The best of Emtech 2022 and US halftime misinformation

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

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

+ Kiran Musunuru, a leading 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 has overseen to determine if optimizing a cholesterol-regulating gene could help prevent future deaths from heart disease.

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

+ Frank McCourt, a civil society entrepreneur and founder of the non-profit organization Project Liberty and the company McCourt Global, took the stage to outline his vision of a new internet that focuses on equality and not the current model, which he believes is based on unequal distribution of internet based energy. He explained why the US needs to look to Europe for privacy lessons, why the status quo threatens democracy and why now is the perfect time to try to fix our broken model.

+ hugo sir is Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT Media Lab and Co-Director at the K. Lisa Yang Center for Bionics. He gave us a little insight into the fascinating projects he and his lab are working on, including helping people who have lost their limbs and need prosthetics in Sierra Leone, and the exciting future of exoskeletons.

+ Will Douglas Heaven, our senior AI editor, co-chaired an engaging panel Ashley LlorensVice President and General Manager of Microsoft Research, Yann Le CunVP and Lead AI Scientist at Meta, and Raia Hadsel, 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 it, you can check out our live blogs from both days of live events or register for EmTech Digital, our one-of-a-kind AI conference starting in March 2023.

The must reads

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

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

2 Twitter is urging some laid-off employees to return to work
Some of the workers were allegedly “accidentally” laid off. (Bloomberg dollar)
+ Jack Dorsey apparently apologizes for Twitter growing too fast. (The edge)
+ The founder of Mastodon isn’t a big fan of Elon Musk. (time $)
+ How to Find Your Favorite Twitter Accounts on Mastodon. (wired$)

3 What next for Covid vaccines?
No more needles, possibly. (Magazine worth knowing)
+ Two inhaled Covid vaccines have been approved. (MIT Technology Review)

4 Crypto seeks to revitalize British lower division football
A crypto millionaire wants to play Ted Lasso with low-ranking Crawley Town. (NYT$)
+ Binance boss is selling his token holdings on 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 guard)
+ How aspiring influencers are forced to fight the algorithm. (MIT Technology Review)


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