The Obtain: AI’s gaming prowess, and calculating methane emissions

That is at the moment’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a day by day dose of what’s happening on the earth of know-how.

An AI that may play Goat Simulator is a step towards extra helpful machines

The information: A brand new AI agent from Google DeepMind can play completely different video games, together with ones it has by no means seen earlier than corresponding to Goat Simulator 3, a enjoyable motion recreation with exaggerated physics. In contrast to earlier game-playing AI methods, which mastered just one recreation or may solely comply with single targets or instructions, this new agent is ready to play a wide range of completely different video games, together with Valheim and No Man’s Sky. 

How they did it: Researchers had been capable of get it to comply with textual content instructions to play seven completely different video games and transfer round in three completely different 3D analysis environments. They educated it on plenty of examples of people enjoying video video games, alongside keyboard and mouse enter and annotations of what the gamers did. Then they used an AI approach referred to as imitation studying to show the agent to play video games as people would.

Why it’s an enormous deal: It’s a step towards extra generalized AI that may switch abilities throughout a number of environments—and this form of information switch between video games represents a major milestone for AI analysis. Learn the total story.

—Melissa Heikkilä

Methane leaks within the US are worse than we thought

What’s occurring: Methane emissions within the US are worse than scientists beforehand estimated, a brand new examine has discovered. The analysis represents one of the complete surveys but of methane emissions from US oil- and gas-producing areas, and located that  emissions had been considerably greater than beforehand estimated.

The massive image: The examine highlights the pressing want for brand spanking new and higher methods of monitoring the highly effective greenhouse gasoline. The issue is, it’s mainly unattainable to make use of only one instrument to measure all of the completely different methane sources. Learn the total story.

—Casey Crownhart

To study extra about why methane emissions are nonetheless such a thriller, try the newest version of The Spark, our weekly local weather e-newsletter. Join to obtain it in your inbox each Wednesday.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you at the moment’s most enjoyable/essential/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 The US has handed a invoice that might result in a TikTok ban 
However that also doesn’t imply it’ll occur. (Vox)
+ What occurs subsequent is anybody’s guess. (NYT $)
+ TikTok is insisting it’s a significant contributor to US GDP. (WP $)
+…However the app itself loses a number of billion {dollars} a 12 months. (The Data $)

2 Measles is resurging within the US

Vaccination charges are down, and outbreaks are on the rise. (The Atlantic $)
+ The very younger and the immunocompromised are on the highest threat. (Vox)
+ How wastewater may supply an early warning system for measles. (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

Three SpaceX is limbering up for an additional Starship launch at the moment
It’s hoping to show relighting a Raptor engine in house for the primary time. (TechCrunch)+ It’s additionally the primary time SpaceX is anticipating splashing down within the Indian Ocean. (Ars Technica)
+ Starlink has been denied permission to deploy new satellites in low orbit. (IEEE Spectrum)

four China’s file on local weather change is a combined bag
On one hand, it’s a inexperienced tech hub. On the opposite, it’s nonetheless a large pollutor. (Economist $)
+ The world’s largest crude oil producer, although? That’d be the US. (Vox)
+ Emissions hit a file excessive in 2023. (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

5 Black ladies who blow the whistle on tech malpractice face greater dangers
They’re pressured to climate significantly extra scrutiny and abuse than their white counterparts. (The Markup)
+ Inside Timnit Gebru’s final days at Google. (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

6 A toddler extortion community has been hiding in plain sight on-line
The sprawling ecosystem of predators spreads throughout main platforms, who’ve didn’t stamp the teams out. (Wired $) 

7 Business safes may be bypassed by secret backdoor codes
And the US Division of Protection needs to maintain it quiet. (404 Media)

eight We’re coming into the age of moon mining
The moon is wealthy in Helium-3, an isotope that might gasoline nuclear reactors. (WP $)
+ Right here’s how we may mine the moon for rocket gasoline. (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

9 Fb Market is the final benefit of the social community
If you happen to can swerve the scams, that’s. (NYT $)

10 Neil Younger’s music is returning to Spotify
However the man himself is—characteristically—sad about it. (Insider $)

Quote of the day

“TikTok is banned in China. So, we’re going to emulate the Chinese language communists by banning it in our nation?”

—US Senator Rand Paul makes his emotions on the proposed TikTok ban clear in an interview with The Hill.

The massive story

California’s coming offshore wind increase faces huge engineering hurdles

December 2022

Final December, dozens of corporations fought for the correct to lease the primary business wind energy websites off the coast of California in an public sale that might kick-start the state’s subsequent clear power increase.

The state has an formidable purpose: constructing 25 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2045. That’s equal to just about a 3rd of the state’s whole producing capability at the moment, or sufficient to energy 25 million houses.

However, amongst different checks, the plans are going through a frightening geological problem: the continental shelf drops steeply just some miles off the California coast. Learn the total story.

—James Temple

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction to brighten up your day. (Bought any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ The winners of this 12 months’s Sony World Pictures Awards are actually jaw-dropping.
+ This scarf-printing course of is weirdly soothing to look at.
+ As we speak, on Albert Einstein’s birthday, why not take the time to brush up on the idea of relativity?
+ Curb Your Enthusiasm: ranked. Do you agree?

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