The Obtain: extra energy-efficient AI, and the issue with QWERTY keyboards

That is at present’s version of The Obtain, our weekday publication that gives a every day dose of what’s happening on the earth of know-how.

How a easy circuit may supply an alternative choice to energy-intensive GPUs

On a desk in his lab on the College of Pennsylvania, physicist Sam Dillavou has linked an array of breadboards by way of an online of brightly coloured wires. The setup seems to be like a DIY residence electronics mission, however this unassuming meeting can study to type knowledge like a machine-learning mannequin.

Whereas its present functionality is rudimentary, the hope is that, if it really works, it may assist spark a much more energy-efficient strategy to constructing sooner AI. Learn the total story.

—Sophia Chen

How QWERTY keyboards present the English dominance of tech

Have you ever ever considered the truth that, regardless of the myriad variations between languages, nearly everybody makes use of the identical QWERTY keyboards? Many languages have extra or fewer than 26 letters of their alphabet—or no “alphabet” in any respect, like Chinese language, which has tens of hundreds of characters. But by some means everybody makes use of the identical keyboard to speak.

Final week, MIT Expertise Overview printed an excerpt from a brand new ebook, The Chinese language Pc, which talks about how this drawback was solved in China. 

Zeyi Yang, our China reporter, sat down with the ebook’s writer, Tom Mullaney, a professor of historical past at Stanford College to debate how audio system of non-Latin languages to adapt fashionable applied sciences for his or her makes use of, and what their efforts contribute to computing applied sciences. Learn the remainder of their dialog right here.

This story is from China Report, our weekly publication masking tech and energy in China. Join to obtain it in your inbox each Tuesday.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to seek out you at present’s most enjoyable/necessary/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 US advisors have rejected MDMA as a remedy for PTSD
Which suggests it’s more and more unlikely that it’ll find yourself being authorized in August in any case. (Vox)
+ The trials had constructive outcomes—however appeared flawed and biased. (Ars Technica)
+ What’s subsequent for MDMA. (MIT Expertise Overview)

2 China is useless set on EV world domination
All over the place moreover the US and Europe, at the least. (FT $)
+ How did China come to dominate the world of electrical automobiles? (MIT Expertise Overview) 

three Israel is secretly concentrating on US lawmakers with an affect marketing campaign
It’s utilizing faux social media accounts urging US lawmakers to fund Israel’s army. (NYT $)

four Police drones aren’t all they’re cracked as much as be
They’re being deployed to research minor crimes within the metropolis of Chula Vista—and residents are more and more unnerved. (Wired $)
+ Flying taxi agency Joby Aviation is hoping to maneuver into protection contracts. (Quick Firm $)
+ Welcome to Chula Vista, the place police drones reply to 911 calls. (MIT Expertise Overview)

5 SpaceX has been permission to launch a fourth take a look at flight
If the whole lot runs easily, it ought to take off at 7am CDT on Thursday. (Ars Technica)

6 How Uganda constructed an enormous biometric surveillance community
Id verification techniques are additionally used to watch its residents. (Bloomberg $)
+ How Worldcoin recruited its first half one million take a look at customers. (MIT Expertise Overview)

7 It’s a very good time to be an AI video startup
In some circumstances, they’re forward of the established giants. (WP $)
+ What’s subsequent for generative video. (MIT Expertise Overview)

eight The lonely seek for connection on-line
Trendy loneliness is rife. The web may assist—and hinder. (The Guardian)

9 Stretchy screens are on the horizon
And will usher in a complete new period of wearables. (IEEE Spectrum)

10 These glasses may assist us to see in the dead of night 👓
By changing infrared into seen gentle. (New Scientist $)

Quote of the day

“The world isn’t prepared, and we aren’t prepared.”

—Daniel Kokotajlo, a former OpenAI researcher, explains to the New York Occasions why he misplaced confidence within the firm’s capacity to behave responsibly because it creates ever extra succesful AI techniques.

The massive story

California’s coming offshore wind growth faces massive engineering hurdles

December 2022

The state of California has an bold objective: constructing 25 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2045. That’s equal to just about a 3rd of the state’s whole producing capability at present, or sufficient to energy 25 million properties.

However the plans are dealing with a frightening geological problem: the continental shelf drops steeply only a few miles off the California coast. Additionally they face huge engineering and regulatory obstacles. Learn the total story.

—James Temple

We will nonetheless have good issues

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

+ I may watch this clay genius make fashions of Pokemon all day lengthy.
+ Cellphones and live performance halls don’t are likely to go collectively—however a brand new symphony is trying to forge a brand new mobile musical connection.
+ Yaupon tea sounds scrumptious to me.
+ For six years, Katy Perry had the charts in a chokehold. What occurred?

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