This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through Sept 3)


An AI-generated Artwork’s State Fair Victory Fuels Arguments Over ‘What Art Is’
James Vincent | The Verge
“The rise of text-to-AI image generators has only just begun, but already, the programs are sparking heated debates about the nature of art, whether this software poses a threat to artists’ livelihoods, and whether or not the companies that create these systems [owe] anything to the artists whose work their programs are trained on.”


A New Gene Therapy Based on Antibody Cells Is About to Be Tested in Humans
Antonio Regalado | MIT Technology Review
“The concept is to engineer B cells so that they manufacture other proteins instead of antibodies. For [the rare inherited disease MPS-1], what’s needed is an enzyme whose absence causes diverse and devastating symptoms. Patients with the illness are currently treated with weekly infusions of the missing enzyme, but it’s not enough to cure the disease outright. Immusoft says it can engineer B cells to produce the enzyme instead.”


Why DeepMind Is Sending AI Humanoids to Soccer Camp
Amit Katwala | Wired
DeepMind’s attempt to teach an AI to play soccer started with a virtual player writhing around on the floor—so it nailed at least one aspect of the game right from kickoff. …The work—published this week in the journal Science Robotics—might seem frivolous, but learning the fundamentals of soccer could one day help robots to move around our world in more natural, more human ways.”


Contra-Rotating Floating Turbines Promise Unprecedented Scale and Power
Loz Blain | New Atlas
“This design, says the company, is far easier to scale than [horizontal-axis wind turbines], and could grow up to a ridiculous 400 m (1,312 ft) in height, with a monster 40-megawatt capacity per unit. In an interview with Recharge, company representatives appear to have suggested a projected levelized cost of energy (LCoE) of less than $50 per megawatt—less than half the LCoE the US Energy Information Administration projects for the average offshore wind project going to market in 2027.”


A New Approach to Car Batteries Is About to Transform EVs
Mark Andrews | Wired
“Auto companies are designing ways to build a car’s fuel cells into its frame, making electric rides cheaper, roomier, and able to hit ranges of 620 miles. …According to Euan McTurk, a consultant battery electrochemist at Plug Life Consulting, since technologies such as cell-to-pack, cell-to-body, and cell-to-chassis battery construction allow batteries to be more efficiently distributed inside the car, they get us much closer to a hypothetical perfect EV battery.”


What Does GPT-3 ‘Know’ About Me?
Melissa Heikkilä | MIT Technology Review
“If you’ve posted anything even remotely personal in English on the internet, chances are your data might be part of some of the world’s most popular LLMs. …That poses a ‘ticking time bomb’ for privacy online, and opens up a plethora of security and legal risks, warns Florian Tramèr, an associate professor of computer science at ETH Zürich who has studied LLMs. Meanwhile, efforts to improve the privacy of machine learning and regulate the technology are still in their infancy.”

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