The Obtain: tech assist for herders, and micro organism clean-ups

That is at present’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a every day dose of what’s happening on this planet of expertise.

Why shiny, high-tech options received’t remedy one in all Africa’s worst crises

Herding— one in all humanity’s most foundational methods of life—is a pillar of survival in West Africa’s Sahel.

Migratory herders usher cattle between seasonal pastures, since they not often personal land. Nonetheless, these conventional methods of doing issues have gotten more and more unimaginable, because of a fancy mixture of local weather change, politics and warfare.

In more moderen years, numerous Western gamers touting tech tendencies like synthetic intelligence and predictive evaluation have swooped in with guarantees to resolve the area’s myriad issues.

However some suppose there may very well be a a lot less complicated resolution, that places actual knowledge immediately into the herders’ arms.

Current advances in knowledge assortment—each from geosatellites and from herders themselves—have generated an abundance of knowledge on floor cowl amount and high quality, water availability, rain forecasts, livestock concentrations, and extra. The ensuing breakthroughs in forecasting may assist individuals anticipate droughts and different crises. 

The work couldn’t be extra pressing. The area’s herders face an existential disaster that has already began to shred the very material of society. Learn the complete story.

—Hannah Rae Armstrong

How micro organism are cleansing up our messy water provide

Some micro organism are evolving in a approach that would assist, fairly than harm us. That’s excellent news, as a result of the US has made an actual mess of its water provide. 

Scientists first detected prescribed drugs in water greater than 40 years in the past. However concern has elevated dramatically up to now 20 years, as a dizzying array of medicines and private care merchandise swill into the water provide. 

Fortunately, there is perhaps a solution to deal with it: utilizing micro organism which do away with these tiny pollution. Learn our story to learn how. 

—Cassandra Willyard

This story is from The Checkup, our weekly e-newsletter all about biotech and well being. Enroll to obtain it in your inbox each Thursday.

The must-reads

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

1 AI is unleashing a knowledge middle goldrush
It may rise from 2% of the worldwide knowledge middle footprint to 10% by 2025. (NYT $)
AI’s carbon footprint is greater than you suppose. (MIT Expertise Overview)

2 Emissions reached a file excessive in 2023
A giant driver of that enhance was excessive drought, which lower hydropower manufacturing in some nations. (Bloomberg $)
And forecasters predict we’re in for a very popular 2024. (The Verge)
ExxonMobil is suing traders who need faster local weather motion. (NPR)

three GoFundMe donations to campaigns in Gaza maintain being frozen
Professional issues over cash laundering and terrorist financing are blocking determined civilians from getting help. (The Verge)

four Can we management AI’s hallucinations?
It’s attainable that we are able to’t. And in that state of affairs, it’ll stay dangerous to make use of AI for any necessary duties. (The Economist $)
Google’s drawback isn’t that its AI is ‘woke’. It’s that it’s being rushed out into merchandise too rapidly. (Bloomberg $)
The SEC is investigating whether or not OpenAI misled traders. (WSJ $)
Generative AI is difficult the very notion of copyright. (The Atlantic $)
Your posts are getting used to coach AI. Sure, even those you’ll think about are secure. (Vox)

5 A humanoid robots startup received $675 million from tech traders 🤖
However can it actually succeed the place so many others have failed? (FT $)

6 Multiple billion individuals now have weight problems 
It’s surprising how huge this public well being drawback has change into now. (Axios)
+ Nonetheless, weight reduction medicine are poised to doubtlessly assist alleviate it. (MIT Expertise Overview)

7 Conspiracists are obsessing over Kate Middleton on-line
These individuals appear to simply have approach an excessive amount of time on their arms. (The Atlantic $)

eight The FBI is utilizing push alerts to catch suspects
But it surely’s a privateness nightmare, and will embody individuals looking for abortions. (WP $)

9 A viral photograph of a man smoking in McDonald’s was made by AI
There are methods to inform, however they’re difficult to identify at a look. (Quartz)

10 Zuckerberg is having a little bit of a PR second
Get pleasure from it whereas it lasts, Mark. (Axios)

Quote of the day

“I’m completely 100%, sadly hooked on this.”

—Artist and musician Laurie Anderson tells The Guardian she will be able to’t cease speaking to an AI model of her late husband Lou Reed.

The massive story

Contained in the billion-dollar assembly for the mega-rich who wish to stay endlessly

Longevity Prize winner celebrates with raised arms as confetti falls and she receives an oversized check


November 2022

Again in September 2022, Jessica Hamzelou, our senior biotech reporter, traveled to Gstaad, a swanky ski-resort city within the Swiss Alps, to attend the primary in-person Longevity Traders Convention.

Over the two-day occasion, scientists and biotech founders made the case for numerous approaches to prolonging the variety of years we would spend in good well being. Nearly all of them had been making an attempt to win over deep-pocketed traders.

As the sphere of longevity makes an attempt to outline itself as scientifically sound, loads of “anti-aging therapies” based mostly on little-to-no human proof proceed to enter the market. However can billions of investor cash—a few of it from ethically doubtful sources—ever supply a concrete path to evidence-based life extension? Learn the complete story.

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

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

+ I’d love to go to this pub conjured up by George Orwell.
+ Completely happy St David’s Day (that’s ‘Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus’ in Welsh) to all who have a good time!
+ Now this is my form of macaroni cheese. 
+ Hmm, seems like a dream job to me.

Leave a Reply

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