54 stories

For decades, researchers have studied how our relationships with others broadens our worldview and perceptions of ourselves. The theory of self-expansion, for instance, explains why having important people in our lives makes us feel less isolated and inconsequential and more connected to a wider community. Which is why after a breakup, you can’t help but feel as if the world is closing in on you.More →

Millions of people are turning to the Web before their doctor to suggest a diagnosis from among their symptoms. A first-time study of such tools by Harvard Medical School researchers indicates that some can get diagnoses right, but not all the time, Felice Freyer reports in the Boston Globe. There’s also a wide variation in quality, researchers found. Their advice: When checking online, proceed with care.More →

Elon Musk hasn’t been shy about sharing his fears about artificial intelligence, or AI. Earlier this year, the Tesla and SpaceX founder described the dangers of AI run amok: “You could construct scenarios where recovery of human civilization does not occur,” he said. To address that risk, he gave $10 million to the Boston-based Future of Life Institute, or FLI, to lead a global research program into AI safety. FLI organized a grants competition to select the research it would fund, and today announced the competition’s winners.More →