The best of Emtech 2022 and US misinformation in the meantime

The best of Emtech 2022 and US misinformation in the meantime

Last week, MIT Technology Review brought together some of the world’s sharpest minds dedicated to developing the technologies that are changing the way we live. EmTech, our annual flagship event covering cutting-edge developments and global trends, hearing from experts working in fields as diverse as space commercialization to CRISPR gene editing, helps set the agenda for the year ahead and beyond. A big thank you to everyone who participated in person and online!

Here are just some of the highlights from the action-packed agenda:

+ Kiran Musunuru, a top American cardiologist, is pioneering the use of gene editing to treat heart disease. He sat down with Antonio Regalado, our senior biotech writer, to discuss the clinical trial he’s overseen to assess whether tweaking a cholesterol-regulating gene could help prevent future deaths from heart disease.

+ Alla Weinstein, co-founder of offshore wind company Trident Winds, discussed the ocean’s incredible potential for clean energy production—an area the Biden administration is particularly excited about. “The ocean itself has more energy than we will ever need, as long as we can capture it,” she told the audience.

+ Frank McCourt, a social entrepreneur and CEO of investment firm McCourt Global, took the stage to outline his vision of a new internet focused on equality, rather than the current model, which he believes is built on unequal distribution of power. He explained why the United States needs to look to Europe for lessons on data protection, why the status quo endangers democracy, and why now is the perfect time to try to fix our broken model.

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+ Hugh Herr is a professor of media arts and sciences at the MIT Media Lab and co-director of the K. Lisa Yang Center for Bionics. He gave us a sneak peek at the fascinating projects he and his lab are working on, including helping amputees who need prosthetics in Sierra Leone, and the exciting future of exoskeletons.

+ Will Douglas Heaven, our Senior Editor for AI, moderated a riveting panel with Ashley Lawrencevice president and CEO of Microsoft Research, Yann LeCunVP and head of AI researcher at Meta, and Raya Hadsell, senior director of research and robotics at DeepMind. They discussed everything from the definition of AI, to the importance of reinforcement learning.

If you missed anything, catch up on our live blogs from both days of live events, or register for EmTech Digital, our signature AI conference, starting in March 2023.

They must be read

I’ve been combing the internet to find today’s funniest/most important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 Misinformation swirls on social media ahead of the US midterms
Despite major platforms’ repeated promises, they are trying to fight it. (WP$)
+ Twitter in particular is at risk of hosting political fakes. (FT$)
+ How Republicans reinforced each other’s lies about the Pelosi attack. (ENJOY $)
+ The US economy could prove to be the biggest tipping point this week. (BBC)

2 Twitter is asking some laid-off employees to return to work
Some of the workers were allegedly laid off “by mistake”. (Bloomberg$)
+ Jack Dorsey is apologetic for growing Twitter too fast, apparently. (The Verge)
+ Mastodon’s founder is not a big fan of Elon Musk. (Time $)
+ How to find your favorite Twitter accounts on Mastodon. (Wired $)

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3 What’s next for covid vaccines?
No more needles, possibly. (Knowable Magazine)
+ Two inhalation vaccines against covid have been approved. (MIT Technology Review)

4 Crypto is trying to revitalize British lower league football
A crypto millionaire wants to play Ted Lasso with lowly ranked Crawley Town. (ENJOY $)
+ Binance’s boss is selling his token holdings in rival exchange FTX. (CoinDesk)

5 TikTok’s algorithm isn’t as powerful as you might think
A large part of its stickiness lies in our phone addiction. (Wired $)
+ What it serves you depends on unknown factors. (The Guardian)
+ How aspiring influencers are forced to fight the algorithm. (MIT Technology Review)

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