Impact Lab


Subscribe Now to Our Free Email Newsletter

» Currently browsing: Big Problems


Record-breaking paper water purifier operates at near 100% efficiency

May 19th, 2018 at 10:35 am » Comments Off

Researchers at the University at Buffalo have created a highly efficient device that uses sunlight and black carbon-dipped paper to clean water. The paper is placed in a triangular arrangement, which enables it to vaporize and absorb water with nearly 100 percent efficiency. The simple, inexpensive technology could be deployed in regions where clean drinking […]



This generation has a huge and growing student debt burden. It’s not who you think

May 5th, 2018 at 9:48 am » Comments Off

A recent analysis of American debt revealed a startling shift: Borrowers between the ages of 45 and 74 now owe more money in education-related debt, on average, than do younger college graduates. People under age 35 with student debt owe $32,900 on average, according to data from the Fed’s 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances. That […]



The era of fake video begins

May 5th, 2018 at 9:21 am » Comments Off

The digital manipulation of video may make the current era of “fake news” seem quaint. In a dank corner of the internet, it is possible to find actresses from Game of Thrones or Harry Potter engaged in all manner of sex acts. Or at least to the world the carnal figures look like those actresses, […]



Five myths about artificial intelligence

May 4th, 2018 at 7:45 am » Comments Off

Artificial intelligence is the future. Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple are all making big bets on AI. (Amazon owner Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post.) Congress has held hearings and even formed a bipartisan Artificial Intelligence Caucus. From health care to transportation to national security, AI has the potential to improve lives. But it […]



Google exec issues warning over future of AI

May 4th, 2018 at 7:29 am » Comments Off

Google co-founder Sergey Brin sent the message in a letter to Alphabet shareholders (Source: Getty) One of Google’s top execs and president of Alphabet Sergey Brin has raised concerns about the AI revolution in a letter to Alphabet’s shareholders. In his annual letter sent to shareholders of Google umbrella organisation Alphabet yesterday, Brin said that […]



42 percent of startups fail for this one simple reason (It’s not what you think)

May 2nd, 2018 at 8:42 am » Comments Off

Close to half of the over 100 startups analyzed made this mistake — and never recovered. CBI Insights recently analyzed 101 startup post-mortems (reports they wrote after they failed). The researchers extracted the top reasons startups fail, including things like a pivot going wrong; legal challenges; disharmony within the team or with investors; poor marketing; […]



The next great workplace challenge: 100-year careers

April 30th, 2018 at 9:55 am » Comments Off

Scientists expect people to live routinely to 100 in the coming decades, and as long as 150. Which also suggests a much longer working life lasting well into the 70s, 80s, and even 100, according to researchers with Pearson and Oxford University. Quick take: Thinkers of various types are absorbed in navigating the age of […]



One of the world’s filthiest industries just agreed to clean up its act

April 20th, 2018 at 9:35 am » Comments Off

The shipping industry sets sail toward a carbon-free future. Cargo-shipping regulators have struck a historic deal to set their dirty fuel-burning industry on a low-carbon course. On Friday, the International Maritime Organization agreed for the first time to limit greenhouse gas emissions from global shipping. The nonbinding deal marks a critical shift for the sector—which, […]



More than 95% of world’s population breathe dangerous air, major study finds

April 19th, 2018 at 11:21 am » Comments Off

Children walking to school wearing smog pollution masks in Britain. Residents in many developing countries are exposed to toxic air both outdoors and inside their homes. More than 95% of the world’s population breathe unsafe air and the burden is falling hardest on the poorest communities, with the gap between the most polluted and least […]



Face-swapping videos could lead to more ‘fake news’

April 15th, 2018 at 10:46 am » Comments Off

Fake news has been a problem swamping the internet. Now there is a way to make fake videos with nothing more than your laptop. FakeApp can be used to make fake videos of people using images or other videos of them. Several social media platforms are filled with these deepfakes. While the technology still needs […]



Colony square1