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Software Engineering

The Download: Google’s anti-censorship tool, and China’s critical minerals

Zeyi Yang, our China reporter, recently talked to Seaver Wang, co-director of the climate and energy team at think tank the Breakthrough Institute, to find out more about the role critical minerals play, and the importance of China’s policies controlling their distribution. Read the full story.

This story is from China Report, Zeyi’s weekly newsletter giving you the inside track on technology developments in China. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Tuesday.

Robots that learn as they fail could unlock a new era of AI

Asked to explain his work, Lerrel Pinto likes to shoot back another question: When did you last see a cool robot in your home? The answer typically depends on whether the person asking owns a robot vacuum cleaner: yesterday or never.

Pinto’s working to fix that. A computer science researcher at New York University, he wants to see robots in the home that do a lot more than vacuum. The problem is that training multiskilled robots requires lots of data. But Pinto’s solution is to find novel ways to collect that data—in particular, getting robots to collect it as they learn. Read the full story.

—Will Douglas Heaven

Lerrel Pinto is one of MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35 for 2023. Read the full list of this year’s honorees, including those making a difference in robotics, computing, biotech, climate and energy, and AI.


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