The Obtain: music-making AI, and Kasparov’s defeat


That is right this moment’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a each day dose of what’s occurring on this planet of expertise.

Google’s new AI can hear a snippet of tune—after which carry on enjoying

A brand new AI system can create natural-sounding speech and music after being prompted with a couple of seconds of audio.

AudioLM, developed by Google researchers, generates audio that matches the fashion of the immediate, together with complicated feels like piano music, or folks talking, in a approach that’s nearly indistinguishable from the unique recording. Crucially, it doesn’t require labor-intensive transcription or labeling in contrast to most different AI-generated audio. Discover out extra, and hearken to the sounds it created, right here.

—Tammy Xu

I Was There When: AI mastered chess

I Was There When is an oral historical past mission that’s a part of our award-winning In Machines We Belief podcast. It options tales of how breakthroughs and watershed moments in synthetic intelligence and computing occurred, as advised by the individuals who witnessed them. 

In the newest episode we meet one of many world’s biggest chess gamers, Garry Kasparov, and listen to why his loss in opposition to IBM’s Deep Blue pc 25 years in the past nonetheless issues right this moment. Hearken to it on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you often go for podcasts. 

Is a covid and flu “twindemic” coming?

In the event you’re feeling a bit underneath the climate, relaxation assured, you’re not alone. For these of us within the Northern Hemisphere, it’s simply that point of yr. That’s partly why well being authorities on either side of the Atlantic are urging folks to get vaccinated—in opposition to each the flu and covid-19. 

In current months, we’ve heard warnings of a flu and covid “twindemic” on the horizon. Ought to we be frightened? Let our senior biomedicine reporter Jessica Hamzelou stroll you thru the dangers

Jess’s story is from The Checkup, her new weekly e-newsletter supplying you with the within observe on all issues well being and tech-related. Enroll to obtain it in your inbox each Thursday.

The must-reads

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

1 That is what life within the metaverse is like
It may be fairly enjoyable—in the event you can afford it. (NYT $)
+ However Meta staff themselves aren’t satisfied. (The Verge)

2 A winter covid wave appears probably 
And this time, we’re doing next-to-nothing to cease it. (Ars Technica)
Lengthy covid continues to be disabling hundreds of thousands of People. (Axios)
How the Chinese language physician who sounded the alarm over covid spent his remaining days. (NYT $)

3 Elon Musk has three weeks to purchase Twitter
If he doesn’t undergo with it in that timeframe, it’s again to the courtroom. (Quartz)
What occurs now? (The Guardian)
Misplaced observe of all of the twists and turns? Right here’s a helpful timeline. (FT $)
Musk says he’ll flip Twitter right into a ‘tremendous app’. Right here’s how these apps work. (BBC)

4 Self-driving automobiles nonetheless appear to be on the street to nowhere 🚗

Even after $100 billion has been poured into their growth. (Bloomberg $)
Uber continues to be betting it might make robotaxis work. (The Verge)
The large new thought for making self-driving automobiles that may go anyplace. (MIT Know-how Assessment)

5 Google has unveiled two text-to-video AI methods
The movies they produce are spectacular, and vaguely unsettling. (The Verge)
That is what the following technology of AI appears like. (MIT Know-how Assessment

6 An influencer is suing TikTok over rip-off adverts that use her movies
This type of fraudulent advertising and marketing is rife on-line—and there’s a rising political consensus in favor of a crackdown. (WP $)

7 Crypto trade Binance says hackers stole $100 million
That is yet one more instance of a ‘bridge’ assault between two blockchains. (WSJ $)
These commonplace hacks display how safety is an afterthought within the crypto trade. (MIT Know-how Assessment)

8 Boston Dynamics has pledged to not weaponize its robots
Nice, however the subsequent query is: how do they cease prospects from doing it? (Axios)

9 That is why you may’t tickle your self 
Your mind is aware of what’s coming. (Wired $)

10 It’s cool to hate on sweet corn on-line
In the event you dwell within the US, it’s merely unattainable to keep away from right now of yr. (The Atlantic $)

Quote of the day

“I despatched it to the entire staff. We did that—have a look at that.”

—Elena Adams, the lead engineer for NASA’s asteroid-smashing DART spacecraft, tells the New Yorker what she did with the telescope pictures of the aftermath of the collision final week. 

The large story

India’s water disaster is already right here. Local weather change will compound it.

Extreme droughts have drained rivers, reservoirs, and aquifers throughout huge elements of India lately, pushing the nation’s leaky, polluted water methods to the brink.

Greater than 600 million Indians face acute water shortages. Seventy % of the nation’s water provide is contaminated, inflicting an estimated 200,000 deaths a yr, and a few 21 cities may run out of groundwater as early as subsequent yr.

Local weather change will certainly make the issue worse. It’s unsure what function increased temperatures have performed in current droughts, because the local weather fashions have primarily predicted more and more intense Indian monsoons. However the longer-term forecast is that the extremes will change into extra excessive, threatening extra frequent flooding and longer droughts. Learn the total story.

—James Temple

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

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

+ This checklist of the world’s 50 greatest bars is assured to be hotly contested. Just one approach to examine, I suppose… I’d higher pack my baggage! 
+ The moustache is formally again in trend. 
+ Don’t even take into consideration visiting someplace new with out doing a vibe examine on Google Maps.
+ Right here’s how lengthy it takes to color an unlimited (and critically spectacular) mural.
+ Stephen King—of comedy.