This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through May 13)


The AI Takeover of Google Search Starts Now
David Pierce | The Verge
“Google Bard is not the future of Google Search. But AI is. Over time, SGE [Search Generative Experience] will start to come out of the labs and into search results for billions of users, mingling generated information with links out to the web. It will change Google’s business and probably upend parts of how the web works. If Google gets it right, it will trade 10 blue links for all the knowledge on the internet, all in one place. And hopefully telling the truth.”


Anthropic Leapfrogs OpenAI With a Chatbot That Can Read a Novel in Less Than a Minute
James Vincent | The Verge
“AI startup Anthropic (founded by former OpenAI engineers) has hugely expanded the context window of its own chatbot Claude, pushing it to around 75,000 words. As the company points out in a blog post, that’s enough to process the entirety of The Great Gatsby in one go. In fact, the company tested the system by doing just this—editing a single sentence in the novel and asking Claude to spot the change. It did so in 22 seconds.”


Why Gene Editing Is Still Humanity’s Most Powerful Tool
Walter Isaacson | BigThink
“You know, I’ve written about the physics revolution that dominated the first half of the 20th century. And then of course I was deeply immersed in the digital revolution, which was the second half of the 20th century. But what happened in the past few years is we’ve found easy to reprogram tools that will allow us to edit our genes. Man, that’s going to be 10 times more impactful than the digital revolution was.”

Wendy’s Is Bringing a Google-Powered AI Chatbot to Its Drive-Thru
Kevin Hurler | Gizmodo
“AI chatbots have come for journalism, and now they are coming for our burgers. Wendy’s is reportedly gearing up to unveil a chatbot-powered drive-thru experience next month, with help from a partnership with Google. …The Wendy’s chatbot will feature words, item names, and acronyms that are unique to the franchise, like ‘biggie bag’ and ‘JBC’ for ‘junior bacon cheeseburger,’ as the [Wall Street Journal] points out.”


Vast Says It Will Launch Its First Space Station in 2025 on a Falcon 9
Eric Berger | Ars Technica
“A private space station company, Vast, announced on Wednesday that it intends to launch a commercial space station as soon as August 2025. After deploying this ‘Haven-1′ space station in low-Earth orbit, four commercial astronauts will launch to the facility on board SpaceX’s Crew Dragon vehicle. …’It’s a super aggressive schedule,’ Jed McCaleb, the founder of Vast, said in an interview with Ars. ‘But we have a clear path for how we’re going to get there.’i


Captura Facility Could Remove Gigatons of Carbon Dioxide From the Ocean
Bridget Borgobello | New Atlas
“Captura Corporation, a spinoff of the California Institute of Technology, has developed a revolutionary plan to remove carbon emissions by creating an aquatic purification facility in the middle of the sea. The company intends to extract carbon dioxide from ocean water and release the purified water back into the ocean, using only renewable electricity and ocean water as inputs to minimize the environmental impact.”


Google Maps Will Let You See Your Routes in 3D
Jay Peters | The Verge
Immersive View currently offers a 3D view of a place and adds information like weather or traffic to give you a better idea of what’s going on at that location. (It’s kind of like Apple’s Flyover view but with more detail.) By bringing the Immersive View to route planning, you’ll be able to get a bird’s-eye view to help you better visualize the landmarks and buildings you might see while navigating somewhere new.”


A Radical Plan to Make AI Good, Not Evil
Will Knight | Wired
“Anthropic is working on AI models similar to the one used to power OpenAI’s ChatGPT. But the startup announced today that its own chatbot, Claude, has a set of ethical principles built in that define what it should consider right and wrong, which Anthropic calls the bot’s ‘constitution’i.”


Why We Shouldn’t Fill Our Minds With Endless Tales of Dystopia
Annalee Newitz | NewScientist
“I call this ‘topian’ fiction—storytelling that is set in a place where neither good nor evil rules supreme, and where people struggle with ambiguity the way we do everyday. Without a robust sense of ambiguity, we can’t fix broken systems or maintain systems that will always need improvement. If we can acknowledge that nothing will ever be perfect, it puts us in the right frame of mind to face the future.”


An Experiment Repeated 600 Times Finds Hints to Evolution’s Secrets
Veronique Greenwood | The New York Times
“Although multicellularity is thought to have evolved at least 20 times in the history of life on Earth, it is far from obvious how living things go from a single cell to many that share a fate. But, in a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature, researchers reveal one clue to how cells could start building themselves into a body.”

Image Credit: Laura Ockel / 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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