Boston Globe. Ijeoma hopes his work - including “A Counting,” a sonic poem featuring recordings of people from around the world counting to 100, and the virtual Black Mobility and Safety Seminar hosted by his research team - bridges “the gap between facts and feelings. It gets to ‘what are the things being felt when experiencing this?’”

New York Times

Prof. Ekene Ijeoma has been collecting video recordings of people counting to 100 in different languages and dialects for the past year as part of his project “A Counting,” and is now soliciting videos of people counting to 100 in sign language, writes Sophie Haigney for The New York Times. Ijeoma explains that he hopes the artwork will constantly evolve “into a more whole representation of society.”

BBC News

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with the BBC Newshour about her new study analyzing the dramatic decline in the costs of lithium-ion batteries. Trancik explains that the reduced price, “opens up markets for electric vehicles for more people. The battery makes up a substantial portion of the total cost of an electric vehicle and the fact that costs have fallen by 97% over the last few decades means that these cars are no longer just for the wealthy.”

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter Victoria Song spotlights how CSAIL researchers have developed a new type of smart material that can measure movement. “The researchers have created a special type of fiber that can tell how a person is moving by sensing pressure and turning that pressure into electrical signals,” Song explains.

New York Times

New York Times contributor Vivian Gornick reviews “The Empathy Diaries,” a new memoir by Prof. Sherry Turkle in which “she seeks to tell the story of her own formative years and how she became the distinguished social theorist that she is today.”

Fast Company

Prof. Sherry Turkle speaks with Fast Company reporter Alex Pasternack about her memoir, “The Empathy Diaries” and the role of technology in society.