The Download: Twitter killers, and how China regulates AI

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For the better part of 17 years, the roiling, rolling, fractious, sometimes funny, sometimes horrifying, never-ever-ending global conversation had a central home: Twitter. If you wanted to know what was happening and what people were talking about right now, it was the only game in town. 

But then Elon Musk purchased Twitter, renamed it X, fired most of its employees, and more or less eliminated its moderation and verification systems. Many people have begun casting about for a replacement service—ideally one that is beyond any individual’s control. 

The dream of a decentralized Twitter-like service has been around for years. History is littered with failed attempts, but a real competitor never broke out because not enough people had a strong reason to leave Twitter, or a place to go if they did. Now they have both. Read the full story.

—Mat Honan

Twitter killers is one of MIT Technology Review’s 10 Breakthrough Technologies for 2024. Check out the rest of the list and vote for the final 11th breakthrough—we’ll reveal the winner in April.

Four things to know about China’s new AI rules in 2024

Last year was a banner year for artificial intelligence. Thanks to products like ChatGPT, many millions of people are now directly interacting with AI, talking about it, and grappling with its impact every day.

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