The Download: AI conquers Minecraft, and babies after death

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. A bot that watched 70,000 hours of Minecraft could unlock AI’s next big thing The news: An AI that binged on 70,000 hours of people playing Minecraft has learned how to play the…

25 November 2022

A bot that watched 70,000 hours of Minecraft could unlock AI’s next big thing

OpenAI has built the best Minecraft-playing bot yet by making it watch 70,000 hours of video of people playing the popular computer game. It showcases a powerful new technique that could be used to train machines to carry out a wide range of tasks by binging on sites like YouTube, a vast and untapped source…

25 November 2022

We can now use cells from dead people to create new life. But who gets to decide?

This article is from The Checkup, MIT Technology Review’s weekly biotech newsletter. To receive it in your inbox every Thursday, sign up here. Peter Zhu was just 19 years old when he died following a skiing accident in West Point, New York. His donor card made clear he had wanted to donate his organs. But…

25 November 2022

The Download: climate responsibility, and AI training data shortages

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. The US and China are pointing fingers at each other over climate change The UN climate conference wrapped up over the weekend after marathon negotiations that ran way over. The most notable outcome was the…

24 November 2022

The US and China are pointing fingers at each other over climate change

The UN climate conference just wrapped up over the weekend after a marathon negotiating session that stretched talks nearly 48 hours past their scheduled conclusion. (A question for my editor: the UN isn’t hitting deadlines, so do I still have to?) The most notable outcome from the conference was establishment of a fund to help…

24 November 2022

We could run out of data to train AI language programs 

Large language models are one of the hottest areas of AI research right now, with companies racing to release programs like GPT-3 that can write impressively coherent articles and even computer code. But there’s a problem looming on the horizon, according to a team of AI forecasters: we might run out of data to train…

24 November 2022

The Download: Meta’s diplomatic AI, and China’s online comment censorship

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. Meta’s game-playing AI can make and break alliances like a human Meta has created an AI that can beat humans at an online version of Diplomacy, a popular strategy game in which seven…

23 November 2022

Meta’s game-playing AI can make and break alliances like a human

Meta has created an AI that can beat humans at an online version of Diplomacy, a popular strategy game in which seven players compete for control of Europe by moving pieces around on a map. Unlike other board games that AI has mastered, such as chess and Go, Diplomacy requires players to talk to each…

23 November 2022

The Chinese government’s problematic quest to judge online comments

China Report is MIT Technology Review’s newsletter about technology developments in China. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Tuesday. This morning, I published an explainer on China’s social credit system. The government released a draft law on November 14 that will eventually serve as the top-level guidance on how the country builds the system. …

23 November 2022

The Download: China’s social credit law, and robot dog navigation

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. Here’s why China’s new social credit law matters It’s easier to talk about what China’s social credit system isn’t than what it is. Ever since 2014, when China announced plans to build it,…

22 November 2022