The Obtain: defending images from AI, and air-conditioning’s dilemma

That is as we speak’s version of The Obtain, our weekday publication that gives a every day dose of what’s occurring on the planet of know-how.

This new software may shield your photos from AI manipulation

What’s occurring? There’s presently nothing stopping somebody taking the selfie you posted on-line final week and enhancing it utilizing highly effective generative AI techniques. Even worse, it is likely to be inconceivable to show that the ensuing picture is faux. The excellent news is {that a} new software, created by researchers at MIT, may stop this. 

How does it work? The software, known as PhotoGuard, works like a protecting defend by altering images in tiny methods which can be invisible to the human eye however stop them from being manipulated. If somebody tries to make use of an enhancing app based mostly on a generative AI mannequin to control a picture that has been “immunized” by PhotoGuard, the consequence will look unrealistic or warped. 

Why it issues: The necessity to discover methods to detect and cease AI-powered manipulation has by no means been extra pressing, as a result of generative AI instruments have made it faster and simpler than ever earlier than. Learn the complete story.

—Melissa Heikkilä

Why air-conditioning is a local weather antihero

Temperatures are rising across the globe, shattering excessive warmth information on principally each continent. It’s making air-conditioning much less of a “good to have” and extra of an absolute necessity in some components of the world. 

However air-conditioning is turning into a monster in terms of vitality demand. We would have so as to add an entire US electrical grid’s value of recent vitality era simply to energy all of the air conditioners that may come on-line within the subsequent few a long time. On the upside, loads of individuals are working in direction of enhancing present techniques to make them extra climate-friendly. Learn the complete story.

—Casey Crownhart

This story is from The Spark, Casey’s weekly publication supplying you with the within monitor on all issues local weather and vitality. Join to obtain it in your inbox each Wednesday.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you as we speak’s most enjoyable/necessary/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 Scientists are questioning the invention of a room-temperature superconductor
Some are questioning if the reported breakthrough is simply too good to be true. (New Scientist $)
+ A significant journal has retracted a paper written by one of many similar authors. (NYT $)
+ Physicist Ranga Dias is going through accusations that he fabricated information. (Scientific American $)

2 Temperatures are breaking information internationally
However not all information are equal, precisely. (Vox)
+ All these local weather disasters are costing us billions of {dollars}. (Bloomberg $)
+ Scientists are arguing over whether or not the Atlantic’s currents are actually collapsing. (Wired $)
+ Extra correct climate forecasting is on the horizon. (Economist $)
+ Climate forecasting is having an AI second. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

three AI’s largest corporations are forming a security physique
But it surely depends on all of them brazenly sharing information with one another which appears… unlikely. (WP $)
+ It’s wanting an terrible lot like a want to self-regulate. (FT $)

four NASA desires to construct a nuclear-powered rocket 🚀
In concept, it may pace astronauts to Mars in half the time it presently takes. (NYT $)
+ Faster journeys could be a lot better for cooped-up crew members. (WP $)

5 The US is lastly getting new EV chargers
However even the 30,000-strong community is falling in need of what’s wanted. (WSJ $)
+ Within the conflict of the EV chargers, it’s Tesla vs. everybody else. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

6 AI’s human employees are rising up
Knowledge annotators say they’re overworked, underpaid and mistreated. (The Atlantic $)
+ We’re all AI’s free information employees. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

7 Texas police bought Israeli phone-tracking tech
Authorities are cracking down on migrants making an attempt to cross the border from Mexico. (The Intercept)
+ The brand new US border wall is an app. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

eight Fears are rising round China’s self-driving automobile tech
Specialists concern it may construct autonomous navy autos. (Bloomberg $)
+ In the meantime in San Francisco, a gaggle is waging warfare towards robotaxis. (The Guardian)
+ Robotaxis are right here. It’s time to determine what to do about them. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

9 Robots have gotten extra human-like
When mixed with subtle chatbots, the outcomes are much more uncanny. (New Yorker $)+ This four-legged robotic is equally snug on two legs. (IEEE Spectrum)

10 It’s just about inconceivable to compete with Google Search
However a gaggle of former Googlers are having a go. (The Verge)

Quote of the day

“Presently of day you solely see vacationers within the sq.. Everybody else is indoors.”

—Panagiotis Vahaviolos, a restaurant proprietor in Mystras, Greece, despairs on the intense warmth wave savaging the nation, he tells the Guardian.

The large story

The gig employees preventing again towards the algorithms

April 2022

Within the Bendungan Hilir neighborhood, only a stone’s throw from Jakarta’s glitzy enterprise district, bike drivers collect in a casual “base camp.” They’re drivers with Gojek, Indonesia’s largest ride-hailing agency. They’re additionally a part of the spine of a rising motion of resistance towards the dispatch algorithms that dominate their lives.

Base camps grew out of a practice that existed earlier than algorithmic ride-hailing providers got here to Indonesia. They’re the community via which drivers across the metropolis keep in tight communication. 

This sense of neighborhood is now on the coronary heart of what distinguishes Jakarta’s drivers from different gig employees around the globe, and will reveal a brand new playbook for resistance: a approach for employees to construct collective energy, obtain a measure of safety, and care for each other when seemingly nobody else will. Learn the complete story.

—Karen Hao & Nadine Freischlad

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.)

+ Uni the charismatic cat positive loves squishing into containers.
+ Why are we so gripped by near-death experiences?
+ If you happen to’re ever passing via Kings Cross St Pancras station in London, you is likely to be fortunate sufficient to stumble throughout this type of spectacular duet.
+ The web could be merciless, particularly if you happen to’re known as Karen.
+ That is cool: Michelangelo was keen on utilizing male fashions to depict his feminine topics.

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