The Obtain: hyperrealistic deepfakes, and clear power’s implications for mining

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

An AI startup made a hyperrealistic deepfake of me that’s so good it’s scary

Till now, AI-generated movies of individuals have tended to have some stiffness, glitchiness, or different unnatural components that make them fairly simple to distinguish from actuality.

For the previous a number of years, AI video startup Synthesia has produced these sorts of AI-generated avatars. However as we speak it launches a brand new era, its first to make the most of the newest developments in generative AI, and they’re extra life like and expressive than something we’ve seen earlier than.

Whereas as we speak’s launch means nearly anybody will now have the ability to make a digital double, earlier than the know-how went public, Synthesia agreed to make one in all Melissa Heikkilä, our senior AI reporter.

This technological progress indicators a a lot bigger shift. More and more, a lot of what we see on our screens is generated (or no less than tinkered with) by AI, and it’s changing into increasingly more tough to tell apart what’s actual from what isn’t. And this threatens our belief in every little thing we see, which may have very harmful penalties. Learn the complete story and take a look at the artificial model of Melissa.

Need much less mining? Change to wash power.

Political fights over mining and minerals are heating up, and there are rising issues about the right way to supply the supplies the world must construct new power applied sciences. 

However low-emissions power sources, together with wind, photo voltaic, and nuclear energy, have a smaller mining footprint than coal and pure fuel, in keeping with a brand new report from the Breakthrough Institute launched as we speak.

The report’s findings add to a rising physique of proof that applied sciences used to handle local weather change will seemingly result in a future with much less mining than a world powered by fossil fuels. Learn the complete story.

—Casey Crownhart

Within the local weather world, hydrogen is probably the last word multi-tool. It may be utilized in gasoline cells or combustion engines and is usually known as the Swiss Military knife for cleansing up emissions. However the actuality as we speak is that hydrogen is rather more of a local weather downside than an answer. To search out out why, try the newest version of The Spark, our weekly local weather and power e-newsletter. Join to obtain it in your inbox each Wednesday.

A brand new type of gene-edited pig kidney was simply transplanted into an individual

The information: A month in the past, Richard Slayman grew to become the primary residing individual to obtain a kidney transplant from a gene-edited pig. Now, a workforce of researchers from NYU Langone Well being reviews that Lisa Pisano, a 54-year-old girl from New Jersey, has turn out to be the second.

Why it issues: Pisano’s new kidney got here from pigs that carry only a single genetic alteration—to remove a particular sugar known as alpha-gal, which might set off fast organ rejection. Within the coming weeks, medical doctors will probably be monitoring Pisano intently for indicators of organ rejection. If it’s profitable, researchers hope the method may make scaling up the manufacturing of pig organs less complicated. Learn the complete story.

—Cassandra Willyard

Virtually each Chinese language keyboard app has a safety flaw that reveals what customers kind

In a nutshell: Virtually all keyboard apps utilized by Chinese language individuals world wide share a safety loophole that makes it doable to spy on what customers are typing.

Why it’s an enormous deal: The vulnerability, which permits the keystroke knowledge that these apps ship to the cloud to be intercepted, has existed for years and will have been exploited by cybercriminals and state surveillance teams, in keeping with researchers on the Citizen Lab, a know-how and safety analysis lab affiliated with the College of Toronto. Learn the complete story.

—Zeyi Yang

The must-reads

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

1 Meta’s AI push is just simply starting
The corporate plans to sink $40 billion into its AI tasks this yr alone—but it surely hasn’t labored out the right way to earn a living from them but. (Insider $)
+ The information didn’t go down effectively with Meta’s buyers. (The Data $)+ Mark Zuckerberg isn’t prepared to surrender on the metaverse simply but. (FT $)

2 US chipmaker Micron has been given a serious increase
To the tune of $13.6 billion in authorities funding. (FT $)
+ It could possibly be a number of months earlier than the cash arrives, although. (Bloomberg $)

three A nuclear fusion experiment has overcome two main limitations
However we don’t know if the operative ‘candy spot’ it recognized could possibly be replicated in bigger reactors. (New Scientist $)
+ The subsequent era of nuclear reactors is getting extra superior. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

four The US desires Binance’s founder to spend three years in jail
Nevertheless, legal professionals for Changpeng Zhao argue he shouldn’t go to jail in any respect. (CoinDesk)
+ The cryptocurrency change is trying to distance itself from its former CEO. (NYT $)

5 Nvidia is gobbling up promising-looking startups
It’s within the firm’s pursuits to cut back the excessive prices of operating AI fashions. (The Data $)

6 In Saudi Arabia, AI is the brand new oil
And US tech giants are scrambling to get entangled. (NYT $)

7 The Earth is rotating extra slowly than it used to
You possibly can blame local weather change for the gradual slowdown. (Economist $)
+ Three local weather applied sciences breaking by means of in 2024. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

eight These males are repatriating colonial artifacts in audacious digital heists
Their work raises pressing questions on cultural possession and appropriation. (The Guardian)
+ AI is bringing the web to submerged Roman ruins. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

9 Robocalls are one in all life’s nuisances
David Frankel has spent a formidable 12 years attempting to cease them. (IEEE Spectrum)
+ Name facilities’ days could possibly be numbered, due to the rise of AI. (FT $)

10 Seaweed could possibly be a wealthy useful resource of treasured minerals 
A brand new undertaking is hoping to get some solutions. (Hakai Journal)

Quote of the day

“No affected person ought to be a guinea pig, and no nurse ought to be changed by a robotic.”

—Cathy Kennedy, co-president of the California Nurses Affiliation, criticizes the creep of AI into healthcare with out safeguards, 404 Media reviews.

The massive story

The rise of the tech ethics congregation

August 2023

Simply earlier than Christmas final yr, a pastor preached a gospel of morals over cash to a number of hundred members of his flock. However the chief in query was not an ordained minister, nor even a spiritual man.

Polgar, 44, is the founding father of All Tech Is Human, a nonprofit group dedicated to selling ethics and accountability in tech. His congregation is present process dramatic progress in an age when the lifetime of the spirit typically struggles to compete with chilly, arduous, capitalism.

Its leaders imagine there are giant numbers of people in and across the know-how world, typically from marginalized backgrounds, who want tech centered much less on earnings and extra on being a pressure for ethics and justice. However makes an attempt to remain above the fray may cause extra issues than they clear up. Learn the complete story.

—Greg M. Epstein

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.)

+ Roger Federer appears like an all-round good man.
+ This checklist of the yr’s most anticipated excursions is making me excited for summer season.
+ If solely all muffins had been this inventive.
+ What are you ready for—now’s the time to make reservations on the world’s hottest new eating places.

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