A watermark for chatbots can spot text written by an AI
What’s happened: A new method could help us to spot AI-generated texts. Watermarking buries hidden patterns in the text that are invisible to the human eye, but lets computers detect that the text probably comes from an AI system or a human.
Why it matters: ChatGPT is one of a new breed of large language models that generate fluent text that reads like a human could have written it. These AI models regurgitate facts confidently, but are notorious for spewing falsehoods, which makes it worrying that they’re already being adopted for everything from essays to workout plans. To the untrained eye, it is almost impossible to detect whether a passage is written by an AI model or human.
And it works? In studies, these watermarks have already shown that they can identify AI-generated text with near certainty. If they’re embedded in large language models, they could help prevent some of the problems that these models have already caused. Read the full story.
How do I know if egg freezing is for me?
The decision to freeze your eggs is incredibly personal, and not always easy. While egg freezing is often sold as a fertility insurance policy, we’re still not entirely sure how successful the procedure is likely to be for any individual person, or how success rates vary by age.
We do know that it is expensive—we’re talking potentially tens of thousands of dollars for hormonal treatments, egg collection procedures, and years of cryopreservation. And we know that it’s not without risks.
That’s why the team behind a new decision-making tool hope it will help to clear up some of the misconceptions around the procedure—and give would-be parents a much-needed insight into its real costs, benefits, and potential pitfalls. Read the full story.
This story is from The Checkup, MIT Technology Review’s weekly newsletter giving you the inside track on all things health and biotech. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Thursday.
1 Elon Musk held a surprise meeting with US political leaders
Allegedly in the interest of ensuring Twitter is “fair to both parties.” (Insider $)
Kanye West’s presidential campaign advisors have been booted off Twitter. (Rolling Stone $)
Twitter’s trust and safety head is Musk’s biggest champion. (Bloomberg $)
2 We’re treating covid like flu now
Annual covid shots are the next logical step. (The Atlantic $)
3 The worst thing about Sam Bankman-Fried’s spell in jail?
Being cut off from the internet. (Forbes $)
Most crypto criminals use just five exchanges. (Wired $)
Collapsed crypto firmFTX has objected to a new investigation request. (Reuters)
4 Israel’s tech sector is rising up against its government
Tech workers fear its hardline policies will harm startups. (FT $)
5 It’s possible to power the world solely using renewable energy
At least, according to Stanford academic Mark Jacobson. (The Guardian)
Tech bros love the environment these days. (Slate $)
How new versions of solar, wind, and batteries could help the grid. (MIT Technology Review)
6 Generative AI is wildly expensive to run
And that’s why promising startups like OpenAI need to hitch their wagons to the likes of Microsoft. (Bloomberg $)
How Microsoft benefits from the ChatGPT hype. (Vox)
BuzzFeed is planning to make quizzes supercharged by OpenAI. (WSJ $)
Generative AI is changing everything. But what’s left when the hype is gone? (MIT Technology Review)
7 It’s hard not to blame self-driving cars for accidents
Even when it’s not technically their fault. (WSJ $)
8 What it’s like to swap Google for TikTok
It’s great for food suggestions and hacks, but hopeless for anything work-related. (Wired $)
The platform really wants to stay operational in the US. (Vox)
TikTok is mired in an eyelash controversy. (Rolling Stone $)
9 CRISPR gene editing kits are available to buy online
But there’s no guarantee these experiments will actually work. (Motherboard)
Next up for CRISPR: Gene editing for the masses? (MIT Technology Review)
10 Tech workers are livestreaming their layoffs
It’s a candid window into how these notoriously secretive companies treat their staff. (The Information $)
Quote of the day
“Based on your profile you’re very attractive. I’m not sure if that’s a very good thing or a very bad thing.”
—A suggestion from Keys AI, a startup that offers pre-written messages for users to send to potential love interests, reports the Wall Street Journal.
By: Rhiannon Williams
Title: The Download: watermarking AI text, and freezing eggs
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2023/01/27/1067344/download-watermarking-ai-text-freezing-eggs/
Published Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2023 13:10:00 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
The Download: generative AI’s carbon footprint, and a CRISPR patent battle
Making an image with generative AI uses as much energy as charging your phone
The news: Generating a single image using a powerful AI model takes as much energy as fully charging your smartphone, according to a new study. This is the first time researchers have calculated the carbon emissions caused by using an AI model for different tasks.
The significance: These emissions will add up quickly. The generative-AI boom has led big tech companies to integrate powerful AI models into many different products, from email to word processing. They are now used millions, if not billions, of times every single day.
The bigger picture: The study shows that while training massive AI models is incredibly energy intensive, it’s only one part of the puzzle. Most of their carbon footprint comes from their actual use. Read the full story.
