This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through April 22)


OpenAI’s CEO Says the Age of Giant AI Models Is Already Over
Will Knight | Wired
“Altman’s statement suggests that GPT-4 could be the last major advance to emerge from OpenAI’s strategy of making the models bigger and feeding them more data. He did not say what kind of research strategies or techniques might take its place. In the paper describing GPT-4, OpenAI says its estimates suggest diminishing returns on scaling up model size. Altman said there are also physical limits to how many data centers the company can build and how quickly it can build them.”


Google’s Big AI Push Will Combine Brain and DeepMind Into One Team
Emma Roth and Jay Peters | The Verge
“Called Google DeepMind, the new group is led by DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis, as former AI lead Jeff Dean steps into the role of chief scientist. …In a post shared by Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, he says the combined groups will ‘significantly accelerate our progress in AI.’i


AI Drake Just Set an Impossible Legal Trap for Google
Nilay Patel | The Verge
YouTube only continues to exist because of a delicate dance that keeps rightsholders happy and the music industry paid, but the future of Google itself is a bet on an expansive interpretation of copyright law that every creative industry from music to movies to news hates and will fight to the death.


Google Robot Learns to Sort the Recyclables Left in Office Waste Bins
Alex Wilkins | New Scientist
“Levine and his team let the robots sort people’s rubbish for nearly 10,000 hours over two years and, after that period, the machines managed, on average, to sort 84 per cent of items accurately in a classroom test. The robots had also learned their own intuitive behaviors for some waste, such as nudging larger objects over the bin’s edge or picking up multiple small items at the same time, says Levine.”


Microsoft Reportedly Working on Its Own AI Chips That May Rival Nvidia’s
Tom Warren | The Verge
“Microsoft’s own AI chips aren’t said to be direct replacements for Nvidia’s, but the in-house efforts could cut costs significantly as Microsoft continues its push to roll out AI-powered features in Office apps and elsewhere. …If Microsoft is working on its own AI chips, it would be the latest in a line of tech giants. Amazon, Google, and Meta also have their own in-house chips for AI, but many companies are still relying on Nvidia chips to power the latest large language models.”


Your Hair Is Going Gray. This Glitch May Explain Why.
Kate Golembiewski | The New York Times
“A new study in mice, but with implications for people and published Wednesday in the journal Nature, provides a clearer picture of the cellular glitches that turn us into silver foxes and vixens. ‘This is a really big step toward understanding why we gray,’ said Mayumi Ito, an author of the study and a dermatology professor at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine.”


Airbus Shows Off Space Station Design With Simulated Gravity
Passant Rabie | Gizmodo
The company designed its orbital module to be stationed around Earth, the Moon, or even Mars, whether it be attached to commercial or government-owned infrastructure in space. ‘The Airbus LOOP is designed to fit with the upcoming generation of super-heavy launchers that can launch an entire module in one piece,’ Airbus wrote. ‘Thus, the Airbus LOOP is immediately operational once in orbit, ready to host humans and payloads.'”


Hundreds of These 24-Ton Bricks Could Change How We Use Renewable Energy
Stephen Shankland | CNET
“Gravity batteries are a potentially important solution to a critical problem with the green energy revolution: making sure electricity is available when we need it, not just during the times when sun and wind supply it. And it isn’t just an idea. With two sites under construction—one in Rudong, China, just north of Shanghai, and the other in Snyder, Texas, about 250 miles west of Dallas—startup Energy Vault will begin seriously testing the viability of the gravity storage technology.”


This Startup Can Give EVs a Full Charge in 10 Minutes
Adele Peters | Fast Company
On a sunny Thursday morning in San Francisco, a driver pulled a Nissan Leaf into a building, parked on a platform, and stepped out of the car. Then the platform lifted the car in the air. Robotic arms carefully pulled out the electric car’s batteries and placed fresh, fully charged batteries inside. The whole process took around 10 minutes. Ample, the startup that designed the station and runs a dozen more like it around the Bay Area, now does hundreds of battery swaps each day.

Image Credit: Clark Van Der Beken / 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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