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


Google Tests AI Tool That Is Able to Write News Articles
Benjamin Mullin and Nico Grant | The New York Times
“Google is testing a product that uses artificial intelligence technology to produce news stories, pitching it to news organizations including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal’s owner, News Corp, according to three people familiar with the matter. The tool, known internally by the working title Genesis, can take in information—details of current events, for example—and generate news content, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the product.”


Cerebras Introduces Its 2-Exaflop AI Supercomputer
Samuel K. Moore | IEEE Spectrum
i‘Generative AI is eating the world.’ That’s how Andrew Feldman, CEO of Silicon Valley AI computer maker Cerebras, begins his introduction to his company’s latest achievement: An AI supercomputer capable of 2 billion billion operations per second (2 exaflops). …The Silicon Valley company plans to keep adding Condor Galaxy installations next year until it is running a network of nine supercomputers capable of 36 exaflops in total.”


First Successful Robotic Liver Transplant Performed in the US
Bronwyn Thompson | New Atlas
“The hospital has been focused on developing this cutting-edge technology in order to minimize the invasiveness of surgery and in turn deliver much better recovery times and outcomes for patients. The surgeons have completed more than 30 kidney transplants, and other procedures involving bile ducts, the pancreas and stomach, using the robotics system, but this is their—and the nation’s—first liver transplant.”


Thousands of Authors Ask AI Chatbot Owners to Pay for Use of Their Work
Talal Ansari | The Wall Street Journal
” ‘Millions of copyrighted books, articles, essays, and poetry provide the ‘food’ for AI systems, endless meals for which there has been no bill,’ the letter [signed by more than 8,000 authors and published by the Author’s Guild] says. ‘You’re spending billions of dollars to develop AI technology. It is only fair that you compensate us for using our writings, without which AI would be banal and extremely limited.’ ”


Meta’s Latest AI Model Is Free for All
Melissa Heikkilä | MIT Technology Review
“Meta is going all in on open-source AI. The company is today unveiling LLaMA 2, its first large language model that’s available for anyone to use—for free. …[The company] has been in the slow lane. In February when competitors Microsoft and Google announced their  AI chatbots, Meta rolled out the first, smaller version of LLaMA, restricted to researchers. But it hopes that releasing LLaMA 2, and making it free for anyone to build commercial products on top of, will help it catch up.”


‘It Was As If My Father Were Actually Texting Me’: Grief in the Age of AI
Aimee Pearcy | The Guardian
“For all the advances in medicine and technology in recent centuries, the finality of death has never been in dispute. But over the past few months, there has been a surge in the number of people sharing their stories of using ChatGPT to help say goodbye to loved ones. They raise serious questions about the rights of the deceased, and what it means to die.”


Fervo Heralds a Revolution in Geothermal Power Technology
Loz Blain | New Atlas
“Fervo’s ‘next-generation geothermal’ technology has proven itself in testing, becoming the most productive enhanced geothermal plant in history. The company hopes its approach will radically expand access to clean energy, like shale did for oil. [Its] first full-scale commercial pilot, Project Red in Nevada, is the first time a geothermal project has ever drilled a horizontal pair of bores, extending some 3,250 ft (990 m) laterally. …It produces 3.4 megawatts of power, or about enough to power 500 US homes.”


Gene-Edited Yeast Is Taking Over Craft Beer
Anna Kramer | Wired
“Craft brewers are falling in love with genetically modified yeast strains that help them inject new creativity and flavor into beers, including bursts of pineapple and guava …Craft brewers across the US have switched from traditional yeasts to Berkeley strains for some, and sometimes all, their beers. Berkeley declines to share numbers, but six craft brewers told WIRED that everyone they know in the trade is either using the startup’s strains or considering it.”

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Brain Scans Are Putting a Major Theory of Consciousness to the Test
Clare Wilson | New Scientist
“Brain scans taken as people slip into anesthesia are offering support for one of the foremost explanations of consciousness. The approach may lead to progress in understanding the brain as well as new ways to test awareness in people with medical conditions of consciousness, such as those in a vegetative state after head injuries.”

Image Credit: eberhard grossgasteiger / 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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