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The Obtain: AI privateness dangers, and cleansing up delivery


That is at the moment’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a each day dose of what’s happening on the earth of expertise.

What does GPT-3 “know” about me?

One of many greatest tales in tech this yr has been the rise of enormous language fashions (LLMs). These are AI fashions that produce textual content a human might need written—generally so convincingly they’ve tricked individuals into considering they’re sentient.

These fashions’ energy comes from troves of publicly obtainable human-created textual content that has been hoovered from the web. For those who’ve posted something even remotely private in English on the web, likelihood is your knowledge is perhaps a part of a number of the world’s hottest LLMs. 

My colleague Melissa Heikkilä, our AI reporter, just lately began to surprise what knowledge these fashions might need on her—and the way it might be misused. A bruising expertise a decade in the past left her paranoid about sharing private particulars on-line, so she put OpenAI’s GPT-3 to the check to see what it “is aware of” about her. Examine what she discovered.

How ammonia might assist clear up international delivery

The information: Foul-smelling ammonia would possibly seem to be an unlikely gasoline to assist minimize greenhouse-gas emissions. But it surely might additionally play a key function in decarbonizing international delivery, offering an environment friendly option to retailer the vitality wanted to energy massive ships on lengthy journeys.

What’s taking place: The American Bureau of Delivery just lately granted early-stage approval for some ammonia-powered ships and fueling infrastructure, which means such ships might hit the seas throughout the subsequent few years. Whereas the gasoline would require new engines and fueling methods, swapping it in for fossil fuels that ships burn at the moment might assist make a major dent in international carbon emissions.

What’s subsequent: Some firms are trying even additional into the longer term, with New York–based mostly Amogy elevating practically $50 million earlier this yr to make use of the chemical for gasoline cells that promise even better emissions cuts. If early exams for ammonia work out, these new applied sciences might assist the delivery business to considerably cut back its emissions. Learn the complete story.

—Casey Crownhart

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you at the moment’s most enjoyable/vital/scary/fascinating tales about expertise.

1 Pakistan is reeling from its devastating flooding
Poor coverage making, blended with a local weather change-driven monsoon, has displaced thousands and thousands of individuals and destroyed properties, meals and livelihoods. (Vox
+ These photos spotlight the extent of the destruction. (The Guardian)
+ Residents are attempting to salvage their belongsides from the waters. (BBC)

2 California has handed new on-line little one security guidelines 
The laws will drive web sites and apps so as to add protecting measures for under-18s. (NYT $)
The state additionally needs to punish medical doctors who unfold well being misinformation. (NYT $) 

3 NASA will attempt to launch its Artemis rocket once more on Saturday
An inaccurate sensor studying is believed to have triggered the botched lift-off on Monday. (BBC)

4 Elon Musk has discovered a brand new tactic to attempt to wriggle out of shopping for Twitter
He’s utilizing the latest whistleblower allegations. (FT $)
+ What you’ll want to know concerning the upcoming authorized battle. (WSJ $)
+ Twitter is failing to adequately sort out self-harming content material. (Ars Technica)

5 Deepfakes are infiltrating the mainstream
The expertise is enhancing by the day, and we must be apprehensive. (WP $)
+ A horrifying new AI app swaps ladies into porn movies with a click on. (MIT Expertise Overview)

6 Cyber insurance coverage isn’t geared up to take care of cyber warfare
Insurers can’t agree on what ought to and shouldn’t be coated. (Wired $)

7 A program to scrub polluted Nigerian wetlands worsened the issue
Ogoniland residents have been left to take care of the oil-soaked lands. (Bloomberg $)
+ The businesses that triggered an oil spill in California have been fined $13 million. (CNN)

8 How big isopods received so big
The roly-poly relative’s genes clarify why it could possibly develop to the dimensions of a chihuahua. (Hakai Journal)
+ The primordial coelacanth was an energy-saving professional. (New Scientist $)

9 Gen Z is admittedly into making collages
Naturally, there’s an app for that. (The Data $)

10 Dadcore vogue has gone viral 🎣
Leaving a technology of iconic fishing followers in its wake. (Enter)

Quote of the day

“I’ve undoubtedly had days the place I’ve achieved all of that, but it surely’s exhausting.”

—Dynasti deGouville, 22, describes the stress she felt to subscribe to the #ThatGirl way of life of early rising, grueling train, and restrictive diets peddled by TikTok clips of skinny, white ladies to the Wall Road Journal.

The large story

Humanity is caught in short-term considering. Right here’s how we escape.

October 2020

People have developed over millennia to know an ever-expanding sense of time. We now have minds able to imagining a future far off into the gap. But whereas we could have this capability, it’s hardly ever deployed in each day life. If our descendants had been to diagnose the ills of Twenty first-century civilization, they’d observe a harmful short-termism: a collective failure to flee the current second and look additional forward.

The world is saturated in info, and requirements of residing have by no means been increased, however so usually it’s a wrestle to see past the subsequent information cycle, political time period, or enterprise quarter. Easy methods to clarify this contradiction? Why have we come to be so caught within the “now”? Learn the complete story.

—Richard Fisher

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction in these bizarre instances. (Bought any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ This canine slide seems like an infinite delight.
+ Three hours of underground 90s hip hop is assured to place you in an excellent temper.
+ After a two-year break, the World Gravy Wrestling Championship is again! 
+ Electro icon Gary Numan has some fascinating phrases of knowledge.
+ The Perseverance Rover is digging round for proof of previous life on Mars.





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