#437929 These Were Our Favorite Tech Stories ...
This time last year we were commemorating the end of a decade and looking ahead to the next one. Enter the year that felt like a decade all by itself: 2020. News written in January, the before-times, feels hopelessly out of touch with all that came after. Stories published in the early days of the pandemic are, for the most part, similarly naive.
The year’s news cycle was swift and brutal, ping-ponging from pandemic to extreme social and political tension, whipsawing economies, and natural disasters. Hope. Despair. Loneliness. Grief. Grit. More hope. Another lockdown. It’s been a hell of a year.
Though 2020 was dominated by big, hairy societal change, science and technology took significant steps forward. Researchers singularly focused on the pandemic and collaborated on solutions to a degree never before seen. New technologies converged to deliver vaccines in record time. The dark side of tech, from biased algorithms to the threat of omnipresent surveillance and corporate control of artificial intelligence, continued to rear its head.
Meanwhile, AI showed uncanny command of language, joined Reddit threads, and made inroads into some of science’s grandest challenges. Mars rockets flew for the first time, and a private company delivered astronauts to the International Space Station. Deprived of night life, concerts, and festivals, millions traveled to virtual worlds instead. Anonymous jet packs flew over LA. Mysterious monoliths appeared and disappeared worldwide.
It was all, you know, very 2020. For this year’s (in-no-way-all-encompassing) list of fascinating stories in tech and science, we tried to select those that weren’t totally dated by the news, but rose above it in some way. So, without further ado: This year’s picks.
How Science Beat the Virus
‘It Will Change Everything’: DeepMind’s AI Makes Gigantic Leap in Solving Protein Structures
OpenAI’s Latest Breakthrough Is Astonishingly Powerful, But Still Fighting Its Flaws
Artificial General Intelligence: Are We Close, and Does It Even Make Sense to Try?
The Dark Side of Big Tech’s Funding for AI Research
We’re Not Prepared for the End of Moore’s Law
Inside the Race to Build the Best Quantum Computer on Earth
The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It
Wrongfully Accused by an Algorithm
Predictive Policing Algorithms Are Racist. They Need to Be Dismantled.
The Panopticon Is Already Here
The Case For Cities That Aren’t Dystopian Surveillance States
The Modern World Has Finally Become Too Complex for Any of Us to Understand
The Conscience of Silicon Valley
Yes to Tech Optimism. And Pessimism.
How Afrofuturism Can Help the World Mend
Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet
Can Genetic Engineering Bring Back the American Chestnut?
At the Limits of Thought
Is the Internet Conscious? If It Were, How Would We Know?
The Internet Is an Amnesia Machine
Digital Pregnancy Tests Are Almost as Powerful as the Original IBM PC
The Party Goes on in Massive Online Worlds
The Facebook Groups Where People Pretend the Pandemic Isn’t Happening
Did You Fly a Jetpack Over Los Angeles This Weekend? Because the FBI Is Looking for You
This entry was posted in Human Robots and tagged 2020, ai, algorithms, Amazing, answer, apollo, applications, artificial, Artificial General Intelligence, Artificial intelligence, astronauts, autonomous, available, Aviation, away, awesome, baby, back, based, beat, before, best, better, big, body, both, build, can, case, cases, cast, cell, change, chat, china, chip, city, close, come, community, Companies, computer, computers, computing, consciousness, consider, control, conversations, cool, creature, cutting, days, device, did, Digital, disasters, display, dream, economy, Edge, effects, emerging, end, energies, engineering, engineers, enterprise, ever, every, everything, experiment, extreme, face, family, feels, field, fighting, Final, first, fly, flying, forces, forward, free, future, general, generation, genetic, girl, global, goal, going, gold, google, government, group, guide, head, help, here, history, home, how to, human, ibm, intelligence, international, internet, kind, knows, labs, language, large, latest, law, LCD, less, level, library, life, live, living, looking, machine, machines, magazine, makes, many, mean, media, memory, might, mind, mit, modern, moments, mysterious, nature, need, never, new, news, online, operated, Original, part, party, pc, people, PLACE, politics, position, possible, power, prediction, predictive, pretty, program, programs, project, questions, ray, reading, real, recent, recognition, replacements, research, researchers, review, say, science, seats, seen, sense, she, short, Should, simple, since, smart, social, solutions, something, soon, source, Space, species, station, stories, story, Street, study, system, systems, TAKE, talk, tech, technologies, technology, tell, test, tests, theory, think, throw, time, times, tiny, tools, totally, touch, turning, type, uncanny, university, viral, virtual, vision, walking, way, ways, web, weekend, wired, woman, work, world, worldwide, Would, year, years, york. Bookmark the permalink.