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“Progress.” We take for granted that it’s a good thing. We constantly invoke it to justify change. But all the ways in which society is measured—from economic indicators to health and education metric...
This list marks 20 years since we began compiling an annual selection of the year’s most important technologies. Some, such as mRNA vaccines, are already changing our lives, while others are still a f...
Back in the 1990s, Lee Hood, a technologist and immunologist famous for co-­inventing the automated DNA sequencer, made a bold prediction. By 2016, he suggested, all Americans would carry a data card...
The morning my first child was born, I was mostly thinking of death. It was the week before Thanksgiving as my husband and I hunkered down with our newborn in Berkeley, California, learning from cable...
What do we mean when we talk about progress? In general terms, to make progress means to move toward something and away from something else. But where we’re headed and what we’re leaving behind are ke...
In late 2012, AI scientists first figured out how to get neural networks to “see.” They proved that software designed to loosely mimic the human brain could dramatically improve existing computer-visi...
The conventional story of CRISPR genome editing is one of heroic power and promise with an element of peril. That peril became personified when MIT Technology Review’s Antonio Regalado revealed in Nov...
Deven Karpelman would never have joined TikTok if it hadn’t been for the pandemic. And she certainly never expected to be famous on it. But the app has a way of rewarding good content with views, drop...
If we’ve learned anything from covid-19, it’s the extent to which our lives are enmeshed with those of the people around us. We interact constantly, spreading our germs and picking up theirs. That’s w...
Despite decades of warnings and increasingly devastating disasters, we’ve still made little progress in slowing climate change. Clean energy alternatives have secured just a fraction of the marketplac...
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