The Obtain: China’s semiconductor fightback, and New York’s controversial AI regulation

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

How China is preventing again within the semiconductor exports warfare

China has been on the receiving finish of semiconductor export restrictions for years. Now, it’s placing again with the identical tactic. 

On July 3, the Chinese language Ministry of Commerce introduced that the export of gallium and germanium, two parts utilized in producing chips, photo voltaic panels, and fiber optics, will quickly be closely restricted. Exports of the supplies will should be accredited by the federal government, and Western corporations that depend on them may have a tough time securing a provide. 

Although the information instantly despatched the worth of gallium and germanium up, the curbs will not be prone to hit the US as exhausting as American export restrictions have hit China. Zeyi Yang, our China reporter, explains why. Learn the total story.

Zeyi’s story is a part of MIT Expertise Assessment Explains, our part by which our writers untangle the advanced, messy world of expertise that will help you perceive what’s coming subsequent. Take a look at the remainder of our explainers on the whole lot from lab-grown meat to the best way to sign off.

Why everyone seems to be mad about New York’s AI hiring regulation

Final week, a regulation about AI and hiring went into impact in New York Metropolis, and everyone seems to be up in arms about it. It’s one of many first AI legal guidelines within the nation, and so the way in which it performs out will provide clues about how AI coverage and debate may take form in different cities. 

AI hiring regulation is a part of the AI Act in Europe, and different states within the US are contemplating comparable payments to New York’s. However the regulation has been met with important controversy—with public curiosity teams and civil rights advocates saying it isn’t enforceable and intensive sufficient. Learn the total story.

—Tate Ryan-Mosley

This story is from The Technocrat, Tate’s weekly e-newsletter on tech coverage and energy. Enroll to obtain it in your inbox each Friday.

The must-reads

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

1 Google’s medical chatbot is being utilized in hospitals 
Which raises a variety of questions in regards to the form of knowledge it’ll have entry to. (WSJ $)
+ Character.AI’s chatbots have gained a legion of passionate followers. (The Info $)
+ Synthetic intelligence is infiltrating well being care. We shouldn’t let it make all the choices. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

2 Threads desires to make the web a friendlier place
However customers are already pushing its insurance policies to their limits. (Reuters)
+ And types have already swamped Threads with banal content material. (New Yorker $)
+ Elon Musk has achieved the inconceivable: made Mark Zuckerberg appear cool. (WSJ $)
+ It’s already surpassed greater than 100 million customers. (The Verge)

Three Volunteers are assembling low-tech bombs in Ukraine
They’re low-cost, simple to make, and lethal. (The Guardian)
+ Tech is central to rebuilding Ukraine. (Wired $)

four International negotiations over deep-sea mining kick off as we speak
Proposals to mine the seabed for valuable metals are critically controversial. (BBC)
+ International locations are divided over how intensive the mining ought to be. (FT $)
+ These deep-sea “potatoes” could possibly be the way forward for mining for renewable power. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

5 The FDA has accredited a brand new remedy for Alzheimer’s 
Whereas it’s not a treatment, it may gradual the illness’s development. (Vox) 

6 Air taxis can’t take off any time quickly
The business’s futuristic guarantees have raced forward of regulatory controls. (IEEE Spectrum)
+ These plane may change how we fly. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

7 Who’s paying for these bizarre Twitter adverts?
Lots of the weird gadget adverts appear to be traced again to a single firm. (FT $)

eight Shein sells virtually the whole lot now
And it’s Amazon that’s feeling the crunch. (WSJ $)
+ Chinese language app Temu is mirroring Amazon… probably slightly too carefully. (Wired $)
+ This obscure procuring app is now America’s most downloaded. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

9 Meat is getting critically bizarre
Plant-based, lab-grown, unicorn steak? (The Atlantic $)
+ Lab-grown meat simply reached a serious milestone. Right here’s what comes subsequent. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

10 How Hollywood de-aged Indiana Jones
With a liberal sprinkling of AI, and an entire lot of Harrison Ford footage. (Wired $)

Quote of the day

“Hey @zuck it is best to go to area simply to essentially make him mad lol.”

—Quick meals firm Wendy’s wades into the row brewing between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk in a cheeky Threads submit.

The large story

How huge science did not unlock the mysteries of the human mind

August 2021

In September 2011, Columbia College neurobiologist Rafael Yuste and Harvard geneticist George Church made a not-so-modest proposal: to map the exercise of your complete human mind on the stage of particular person neurons and element how these cells kind circuits.

That data could possibly be harnessed to deal with mind problems like Alzheimer’s, autism, schizophrenia, melancholy, and traumatic mind damage, and would assist reply one of many nice questions of science: How does the mind result in consciousness? 

A decade on, the US venture has wound down, and the EU venture faces its deadline to construct a digital mind. Did it obtain something? Or have we spent a decade and billions of {dollars} chasing a imaginative and prescient that continues to be as elusive as ever? Learn the total story.

—Emily Mullin

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

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

+ It feels like director Greta Gerwig went all out making the Barbie film—as she ought to.
+ How scrumptious French delicacies took over the US. 🧀
+ Woah—right here’s what a supermassive black gap appears to be like like.
+ These easy-to-make desserts (notably the banana pudding) look scrumptious.
+ Online game Future has a monitor report of constructing weird plush toys, and its newest launch doesn’t disappoint.

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