Bricks that store heat, and using AI to understand history


Heavy industry produces a quarter of the world’s emissions, and alternative energy sources cannot consistently generate the heat that factories need to create their goods.

Insert thermal batteries. An increasing number of companies are developing systems that capture the heat generated by clean electricity and store it later in stacked brick tanks. They think these bricks could be the key to bringing renewable energy to some of the world’s biggest polluters.

Most of these heat storage systems use simple designs and commercially available materials, which means they can be built quickly where needed. Although still in its infancy, the technology could be one of the building blocks of a climate-friendly industry. Read the full story.

– Casey Crownheart

How AI is helping historians better understand our past.

Historians are beginning to use machine learning to analyze historical documents, including astronomical tables made in Venice and other early modern cities.

Proponents say that applying modern computer science to the past will help create a wider range of connections from historical records.

But machine learning introduces its own biases, including the risk of transferring bias or outright falsity into the historical record. Read the full story.


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