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Nov 28, 2023

AWS brings Amazon One palm-scanning authentication to the enterprise

Posted by in categories: computing, privacy, security, surveillance

It comes 3 years after Amazon debuted its ‘handy’ authentication service for consumers.

Amazon’s cloud computing subsidiary AWS (Amazon Web Services) has lifted the lid on a new palm-scanning identity service that allows companies to authenticate people when entering physical premises.

The announcement comes as part of AWS’s annual Re: Invent conference, which is running in Las Vegas for the duration of this week.

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Nov 28, 2023

With AI chatbots, will Elon Musk and the ultra-rich replace the masses?

Posted by in categories: biological, Elon Musk, humor, internet, robotics/AI

Elon Musk is hyping the imminent release of his ChatGPT competitor Grok, yet another example of how his entire personality is just itself a biological LLM made by ingesting all of Reddit and 4chan. Grok already seems patterned in many ways off of the worst of Elon’s indulgences, with the sense of humor of a desperately unfunny and regressive internet troll, and biases informed by a man whose horrible, dangerous biases are fully invisible to himself.

There are all kinds of reasons to be wary of Grok, including the standard reasons to be wary of any current LLM-based AI technology, like hallucinations and inaccuracies. Layer on Elon Musk’s recent track record for disastrous social sensitivity and generally harmful approach to world-shaping issues, and we’re already looking at even more reason for concern. But the real risk probably isn’t yet so easy to grok, just because we have little understanding yet of the extent of the impact that widespread use of LLMs across our daily and online lives will have.

One key area where they’re already having and are bound to have much more of an impact is user-generated content. We’ve seen companies already deploying first-party integrations that start to embrace some of these uses, like Artifact with its AI-generated thumbnails for shared posts, and Meta adding chatbots to basically everything. Musk is debuting Grok on X as a feature reserved for Premium+ subscribers initially, with a rollout supposedly beginning this week.

Nov 28, 2023

Contrary to reports, OpenAI probably isn’t building humanity-threatening AI

Posted by in categories: education, mathematics, robotics/AI

Has OpenAI invented an AI technology with the potential to “threaten humanity”? From some of the recent headlines, you might be inclined to think so.

Reuters and The Information first reported last week that several OpenAI staff members had, in a letter to the AI startup’s board of directors, flagged the “prowess” and “potential danger” of an internal research project known as “Q*.” This AI project, according to the reporting, could solve certain math problems — albeit only at grade-school level — but had in the researchers’ opinion a chance of building toward an elusive technical breakthrough.

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Nov 28, 2023

Epigenetic age acceleration linked to poorer memory performance and cognitive functioning

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension, neuroscience

New research suggests that biological age, as indicated by DNA methylation, more significantly impacts cognitive abilities like memory and processing speed than chronological age. This finding could reshape our understanding of aging and cognitive health.

Nov 28, 2023

It’s a year since NASA’s Orion capsule entered record books

Posted by in category: space travel

A year has passed since NASA’s Artemis I mission sent the new Orion spacecraft all the way to the moon, and then beyond, setting a new record in the process.

Nov 28, 2023

Google’s new geothermal energy project is up and running

Posted by in category: computing

Google says this project is the first of its kind.

Nov 28, 2023

This company just put the air in Apple’s MacBook Air

Posted by in category: habitats

Frore’s AirJet could change the game — if it can beat the fan.

Two Fridays ago, I drove down to a squat single-story Silicon Valley office building to see a MacBook Air.

MacBook Air head-to-head: original versus AirJet.

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Nov 28, 2023

After 151 years, Popular Science will no longer offer a magazine

Posted by in category: science

Popular Science magazine shifted to an all-digital format a couple of years ago, and now even that’s gone.

After 151 years, Popular Science will no longer be available to purchase as a magazine.

The long-running publication has come to an end.

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Nov 28, 2023

Tech Leaders Collaborate On Generative AI For Accelerated Chip Design

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Artificial intelligence has been steadily infused into various parts of the Synopsys EDA tool suite for the last few years. What started in 2021 with, a tool created to accelerate, enhance and reduce the costs associated with the place-and-route stage of semiconductor design (sometimes called PnR or floor planning), has been expanded across the company’s complete toolchain, called suite, which covers virtually the entire chip development workflow. Despite its numerous successes in recent years, however, Synopsys isn’t done innovating. Last week the company announced a strategic collaboration with Microsoft to deliver what it is calling the Copilot, a contextually-aware generative AI (GenAI) tool that assists human design teams via conversational intelligence using natural language.

If you missed the previous announcement, the Copilot is powered by OpenAI technology running on Microsoft’s Azure on-demand, high-performance cloud infrastructure. Copilot is meant to alleviate much of the grunt work required of engineers during RTL generation and verification, similar to the way ChatGPT’s conversational AI capabilities have brought productivity improvements to numerous other industries. Chip designers can effectively ask the Copilot questions in plain English, to gain insights into results, produce documentation, or ascertain information about a myriad of other criteria. Today Synopsys revealed that AMD, Intel and Microsoft are already working with the GenAI capabilities on various designs.

The generative AI of the Copilot enables a number of new capabilities. Collaborative tools can offer engineers guidance on everything from design tools to EDA workflows, and it can provide quick analysis of results. The aria-label=" Copilot”> Copilot can also expedite development of RTL (register-transfer level abstraction), formal verification assertion creation, UVM test benches, and layout design. Copilot will also enable end-to-end workflow creation using natural language across the suite.

Nov 28, 2023

Men 2X More Likely To Use Generative AI Than Women: Report

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

OpenAI’s ChatGPT gets 60 times the traffic of Google’s conversational generative AI engine Bard and boasts industry-leading 30-minutes session times.

I asked AI why that might be, and one potential reason ChatGPT gave me for the disparity: historically higher representation of men in the tech sector, which is likely to be the source of most early adopters. When I also asked on Twitter/X why the disparity might exist, one person cited the fact that historically AI tools like Alexa, Siri and Cortana have often had female names, playing into cultural stereotypes about women helping men. The modern generative AI tools, of course, have names like ChatGPT or Bard or Perplexity or MidJourney. So perhaps that is changing.

Another perfectly valid reason one woman cited: perhaps they just don’t want to.

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