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Dec 8, 2023

Prepare Our Kids for Life, Not Standardized Tests | Ted Dintersmith | TEDxFargo

Posted by in categories: economics, education, employment, finance, physics, robotics/AI

As a leading venture capitalist, Ted Dintersmith lived and breathed the world of innovation. He has seen first-hand how quickly automation is eliminating the structured jobs in our economy, as well as the opportunities for young adults who are bold, creative, and entrepreneurial. As Ted shifted his focus to the future of our schools, he realized that the core purpose of our schools has been lost in a wave of testing, data, and accountability. In this talk, Ted underscores the potential for our kids and our country if we educate to our innovative and creative strengths, and trust our schools and teachers to prepare our kids for life, instead of for standardized tests.

After a twenty-five year career in venture capital, Ted Dintersmith is now focused on issues at the intersection of innovation and education. In the fall of 2012, Ted served as part of the delegation representing the United States at the United Nations General Assembly, where he focused on global education and entrepreneurship. The first two films he executive produced – Most Likely To Succeed and The Hunting Ground – premiered at Sundance, 2015. His website http://www.edu21c.com describes his initiatives and he can be followed @dintersmith.

Continue reading “Prepare Our Kids for Life, Not Standardized Tests | Ted Dintersmith | TEDxFargo” »

Dec 6, 2023

Tesla’s $25,000 car to be built at Giga Texas, then Giga Mexico: Elon Musk

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, finance, sustainability, transportation

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has shared some new details about the automaker’s plans for its next-generation, $25,000 electric vehicle (EV), including that it will be built first in Austin, Texas.

On Tuesday, longtime auto industry veteran Sandy Munro shared a new interview with Musk, held following the Cybertruck delivery event. During the interview, the two talked mostly about the Cybertruck, though they also discussed Tesla’s next-generation vehicle for a few minutes.

While Musk said he couldn’t share any details about unit volume and dates for the next-gen EV, due to them being suggestive of Tesla’s financials, he did go on to share a few things. For one, Musk said that Tesla was “quite far advanced” in working to develop the low-cost, high-volume EV, adding that he reviews the production line plans for that on a weekly basis.

Dec 5, 2023

Foretellix raises $85M to build and test scenarios for self-driving systems

Posted by in categories: business, finance, robotics/AI, transportation

On their way to building fully autonomous vehicles, self-driving car makers are facing a tall task: training their AIs to be able to respond reliably to any and all scenarios that a car, truck or bus might encounter as well as, or hopefully better, than a human would. Today, a startup with a platform to help with that challenge is announcing a sizeable round of funding to take those strategies up a gear.

Foretellix, which builds verification and validation solutions to test the full range of driver assistance and autonomous systems that are coming out on the market, has closed its Series C at $85 million. The round includes financial investors alongside strategic backers from the automotive and chip industries, a signal of who is already doing business with Foretellix, as well as the longer business trajectory for the startup.

The round is being led by Israeli VC 83North, with Singapore’s Temasek and carmaker Isuzu investing alongside Woven Capital (Toyota’s venture fund), Nvidia, Artofin and previous backers MoreTech, Nationwide, Volvo Group VC, Jump Capital, Next Gear Ventures and OurCrowd. Foretellix may ring a bell for readers: The first close of this round was in May of this year (at $43 million).

Dec 2, 2023

The first results from the world’s biggest basic income experiment

Posted by in categories: business, economics, education, finance

One of the big questions GiveDirectly is trying to answer is how to direct cash to low-income households. “Just give cash” is a fun thing to say, but it elides some important operational details. It matters whether someone gets $20 a month for two years or $480 all at once. Those add up to the same amount of money; this isn’t a Side Hustle King situation. But how you get the money still matters. A certain $20 every month can help you budget and take care of regular expenses, while $480 all at once can give you enough capital to start a business or another big project.

The latest research on the GiveDirectly pilot, done by MIT economists Tavneet Suri and Nobel Prize winner Abhijit Banerjee, compares three groups: short-term basic income recipients (who got the $20 payments for two years), long-term basic income recipients (who get the money for the full 12 years), and lump sum recipients, who got $500 all at once, or roughly the same amount as the short-term basic income group. The paper is still being finalized, but Suri and Banerjee shared some results on a call with reporters this week.

By almost every financial metric, the lump sum group did better than the monthly payment group. Suri and Banerjee found that the lump sum group earned more, started more businesses, and spent more on education than the monthly group. “You end up seeing a doubling of net revenues” — or profits from small businesses — in the lump sum group, Suri said. The effects were about half that for the short-term $20-a-month group.

Dec 1, 2023

US regulator compels Aramco to divest Altman-backed AI chip startup

Posted by in categories: finance, military, robotics/AI

Prosperity7, the venture capital fund of Aramco Ventures, invested in Rain Neuromorphics in February 2022.


Wikimedia Commons.

Moving aggressively in the AI arms race, Washington has compelled Saudi Aramco to sell its shares in Rain Neuromorphics Inc, an AI chip startup backed by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, reported Bloomberg.

