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May 23, 2024

No, Today’s AI Isn’t Sentient. Here’s How We Know

Posted by in categories: food, mathematics, robotics/AI, space

All sensations—hunger, feeling pain, seeing red, falling in love—are the result of physiological states that an LLM simply doesn’t have. Consequently we know that an LLM cannot have subjective experiences of those states. In other words, it cannot be sentient.

An LLM is a mathematical model coded on silicon chips. It is not an embodied being like humans. It does not have a “life” that needs to eat, drink, reproduce, experience emotion, get sick, and eventually die.

It is important to understand the profound difference between how humans generate sequences of words and how an LLM generates those same sequences. When I say “I am hungry,” I am reporting on my sensed physiological states. When an LLM generates the sequence “I am hungry,” it is simply generating the most probable completion of the sequence of words in its current prompt. It is doing exactly the same thing as when, with a different prompt, it generates “I am not hungry,” or with yet another prompt, “The moon is made of green cheese.” None of these are reports of its (nonexistent) physiological states. They are simply probabilistic completions.

May 23, 2024

Longevity: Could extreme exercise help you live longer?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

A new study, recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, suggests that people who participate in extreme exercise may live longer.

Researchers tracked a select group of elite runners capable of running a sub-4-minute mile and found they may live five years longer on average than the general population.

May 23, 2024

Frozen human brain tissue can now be revived without damage

Posted by in category: neuroscience

New research has shown that frozen human brain tissue can be revived without damage.

Using a new approach, scientists have successfully frozen and thawed brain organoids and cubes of brain tissue from someone with epilepsy, which could enable better research into neurological conditions.

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre

Continue reading “Frozen human brain tissue can now be revived without damage” »

May 23, 2024

TSMC’s Lithography Machines Have a Remote Kill Switch in Case China Invades

Posted by in categories: computing, military

Over the past few years, there’s been a lot of speculation about what would happen to TSMC’s semiconductor fabs in the event of an invasion by the Chinese military. TSMC makes the world’s most advanced chips at its Taiwan facilities, so the prospect of those fabs being taken over or controlled by a hostile force is not a pleasant scenario to consider. However, now it’s been revealed for the first time that the machines have remote kill switches, which would render them idle in the case of Chinese aggression.

This revelation about TSMC’s machines comes from Bloomberg reporters, who say they spoke with several people “familiar with the matter.” Dutch company ASML makes the machines TSMC uses and has built a kill switch directly into the hardware TSMC uses. The report says US officials approached ASML with concerns about Chinese aggression against TSMC, and ASML has assured them it can disable the machines remotely if necessary. The Dutch company has also been running simulated shutdowns on its machines to understand better how such a scenario would play out in the real world and what risks it included.

May 23, 2024

Truecaller partners with Microsoft to let its AI respond to calls in your own voice

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

AI has already started replacing voice agents’ jobs. Now, companies are exploring ways to replace the existing computer-generated voice models with synthetic versions of human voices. Truecaller, the widely known caller ID service, is the latest to take this approach with its announcement that it will now allow customers to use its AI-powered Assistant to answer phone calls in their own voice.

The new experience comes via a partnership with Microsoft that allows the Swedish company to use the Redmond giant’s Personal Voice technology, introduced in November as part of Azure AI Speech.

By using Microsoft’s Personal Voice, Truecaller’s Assistant, available to paid users, will be able to replicate users’ voices in order to greet and respond to callers. This is in addition to the preset system-generated voice options available to users through the digital assistance feature that helps answer phone calls for you, screen unknown calls, take messages, respond on your behalf or even record the call.

May 23, 2024

AI language translation startup DeepL nabs $300M on a $2B valuation to focus on B2B growth

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

More funding is being poured into startups focused on AI. DeepL, which builds automated text translation and writing tools that compete against the likes of Google Translate and Grammarly, said on Wednesday that it has raised an additional $300 million. It is now valued at $2 billion, post-money.

This round, led by Index Ventures, underscores the frenetic interest that investors have in AI startups at the moment and how companies are capitalizing on that opportunity while they can. DeepL, which is still not profitable, was valued at $1 billion in January 2023, when it raised just over $100 million.

The new money will be used to drive more sales and marketing, as well as further research and development.

May 23, 2024

Gravity to implement 500 kW EV charger ‘trees’ on US streets to grow network larger than Tesla’s

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

NY-based startup and EV infrastructure specialist Gravity has launched a new line of universal EV charger “trees” it hopes will bring convenient charging sessions curbside on city streets. The deployment will start modestly, but Gravity is targeting a street charging network that is” more expansive than Tesla’s current Supercharger network.”

Gravity Inc. is a startup focused on sustainable fleets and the infrastructure required to operate them efficiently. In 2021, Gravity began rolling out a fleet of all-electric Mustang Mach-E yellow cabs around New York City while partnering with building owners and parking operators to implement electric vehicle charging infrastructure to support individual drivers and large EV fleets.

At that time, Gravity was already teasing plans to open the “only true fast-charging site in Manhattan” to support the taxis and local EV owners. In October 2023, Gravity released a full suite of 500kW EV chargers, some of the fastest we’ve seen.

May 23, 2024

UChicago scientist seeks to make plastic more recyclable

Posted by in categories: engineering, materials

Editor’s note: This story is part of ‘Meet a UChicagoan,’ a regular series focusing on the people who make UChicago a distinct intellectual community. Read about the others here.

When asked to explain the difference between recyclable plastics, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering graduate student Sam Marsden pulled out a paperclip chain and a length of small strings crudely knotted together.

The paperclip chain represented a highly recyclable plastic like the polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, found in soda bottles and the fibers in clothes. These can be broken down to the molecular level—ie., the individual paperclips—and rebuilt into like-new materials.

May 23, 2024

GM’s working on a clutch for an electric car transmission

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

An electric car doesn’t need a clutch, but GM’s potentially developing one anyway.

May 23, 2024

NVIDIA To Ship Half A Million Blackwell GB200 AI Chips This Year, 2 Million In 2025

Posted by in categories: economics, robotics/AI

NVIDIA’s Blackwell GB200 AI servers are anticipated to see major traction, reaching 2 million units shipped in 2025 & utilizing new packaging tech.

NVIDIA To Overcome CoWoS Supply Chain Bottlenecks By Shifting To The Newer “PFLO” Standard, 420K Units Shipping This Year With Up To 2 Million Anticipated For 2025

The success of NVIDIA’s Hopper AI products last year not only uplifted the company’s economics to new heights but also revealed massive flaws in the supply chain. Due to these flaws, the products became victims of long order backlogs. The main culprits at that time were HBM & CoWoS supply, which was in a much inferior position to what it is today. Despite seeing massive upgrades, NVIDIA has decided to resolve CoWoS issues with its latest Blackwell product, as the firm is rumored to have switched to a newer packaging technology by 2025–2026.

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