This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through June 17)


Generative AI Can Add $4.4 Trillion in Value to Global Economy, Study Says
Yiwen Lu | The New York Times
“Generative AI, which includes chatbots such as ChatGPT that can generate text in response to prompts, can potentially boost productivity by saving 60 to 70 percent of workers’ time through automation of their work, according to the 68-page report, which was published early Wednesday. …’Generative AI has the potential to change the anatomy of work, augmenting the capabilities of individual workers by automating some of their individual activities,’ the report said.”


New Human-Like Synthetic Embryos Could Uncover Cause of Miscarriages, Scientists Say
Nikki Main | Gizmodo
“Scientists in the United Kingdom and the United States have created synthetic human-like embryos without the need for eggs or sperm. While the embryo does not have a brain or heartbeat, scientists are hopeful that it will shed light on the cause of miscarriages and genetic diseases. The research team is using the synthetic embryos, in part, to discover why some pregnancies do not continue after the first 14 days of fertilization.”


Quantum Computing Advance Begins New Era, IBM Says
Kenneth Chang | The New York Times
“While researchers at Google in 2019 claimed that they had achieved ‘quantum supremacy’—a task performed much more quickly on a quantum computer than a conventional one—IBM’s researchers say they have achieved something new and more useful, albeit more modestly named. ‘We’re entering this phase of quantum computing that I call utility,’ said Jay Gambetta, a vice president of IBM Quantum. ‘The era of utility.’i


Epic’s Latest Tool Can Animate Hyperrealistic MetaHumans With an iPhone
Jon Porter | The Verge
“While Epic’s short film shows off some impressively subtle facial animation, the big benefit the company is emphasizing is the speed with which MetaHuman Animator produces results. ‘The animation is produced locally using GPU hardware, with the final animation available in minutes,’ the company’s press release reads. …Epic says the Blue Dot short film released today should give some idea of what its animation tool is capable of.”


This Space Factory Will Attempt to Produce Medical Drugs in Orbit
Passant Rabie | Gizmodo
“The California-based startup wants to manufacture products in space that can benefit from being created in the microgravity environment and delivered back to Earth at a fast rate. Varda’s vision is aided by the increased access to space over the past couple of years, making it easier to launch its capsules into orbit. The first capsule sent to space will attempt to produce pharmaceutical drugs while in the microgravity environment and return those products in the re-entry capsule.”


Why the Apple Vision Pro’s Price Is So @#$%&! Hard to Judge
Harry McCracken | The Verge
“…the sticker shock of the Vision Pro’s $3,499 [left] me thinking back to the early days of PCs, when their impact on work and life was pretty radical, and so paying several thousand dollars for one was far more routine than it is today. Apple is pitching its headset’s debut as ushering in the era of spatial computing. Is this a comparable moment, when a steep price tag makes perfect sense, given the significance of the product in question?”


The Beatles Used AI to Create Their ‘Final Song’ With John Lennon’s Voice
Jody Serrano | Gizmodo
“Nearly two months after AI created a viral hit song featuring (fake) Drake and The Weeknd that shook the music industry, The Beatles are getting ready to possibly do the same by using this advanced technology to release their ‘final song’ with deceased member John Lennon. Beatles member Paul McCartney told the BBC on Tuesday that he had used AI to ‘extricate’ Lennon’s voice from an old demo to complete the song, which is expected to be ‘Now And Then,’ a song written by Lennon in 1978.”


This Is the Worst Part of the AI Hype Cycle
Angela Watercutter | Wired
“This overwhelming moment may feel even more daunting because it’s on the heels of so many hype cycles. The eruption of generative AI comes shortly after Facebook transformed into Meta, crypto outfits like FTX collapsed, and Elon Musk completed his takeover of Twitter. Hype is proliferating, and some of its ensuing disappointments have been, well, disappointing. There’s something to consider beyond the hype cycle: hype burnout.”


We Are Spectacularly Bad at Predicting the Future. Ignore the AI Hype and Fear
Sheehan Quirke | Big Think
“History has preserved a catalog of bad predictions, especially when it comes to technology, and forecasts about AI soon will join these ranks in one of two categories: underestimation and overestimation.”


The Who, Where, and How of Regulating AI
Eliza Strickland | IEEE Spectrum
“[AI’s] rapid advancement has brought new urgency to efforts around the world to regulate AI systems. The European Union got started first, and this week, on 14 June, took a step forward when one of its institutions, the European Parliament, voted to advance the draft legislation known as the AI Act. But China’s rule-makers have been moving the quickest to turn proposals into real rules, and countries including Brazil, Canada, and the United States are following behind.”

Image Credit: Pawel Czerwinski / 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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