The first CRISPR cure might kickstart the next big patent battle
By the middle of December, Vertex Pharmaceuticals is expected to receive FDA approval to sell a revolutionary new treatment for sickle-cell disease that’s the first in the US to use CRISPR to alter the DNA inside human cells. (Vertex has already received regulatory approval in the UK.)
But there’s a problem. The US patent on editing human cells with CRISPR isn’t owned by Vertex—it is owned by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, probably America’s largest gene research center, and exclusively licensed to a Vertex competitor, Editas Medicine, which has its own sickle-cell treatment in testing.
That means Editas will want Vertex to pay. And if it doesn’t, Editas and Broad could go to the courts to claim patent infringement, demand royalties and damages, or even potentially try to stop the treatment from being sold. Odds are we’re about to see a blockbuster lawsuit. Read the full story.
This story is from The Checkup, our weekly newsletter giving you the inside track on all things health and biotech. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Thursday.
A high school’s deepfake porn scandal is pushing US lawmakers into action
On October 20, Francesca Mani was called to the counselor’s office at her New Jersey high school. A 14-year-old sophomore and a competitive fencer, Francesca wasn’t one for getting in trouble. But it turned out that over the summer, boys in the school had used artificial intelligence to create sexually explicit pictures of some of their classmates. The school administration told Francesca that she was one of more than 30 girls who had been victimized.
Francesca didn’t see the photo of herself that day. And she still doesn’t intend to. Instead, she’s put all her energy into ensuring that no one else is targeted this way.
And, in the past few weeks, her advocacy has already fueled new legislative momentum to regulate nonconsensual deepfake pornography in the US. Read the full story.
1 This is why we’re all sick right now
We’re contending with a lot more illnesses than we did in the pre-covid world. (The Atlantic $)
And covid hasn’t gone away either. (MIT Technology Review)
2 Climate disinformation is a big obstacle to action
And much of it is generated by influential nations, including China and Russia. (NYT $)
The US government has stopped warning social networks about foreign disinformation campaigns. (WP $)
3 Is the Turing Test dead?
It was arguably never that reliable a measure of intelligence to begin with. (IEEE Spectrum)
Mustafa Suleyman: My new Turing test would see if AI can make $1 million. (MIT Technology Review)
Hiring is still hot for prompt engineers, a year since ChatGPT launched. (Bloomberg $)
4 The long-delayed Tesla Cybertruck is finally on sale
And the price tag starts at $60,990. (The Guardian)
It has its detractors. But it has plenty of fans, too. (The Atlantic $)
5 College students are subject to alarming levels of surveillance
Which is adding to their stress levels at an already stressful time in their lives. (The Markup)
Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University can’t agree on what privacy means. (MIT Technology Review)
6 How Huawei stunned the US with a new Chinese-made chip
Getting around sanctions will have been difficult, and very expensive. (FT $)
Huawei’s 5G chip breakthrough needs a reality check. (MIT Technology Review)
7 Anduril has launched a wild new jet-powered AI drone
The company says it could be used in Ukraine to intercept Russian drones. (Wired $)
8 Startups have had a bad
By: Charlotte Jee
Title: The Download: generative AI’s carbon footprint, and a CRISPR patent battle
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2023/12/01/1084204/the-download-ai-carbon-footprint-crispr-battle/
Published Date: Fri, 01 Dec 2023 13:10:00 +0000
The Download: abandoning carbon offsets, and creating new materials
The University of California has all but dropped carbon offsets—and thinks you should, too
In the fall of 2018, the University of California tasked a team of researchers with identifying projects from which it could confidently purchase carbon offsets that would reliably cancel out greenhouse gas emissions across its campuses. They found next to nothing.
The findings helped prompt the entire university system to radically rethink its sustainability plans. Now the researchers are sharing the lessons they learned over the course of the project, in the hopes of helping other universities and organizations consider what role, if any, offsets should play in sustainability strategies, MIT Technology Review can report.
The project’s leaders have three main takeaways for what others should do. Read our story to find out what they are.
Google DeepMind’s new AI tool helped create more than 700 new materials
The news: Google DeepMind has created a tool that uses deep learning to dramatically speed up the process of discovering new materials. The technology, which is called graphical networks for material exploration (GNoME), has already been used to predict structures for 2.2 million new materials, of which more than 700 have gone on to be created and tested in the lab.
Why it matters: From EV batteries to solar cells to microchips, new materials can supercharge technological breakthroughs. But discovering them usually takes months or even years of trial-and-error research. Thanks to GNoME, the number of known stable materials has grown almost tenfold, to 421,000. Read the full story.
