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


That is as we speak’s version of The Obtain, our weekday publication that gives a day by day dose of what’s happening on the planet of expertise.

What’s AI?

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

What the hell is all people speaking about?

Synthetic intelligence is the most popular expertise of our time. However what’s it? It feels like a silly query, nevertheless it’s one which’s by no means been extra pressing. 

For those who’re keen to buckle up and are available for a trip, I can inform you why no one actually is aware of, why all people appears to disagree, and why you’re proper to care about it. Learn the total story.

—Will Douglas Heaven

The Chinese language authorities is all in on autonomous automobiles

There’s been a lot information popping out of China’s autonomous-vehicle trade currently that it’s exhausting to maintain observe.

The federal government is lastly permitting Tesla to carry its Full Self-Driving characteristic to China. New authorities permits let corporations take a look at driverless vehicles on the highway and permit cities to construct sensible highway infrastructure that may inform these vehicles the place to go.

In brief, there are loads of modifications going down. And so they all level in the identical course: The Chinese language authorities is throwing its weight behind the autonomous-vehicle trade and is raring to return out on prime whereas different nations take a extra cautious strategy. Learn the total story.

—Zeyi Yang

This story is from China Report, our weekly publication overlaying tech and energy in China. Enroll 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 expertise.

1 Microsoft and Apple will now not sit on OpenAI’s board 
The transfer comes as regulators begin to pay shut consideration to Huge 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 filled 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 objective seven years early
Some specialists aren’t satisfied its calculation technique is as much as scratch, although. (NYT $)
+ Carbon seize wants to enhance if we’re ever to maneuver away from fossil fuels. (Knowable Journal)
+ How electrical energy might clear up transportation, metal, and even fertilizer. (MIT Know-how Evaluate)

4 Rechargeable batteries come at an environmental value
They seem like a rising supply of perpetually chemical substances. (The Verge)
+ The race to destroy PFAS, the perpetually chemical substances. (MIT Know-how Evaluate)

5 What occurs to your cash when your startup financial institution folds?
Loads of prospects are discovering out the exhausting method. (NYT $)

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

7 The right way to put together your own home for a hurricane
Stronger supplies, tighter seals, and an entire lot of labor. (Wired $)
+ The hunt to construct wildfire-resistant properties. (MIT Know-how Evaluate)

8 Nobody solutions the telephone anymore
And it’s an even bigger downside than you’d assume. (Slate $)

9 Philips Hue sensible lightbulbs appear to have a thoughts of their very own 💡
Homeowners 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 useful. (Vogue Enterprise $)

Quote of the day

“I confronted the problems of AI early, however it’s going to occur for others. It will not be a contented 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 expertise might pose, the New York Instances studies.

The large story

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

February 2022

Constructing driverless vehicles is a sluggish and costly enterprise. After years of effort and billions of {dollars} of funding, the expertise remains to be caught within the pilot section.

Autonomous expertise firm Waabi thinks it may well do higher. In 2021 it revealed the controversial new shortcut to autonomous automobiles it’s betting on. The large concept? Ditch the vehicles.

Wasabi has constructed a super-realistic digital atmosphere known as Waabi World. As a substitute of coaching an AI driver in actual automobiles, it plans to do it fully contained in the simulation. However simulation alone is a daring technique, and the way far it may well go relies on how life like Waabi World actually is. Learn the total story

—Will Douglas Heaven

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction to brighten up your day. (Acquired 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 tough maze holds a really attention-grabbing secret.
+ Netflix’s Supacell options a few of the highest of Black British expertise.