This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through October 28)


Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI’s Chief Scientist, on His Hopes and Fears for the Future of AI
Will Douglas Heaven | MIT Technology Review
A lot of what Sutskever says is wild. But not nearly as wild as it would have sounded just one or two years ago. As he tells me himself, ChatGPT has already rewritten a lot of people’s expectations about what’s coming, turning ‘will never happen’ into ‘will happen faster than you think.’ ‘It’s important to talk about where it’s all headed,’ he says, before predicting the development of artificial general intelligence (by which he means machines as smart as humans) as if it were as sure a bet as another iPhone.”


Three People Were Gene-Edited in an Effort to Cure Their HIV. The Result Is Unknown.
Antonio Regalado | MIT Technology Review
In a remarkable experiment, a biotechnology company called Excision BioTherapeutics says it added the gene-editing tool to the bodies of three people living with HIV and commanded it to cut, and destroy, the virus wherever it is hiding. The early-stage study is a probing step toward the company’s eventual goal of curing HIV infection with a single intravenous dose of a gene-editing drug.”


Boston Dynamics Uses ChatGPT to Create a Robot Tour Guide
Trevor Mogg | Digital Trends
“The best part is how Spot behaves when instructed to adopt different personalities. Check out the British butler guide at the start of the video, for example, and the sarcastic guide a few minutes in. The Shakespearean actor is also very impressive. …The software engineer [Matt Klingensmith] said he was also surprised by some of the responses. For example, when he asked Spot to show him its parents, the robot took him over to an early version of Spot among Boston Dynamics’ display of robots.”


People Are Speaking With ChatGPT for Hours, Bringing 2013’s Her Closer to Reality
Benj Edwards | Ars Technica
“In the film, Joaquin Phoenix’s character falls in love with an AI personality called Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), and he spends much of the film walking through life, talking to her through wireless earbuds reminiscent of Apple AirPods, which launched in 2016. In reality, ChatGPT isn’t as situationally aware as Samantha was in the film, does not have a long-term memory, and OpenAI has done enough conditioning on ChatGPT to keep conversations from getting too intimate or personal. But that hasn’t stopped people from having long talks with the AI assistant to pass the time anyway.”


They Cracked the Code to a Locked USB Drive Worth $235 Million in Bitcoin. Then It Got Weird
Andy Greenberg | Wired
“Stefan Thomas lost the password to an encrypted USB drive holding 7,002 bitcoins. One team of hackers believes they can unlock it—if they can get Thomas to let them. …Thomas had already made a ‘handshake deal’ with two other cracking teams a year earlier, he explained. …’We cracked the IronKey,’ says Nick Fedoroff, Unciphered’s director of operations. ‘Now we have to crack Stefan. This is turning out to be the hardest part.’i


You Can Now Order a Waymo Robotaxi on the Uber App in Phoenix
Nikki Main | Gizmodo
Riders who book an UberX, Uber Green, Uber Comfort, or Uber Comfort Electric could be paired with an autonomous Waymo vehicle. The Waymo ride option is currently available in Metro Phoenix and will only match a rider with a driverless vehicle if the route is part of Waymo’s operating territory. Riders who are dubious about getting in a Waymo vehicle will have the option to opt-out before the robotaxi is sent and instead send them with a human driver.”


Cruise, GM’s Robotaxi Service, Suspends All Driverless Operations Nationwide
Staff | Associated Press
“Cruise, the autonomous vehicle unit owned by General Motors, is suspending driverless operations nationwide days after regulators in California found that its driverless cars posed a danger to public safety. …’We have decided to proactively pause driverless operations across all of our fleets while we take time to examine our processes, systems, and tools and reflect on how we can better operate in a way that will earn public trust,’ Cruise wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday night.”


Scientists Accidentally Created Material for Superfast Computer Chips
Kiona Smith | Inverse
“Chemists say their new semiconductor could cut processing speeds to femtoseconds, but there’s a catch. …Rhenium, a key ingredient in Re6Se8Cl2, is one of the rarest elements on Earth. Making computer chips out of it is always going to be much too expensive to even think about. But Tulyag and his colleagues say they’ve learned enough from Re6Se8Cl2 and its unusual properties to go looking for other materials that could do the same thing—in much more reasonable quantities.”


Energy Agency Sees Peaks in Global Oil, Coal and Gas Demand by 2030
Brad Plumer | The New York Times
For more than a century, the world’s appetite for fossil fuels has been expanding relentlessly, as humans have continued burning larger amounts of coal, oil and natural gas almost every year to power homes, cars and factories. But a remarkable shift may soon be at hand. The world’s leading energy agency now predicts that global demand for oil, natural gas and coal will peak by 2030, partly driven by policies that countries have already adopted to promote cleaner forms of energy and transportation.”


China Gives Ehang the First Industry Approval for Fully Autonomous, Passenger-Carrying Air Taxis
Evelyn Chang | CNBC
Guangzhou-based Ehang on Friday said it received an airworthiness ‘type certificate’ from the Civil Aviation Administration of China for its fully autonomous drone, the EH216-S AAV, that carries two human passengers. US-listed Ehang claims it’s the first in the world to get such a certificate. ‘Next year we should start to expand overseas,’ Ehang CEO Huazhi Hu said in an interview, via a CNBC translation of his Mandarin-language remarks.”


Google Fiber Is Getting Outrageously Fast 20Gbps Service
Ron Amadeo | Ars Technica
As always with Google Fiber, this is a symmetrical connection with 20Gbps down and up, so you can create content, like posting a YouTube video, in a flash. …I live in a bandwidth desert ruled by the local broadband monopoly, Comcast, and this is 1,000 times more upload speed than the nearly 20Mbps upload Comcast will sell me.”

Image Credit: Alex Shuper / 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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