ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

The Secret Auction That Set Off the Race for AI Supremacy
Cade Metz | Wired
“How the shape of deep learning—and the fate of the tech industry—went up for sale in Harrah’s Room 731, on the shores of Lake Tahoe. …[The auction for Geoff Hinton’s newly formed AI company] was the beginning of a global arms race, and this race would quickly escalate in ways that would have seemed absurd a few years before.”

SCIENCE

Scientists Grow Mouse Embryos in a Mechanical Womb
Gina Kolata | The New York Times
“The mouse embryos looked perfectly normal. All their organs were developing as expected, along with their limbs and circulatory and nervous systems. Their tiny hearts were beating at a normal 170 beats per minute. But these embryos were not growing in a mother mouse. They were developed inside an artificial uterus, the first time such a feat has been accomplished, scientists reported on Wednesday.”

TECHNOLOGY

Your Face Is Not Your Own
Kashmir Hill | The New York Times Magazine
“It seemed entirely possible that Clearview AI would be sued, legislated or shamed out of existence. But that didn’t happen. With no federal law prohibiting or even regulating the use of facial recognition, Clearview did not, for the most part, change its practices. Nor did it implode. …’Our growth rate is crazy,’ Hoan Ton-That, Clearview’s chief executive, said.”

SCIENCE FICTION

Star Wars Fans in Russia Build Epic Replica of the Mandalorian’s Ship
Erin Carson | CNET
“Siberia might feel like a galaxy far far away, but it’s now home to a giant replica of the Razer Crest ship flown by The Mandalorian in the Disney Plus live-action Star Wars show The Mandalorian. According to reports, fans of the show built a model of the starship that’s 47 feet long and 13 feet high (14 meters by 4 meters), and weighs more than a ton.”

NANOTECHNOLOGY

See the World’s Smallest Origami Bird Fold Itself Into Nanoscale Art
Amanda Kooser | CNET
“The tiny scale of the bird is hard to wrap your mind around. Co-author Paul McEuen of Cornell compared the nanoscale bird with a regular piece of paper: ‘One thing that’s quite remarkable is that these little tiny layers are only about 30 atoms thick, compared to a sheet of paper, which might be 100,000 atoms thick.’ Cornell released a video explaining the process and showing the origami in action, folding itself from flat into a dainty bird.”

ROBOTICS

Yandex’s Autonomous Cars Have Driven Over Six Million Miles in ‘Challenging Conditions’
S. Shah | Engadget
“[Yandex’s] vehicles recently hit a major milestone by driving over six million miles (10 million kilometers) in autonomous mode, with the majority of the distance traveled in the Russian capital. That’s significant because Moscow poses some of the most difficult weather conditions in the world. …For self-driving cars—which rely on light-emitting sensors, known as lidar, to track the distance between objects—snowfall and condensation can play havoc with visibility.

SPACE

Astronomers Spotted a Black Hole Casually Gliding Through Space
Isaac Schultz | Gizmodo
“These extraordinarily dense objects are usually found sitting at the center of a galaxy violently gobbling up matter, so it was a surprise when astronomers spotted this one moving out of step with its resident galaxy. Containing more than 3 million times the mass of our Sun, the black hole was advancing across the cosmos at a 110,000-mile-per-hour clip…”

Image Credit: NASA

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