The Obtain: battery alternate options, and Google’s plan for AI

That is as we speak’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a every day dose of what’s happening on this planet of expertise.

These firms wish to transcend batteries to retailer vitality

Batteries are fairly wonderful. Utilizing chemical reactions to retailer vitality is helpful and scalable, and there are about one million methods to do it, which is why batteries have mainly change into synonymous with vitality storage. 

However extra teams are beginning to assume outdoors the battery. In an effort to chop prices and retailer plenty of vitality for lengthy intervals of time, researchers and firms alike are getting artistic: pumping water into the earth, compressing gasoline in underground caverns or large tanks, even lifting big blocks. 

As we construct extra renewable vitality capability within the type of variable sources like wind and solar energy, we’re going to wish so as to add much more vitality storage to the grid to maintain it secure. Our local weather reporter Casey Crownhart has dug into the thrilling, busy world of battery alternate options, and  what it would take to make them a actuality. Learn the total story.

Casey’s story is from The Spark, her weekly local weather and vitality e-newsletter. Enroll to obtain it in your inbox each Wednesday.

In case you’re concerned with studying extra about batteries:

+ From new chemistries to manufacturing boosts, right here’s every little thing you’ll be able to count on for batteries in 2023.
+ Learn our story about how outdated batteries will assist energy tomorrow’s EVs.+ Meet the brand new batteries unlocking cheaper electrical automobiles.

Podcast: Within the cockpit with AI

The most recent episode of our podcast, In Machines We Belief, is the second of a two-part collection, diving into how AI is getting used to show human pilots to carry out a number of the most harmful and tough maneuvers in aerial fight. You’ll be able to take heed to it on Apple Podcasts or wherever you usually hear, and take a look at the primary half right here.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to seek out you as we speak’s most enjoyable/vital/scary/fascinating tales about expertise.

1 How Google is plotting to make every little thing smarter
AI was meant to be its large factor, however OpenAI has crushed it to launch whizzy new merchandise. (Bloomberg $)
+ AI-enhanced scams are on the rise, sadly. (The Guardian)
+ DuckDuckGo is stepping into the chatbot recreation, too. (Ars Technica)
+ The ChatGPT-fueled battle for search is larger than Microsoft or Google. (MIT Know-how Assessment)

2 China’s AI teams are sneakily evading US chip blocks
Due to a collection of loopholes concerning the cloud. (FT $)
+ The Netherlands is following the US in proscribing chip exports. (Reuters)
+ Chinese language chips will hold powering your on a regular basis life. (MIT Know-how Assessment)

three US officers are mulling over the principles for conflict in area
The conflict in Ukraine is pushing them to make choices—and quick. (WP $)
+ The FBI has admitted to buying location knowledge. (Wired $)
+ The right way to combat a conflict in area (and get away with it) (MIT Know-how Assessment)

four The crypto trade’s favourite financial institution is shutting down
It’s one more sufferer of the crypto winter. (TechCrunch)
+ Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial could possibly be pushed again from October. (Reuters)
+ It’s okay to decide out of the crypto revolution. (MIT Know-how Assessment)

5 Scientists have created mice with two fathers
It’s promising for future fertility therapies for people. (The Guardian)
+ Contained in the race to make human intercourse cells within the lab. (MIT Know-how Assessment)

6 We aren’t vaccinating birds towards chook flu

However scientists are beginning to assume we must always. (Wired $)
+ We don’t must panic a couple of chook flu pandemic—but. (MIT Know-how Assessment)

7 US border patrol’s app is ridiculously glitchy 
Migrants hoping to cross the border need to cope with fixed crashes. (Remainder of World)

eight Longer-lasting batteries are on the horizon 🔋
A brand new superconductor has the potential to usher in higher electrical grids, too. (WSJ $)
+ Automobiles working on e-fuel don’t pose any actual competitors to EVs. (The Verge)

9 TikTok influencers are pushing parasite cleanses
Which is clearly a horrible concept. (Vice)

10 The world’s first 3D-printed rocket didn’t make it into area 🚀
The aerospace startup behind it’s anticipated to announce a brand new date quickly. (The Register)

Quote of the day

“Meta isn’t working a bar. No bar has ever precipitated a genocide.” 

—Imran Ahmed, CEO on the Heart for Countering Digital Hate, dismisses Meta’s assertion that customers made uncomfortable by what they encounter within the metaverse ought to merely depart, as they’d a real-world venue, to the Washington Put up.

The massive story

VR is pretty much as good as psychedelics at serving to individuals attain transcendence

August 2022

After a near-death expertise, artist and physicist David Glowacki tried to recapture the hallucinatory transcendence he felt. A VR expertise referred to as Isness-D is his newest effort. 

And on 4 key indicators utilized in research of psychedelics, this system confirmed the identical impact as a medium dose of LSD or psilocybin (the principle psychoactive element of “magic” mushrooms).

Which means it might doubtlessly be used to alleviate the signs of psychological well being situations obsessive-compulsive dysfunction, dependancy, post-traumatic stress dysfunction, and despair. Learn the total story.

—Hana Kiros

We will nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction in these bizarre occasions. (Bought any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ Right here’s how the octopus grew to become so good. 
+ An expansive oral historical past of Bostonian basic Good Will Searching.
+ Right here’s some helpful recommendations on methods to heighten your productiveness.
+ These revolutionary seed-planting drones are doing their bit to assist reforest Canada within the wake of devastating wildfires.
+ It’s cheese tax time!

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