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The Download: Chinese robotaxi drivers, and AI gun detection


When Liu Yang began his present job, he discovered it exhausting to return to driving his personal automotive: “I instinctively went for the passenger seat. Or once I was driving, I might count on the automotive to brake by itself,” says the 33-year-old Beijing native, who joined the Chinese tech large Baidu in January 2021 as a robotaxi driver.

Robotaxi driver is an occupation that solely exists in our time, the results of an evolving expertise that’s superior sufficient to do away with a driver—more often than not, in managed environments— however not ok to persuade authorities that they’ll cast off human intervention altogether. 

Liu is among the a whole lot of security operators employed by Baidu, “driving” 5 days per week in Shougang Park. But regardless of having solely labored for the corporate for 19 months, he already has to consider his subsequent profession transfer, as his job will probably be eradicated inside a number of years. Read the full story.

—Zeyi Yang

Podcast: Can AI hold weapons out of colleges?

Amid a rising epidemic of gun violence throughout the US, can AI be a part of the answer? In the most recent episode of our award-winning podcast, In Machines We Trust, we take a look at among the weapons detection applied sciences colleges are utilizing to attempt to hold college students secure, and delve into whether or not they’re delivering on their promise. Listen to it for yourself.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you at the moment’s most enjoyable/essential/scary/fascinating tales about expertise.

1 ByteDance’s US information app reportedly pushed pro-China messaging
Former staff say they have been additionally instructed to censor criticism of Beijing. (Buzzfeed)
+ Smartphone gross sales in China are at their lowest stage for a decade. (The Register)

2Mark Zuckerberg goes into overdrive
In order to make the metaverse work, he wants his staff to work even tougher. (NYT $)
+ He’s proper to be fearful—Meta is more likely to report its first-ever income drop at the moment. (Reuters)
+ Facebook staff hoping for additional days off can suppose once more. (The Verge)
+ Meta is elevating the costs of its Quest 2 VR headset, too. (ZDNet)
+ A metaverse safety replace is annoying its early customers. (Motherboard)

3 An AI convincingly masqueraded as a thinker
Which could possibly be extremely harmful within the fallacious arms. (Motherboard)
+ The new model of GPT-3 is a lot better behaved (and needs to be much less poisonous). (MIT Technology Review)

4 How Ticketmaster’s dynamic pricing algorithm experiment backfired
Charging Bruce Springsteen followers as much as $5,000 per ticket was not an excellent transfer. (Variety $)
+ How pricing algorithms study to collude. (MIT Technology Review)

5 The new psychedelic drug renaissance is right here
But critics are cautious it’s fueling psychedelic capitalism. (Wired $)
+ What do psychedelic medication do to our brains? AI may assist us discover out. (MIT Technology Review)

6 Russia says it’ll withdraw from the ISS partnership in 2024
NASA says it hasn’t been formally instructed, although. (The Verge)
+ Spacetime warped across the Sun may maintain the important thing to discovering alien life. (Motherboard)

7 New York’s e-bikes hold catching fireplace
Lithium-ion batteries from China seem like the offender. (Motherboard)
+ How bike parking pods may make US cities higher for cyclists. (MIT Technology Review)

8 Floating plastic within the ocean is harboring nasty micro organism 🦠
Urinary tract, pores and skin and abdomen infections are simply among the less-than-pleasant diseases they may trigger. (Hakai Magazine)
+ A kidney-stone consuming pseudo-parasite seems to have given up parasitism. (The Atlantic $)

9 Undersea web cables may quickly detect tsunamis 🌊
And observe them in actual time to assist swerve future disasters. (New Yorker $)

10 Turns out that lifeless spiders make wonderful robots
Specifically hydraulic grippers. (Spectrum IEEE)
+ This robotic taught itself to stroll totally by itself. (MIT Technology Review)

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