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The Conversation

Graduate student Anna Ivanova and University of Texas at Austin Professor Kyle Mahowald, along with Professors Evelina Fedorenko, Joshua Tenenbaum and Nancy Kanwisher, write for The Conversation that even though AI systems may be able to use language fluently, it does not mean they are sentient, conscious or intelligent. “Words can be misleading, and it is all too easy to mistake fluent speech for fluent thought,” they write.

Wired

A study by MIT AgeLab research scientist Bryan Reimer found that drivers using autopilot were “more likely to look away from the road once the system was on,” reports Aarian Marshall for Wired. “With automation comes an inherent new level of complexities. There are lots of risks and lots of rewards,” says Reimer.

Boston 25 News

Incoming first-year student Robbie Khazan founded Kiddo Byte, an organization that offers coding classes for kids, which is now branching out to help young Ukrainian refugees, reports Jim Morelli for Boston 25 News. “It [coding] really gets the mind going,” says Khazan. “It gets critical thinking going, which is a super important skill nowadays. The more coders that they have in Ukraine, the better suited they’ll be to rebuild.”

Forbes

Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab, writes for Forbes about the new meaning of a career and how employers, parents, institutions must adapt in the new age of technology. “Institutions must prepare young people to learn for a lifetime – not just for one profession that may be in high demand today, only to fade tomorrow,” writes Coughlin.

Forbes

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with Forbes contributor Peter Cohan about the carbon emissions associated with gas, hybrid and electric vehicles, and the site she and her research group developed to allow consumers to compare personal vehicles against climate change mitigation targets. “In most locations, compared to [gas-powered vehicles], EVs produce emissions savings greater than 30%,” says Trancik. "Most savings are greater depending on the geographic location, the electricity supply, and the vehicle model.”

BBC

Prof. Catherine Elizabeth Tucker speaks with BBC host Ed Butler about her research on effective online advertising. “It turns out that all too often it is not working as well as we were led to believe,” says Tucker.

The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe honored a number of MIT faculty and alumni in their Tech Power Players 50, a list of the “most influential – and interesting – people in the Massachusetts technology scene.” MIT honorees include Professor Yet-Ming Chiang, Senior Lecturer Brian Halligan, Professor Tom Leighton, Professor Silvio Micali, Katie Rae (CEO and managing partner for The Engine), and Professor Daniela Rus (director of CSAIL and deputy dean of research for the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing). 

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Aaron Pressman spotlights the work of Prof. Silvio Micali, who has been honored as one of The Boston Globe’s Tech Power Players 50 for his work in computer science and cryptography. “Micali decided to come up with a more elegant version of the underlying [cryptocurrency] technology, the public database of transactions known as the blockchain,” writes Pressman. “He formed a new startup, Algorand, to pursue a blockchain that would go far beyond bitcoin while reducing costs and electricity usage and speeding up transaction processing.”

Forbes

Overjet, co-founded by Wardah Inam SM ’12 PhD ’16, has been awarded landmark clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to use their software aimed at detecting and outlining cavities in patients’ X-rays, reports Alexandra S. Levine for Forbes. “Everybody has had a dental disease,” says Inam. “People have had good and bad experiences. And moving the industry towards making [a] more clinically precise, efficient patient focus is something that will impact every person in the world.”

The Boston Globe

An international team of scientists, including researchers from MIT and Harvard, have found that an artificial intelligence program trained to read X-rays and CT scans can successfully predict a person’s race with 90 percent accuracy, reports Hiawatha Bray for The Boston Globe. "The research effort was born when the scientists noticed that an AI program for examining chest X-rays was more likely to miss signs of illness in Black patients," writes Bray.

Forbes

Eureka Robotics, an automation company based in Singapore, has developed their products based on research from MIT and Nanyang Technological University, reports Catherine Shu for TechCrunch. “It [Eureka Robotics] focuses on robotic software and systems to automate tasks that require High Accuracy and high Agility (HAHA),” writes Shu. “Its robots are used for precision handling, assembly, inspection, drilling and other tasks.”

Wired

Graduate student Anna Waldman-Brown writes for Wired about the future of automation technology and how it can impact labor dynamics in the future. “While some scholars believe that our fates are predetermined by the technologies themselves, emerging evidence indicates that we may have considerable influence over how such machines are employed within our factories and offices – if we can only figure out how to wield this power,” writes Waldman-Brown.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Connie Lin spotlights how Algorand, an MIT startup founded by Prof. Silvio Micali, dimmed the lights in Times Square on April 21 to help conserve energy and demonstrate how cryptocurrency could reduce energy consumption. Algorand has developed a carbon-negative blockchain protocol and “utilizes a pure proof-of-stake consensus mechanism to verify authentic transactions.”

ABC News

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with ABC News about the urgent need to transition to renewable energy sources, and how we can build a future powered by alternative energy. “Up until recently there were really significant questions about whether we could transition to another [energy] foundation,” says Trancik. “This question has now been answered in that we now have cost competitive renewable primary energy in the form of solar and wind energy and also in other types of renewable energy.”

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Robert Weisman spotlights how researchers at the MIT AgeLab are “designing prototypes of ‘smart homes’ for older residents, equipped with social robots, voice-activated speakers that give medication reminders, motion sensors embedded in carpets to detect falls, and intelligent doorbells that double as security cameras.”