The Obtain: fixing the web, and detecting AI consciousness

That is at this time’s version of The Obtain, our weekday publication that gives a each day dose of what’s occurring on this planet of know-how.

The way to repair the web

We’re in a really unusual second for the web. Everyone knows it’s damaged. However there’s a way that issues are about to alter. The stranglehold that the large social platforms have had on us for the final decade is weakening. 

There’s a form of frequent knowledge that the web is irredeemably dangerous. That social platforms, hungry to revenue off your knowledge, opened a Pandora’s field that can not be closed. 

However the web has additionally offered a haven for marginalized teams and a spot for assist. It gives data at occasions of disaster. It might probably join you with long-lost buddies. It might probably make you chortle. 

The web is price preventing for as a result of regardless of all of the distress, there’s nonetheless a lot good to be discovered there. And but, fixing on-line discourse is the definition of a tough drawback. However don’t fear. I’ve an concept. Learn the total story.

—Katie Notopoulos

This story is from the following journal version of MIT Know-how Assessment, set to go reside on October 25. It’s all about society’s hardest issues, and the way we should always deal with them. If you happen to don’t subscribe already, join now to get a duplicate when it lands.

Why it’ll be exhausting to inform if AI ever turns into acutely aware

Historical past is wealthy with examples of individuals attempting to breathe life into inanimate objects, and of individuals promoting hacks and tips as “magic.” However this very human want to consider in consciousness in machines has by no means matched up with actuality. 

Creating consciousness in synthetic intelligence methods is a dream for a lot of technologists. Giant language fashions are the newest instance of our quest for intelligent machines, and a few folks (contentiously) declare to have seen glimmers of consciousness in conversations with them.

AI methods don’t have brains, so it’s not possible to make use of conventional strategies of measuring mind exercise for indicators of life. However neuroscientists have varied totally different theories about what consciousness in AI methods would possibly seem like. Learn the total story.

Melissa’s story is from The Algorithm, MIT Know-how Assessment’s weekly AI publication. Join to obtain it in your inbox each Monday.

2023 Local weather Tech Firms to Watch: Gogoro and its battery pack community

Gogoro is form of a reverse Tesla. The corporate, which makes electrical scooters to create a marketplace for its battery-swapping community, and batteries for third-party autos, has constructed a community of charging stations to assist it promote vehicles. 

Gogoro now has almost 13,000 good battery swapping stations at 3,000 areas within the 9 international locations the place it operates. What’s extra, its cloud-connected, AI-managed stations can inform the state of each battery within the system, anticipate demand from clients, and optimize charging occasions for off-peak hours, when power is cheaper. Learn the total story, and skim the remainder of the record of Local weather Tech Firms to Watch.

The must-reads

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

1 Neuralink’s know-how has the potential to wreck our brains
Former staff say the corporate takes pointless dangers. (Vox)
+ Much less-invasive implants are exhibiting nice promise. (IEEE Spectrum)
+ Elon Musk’s Neuralink is neuroscience theater. (MIT Know-how Assessment)

2 Sam Bankman-Fried used buyer cash for extravagant spending sprees 
A former FTX government spilled the beans on its founder’s extreme spending. (NYT $)
+ SBF’s protection has been unorthodox, to say the least. (Slate $)

Three Inside an enormous carbon offsetting rip-off 
If it feels too good to be true, it often is. (New Yorker $)
+ Carbon removing hype is turning into a harmful distraction. (MIT Know-how Assessment)

Four Who’re ad-free social networks attempting to please? 
Whereas customers don’t like personalised adverts, these variations are aimed squarely at regulators. (Bloomberg $)

5 Buyers are boycotting Internet Summit 
They disagree with its CEO’s feedback concerning the Israel-Hamas battle. (The Info $)

6 Apple’s recycling robotic wants your outdated iPhones
As a result of too few persons are submitting theirs to maintain it busy. (FT $)

7 Driverless vehicles are right here to remain
That doesn’t imply metropolis authorities have to love them, although. (The Atlantic $)
+ San Francisco is house to many battles over autonomous autos. (New Yorker $)
+ Robotaxis are right here. It’s time to determine what to do about them. (MIT Know-how Assessment)

eight A Roman scroll has been learn for the primary time in almost 2,000 years
Due to slightly little bit of AI. (WP $)

9 Paris is preventing again towards a bedbug infestation
Utilizing principally very low-tech detection strategies. (Wired $)
+ However different cities are additionally riddled with the pests. (New Scientist $) 

10 Combined actuality headsets are being noticed IRL
And also you thought Google Glass was dangerous. (The Verge)
+ These Meta-RayBan sun shades are nonetheless going, too. (TechCrunch)

Quote of the day

“Ernie just isn’t inferior the least bit to GPT-4.”

—Robin Li, founding father of Chinese language tech big Baidu, makes a significantly daring declare concerning the proficiencies of its recently-launched AI chatbot Ernie compared to OpenAI’s subtle mannequin, Bloomberg experiences.

The massive story

How we drained California dry

December 2021

Throughout the driest decade in state historical past, California’s farmers haven’t diminished their footprint to satisfy water’s shortage however have added a half-­million extra acres of everlasting crops—extra almonds, pistachios, mandarins.

They’ve lowered their pumps by a whole lot of toes to chase dwindling water sources, sucking many hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water out of the earth that the land is sinking. This subsidence is collapsing the canals and ditches, lowering the movement of the very aqueduct that the state constructed to create the movement itself. Learn the total story.

—Mark Arax

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.)

+ This candy lil bat can’t get sufficient fruit.
+ Say good day to Kevin Afghani: the brand new voice of everybody’s favourite plumber, Mario.
+ Each Twilight screening must be on a poorly-hung projector sheet.
+ If gentrification was a font, it’d look quite a bit like Neutraface.
+ You recognize what’s actually spooky? Tomatoes. 🍅

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *