This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through June 24)


Suddenly, It Looks Like We’re in a Golden Age for Medicine
David Wallace-Wells | The New York Times
“Hype springs eternal in medicine, but lately the horizon of new possibility seems almost blindingly bright. …’It’s stunning,’ says the immunologist Barney Graham, the former deputy director of the Vaccine Research Center and a central figure in the development of mRNA vaccines, who has lately been writing about a ‘new era for vaccinology.’ ‘You cannot imagine what you’re going to see over the next 30 years. The pace of advancement is in an exponential phase right now.’i


Microsoft Expects to Build a Quantum Supercomputer Within 10 Years
Frederic Lardinois | TechCrunch
“Microsoft [this week] announced its roadmap for building its own quantum supercomputer, using the topological qubits the company’s researchers have been working on for quite a few years now. There are still plenty of intermediary milestones to be reached, but Krysta Svore, Microsoft’s VP of advanced quantum development, told us that the company believes that it will take fewer than 10 years to build a quantum supercomputer using these qubits that will be able to perform a reliable one million quantum operations per second.”


AI Is a Lot of Work
Josh Dzieza | The Verge
“The current AI boom—the convincingly human-sounding chatbots, the artwork that can be generated from simple prompts, and the multibillion-dollar valuations of the companies behind these technologies—began with an unprecedented feat of tedious and repetitive labor.”


The Last AI Boom Didn’t Kill Jobs. Feel Better?
Will Knight | Wired
“[As deep learning emerged from 2011 to 2019], it was widely expected to have a broad and swift impact on employment. To check up on what really happened, researchers at the European Central Bank, Spain’s central bank, and the universities of Oxford and Pittsburgh used two established methods for measuring how vulnerable professions are to AI-powered automation.The headline result was that industries where AI could be the most useful did not see a reduction of jobs.”


Heart Chambers 3D Printed From Live Human Cells Can Beat for Months
Alice Klein | New Scientist
“The researchers showed they could use this technique to print balloon-shaped, ventricle-like structures that were 14 millimeters high and 8 millimeters in diameter—about six times smaller than real human ventricles. The ventricles started to beat a week after they were printed and were still beating after 100 days. Like real hearts, they could be made to beat faster by treating them with a stimulant drug.”


The Chip Patterning Machines That Will Shape Computing’s Next Act
Chris Miller | MIT Technology Review
“[ASML’s] lithography tools—which rely on the world’s flattest mirrors, one of the most powerful commercial lasers, and an explosion far hotter than the surface of the sun—can pattern tiny shapes on silicon, measuring just a handful of nanometers. …The speed at which new lithography systems and components are developed—and the question of which companies and countries manage to manufacture them—will shape not only the speed of computing progress but also the balance of power and profits within the tech industry.”


Robotaxis Are Here. It’s Time to Decide What to Do About Them
Benjamin Schneider | MIT Technology Review
“It remains to be seen whether robotaxis are ready for deployment on a significant scale, or what the metric for determining readiness would even be. But barring a significant shift in momentum, like an economic shock, a horrific tragedy, or a dramatic political pivot, robotaxis are positioned to continue their roll. This is enough to warrant a broader discussion of how they will change cities and society.”


Liquid Metal Could Turn Everyday Things Like Paper Into Smart Objects
Elizabeth Rayne | Ars Technica
“This liquid alloy has the potential to turn paper and other materials into gadgets that can do some things on their own. …In a study recently published in Cell Reports Physical Sciencethe scientists showed that paper coated in the metal can be crafted into origami shapes and re-fold itself. The metal coating also conducts heat and electricity. It’s like magic. Almost.”


World’s Smallest Wine Glass Toasts to Nanoscale Silica 3D Printing
Michael Irving | New Atlas
“Scientists have created the world’s smallest wine glass, narrower than a human hair. Made out of actual glass, the model is a test run of an advanced new 3D-printing process that could help make nanoscale glass components for electronic and optical devices. Visible only with a scanning electron microscope, the wine glass stands just a few dozen micrometers tall.”


Sweden Wants to Build an Entire City From Wood
Editorial Staff | The Economist
“Modern timber buildings can be cheap, green and fireproof. …[This week, a Swedish firm] unveiled plans to build what could be the world’s biggest wooden city. Stockholm Wood City will be built in Sickla, an area in the south of the Swedish capital. Construction on the 250,000 square-meter site will begin in 2025. When complete, ten years later, it will contain 2,000 homes and 7,000 offices, along with restaurants and shops.”

Image Credit: Distinct Mind / 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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