The Download: defining AI, and China’s driverless ambitions


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

What is AI?

AI is horny, AI is cool. AI is entrenching inequality, upending the job market, and wrecking training. The AI increase will increase the financial system, the AI bubble is about to burst. AI will enhance abundance and empower humanity to maximally flourish within the universe. AI will kill us all.

What the hell is all people speaking about?

Artificial intelligence is the most well liked know-how of our time. But what’s it? It feels like a silly query, but it surely’s one which’s by no means been extra pressing. 

If you’re prepared to buckle up and are available for a trip, I can let you know why no one actually is aware of, why all people appears to disagree, and why you’re proper to care about it. Read the total story.

—Will Douglas Heaven

The Chinese authorities is all in on autonomous automobiles

There’s been a lot information popping out of China’s autonomous-vehicle business these days that it’s arduous to maintain observe.

The authorities is lastly permitting Tesla to deliver its Full Self-Driving function to China. New authorities permits let corporations check driverless vehicles on the highway and permit cities to construct good highway infrastructure that may inform these vehicles the place to go.
In brief, there are plenty of adjustments going down. And all of them level in the identical course: The Chinese authorities is throwing its weight behind the autonomous-vehicle business and is keen to return out on high whereas different nations take a extra cautious method. Read the total story.

—Zeyi Yang

This story is from China Report, our weekly e-newsletter overlaying tech and energy in China. Sign up to obtain it in your inbox each Tuesday.

The must-reads

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

1 Microsoft and Apple will now not sit on OpenAI’s board 
The transfer comes as regulators begin to pay shut consideration to Big Tech’s investments in AI startups. (FT $)
+ Microsoft claims its exit is all the way down to OpenAI’s newfound stability. (WSJ $)
+ OpenAI will replace its stakeholders with common conferences, as an alternative. (Bloomberg $)

2 The US has taken down a Russian bot farm on X
The propaganda mill used AI to scale up its operations. (WP $)
+ Google Search outcomes are stuffed with Russian AI spam, too. (Wired $)
+ The Kremlin is rewriting Wikipedia to swimsuit its personal agenda. (Economist $)

3 Amazon claims to have met a clear power aim seven years early
Some specialists aren’t satisfied its calculation methodology is as much as scratch, although. (NYT $)
+ Carbon seize wants to enhance if we’re ever to maneuver away from fossil fuels. (Knowable Magazine)
+ How electrical energy might clear up transportation, metal, and even fertilizer. (MIT Technology Review)

4 Rechargeable batteries come at an environmental price
They seem like a rising supply of without end chemical compounds. (The Verge)
+ The race to destroy PFAS, the without end chemical compounds. (MIT Technology Review)

5 What occurs to your cash when your startup financial institution folds?
Plenty of shoppers are discovering out the arduous method. (NYT $)

6 Crypto followers are up in arms over Germany promoting confiscated bitcoin
But the state of Saxony doesn’t have a alternative. (CoinDesk)
+ Crypto scams are alive and nicely. (Wired $)

7 How to organize your own home for a hurricane
Stronger supplies, tighter seals, and a complete lot of labor. (Wired $)
+ The quest to construct wildfire-resistant properties. (MIT Technology Review)

8 No one solutions the cellphone anymore
And it’s a much bigger drawback than you’d suppose. (Slate $)

9 Philips Hue good lightbulbs appear to have a thoughts of their very own 💡
Owners declare the bulbs are overriding settings to full brightness. (Insider $) 

10 Gen Z makes use of the iPhone Notes app to generate outfits
All these little digital stickers are coming in helpful. (Vogue Business $)

Quote of the day

“I confronted the problems of AI early, however it is going to occur for others. It is probably not a cheerful ending.”

—Lee Saedol, the legendary Go participant who misplaced to Google DeepMind’s AI program in 2016, warns an viewers in Seoul in regards to the dangers the know-how could pose, the New York Times studies.

The massive story

This super-realistic digital world is a driving faculty for AI

February 2022

Building driverless vehicles is a gradual and costly enterprise. After years of effort and billions of {dollars} of funding, the know-how remains to be caught within the pilot section.

Autonomous know-how firm Waabi thinks it will possibly do higher. In 2021 it revealed the controversial new shortcut to autonomous automobiles it’s betting on. The massive thought? Ditch the vehicles.

Wasabi has constructed a super-realistic digital setting known as Waabi World. Instead of coaching an AI driver in actual automobiles, it plans to do it totally contained in the simulation. But simulation alone is a daring technique, and the way far it will possibly go is dependent upon how real looking Waabi World actually is. Read the total story. 

—Will Douglas Heaven

We can nonetheless have good issues

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

+ If this video doesn’t fill you with pleasure, I don’t know what is going to. ❤
+ Apo Whang-Od Oggay is the world’s oldest tattoo artist, and really cool.
+ The world’s most troublesome maze holds a really attention-grabbing secret.
+ Netflix’s Supacell options among the highest of Black British expertise.





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