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MIT Technology Review 2/2024: How to address the major crises of our time

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MIT Technology Review 2/2024: How to address the major crises of our time

MIT Technology Review 2/2024: How to address the major crises of our time

Anyone who looks at the current crises of our time quickly gets the impression that the world is stuck in a kind of labyrinth. It is anything but easy to understand which challenges are related and how they are to be assessed: war, global warming, environmental problems and technological developments, especially in the area of ​​artificial intelligence, are such large, complex and interwoven topics that they cause a lot of uncertainty and… fears among people.

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But in which areas is special action needed – where should we start to address these challenges? To provide some guidance, we’ve picked out some of what we consider to be the most serious issues and examined them in more detail in the cover section.

The fear of losing jobs due to artificial intelligence is growing, but AI systems still have a number of weaknesses. They hallucinate, they fabricate stories and the question remains as to what extent this can be brought under control, writes our author Eike Kühl.

Another challenge has been with us for many years: plastic. According to forecasts, more than 30 billion tons of plastics will be produced in 2050, three times the amount currently produced. A problem for nature and our health. In addition, the production of plastic directly fuels global warming. Plastics are responsible for 3.4 percent of global carbon emissions. What can we do about the flood of plastic? This question is addressed in the text by TR editor Andrea Hoferichter and her US colleague Douglas Main.

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The energy transition is intended to mitigate climate change. The expansion of renewable energy is promising, but one major problem has not yet been solved: What to do if the sun doesn’t shine for two weeks and there is hardly any wind? So far, coal and gas power plants have stepped in, but that is not very sustainable. That’s why energy has to be stored – which is anything but trivial, as you can read in this text by TR editor Gregor Honsel.

Rare diseases are almost as common as asthma in Germany. Hundreds of millions of people are affected worldwide, but there are only treatments available for very few. Our author Veronika Szentpétery-Kessler writes about the dilemma.

Another challenge lies in the World Wide Web, particularly social media. People are lying there shamelessly, people are being threatened and insulted: If we want online discourse to become more civilized, we have to leave the big platforms behind us, writes US author Katie Notopoulos.

The crises of our time are coming together: war, global warming, environmental problems and technological developments. It seems like a labyrinth where the way out just doesn’t seem to come into view. The current edition at least tries to bring some order. Highlights from the magazine:

(lca)

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