Siemens, Mastercard, and John Deere are using AI as one more tool for competitive advantage

Credit: Ekkasit919 / iStock

By Beth Stackpole, MIT Sloan

As artificial intelligence continues to move into the mainstream, companies are combining AI and big data to build and design better products, react faster to changing market conditions, and protect consumers from fraud.

According to experts at EmTech Digital, MIT Technology Review’s annual event on artificial intelligence, big data plus AI creates a foundation for more intelligent products and services — ones that initiate maintenance procedures before something breaks, perform more precise operations, or automatically recalibrate resources to meet changing demand and usage patterns.

While AI and big data pave the way for such evolutionary…

Cryptocurrencies shift from anarchy to acceptance

The acceptance of cryptocurrencies by government banks is revolutionizing global finance — is it a good thing?

By Irving Wladawsky-Berger

A decade after Bitcoin was created in October of 2008 with the release of Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, The Economist concluded that it and other cryptocurrencies were “useless.”

“Bitcoin, the first and still the most popular cryptocurrency, began life as a techno-anarchist project to create an online version of cash, a way for people to transact without the possibility of interference from malicious governments or banks,” the publication argued. “A decade on, it is barely used for its…

Technology companies are testing anti-misinformation accuracy prompts developed by an MIT research team

Image: Jigsaw

The spread of inaccuracies on social media — including political fake news, and misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines — has led to a plethora of problems in areas as disparate as politics and public health. To combat the spread of false and misleading information, MIT Sloan School Professor David Rand and his colleagues have been developing effective interventions that technology companies can use to combat misinformation online.

A study just published in The Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review by Rand and other researchers at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Political Science Department and Media Lab, as well as the University…

Human-centered AI starts with recognizing current problems— especially, profits over people

By Paula Klein

The human design of platforms and the algorithms that fuel them are directly linked to social media’s impact on society. Panelists at the recent MIT Social Media Summit discussed ways to humanize the design process and to more consciously think about the data used to run the algorithms. They also weighed the overarching dangers that result without this type of thinking.

“We need to consider that these algorithms relate to myriad crises and outcomes in our society, including bias, racism, polarization, amplification of hatred, and violence,” said moderator, and IDE Director, Sinan Aral, at the April 22…

In the face of automation, upskilling alone won’t create good jobs and equality — a multi-pronged overhaul of work is needed

By Irving Wladawsky-Berger

For years, businesses have struggled to find the skilled workers they need to keep up with fast changing technologies and markets. The need is even greater today.

Wide-scale upskilling — as well as educational and policy reforms — are urgently needed to address the inadequacies of our current economic structures, in particular, the growing mismatch between people’s current skills and those needed for future jobs.

That’s the conclusion of several recent studies and initiatives examining the future of work and labor markets. Upskilling for Share Prosperity, a report published in January by the World Economic Forum (WEF)…

Clinical research firms illustrate how dramatically businesses are changing — and how AI can ease the way.

By Thomas H. Davenport and Randy Bean

One of the great challenges we have seen businesses face in recent years is how they approach data and analytics (and now artificial intelligence) when their industries are undergoing major transformation.

It’s hard enough to create a data-driven culture, compete on analytics, develop data-driven products and services, and so forth under normal business conditions, as we noted in our March column about the newest NewVantage Partners survey on big data and AI. …

MIT Summit panelists remind us that “truth is not the enemy.”

iStock image

By Paula Klein

The truth is under attack. Increasingly, social media is being used to obfuscate the truth by amplifying false ideas faster and farther than traditional media, according to research by Sinan Aral, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy.

Moderating a panel discussion on Rescuing Truth, at the MIT Social Media Summit on April 22, Aral said that targeting and personalizing news feeds make it difficult to uncover the source of false news online and for consumers to discern fact from fiction. Platforms and their advertisers reap the financial rewards of this online activity. …

Will non-fungible tokens change the value of digital assets?

By Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The blockchain first came to light in 2008 as the digital ledger for bitcoin transactions. The creator’s original vision was limited to enabling peer-to-peer bitcoin transactions with no need for a bank or government agency to certify the validity of the transactions. But, like the Internet, electricity and other transformative technologies, blockchain soon transcended its original objectives.

Over the years, blockchain technologies have evolved along two major lines. One continues to focus on blockchain as the underlying platform for bitcoin, as well as a wide variety of cryptoassets, such as digital tokens and cryptocurrencies. The other focuses…

Concerns grow about the platforms that dominate online speech

Social media has struck many nerves. Once an online extension of dating sites, friendly chats, database searches, and public relations campaigns, it has matured into a creature with far-reaching tentacles.

Our homes, our workplaces, and our society are now connected online in unprecedented–and some say, dangerous — ways. MIT IDE Director, Sinan Aral, has written extensively about the huge impact of social media in his book, The Hype Machine. In a recent interview he noted that “we’re witnessing, in real time, society grappling with the emergence of social media as a very powerful force.”

As the past few years have…

Cities with strong job market connectivity are more economically resilient, study finds

By Jesse DeLaughter, Sociotechnical Systems Research Center, for MIT News

What makes urban labor markets more resilient? This is the question at the heart of a new study, published in Nature Communications by members of MIT’s Connection Science Group.

Economists, policymakers, city planners, and companies have a strong interest in determining what factors contribute to healthy job markets, including what factors can help promote faster recovery after a shock, such as a major recession or the current Covid-19 pandemic. Traditional modeling approaches in this realm have treated workers as narrowly linked to specific jobs. In the real world, however, jobs…


Addressing one of the most critical issues of our time: the impact of digital technology on businesses, the economy, and society.

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