All the reasons 2018 was a breakout year for DNA data
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All the reasons 2018 was a breakout year for DNA data

Genetic IQ tests. DNA detective work. Virtual drug trials. These were some of the surprising new uses of DNA information that emerged over the last 12 months as…

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How Google took on China—and lost
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How Google took on China—and lost

Google’s first foray into Chinese markets was a short-lived experiment. Google China’s search engine was launched in 2006 and abruptly pulled from mainland China in 2010 amid a major…

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The Reunion: a new science-fiction story about surveillance in China
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The Reunion: a new science-fiction story about surveillance in China

Though only 23 minutes on the high-speed rail from Shenzhen North to West Kowloon, the journey from the mainland to Hong Kong seems to transport me back half…

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Seven New Year’s resolutions for Big Tech in 2019
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Seven New Year’s resolutions for Big Tech in 2019

Every January, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, likes to go public with a resolution for the year ahead. His 2018 one to “fix Facebook” has clearly been an epic…

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The day I tasted climate change
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The day I tasted climate change

In early November, gale-force winds whipped a brush fire into an inferno that nearly consumed the town of Paradise, California, and killed at least 85 people. By the…

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Never mind killer robots—here are six real AI dangers to watch out for in 2019
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Never mind killer robots—here are six real AI dangers to watch out for in 2019

Once it was fashionable to fret about the prospect of super-intelligent machines taking over the world. The past year showed that AI may cause all sorts of hazards…

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AI is reinventing the way we invent
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AI is reinventing the way we invent

Regina Barzilay’s office at MIT affords a clear view of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. Amgen’s drug discovery group is a few blocks beyond that. Until recently,…

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The technology behind OpenAI’s fiction-writing, fake-news-spewing AI, explained
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The technology behind OpenAI’s fiction-writing, fake-news-spewing AI, explained

Last Thursday (Feb. 14), the nonprofit research firm OpenAI released a new language model capable of generating convincing passages of prose. So convincing, in fact, that the researchers have…

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The first privately funded trip to the moon is about to launch
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The first privately funded trip to the moon is about to launch

Update: The SpaceIL lander was launched and deployed successfully on February 21, at 8:45 p.m. aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. It’s expected arrival on the lunar surface is…

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China’s CRISPR twins might have had their brains inadvertently enhanced
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China’s CRISPR twins might have had their brains inadvertently enhanced

The brains of two genetically edited girls born in China last year may have been changed in ways that enhance cognition and memory, scientists say. The twins, called…

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