• The dark secret behind cute AI-generated animal images. Google Brain announced its own image creation AI called Imagen earlier this year. But don’t expect to see anything that isn’t wholesome.
  • This avocado armchair could be the future of AI. Last year, OpenAI extended GPT-3 with two new models that combine NLP and image recognition to help AI understand everyday concepts better. Read full text.

must read

I’ve combed the internet to find today’s most fun/important/horrifying/fascinating stories about technology.

1 The social media giant appeared before the US Senate
Past and current employees of Meta, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube answered questions about the impact of social media on homeland security. (Tech Crunch)
+ Keeping the user’s attention is the main purpose of the algorithm. (protocol)
+ A TikTok representative declined to promise to cut off China’s access to US data. (Bloomberg $)

2 China wants to reduce its dependence on Western technology
The heavy investment in native companies is just one part of the company’s multi-year plan. (FT$)
+ Cybercriminals are increasingly interested in the personal data of Chinese citizens. (Bloomberg $)
+ The FBI accused him of spying for China. It ruined his life. (MIT Technology Review)

3 California sues Amazon
It is accused of causing price increases statewide. (WSJ$)
+ A two-year battle to stop Amazon from selling facial recognition to police. (MIT Technology Review)

4 Russia is waging a surveillance war against its own people
Its authorities are increasingly targeting ordinary people rather than unknown dissidents and journalists. (slate$)
+ Russian troops are still fleeing northern Ukraine. (guardian)

5 Dozens of AI Debated 100 Years of Climate Negotiations in Seconds
They are evaluating which policies are most likely to be accepted globally. (new scientist $)
+ Patagonia owners gave away company to fight climate change. (guardian)

6 Iranian hackers hijack victim’s printer and deliver ransom note
Three men have been accused of targeting people in the US, UK and Iran. (motherboard)

7 DARPA’s small planes could spy from almost anywhere
Unmanned vehicles could also carry small bombs. (WP$)
+ The Taliban crashed a helicopter left behind by US forces. (motherboard)

8 Listening to Stars Helps Astronomers Assess What’s Inside
Eerie acoustic waves transmit a lot of data. (Economist $)
+ The James Webb Space Telescope has discovered a newborn star. (space)
+ The incoming Space Force chief believes the United States needs a constellation of satellites to fight China. (Nikkei Asia)

9 We Can’t Flip Like Cats
But the best divers and gymnasts are the closest we can get. (Atlantic $)
+ The best robot jumpers are inspired by nature. (quantum)

10 This robot is smiling
Even if it’s horribly unconvincing. (guardian)

quote of the day

“Tesla has yet to build a product that comes close to a fully self-driving car.”

According to Reuters, Tesla owner Briggs Matsuko has explained why he sued Tesla over “deceptive” sales methods for driver assistance systems.


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