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This man assembled his own covid antibody tests for himself and his friends

In Portland, Oregon, earlier this spring, a programmer named Ian Hilgart-Martiszus pulled out a needle and inserted it into the arm of social worker Alicia Rowe as she squinted and looked away. He was testing for antibodies to the coronavirus. He’d gathered 40 friends and friends of friends, and six homeless men too. As a former lab technician, Hilgart-Martiszus knew how to do it. Despite extensive debate over the accuracy of blood tests for coronavirus

These pop songs were written by OpenAI’s deep-learning algorithm

The news: In a fresh spin on manufactured pop, OpenAI has released a neural network called Jukebox that can generate catchy songs in a variety of different styles, from teenybop and country to hip-hop and heavy metal. It even sings—sort of.  How it works: Give it a genre, an artist, and lyrics, and Jukebox will produce a passable pastiche in the style of well-known performers, such as Katy Perry, Elvis Presley or Nas. You can

Covid-19 and the workforce: Critical workers, productivity, and the future of AI

In less than two months, covid-19 created arguably the world’s largest collective shift in social activity and working practices. Research firm Global Workplace Analytics estimated in a 2018 report that 4.3 million people in the US worked remotely, representing just 3.2% of the country’s workforce. In a March 2020 poll of 375 executives by MIT Technology Review Insights, over two-thirds reported that more than 80% of their workforce is now working remotely. As business leaders

Health systems are in need of radical change; virtual care will lead the way

The covid-19 pandemic has shown us how much health care is in need of not just tweaking but radical change. The pressure on global health systems, providers, and staff has already been increasing to unsustainable levels. But it also illustrates how much can be achieved in times of crisis: for example, China and the UK recently built thousands of extra beds in intensive care units, or ICUs, in less than two weeks. Health-care reform will

Covid hoaxes are using a loophole to stay alive—even after content is deleted

Since the onset of the pandemic, the Technology and Social Change Research Project at Harvard Kennedy’s Shorenstein Center, where I am the director, has been investigating how misinformation, scams, and conspiracies about covid-19 circulate online. If fraudsters are now using the virus to dupe unsuspecting individuals, we thought, then our research on misinformation should focus on understanding the new tactics of these media manipulators. What we found was a disconcerting explosion in “zombie content.” In

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