The X Prize is taking aim at aging with a new $101 million award
Money can’t buy happiness, but X Prize founder Peter Diamandis hopes it might be able to buy better health. The X Prize Foundation, which funds global competitions to spark development of breakthrough technologies, has announced a new $101 million prize—the largest yet—to address the mental and physical decline that comes with aging.
The winners will have to prove by 2030 that their intervention can turn back the clock in older adults by at least a decade in three key areas: cognition, immunity, and muscle function. Its organizers are hoping the large prize will convince hundreds or even thousands of teams to compete. Read the full story.
1 Ilya Sutskever is leaving the OpenAI board
But the chief scientist is staying at the firm—for now. (Bloomberg $)
Microsoft has been added as a non voting member of the board. (NYT $)
Sam Altman says he initially felt furious after being asked to return to the company. (The Verge)
Inside the mind of OpenAI’s chief scientist. (MIT Technology Review)
2 Elon Musk isn’t playing nice with X’s worried advertisers
In fact, he went on a foul-mouthed rant railing against them. (CNBC)
Disney boss Bob Iger was a target of Musk’s ire. (WP $)
Musk just can’t help himself. (Slate $)
3 Next year is going to be even hotter
Thanks, in part, to the El Niño weather phenomenon. (FT $)
Methane is due to be a hot topic at COP28. (Economist $)+ Climate action is gaining momentum. So are the disasters. (MIT Technology Review)
4 Google has agreed to pay Canadian news outlets $100 million a year
It’s a rare win for publishers in their fight to get Big Tech to pay for content. (Motherboard)
Supporters say it’s the first step towards creating a sustainable news ecosystem. (BBC)
5 India is determined to clean up the Ganges river
The sacred waterway is incredibly polluted. Cleaning it up is both a holy and a scientific mission. (Wired $)
El Paso was “drought-proof.” Climate change is pushing its limits. (MIT Technology Review)
6 US border control is planning to trial Palmer Luckey’s AI surveillance towers
The autonomous towers track objects even in the coldest conditions. (404 Media)
7 Inside one man’s mission to track America’s gun violence
No one federal agency charts it, so Dan Kois has stepped up to fill the void. (Bloomberg $)
8 Please don’t follow TikTok’s dating advice
It’s bleak at best, outrageously sexist at worst. (Vox)
Here’s how the net’s newest matchmakers help you find love. (MIT Technology Review)
9 Cutting virtual grass is deeply satisfying
Just ask the video games fans transfixed by maintaining their lawns. (The Guardian)
10 What Spotify
By: Rhiannon Williams
Title: The Download: abandoning carbon offsets, and creating new materials
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2023/11/30/1084123/the-download-abandoning-carbon-offsets-and-creating-new-materials/
Published Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2023 13:10:00 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
Sustainability starts with the data center
When asked why he targeted banks, notorious criminal Willie Sutton reportedly answered, “Because that’s where the money is.” Similarly, when thoughtful organizations target sustainability, they look to their data centers—because that’s where the carbon emissions are.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) attributes about 1.5% of total global electricity use to data centers and data transmission networks. This figure is much higher, however, in countries with booming data storage sectors: in Ireland, 18% of electricity consumption was attributable to data centers in 2022, and in Denmark, it is projected to reach 15% by 2030. And while there have been encouraging shifts toward green-energy sources and increased deployment of energy-efficient hardware and software, organizations need to accelerate their data center sustainability efforts to meet ambitious net-zero targets.
For data center operators, options for boosting sustainability include shifting energy sources, upgrading physical infrastructure and hardware, improving and automating workflows, and updating the software that manages data center storage. Hitachi Vantara estimates that emissions attributable to data storage infrastructure can be reduced as much as 96% by using a combination of these approaches.
Critics might counter that, though data center decarbonization is a worthy social goal, it also imposes expenses that a company focused on its bottom line can ill afford. This, however, is a shortsighted view.
Data center decarbonization initiatives can provide an impetus that enables organizations to modernize, optimize, and automate their data centers. This leads directly to improved performance of mission-critical applications, as well as a smaller, denser, more efficient data center footprint—which then creates savings via reduced energy costs. And modern data storage and management solutions, beyond supporting sustainability, also create a unified platform for innovation and new business models through advanced data analytics, machine learning, and AI.
Dave Pearson, research vice president at IDC, says, “Decarbonization and the more efficient energy utilization of the data center are supported by the same technologies that support data center modernization. Modernization has sustainability goals, but obviously it provides all kinds of business benefits, including enabling data analytics and better business processes.”
Download the full report.
This content was produced by Insights, the custom content arm of MIT Technology Review. It was not written by MIT Technology Review’s editorial staff.
By: MIT Technology Review Insights
Title: Sustainability starts with the data center
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2023/11/30/1083909/sustainability-starts-with-the-data-center/
Published Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2023 15:03:00 +0000
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