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Dec 1, 2023

How Scientists Plan to Save Infrastructure From Catastrophic Solar Storms

Posted by in category: habitats

Severe solar storms are estimated to affect Earth every 150 years, and they pose a threat to power grids and other infrastructure. Scientists are building new models and working with industries to avoid a worst-case scenario. Illustration: Michael Tabb.

Dec 1, 2023

Brazilian city enacts an ordinance that was secretly written by ChatGPT

Posted by in categories: policy, robotics/AI

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — City lawmakers in Brazil have enacted what appears to be the nation’s first legislation written entirely by artificial intelligence — even if they didn’t know it at the time.

The experimental ordinance was passed in October in the southern city of Porto Alegre and city councilman Ramiro Rosário revealed this week that it was written by a chatbot, sparking objections and raising questions about the role of artificial intelligence in public policy.

Rosário told The Associated Press that he asked OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT to craft a proposal to prevent the city from charging taxpayers to replace water consumption meters if they are stolen. He then presented it to his 35 peers on the council without making a single change or even letting them know about its unprecedented origin.

Dec 1, 2023

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang has a bold claim about the exponential progress of AI

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

The CEO of semiconductor giant Nvidia spoke during the New York Times’ annual DealBook Summit Wednesday.

Dec 1, 2023

Materials-predicting AI from DeepMind could revolutionize electronics, batteries, and solar cells

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, solar power, sustainability

Company releases database with hundreds of thousands of potential new materials.

Dec 1, 2023

The first CRISPR cure might kickstart the next big patent battle

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Vertex Pharmaceuticals plans to sell a gene-editing treatment for sickle-cell disease. A patent on CRISPR could stand in the way.

Dec 1, 2023

When AI Hallucinates

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

This fall, Sam Altman, OpenAI’s once-(and possibly future-) CEO made a surprising statement about artificial intelligence. AI systems, including that company’s ChatGPT, are known to “hallucinate”: perceive patterns and generate outputs that are nonsensical. That wasn’t a flaw in AI systems, Altman said, it was part of their “magic.” The fact “that these AI systems can come up with new ideas and be creative, that’s a lot of the power.” That raised eyebrows: We humans are rather good at creativity without getting our facts all wrong. How could such an appeal to creativity make a decent counter to the many concerns about accuracy?

To begin, what do people mean when they say an AI system “hallucinates”? Take this example of what happens when GPT4 tries its hand at academic citations:

Dec 1, 2023

What If You Fell Into a Black Hole?

Posted by in category: cosmology

What would the outcome be if you took a leap of faith straight into a black hole? We looked to Einstein and Hawking to ponder the scenario.

Say one day you were exploring space looking for a new planet for humans to inhabit, but came across a black hole and decided – why not check it out? Would you have any chance of survival? How would you get out if at all? Would you find a shortcut to another universe? Watch the video to learn about what would happen if you fell into a black hole.

Continue reading “What If You Fell Into a Black Hole?” »

Dec 1, 2023

SpaceX Is Buying a Company That Makes Parachutes for Spacecraft

Posted by in category: space travel

SpaceX has quietly swooped in to buy a venerable parachute vendor on the verge of bankruptcy, The Information reports, in a rare acquisition by the launch provider as it gears up to play a pivotal role in NASA’s return to the Moon.

The company, Pioneer Aerospace, designs and manufactures parachutes for reusable spacecraft returning to Earth, including SpaceX’s own Dragon capsule used by NASA to ferry astronauts and supplies to and from the International Space Station.

According to a Florida bankruptcy filing by Pioneer’s parent company, SpaceX bought Pioneer for a bargain-basement $2.2 million, approved by a judge on November 22. The move wasn’t reported until this week.

Dec 1, 2023

These fish live beyond 100—and get healthier as they age

Posted by in category: futurism

Buffalofish have surprisingly long life spans, a new study shows—and live their best lives into their 80s and 90s. What can humans learn from them?

Dec 1, 2023

Making an image with generative AI uses as much energy as charging your phone

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, robotics/AI

This is the first time the carbon emissions caused by using an AI model for different tasks have been calculated.

Each time you use AI to generate an image, write an email, or ask a chatbot a question, it comes at a cost to the planet.

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