This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through February 4)


ChatGPT May Be the Fastest Growing App in History
Lauren Leffer | Gizmodo
“In January, just two months after the program’s public launch, ChatGPT reached 100 million monthly active users (MAUs), UBS noted, based on data amassed from Similarweb. …For comparison, it took TikTok about nine months from its worldwide launch to net 100 million users, per a report from Reuters. Instagram didn’t reach that benchmark for two and a half years, the outlet added.”


The Generative AI Revolution Has Begun—How Did We Get Here?
Haomiao Huang | Ars Technica
“You may be familiar with the latest happenings in the world of AI. You’ve seen the prize-winning artwork, heard the interviews between dead people, and read about the protein-folding breakthroughs. …There’s a reason all of this has come at once. The breakthroughs are all underpinned by a new class of AI models that are more flexible and powerful than anything that has come before. …Where did these foundation models come from, and how have they broken out beyond language to drive so much of what we see in AI today?”


Startup’s Bladeless Flying Car Is Designed to Reach Mach 0.8
Kristin Houser | Big Think
“[Jetoptera is replacing] standard spinning propellers with a ‘Fluidic Propulsion System’ (FPS) that it describes as ‘a bladeless fan on steroids.’ …The FPS has no moving parts that passengers could come in contact with, and based on research funded by the DoD, Jetoptera says the system is ‘the most silent propulsion method in the skies.’ ‘In places like New York, Los Angeles, and London, our aircraft wouldn’t be heard until it was about 200 feet away,’ Andrei Evulet, Jetoptera’s CEO and CTO, told Future Flight in 2021.”


A De-Extinction Company Is Trying to Resurrect the Dodo
Antonio Regalado | MIT Technology Review
“It’s the third species picked by Colossal Biosciences, of Austin, Texas, for what it calls a process of technological ‘de-extinction.’ The company is also working on using large-scale genome engineering to morph modern elephants back into woolly mammoths and resurrect the Tasmanian tiger.”


Roboticists Want to Give You a Third Arm
Dario Farina, Etienne Burdet, Carsten Mehring, and Jaime Ibàñez | IEEE Spectrum
“What could you do with an extra limb? Consider a surgeon performing a delicate operation, one that needs her expertise and steady hands—all three of them. As her two biological hands manipulate surgical instruments, a third robotic limb that’s attached to her torso plays a supporting role. Or picture a construction worker who is thankful for his extra robotic hand as it braces the heavy beam he’s fastening into place with his other two hands. …Such scenarios may seem like science fiction, but recent progress in robotics and neuroscience makes extra robotic limbs conceivable with today’s technology.”


This Tiny Sensor Is About to Change Your Phone Camera Forever
Andy Boxall | Digital Trends
i‘We believe there’s a real opportunity to develop and use a spectral imager in a smartphone. Despite all the progress which has been made with different cameras and the computing power of a smartphone, none can really identify the true color of a picture.’ This is how Spectricity CEO Vincent Mouret described the company’s mission to Digital Trends in a recent interview, as well as the reason why it’s making a miniaturized spectral image sensor that’s ready for use in a smartphone.


Researchers Prove AI Art Generators Can Simply Copy Existing Images
Kyle Barr | Gizmodo
“One of the main defenses used by those who are bullish on AI art generators is that although the models are trained on existing images, everything they create is new. AI evangelists often compare these systems to real life artists. Creative people are inspired by all those who came before them, so why can’t AI be similarly evocative of previous work? New research may put a damper on that argument, and could even become a major sticking point for multiple ongoing lawsuits regarding AI-generated content and copyright.”


The Difference Between Speaking and Thinking
Matteo Wong | The Atlantic
“Although ChatGPT can generate fluent and sometimes elegant prose, easily passing the Turing-test benchmark that has haunted the field of AI for more than 70 years, it can also seem incredibly dumb, even dangerous. It gets math wrong, fails to give the most basic cooking instructions, and displays shocking biases. In a new paper, cognitive scientists and linguists address this dissonance by separating communication via language from the act of thinking: Capacity for one does not imply the other.”

Image Credit: Eugene ProductionUnsplash

Singularity Hub Staff
Singularity Hub Staff
Singularity Hub chronicles technological progress by highlighting the breakthroughs and issues shaping the future as well as supporting a global community of smart, passionate, action-oriented people who want to change the world.
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