This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through March 23)


8 Google Employees Invented Modern AI. Here’s the Inside Story
Steven Levy | Wired
“They met by chance, got hooked on an idea, and wrote the ‘Transformers’ paper—the most consequential tech breakthrough in recent history. …Approaching its seventh anniversary, the ‘Attention’ paper has attained legendary status. The authors started with a thriving and improving technology—a variety of AI called neural networks—and made it into something else: a digital system so powerful that its output can feel like the product of an alien intelligence.”


Surgeons Transplant Pig Kidney Into a Patient, a Medical Milestone
Roni Caryn Rabin | The New York Times
“Surgeons in Boston have transplanted a kidney from a genetically engineered pig into an ailing 62-year-old man, the first procedure of its kind. If successful, the breakthrough offers hope to hundreds of thousands of Americans whose kidneys have failed. …If kidneys from genetically modified animals can be transplanted on a large scale, dialysis ‘will become obsolete,’ said Dr. Leonardo V. Riella, medical director for kidney transplantation at Mass General.”


CRISPR Could Disable and Cure HIV, Suggests Promising Lab Experiment
Clare Wilson | New Scientist
“A new way to eradicate HIV from the body could one day be turned into a cure for infection by this virus, although it hasn’t yet been shown to work in people. Several groups are investigating using CRISPR that targets a gene in HIV as a way of disabling dormant virus. Now, Carrillo and her team have shown that, when tested on immune cells in a dish, their CRISPR system could disable all virus, eliminating it from these cells.”


Microsoft Deal, Apple-Google Talks Show Tech Giants Need AI Help
Dina Bass and Jackie Davalos | Bloomberg
“The moves suggest that despite pouring billions of dollars into partnerships, investments and product development, Microsoft and Google are struggling to figure out how to capitalize on generative artificial intelligence. Neither company is moving fast enough to field consumer products that generate revenue and grab market share, and, despite their size and power, they remain vulnerable to being disrupted.”


The US Government Seems Serious About Developing a Lunar Economy
Eric Berger | Ars Technica
“For the first time ever, the United States is getting serious about fostering an economy on the moon. …In recent months, [DARPA] has stepped in to help. In December, DARPA announced that it was working with 14 different companies under LunA-10, including major space players such as Northrop Grumman and SpaceX, as well as non-space firms such as Nokia. These companies are assessing how services such as power and communications could be established on the Moon, and they’re due to provide a final report by June.”


Video: Giant Robotic Arm 3D-Prints a Two-Story House
Michael Franco | New Atlas
“A new 3D construction printer from Icon can whip out two-story concrete buildings faster and cheaper than its previous Vulcan printer. It has already been used to build a 27-ft-high structure called Phoenix House, now on display in Austin, Texas.”


Elon Musk Just Added a Wrinkle to the AI Race
Matteo Wong | The Atlantic
“Yesterday afternoon, Elon Musk fired the latest shot in his feud with OpenAI: His new AI venture, xAI, now allows anyone to download and use the computer code for its flagship software. No fees, no restrictions, just Grok, a large language model that Musk has positioned against OpenAI’s GPT-4, the model powering the most advanced version of ChatGPT.”


Hackers Found a Way to Open Any of 3 Million Hotel Keycard Locks in Seconds
Andy Greenberg | Wired
“At one private event in 2022, a select group of researchers were actually invited to hack a Vegas hotel room, competing in a suite crowded with their laptops and cans of Red Bull to find digital vulnerabilities in every one of the room’s gadgets, from its TV to its bedside VoIP phone. …Now, more than a year and a half later, they’re finally bringing to light the results of that work: a technique they discovered that would allow an intruder to open any of millions of hotel rooms worldwide in seconds, with just two taps.”


OpenAI’s Chatbot Store Is Filling Up With Spam
Kyle Wiggers | TechCrunch
found that the GPT Store, OpenAI’s official marketplace for GPTs, is flooded with bizarre, potentially copyright-infringing GPTs that imply a light touch where it concerns OpenAI’s moderation efforts. A cursory search pulls up GPTs that purport to generate art in the style of Disney and Marvel properties, but serve as little more than funnels to third-party paid services, and advertise themselves as being able to bypass AI content detection tools such as Turnitin and Copyleaks.”

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