The Obtain: digital hide-and-seek, and AI for African languages

That is right this moment’s version of The Obtain, our weekday publication that gives a each day dose of what’s occurring on the earth of know-how.

This viral recreation in China reinvents hide-and-seek for the digital age

The “cat-and-mouse recreation” has gone viral in China this yr, drawing 1000’s of individuals throughout the nation to occasions each week. It’s a enjoyable mixture of a childhood recreation, in-person networking, the most recent location-sharing know-how, and meme-worthy expertise. 

It’s not a typical hide-and-seek recreation, although, however relatively one for the digital age: each the seekers and the hiders chase and evade one another by following their real-time places on a map on their telephones.Our reporter Zeyi Yang performed a recreation with 40 strangers in a seven-acre park constructed on the location of the notorious Kowloon Walled Metropolis. Examine his expertise right here.

This firm is constructing AI for African languages

Inside a co-working area within the Rosebank neighborhood of Johannesburg, Jade Abbott popped open a tab on her pc and prompted ChatGPT to rely from 1 to 10 in isiZulu, a language spoken by greater than 10 million folks in her native South Africa. The outcomes have been “blended and hilarious,” says Abbott, a pc scientist and researcher. 

Then she typed in a couple of sentences in isiZulu and requested the chatbot to translate them into English. As soon as once more, the solutions? Not even shut.

Abbott’s expertise mirrors the state of affairs confronted by Africans who don’t communicate English. Many language fashions like ChatGPT don’t carry out nicely for African languages. 

However a brand new enterprise referred to as Lelapa AI, a collaboration between Abbott and a biomedical engineer named Pelonomi Moiloa, is attempting to make use of machine studying to create instruments that particularly work for Africans. Learn the complete story.  

—Abdullahi Tsanni

A controversial US surveillance program is up for renewal. Critics are talking out.

A debate is raging in regards to the renewal of a controversial US surveillance program, created in 2008 to develop the facility of US companies to gather digital “international intelligence data,” whether or not about spies, terrorists, or cybercriminals overseas, with out a warrant. It compels tech corporations handy over communications data to US intelligence companies. 

A number of information about People who talk with folks internationally will get swept up in these searches. Critics say that’s unconstitutional. Regardless of that, it’s been renewed in each 2012 and 2017. So is it prone to be renewed but once more? Right here’s what you might want to know. 

—Tate Ryan-Mosley

This story is from The Technocrat, our weekly publication all about politics, energy, and Silicon Valley. Join to obtain it in your inbox each Friday.

The must-reads

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

1 Microsoft has employed former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman
He’ll lead a ‘new superior AI analysis staff’ together with a bunch of his different former OpenAI colleagues. (The Verge)
Dozens of OpenAI workers have stated they’ll give up. (The Data $)
Bother had been brewing at OpenAI for some time. (The Atlantic $)
Altman had been elevating cash for a brand new chip enterprise within the Center East earlier than he was pushed out. (Bloomberg $)
Who’s who on OpenAI’s board, the group behind Altman’s ouster. (CNBC)
Learn our current interview with OpenAI’s chief scientist, reportedly one of many board members who pushed Altman out. (MIT Expertise Evaluation)
+ Our 2020 characteristic on OpenAI uncovered most of the tensions which have come to a head this week. (MIT Expertise Evaluation)

2 Robotaxi firm Cruise’s CEO has resigned 
The corporate is in chaos after being pressured to tug its whole driverless fleet over security considerations. (WP $)
Why metropolis workers are inclined to dislike driverless automobiles. (NYT $)
+ Robotaxis are right here. It’s time to resolve what to do about them. (MIT Expertise Evaluation)

three Inside Ukraine’s invisible warfare
Either side are utilizing radio indicators to overwhelm communications hyperlinks to drones and troops, find targets, and trick guided weapons. (NYT $)

four Advert execs are urging X’s CEO to step down
They are saying that by staying, Linda Yaccarino is endorsing Musk’s anti-semitic diatribes. (Forbes)
That is the rising listing of corporations pulling adverts from X. (WP $)

5 The southern hemisphere is in for a sweltering summer time
It’s extremely doubtless it’ll see record-breaking temperatures over the approaching months, scientists say. (Nature)
The richest 1% are chargeable for extra carbon emissions than the poorest 66%, in accordance with Oxfam. (The Guardian)

6 SpaceX’s Starship rocket reached area, however then exploded 🚀💥
Or, as they wish to put it, skilled a ‘fast unscheduled disassembly’. (CNBC)

7 Teen boys are falling for a Snapchat nude photograph rip-off
It’s a traditional—however devastating—instance of on-line sextortion. (WSJ $)

eight Italy’s parliament has banned lab-grown meat 🥩
The precise-wing authorities stated it posed a risk to the nation’s lifestyle. (Quartz $)
Learn our overview of lab-grown hen at a Michelin-starred restaurant. (MIT Expertise Evaluation)

9 We could have to attend longer for Apple’s Imaginative and prescient Professional headset than deliberate
There’s no approach it’s going to launch in January as initially deliberate, insiders say. (Mashable)

10 The argument for utilizing AI to log each second of your life
It’s a dream for some… however a complete nightmare to others. (Wired $)

Quote of the day

“OpenAI is nothing with out its folks.”

—Wording that’s being posted on-line by a rising variety of OpenAI workers, indicating that additional resignations are nonetheless to return.

The large story

Easy methods to befriend a crow

woman petting a crow at a kitchen table


October 2022

Nicole Steinke feeds a household of the birds from her condominium balcony in Alexandria, Virginia, twice each day. As soon as there’s no meals left, they’ll search for her as she walks round her neighborhood. When one crow finds her, it should name to the others, and so they’ll encompass her.

The crows have turn out to be minor TikTok celebrities because of CrowTok, a small however lively area of interest that has exploded in recognition. CrowTok isn’t nearly birds, although. It additionally usually explores the relationships that corvids—a household of birds together with crows, magpies, and ravens—develop with human beings.

They’re not the one clever birds round, however normally, corvids are sensible in a approach that resonates deeply with people. However how simple is it to befriend them? And what can it train us about consideration, and persistence, in a world that usually appears to have little of both? Learn the complete story.

—Abby Ohlheiser

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

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

+ I can’t cease watching these excessive close-up movies of on a regular basis objects.
+ Flip a clip of you singing right into a roster of songs, because of this intelligent website.
+ Wildlife is all over the place in our cities, you simply have to know the place to look.
+ Begin planning your escape for subsequent yr, courtesy of the finest locations to go to in 2024.
+ Brace your self: it’s practically Star Wars Vacation Particular time.

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