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Dec 1, 2023

Quantum Squeeze: MIT Unlocks New Dimensions in Precise Clocks

Posted by in categories: cosmology, finance, particle physics, quantum physics

More stable clocks could measure quantum phenomena, including the presence of dark matter.

The practice of keeping time relies on stable oscillations. In grandfather clocks, the length of a second is marked by a single swing of the pendulum. In digital watches, the vibrations of a quartz crystal mark much smaller fractions of time. And in atomic clocks, the world’s state-of-the-art timekeepers, the oscillations of a laser beam stimulate atoms to vibrate at 9.2 billion times per second. These smallest, most stable divisions of time set the timing for today’s satellite communications, GPS systems, and financial markets.

A clock’s stability depends on the noise in its environment. A slight wind can throw a pendulum’s swing out of sync. And heat can disrupt the oscillations of atoms in an atomic clock. Eliminating such environmental effects can improve a clock’s precision. But only by so much.

Nov 29, 2023

AI Video Startup HeyGen Launches Near-Instant Avatar Generator, Adds $5.6 Million In Funding

Posted by in categories: finance, robotics/AI

Former Snap software engineer Joshua Xu believes AI-generated video is about to have a moment like Snapchat or Instagram had in the early days of the mobile photography revolution.


As early proof of that, he points to his own company HeyGen. After launching its AI-powered video creation app last September, HeyGen reached $1 million in annual recurring revenue in March, then $10 million in August. Today, that number is up to $18 million, Xu, cofounder and CEO, told Forbes.

“Snapchat is a camera company where everyone creates content through the mobile camera,” Xu said. “We think AI can create the content. AI could become the new camera.”

Continue reading “AI Video Startup HeyGen Launches Near-Instant Avatar Generator, Adds $5.6 Million In Funding” »

Nov 29, 2023

OpenAI’s board might have been dysfunctional–but they made the right choice. Their defeat shows that in the battle between AI profits and ethics, it’s no contest

Posted by in categories: ethics, finance, robotics/AI

Altman seemed to understand his responsibility to run a viable, enduring organization and keep its employees happy. He was on his way to pulling off a tender offer–a secondary round of investment in AI that would give the company much-needed cash and provide employees with the opportunity to cash out their shares. He also seemed very comfortable engaging in industry-wide issues like regulation and standards. Finding a balance between those activities is part of the work of corporate leaders and perhaps the board felt that Altman failed to find such a balance in the months leading up to his firing.

Microsoft seems to be the most clear-eyed about the interests it must protect: Microsoft’s! By hiring Sam Altman and Greg Brockman (a co-founder and president of OpenAI who resigned from OpenAI in solidarity with Altman), offering to hire more OpenAI staff, and still planning to collaborate with OpenAI, Satya Nadella hedged his bets. He seems to understand that by harnessing both the technological promise of AI, as articulated by OpenAI, and the talent to fulfill that promise, he is protecting Microsoft’s interest, a perspective reinforced by the financial markets’ positive response to his decision to offer Altman a job and further reinforced by his own willingness to support Altman’s return to OpenAI. Nadella acted with the interests of his company and its future at the forefront of his decision-making and he appears to have covered all the bases amidst a rapidly unfolding set of circumstances.

OpenAI employees may not like the board’s dramatic retort that allowing the company to be destroyed would be consistent with the mission–but those board members saw it that way.

Nov 28, 2023

Ransomware attack prompts multistate hospital chain to divert some emergency room patients elsewhere

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cybercrime/malcode, finance, health, law enforcement

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A ransomware attack has prompted a healthcare chain that operates 30 hospitals in six states to divert patients from at least some of its emergency rooms to other hospitals, while putting certain elective procedures on pause, the company announced.

In a statement Monday, Ardent Health Services said the attack occurred Nov. 23 and the company took its network offline, suspending user access to its information technology applications, including the software used to document patient care.

The Nashville, Tennessee-based company said it cannot yet confirm the extent of any patient health or financial information that has been compromised. Ardent says it reported the issue to law enforcement and retained third-party forensic and threat intelligence advisors, while working with cybersecurity specialists to restore IT functions as quickly as possible. There’s no timeline yet on when the problems will be resolved.

Nov 27, 2023

Using the world’s three most powerful particle accelerators to reveal the space-time geometry of quark matter

Posted by in categories: climatology, cosmology, finance, mapping, particle physics, sustainability

Physicists from the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) have been conducting research on the matter constituting the atomic nucleus utilizing the world’s three most powerful particle accelerators. Their focus has been on mapping the “primordial soup” that filled the universe in the first millionth of a second following its inception.

Intriguingly, their measurements showed that the movement of observed particles bears resemblance to the search for prey of marine predators, the patterns of climate change, and the fluctuations of stock market.

In the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang, temperatures were so extreme that atomic nuclei could not exists, nor could nucleons, their building blocks. Hence, in this first instance the universe was filled with a “” of quarks and gluons.

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