Category Archives: Technology

Foundations are lining up to fund solar geoengineering research

Foundations are lining up to fund solar geoengineering research

“A lot of people are recognizing the obvious,” says Douglas MacMartin, a senior research associate in mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell, who focuses on geoengineering. “We’re not in a good position with regard to mitigation—and we haven’t spent enough money on research to be able to support good, wise decisions on solar geoengineering.” Scientists […]

Biotech companies are trying to make milk without cows

Biotech companies are trying to make milk without cows

At Alpine Bio, a biotech company in San Francisco (also known as Nobell Foods), researchers have engineered soybeans to produce casein. While not yet cleared for sale, the beans are already being grown on USDA-sanctioned test plots in the Midwest, says Alpine’s CEO, Magi Richani.  Richani chose soybeans because they’re already a major commodity and […]

How Gogoro’s swap-and-go scooter batteries can strengthen the grid

How Gogoro’s swap-and-go scooter batteries can strengthen the grid

“We started with the thesis of how smart energy, through portability and connectivity, can enable many use case scenarios,” Luke says. “Transportation happens to be accounting for something like 27% or 28% of your energy use in your daily life.” And that’s why the company first designed the batteries for two-wheeled vehicles, a popular transportation […]

What using artificial intelligence to help monitor surgery can teach us

What using artificial intelligence to help monitor surgery can teach us

Teodor Grantcharov, a professor of surgery at Stanford, thinks he has found a tool to make surgery safer and minimize human error: AI-powered “black boxes” in operating theaters that work in a similar way to an airplane’s black box. These devices, built by Grantcharov’s company Surgical Safety Technologies, record everything in the operating room via […]

Digital twins are helping scientists run the world’s most complex instruments

Digital twins are helping scientists run the world’s most complex instruments

But the term “digital twin” actually came from a NASA employee named John Vickers, who first used it in 2010 as part of a technology road map report for the space agency. Today, perhaps unsurprisingly, Grieves is head of the Digital Twins Institute, and Vickers is still with NASA, as its principal technologist.  Since those […]

Propagandists are using AI too

Propagandists are using AI too

OpenAI’s adversarial threat report should be a prelude to more robust data sharing moving forward. Where AI is concerned, independent researchers have begun to assemble databases of misuse—like the AI Incident Database and the Political Deepfakes Incident Database—to allow researchers to compare different types of misuse and track how misuse changes over time. But it […]

The Download: Making surgery safer, and MDMA therapy has been dealt a blow

The Download: Making surgery safer, and MDMA therapy has been dealt a blow

The operating room has long been defined by its hush-hush nature because surgeons are notoriously bad at acknowledging their own mistakes. These mistakes kill some 22,000 Americans each year. Many of the errors happen on the operating table, from leaving surgical sponges inside patients’ bodies to performing the wrong procedure altogether. Now, Teodor Grantcharov, a […]

This AI-powered “black-box” could make surgery safer

This AI-powered “black-box” could make surgery safer

While most algorithms operate near perfectly on their own, Peter Grantcharov explains that the OR black box is still not fully autonomous. For example, it’s difficult to capture audio through ceiling mikes and thus get a reliable transcript to document whether every element of the surgical safety checklist was completed; he estimates that this algorithm […]