For all of history we’ve turned to technology, again and again, to help us solve our hardest problems. It has made virtually all of human knowledge available to us instantly on demand. And we can speak to each other in entirely different languages and be understood using nothing more than a slim slab of glass and metals in our pocket.
Sometimes technology can seem like a miracle. But, of course, it is nothing more than human achievement. Yet like all things human, our creations can be deeply flawed. As a result, we have also used tech to unleash horrors on ourselves, intentionally and by accident.
Technology is an engine for problems, for solving them and for creating entirely new ones—and then we perversely turn to even newer technologies to try to solve those.
In our latest print issue of MIT Technology Review, we step back from this cycle. We explore big questions and hard problems and ask: What role can—and should—technology play going forward?
Here’s just some of the great stories you can read in the new issue:
+ Think that your plastic is being recycled? This incisive, fascinating feature by Douglas Main will make you think again.
+ The internet feels pretty broken these days. But there are real steps we can take towards fixing it, as Katie Notopoulos explains in her piece for us.
+ Meet Gábor Domokos, the Hungarian mathematician making sense of nature’s complexity by describing its forms in the simplest possible geometry.
+ AI consciousness isn’t just a devilishly tricky intellectual puzzle; it’s a morally weighty problem, writes Grace Huckins.
+ Why captchas are getting harder to solve—and what comes next.
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