Download: The best stories of 2022 and what’s next for AI

This is today’s edition of Download, Our weekday newsletter provides daily coverage of what’s happening in the tech world.

Our favorite stories in 2022

We like to think we’ve had a great year here at MIT Technology Review. Our story has won many awards (this story from our journal that won Gold in AAAS awards) and our investigations have helped shed light on unjust policies.

So this year we asked our writers and editors to look back over the past 12 months and try to pick just one story they loved the most—and tell us why. Here’s what they said.

What’s next for AI

In 2022, AI becomes innovative. AI models can now create amazingly persuasive text, images, and even videos with just a little reminder. It’s only been nine months since OpenAI started the overall AI boom with the launch of DALL-E 2, a deep learning model that can generate images from written instructions. This was followed by a breakthrough from Google and Meta: AI can produce video from text. And it’s only been a few weeks since OpenAI released ChatGPT, the latest major language paradigm that set the internet on fire with its surprising eloquence and coherence.

The pace of innovation this year has been remarkable—and at times overwhelming. Who could have seen it coming? And how can we predict what’s next?

Our in-house experts Will Douglas Heaven and Melissa Heikkilä tell us the four biggest trends they expect to shape the AI ​​landscape in 2023. Read full story

Brain stimulation may be more invasive than we think

Today, there are many neurotechnologies that can read what’s going on in our brains, modify how they work, and change the wiring. For example, deep brain stimulation involves implanting electrodes deep into the brain to stimulate neurons and control how regions of the brain activate. It is considered quite invasive, in the medical sense.

Other treatments, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, involve passing a device shaped like an 8 over a person’s head to deliver magnetic pulses to parts of the brain and interfere with its functioning. are considered “non-invasive” because they act from outside the brain. But if we can penetrate a person’s mind, even without puncturing the skull, how non-invasive is this technology really? Read full story.

—Jessica Hamzelou

Jessica’s story is from The Checkup, her weekly newsletter on everything worth knowing in biotechnology. Registration to get it in your inbox every Thursday.

Podcast: the future of agriculture lies in space

AI is used in agriculture to precisely target weeds and optimize irrigation practices. It’s also being used in ways you might not expect, such as to monitor the health of cow pastures—from space. We go from experimental farms to orchards in the first of a two-part series on agriculture, artificial intelligence and satellites.

Hear about Apple Podcasts or wherever you normally get your podcasts.

Must read

I’ve scoured the Internet to find you today’s most interesting/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 Sam Bankman-Fried was released on bail of $250 million
He is facing home detention pending trial. (BBC)
+ It was one of the largest bailouts in US history. (Bloomberg $)
+ Crypto Twitter unimpressed by his smooth conditions. (CoinTelegraph)

2 A severe storm is forcing US airlines to cancel flights
+ Knitting down the left, right, middle. (WSJ $)
+ It will sweep through most of the US and into Canada. (Wired $)

3 We don’t know how effective the nasal covid vaccine is
And because we don’t collect the right kind of data, we may never know. (Atlantic $)
+ Two inhaled covid vaccines have been approved — but we still don’t know how good they are. (MIT Technology Review)
+ Life expectancy in the US is decreasing again. (axis)

4 Twitter is starting to show how many people have viewed your tweets
It was another one of Elon Musk’s wheezes. (TechCrunch)
+ Twitter looks like it’s crashing right now. (Atlantic $)
+ We are witnessing the brain death of Twitter. (MIT Technology Review)

5 ByteDance Followed Journalists
Its employees improperly obtained access to their IP addresses to try and find out if they were in contact with ByteDance employees. (Forbes)
+ After all that, the company hasn’t found any leaks. (FT $)
+ TikTok is trying hard to win favor in the US. (Reuters)

6 NFT is at a crossroads
Their value has plummeted, but the missionaries refuse to give up. (Wired $)
+ Some crypto loyalists are trying to accept losses. (Evil behavior)

7 laid-off immigrant tech workers are stuck in limbo
Losing their jobs means their families can’t work either, leaving many with no choice but to leave the US. (guard)
+ For the founder of this startup, having his business go bankrupt was a bit of a relief. (Information $)

8 It’s been a landmark year for electric vehicles
They’re not just synonymous with Tesla anymore. (Vox)
+ Why electric cars don’t replace hybrids soon (MIT Technology Review)

9 Japan’s space agency is sending a toy-like rover to the moon
Cute ball designed by famous toy maker Tomy. (New Yorkers $)
+ The Perseverance autonomous vehicle has dropped its first prototype tube. (Registration)

10 We’re Spending Our First BeReal Christmas
Unfortunately, uniqueness is rare. (Evil behavior)

Quote of the day

“Despite all the adverse, doom and gloom scenarios, Ukraine did not collapse. Ukraine is living and growing.”

—Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the United States Congress for its financial support to Ukraine and its people 10 months after the Russian invasion, CNN report.

big story

Startup races to reproduce breast milk in the lab

December 2020

Like many mothers, Leila Strickland finds breastfeeding difficult. She struggled to feed a son and three years later a daughter, and spent all day, every day breastfeeding or pumping to stimulate her milk flow.

Strickland, a professor of vascular physiology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, began thinking about how she could use a process like the one pioneered by Dutch food technology company Mosa Meat to creates artificial beef, but for the cells that produce breast milk.

For years, she struggled to keep the project funded, and she almost gave up on the idea. But in May 2020, Biomilq, the company she founded, received $3.5 million from a group of investors led by Bill Gates. Biomilq is now racing against competitors to shake up the world of infant nutrition in a way not seen since the birth of the $42 billion formula industry. Read full story.

—Haley Cohen Gilliland

We can still have good things

A place for comfort, fun and entertainment in these strange times. (Any ideas?Drop me a lineortweet them with me.)

+ I have to admit, I haven’t heard of flirt with onion emoji until now.
+ Even millennials are starting to look to millennials cower.
+ An intrepid guide for all Netflix’s cheesy festival movies—watch your danger.
+ This chef is bravely reimagining classic Italian Christmas dry causal sweet breadwith a hint of Silician flair.
+ How to do it New Year’s resolutions you will really stick.

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