This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through June 3)


Welcome to the New Surreal. How AI-Generated Video Is Changing Film.
Will Douglas Heaven | MIT Technology Review
The Frost nails its uncanny, disconcerting vibe in its first few shots. Vast icy mountains, a makeshift camp of military-style tents, a group of people huddled around a fire, barking dogs. It’s familiar stuff, yet weird enough to plant a growing seed of dread. There’s something wrong here. …The Frost is a 12-minute movie in which every shot is generated by an image-making AI. It’s one of the most impressive—and bizarre—examples yet of this strange new genre.”


Nanoscale Robotic ‘Hand’ Made of DNA Could Be Used to Detect Viruses
Michael Le Page | New Scientist
“Xing Wang at the University of Illinois and his colleagues constructed the nanohand using a method called DNA origami, in which a long, single strand of DNA is ‘stapled’ together by shorter DNA pieces that pair with specific sequences on the longer strand. …The four fingers of the nanohand are joined to a ‘palm’ to form a cross shape when the hand is open. Each finger is just 71 nanometers long…and has three joints, like a human finger.”


The ‘Death of Self-Driving Cars’ Has Been Greatly Exaggerated
Timothy B. Lee | Ars Technica
“[Google and Waymo] don’t believe self-driving technology is ‘decades away’ because they’re already testing it in Phoenix and San Francisco. And they are preparing to launch in additional cities in the coming months. Waymo expects to increase passenger rides tenfold between now and the summer of 2024. Cruise is aiming for $1 billion in revenue in 2025, which would require something like a 50-fold expansion of its current service.”


This Is the First X-Ray Taken of a Single Atom
Jennifer Ouellette | Ars Technica
“Atomic-scale imaging emerged in the mid-1950s and has been advancing rapidly ever since—so much so, that back in 2008, physicists successfully used an electron microscope to image a single hydrogen atom. Five years later, scientists were able to peer inside a hydrogen atom using a ‘quantum microscope,’ resulting in the first direct observation of electron orbitals. And now we have the first X-ray taken of a single atom.”


Get Ready for 3D-Printed Organs and a Knife That ‘Smells’ Tumors
Joao Madeiros | Wired
“To doctors and nurses working 75 years ago, when the UK’s National Health Service was founded, a modern ward would be completely unrecognizable. Fast-forward into the future, and hospitals are likely to look very different again. These are some of the changes you’re likely to see in years to come.”


I’m a Rational Optimist. Here’s Why I Don’t Believe in an AI Doomsday.
Rohit Krishnan | BigThink
“The systems of today are powerful. They can write, paint, direct, plan, code, and even write passable prose. And with this explosion of capabilities, we also have an explosion of worries. In seeing some of these current problems and projecting them into future non-extant problems, we find ourselves in a bit of a doom loop. The more fanciful arguments about how artificial superintelligence is inevitable and how they’re incredibly dangerous sit side by side with more understandable concerns about increasing misinformation.”


The Race to Make AI Smaller (and Smarter)
Oliver Whang | The New York Times
“[In January, a group of young AI researchers] called for teams to create functional language models ‌using data sets that are less than one-ten-thousandth the size of those used by the most advanced large language models. A successful mini-model would be nearly as capable as the high-end models but much smaller, more accessible and ‌more compatible with humans. The project is called the BabyLM Challenge.”


Judge Bans AI-Generated Filings In Court Because It Just Makes Stuff Up
Chloe Xiang | Motherboard
“This decision follows an incident where a Manhattan lawyer named Steven A. Schwartz used ChatGPT to write a 10-page brief that cited multiple cases that were made up by the chatbot, such as ‘Martinez v. Delta Air Lines,’ and ‘Varghese v. China Southern Airlines.’ After Schwartz submitted the brief to a Manhattan federal judge, no one could find the decisions or quotations included, and Schwartz later admitted in an affidavit that he had used ChatGPT to do legal research.”


The World Is Finally Spending More on Solar Than Oil Production
Casey Crownhart | MIT Technology Review
“Let’s start with what I consider to be good news: there’s a lot of money going into clean energy—including renewables, nuclear, and things that help cut emissions, like EVs and heat pumps. And not only is it a lot of money, but it’s more than the amount going toward fossil fuels. In 2022, for every dollar spent on fossil fuels, $1.70 went to clean energy. Just five years ago, it was dead even.”


The Quest to Use Quantum Mechanics to Pull Energy Out of Nothing
Charlie Wood | Wired
“In the past year, researchers have teleported energy across microscopic distances in two separate quantum devices, vindicating Hotta’s theory. The research leaves little room for doubt that energy teleportation is a genuine quantum phenomenon. ‘This really does test it,’ said Seth Lloyd, a quantum physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was not involved in the research. “You are actually teleporting. You are extracting energy.”

Image Credit: Pawel CzerwinskiUnsplash

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.
Don't miss a trend
Get Hub delivered to your inbox