Each year, MIT Technology Review’s reporters and editors pick 10 Breakthrough Technologies, all of which have the promise to fundamentally change the way we live and work. This year’s list covers everything from space science and telemedicine to advances in artificial intelligence and biotechnology. They represent the technologies we predict will have the biggest impact on our lives in the year ahead.
This year’s TR10 is the 22nd we’ve published, and I’ll be highlighting an entry each day in The Download for the next 10 days, starting tomorrow. We hope you enjoy marveling at the progress that’s been made in the fields of gene editing, military drones, battery recycling, and computer chip design, to name just a few.
David Rotman, our editor at large, has written a fascinating introductory essay which sets out how legislation investing millions of billions into industry and research and development could reset how we think about governments’ role in the economy. You can read it here.
Finally, we want to hear from you! We’re giving you the chance to help pick a bonus 11th technology. You can vote in our poll until March 1, when I’ll be announcing the winner in The Download.
TR10: what the editors think Mat Honan, our editor in chief, Amy Nordrum, our executive editor of operations, and David Rotman will be hosting a conversation on LinkedIn Live to discuss this year’s list today from 2-2:30pm ET. Sign up here to tune in.
I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.
1 Brazil’s congress rioters planned their attack on social media
It has chilling echoes of the US Capitol protests two years ago. (WP$)
+ Rioters stormed numerous federal buildings in Brasilia. (Vox)
+ The protestors communicated using coded messages on Telegram. (BBC)
+ Questions have been raised over the extent to which police tried to stop them. (Economist $)
2 Almost 90% of people in a major Chinese province have covid
More than 88 million people in Henan have been infected. (BBC)
+ South Korea says China’s “pride” is preventing it from accepting foreign vaccines. (FT$)
3 A man died while working in an Amazon warehouse
His colleagues weren’t notified, and were instructed to keep working as normal. (The Guardian)
4 Elon Musk has had enough of San Francisco’s “negativity”
He’s asked to move an upcoming trial out of the city, complaining local jurors will be biased against him. (The Verge)
+ The Cult of Musk isn’t as all-consuming as it used to be. (FT$)
+ Some laid-off Twitter workers have finally received paltry severance agreements. (Insider $)
+ Twitter is sailing dangerously close to MySpace territory. ($Bloomberg)
5 A falling NASA satellite could pose a danger to South Koreans
Authorities have sent phone alerts warning civilians to beware of debris. ($Bloomberg)
+ NASA’s moon mission is gathering pace. (WP$)
6 At least crypto journalists are having a good time
The drama of the past few months is catnip to reporters. (Slate$)
+ The Winklevoss twins’ crypto exchange is in hot water. (The Information $)
+ The computer scientist who hunts for costly bugs in crypto code. (MIT Technology Review)
7 Climate change is shaking up archeology
While droughts are exposing artifacts, storms are also ruining research sites. (Axios)
+ A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate. (MIT Technology Review)
8 Mexico City is bending over backwards for digital nomads
Gig workers say they’re cooking less spicy food to appease foreign visitors. (Rest of World)
9 Why Silicon Valley loves horses so much 🐎
Equine therapy encourages executives to open up and embrace the natural world. (The Information $)
10 Does your outdated profile picture make you a catfish?
Some professionals need to update theirs more often than others. (Wired$)
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