If you’re on Twitter and follow news about China, you likely have heard a pretty wild rumor recently: that President Xi Jinping was under house arrest and that there was about to be a major power grab in the country.
First of all, let’s be very clear: this report is false and should not be taken seriously. No credible sources on China have bought it. It’s wishful thinking at best, and intentional disinformation at worst.
But it’s interesting to dissect how a ridiculous rumor could be elevated and spread so widely that it made it to Twitter’s deeply flawed trending list over the weekend, thanks to influencer translation and amplification from accounts based in India. Read the full story.
This story is from China Report, MIT Technology Review’s new newsletter giving you the inside scoop on what’s happening in China. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Tuesday.
How robots and AI are helping develop better batteries
The news: At the start of this year, Carnegie Mellon researchers used a robotic system to run dozens of experiments designed to generate electrolytes to charge lithium-ion batteries faster, addressing one of the major obstacles to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.
How they did it: A system of automated pumps, valves, and instruments mixed various solvents, salts, and other chemicals together, then measured how the solution performed on critical battery benchmarks. Those results were then fed into a machine-learning system, known as Dragonfly, that used the data to propose different combinations that might work even better.
Why it matters: Developing better electrolytes is crucial for improving the performance, safety, and cost of batteries. Faster-charging batteries are especially important for making electric cars and trucks more appealing. Read the full story.