This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through March 25)


OpenAI Connects ChatGPT to the Internet
Kyle Wiggers | TechCrunch
“[This week, OpenAI] launched plugins for ChatGPT, which extend the bot’s functionality by granting it access to third-party knowledge sources and databases, including the web. Easily the most intriguing plugin is OpenAI’s first-party web-browsing plugin, which allows ChatGPT to draw data from around the web to answer the various questions posed to it.”


Nvidia Speeds Key Chipmaking Computation by 40x 
Samuel K. Moore | IEEE Spectrum
“Called inverse lithography, it’s a key tool that allows chipmakers to print nanometer-scale features using light with a longer wavelength than the size of those features. Inverse lithography’s use has been limited by the massive size of the needed computation. Nvidia’s answer, cuLitho, is a set of algorithms designed for use with GPUs, turns what has been two weeks of work into an overnight job.”


Epic’s New Motion-Capture Animation Tech Has to Be Seen to Be Believed
Kyle Orland | Ars Technica
“Epic’s upcoming MetaHuman facial animation tool looks set to revolutionize [the]…labor- and time-intensive workflow [of motion-capture]. In an impressive demonstration at Wednesday’s State of Unreal stage presentation, Epic showed off the new machine-learning-powered system, which needed just a few minutes to generate impressively real, uncanny-valley-leaping facial animation from a simple head-on video taken on an iPhone.”


United to Fly Electric Air Taxis to O’Hare Beginning in 2025
Stefano Esposito | Chicago Sun Times
“The trip between O’Hare and the Illinois Medical District is expected to take about 10 minutes, according to California-based Archer Aviation, which is partnering with United Airlines. …An Archer spokesman said they hope to make the fare competitive with Uber Black, a ride-hailing service that provides luxury vehicles and top-rated drivers to customers. On Thursday afternoon, an Uber Black ride from for Vertiport to O’Hare was $101.”


These New Tools Let You See for Yourself How Biased AI Image Models Are
Melissa Heikkilä | MIT Technology Review
“Popular AI image-generating systems notoriously tend to amplify harmful biases and stereotypes. But just how big a problem is it? You can now see for yourself using interactive new online tools. (Spoiler alert: it’s big.) The tools, built by researchers at AI startup Hugging Face and Leipzig University and detailed in a non-peer-reviewed paper, allow people to examine biases in three popular AI image-generating models: DALL-E 2 and the two recent versions of Stable Diffusion.”


BMW’s New Factory Doesn’t Exist in Real Life, but It Will Still Change the Car Industry
Jesus Diaz | Fast Company
“Before construction on [a new car] factory begins, thousands of engineers draw millions of CAD drawings and meet for thousands of hours. Worse yet, they know that no amount of planning will prevent a long list of bugs once the factory finally opens, which can result in millions of dollars lost every day until the bugs are resolved. At least, that’s how it used to work. This is all about to change thanks to the world’s first virtual factory, a perfect digital twin of BMW’s future 400-hectare plant in Debrecen, Hungary, which will reportedly produce around 150,000 vehicles every year when it opens in 2025.”


Fusion Power Is Coming Back Into Fashion
Editorial Staff | The Economist
“[Forty two companies] think they can succeed, where others failed, in taking fusion from the lab to the grid—and do so with machines far smaller and cheaper than the latest intergovernmental behemoth, ITER, now being built in the south of France at a cost estimated by America’s energy department to be $65bn. In some cases that optimism is based on the use of technologies and materials not available in the past; in others, on simpler designs.”


Plastic Paving: Egyptian Startup Turns Millions of Bags Into Tiles
Editorial Staff | Reuters
“An Egyptian startup is aiming to turn more than 5 billion plastic bags into tiles tougher than cement as it tackles the twin problems of tons of waste entering the Mediterranean Sea and high levels of building sector emissions. ‘So far, we have recycled more than 5 million plastic bags, but this is just the beginning,’ TileGreen co-founder Khaled Raafat told Reuters. ‘We aim that by 2025, we will have recycled more than 5 billion plastic bags.’ ”

Image Credit: BoliviaInteligente / Unsplash 

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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