This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through May 25)


Pocket-Sized AI Models Could Unlock a New Era of Computing
Will Knight | Wired
“When ChatGPT was released in November 2023, it could only be accessed through the cloud because the model behind it was downright enormous. Today I am running a similarly capable AI program on a Macbook Air, and it isn’t even warm. The shrinkage shows how rapidly researchers are refining AI models to make them leaner and more efficient. It also shows how going to ever larger scales isn’t the only way to make machines significantly smarter.”

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Google Promised a Better Search Experience—Now It’s Telling Us to Put Glue on Our Pizza
Kylie Robison | The Verge
“This is just one of many mistakes cropping up in the new feature that Google rolled out broadly this month. It also claims that former US President James Madison graduated from the University of Wisconsin not once but 21 times, that a dog has played in the NBA, NFL, and NHL, and that Batman is a cop. …Look, Google didn’t promise this would be perfect, and it even slaps a ‘Generative AI is experimental’ label at the bottom of the AI answers. But it’s clear these tools aren’t ready to accurately provide information at scale.”


Gene Therapy Repairs Spinal Discs to Relieve Back Pain
Michael Irving | New Atlas
“Assessed over 12 weeks, injured mice that received the gene therapy were found to have a host of improvements compared to injured mice given plain saline injections. The tissue in the discs was found to produce more proteins that strengthen the tissue, and help it hold water. That helped them plump back up and act more like cushions again, improving the spine’s range of motion, load bearing and flexibility. While you can’t exactly ask mice how much pain they’re feeling, behavioral tests suggested symptoms were reduced.”


On Self-Driving, Waymo Is Playing Chess While Tesla Plays Checkers
Timothy B. Lee | Ars Technica
“Many Tesla fans see [limitations like remote operators and avoiding freeways] as signs that Waymo is headed for a technological dead end. …But I predict that when Tesla begins its driverless transition, it will realize that safety requires a Waymo-style incremental rollout. So Tesla hasn’t found a different, better way to bring driverless technology to market. Waymo is just so far ahead that it’s dealing with challenges Tesla hasn’t even started thinking about. Waymo is playing chess while Tesla is still playing checkers.”


A Warp Drive Breakthrough Inches a Tiny Bit Closer to Star Trek
Paul Sutter | Wired
“A team of physicists has discovered that it’s possible to build a real, actual, physical warp drive and not break any known rules of physics. One caveat: The vessel doing the warping can’t exceed the speed of light, so you’re not going to get anywhere interesting anytime soon. But this research still represents an important advance in our understanding of gravity.”


Media Companies Are Making a Huge Mistake With AI
Jessica Lessin | The Atlantic
“For as long as I have reported on internet companies, I have watched news leaders try to bend their businesses to the will of Apple, Google, Meta, and more. Chasing tech’s distribution and cash, news firms strike deals to try to ride out the next digital wave. They make concessions to platforms that attempt to take all of the audience (and trust) that great journalism attracts, without ever having to do the complicated and expensive work of the journalism itself. And it never, ever works as planned.”


ChatGPT, Explained
Sheena Vasani | The Verge
“Some writers have declared that the debut of ChatGPT on November 30th, 2022, marked the beginning of a new chapter in history akin to the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. Others have been more skeptical, wondering if this is just another overhyped tech, like blockchain or the metaverse. What history will call ChatGPT remains to be seen, but here’s one thing I do know for sure: nobody has shut up about it since. …That’s why we decided to throw together this explainer so we can cut through all the BS together. You ready? Let’s begin.”


OpenAI Should Have Gone Way Beyond Scarlett Johansson
Ross Andersen | The Atlantic
“Now that we can actually talk with a computer, we should be dreaming up wholly new ways to do it. Let’s hope that someone—inside or outside of OpenAI—starts giving us a sense of what those ways might be. The weirder, the better. They may not even be modeled after existing human relationships. They may take on entirely different forms.”


Nvidia’s Business Is Booming. Here’s What Could Slow It Down.
Asa Fitch | The Wall Street Journal
“Nvidia is riding high after another quarter of blockbuster sales and earnings, even as threats are emerging that could weaken the company’s position at the center of the artificial-intelligence boom. Rivals and key customers are looking to produce chips that can close the gap with Nvidia’s products. Meanwhile, the AI market, which has proven tricky for some startups, is shifting in ways that could diminish the popularity of Nvidia’s chips.”

Image Credit: Jason Leung / 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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