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The Download: local weather accountability, and AI coaching knowledge shortages



This is right this moment’s version of The Download, our weekday publication that gives a day by day dose of what’s happening on the planet of know-how.

The US and China are pointing fingers at one another over local weather change

The UN local weather convention wrapped up over the weekend after marathon negotiations that ran approach over. The most notable final result was the institution of a fund to assist poor nations pay for local weather damages, which was hailed as a win. Beyond that, some leaders are involved there wasn’t sufficient progress at this 12 months’s talks.

Consequently, everyone seems to be pointing fingers, blaming others for not taking motion quick sufficient on local weather funding. Activists are calling the US the ‘colossal fossil,’ whereas US leaders complain about being blamed whereas China is the present main emitter.

But with regards to figuring out who ought to be paying what in accepting legal responsibility for local weather damages, we have to look past present emissions. When you add up historic emissions, it’s tremendous clear: the US is by far the best complete emitter, answerable for a couple of quarter. Read the full story.

—Casey Crownhart

Casey’s story is from the Spark, her weekly publication delving into the difficult science of local weather change. Sign up to obtain it in your inbox each Wednesday.

We might run out of information to coach AI language applications 

What’s occurring? Large language fashions are one of many hottest areas of AI analysis proper now, with corporations racing to launch applications like GPT-3 that may write impressively coherent articles and even pc code. But there’s an issue looming on the horizon, in keeping with a workforce of AI forecasters: we’d run out of information to coach them on.

How lengthy have we obtained? As researchers construct extra highly effective fashions with larger capabilities, they’ve to seek out ever extra texts to coach them on. The forms of knowledge usually used for these fashions could also be used up within the close to future—as early as 2026, in keeping with a paper by researchers from Epoch, an AI analysis and forecasting group. Read the full story.

—Tammy Xu

Podcast: Want a job? The AI will see you now.

In the previous, hiring choices had been made by individuals. Today, some key choices that result in whether or not somebody will get a job or not are made by algorithms. In this episode of our award-winning podcast, In Machines We Trust, we meet a few of the massive gamers making this know-how together with the CEOs of HireVue and myInterview—and check a few of these instruments ourselves.

Listen to it on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you often pay attention.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to seek out you right this moment’s most enjoyable/vital/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 FTX’s collapse ought to be a serious cautionary story for the crypto trade 
Unfortunately, it received’t essentially lead to higher rules. (New Yorker $)
+ Crypto isn’t recognized for heeding unhealthy omens, in any case. (Vox)
+ FTX has invested thousands and thousands into, err, a tiny financial institution. (NYT $) 
+ Sam Bankman-Fried’s favourite “longtermism” ideology sounds bogus. (Motherboard)
+ He hasn’t accomplished the efficient altruism motion any favors, both. (The Atlantic $)

2 Elon Musk most likely received’t declare chapter
That doesn’t imply his monetary backers can relaxation simple, although. (The Atlantic $) 
+ Here’s who’s paying for Twitter proper now. (NYT $)
+ Former Twitter workers worry the platform may solely final weeks. (MIT Technology Review)

3 Measles is a rising world menace
Vaccination charges are down, and it’s extremely contagious. (Axios)

4 Maybe it’s time we stopped mechanically trusting billionaires
Exercising wholesome cynicism isn’t the identical as being a hater. (Vox)
+ Quite a lot of massive tech bosses wrongly assumed their covid-highs would final eternally. (Slate $)

5 The true price of America’s conflict on China’s chips
The pricier the elements, the dearer the ultimate product will probably be. (FT $)
+ Workers on the world’s largest iPhone manufacturing unit are rioting. (Bloomberg $)
+ Inside the software program that can turn out to be the subsequent battle entrance within the US-China chip conflict. (MIT Technology Review)

6 Rocks on Mars recommend it might as soon as have been liveable  
Organic molecules discovered within the rocks could have supported types of life. (WP $)
+ A UK-made Mars rover is heading again to the purple planet. (BBC)

7 Why future concrete could comprise micro organism 
Bioconcrete is robust, and—crucially—greener. (Economist $)
+ These residing bricks use micro organism to construct themselves. (MIT Technology Review)

8 The expertise of procuring on Amazon actually sucks nowadays
And it’s as a result of every little thing is an advert. (WP $)

9 What it’s like to like the tech the world’s left behind
From walkmans to BlackBerrys, these ardent followers aren’t letting go. (The Guardian)
+ Smartphones have survived all of the makes an attempt to exchange them. (The Verge)

10 The feedback on YouTube’s movies are artistic endeavors
Literally—an artist has made them into precise artwork. (New Yorker $)

Quote of the day

“He’s all the time attempting to get amusing, that’s why he makes all his automobiles suicidal.”

—Dril, one of many seminal personalities of the humorous nook of “bizarre Twitter,” displays on Elon Musk’s surreal management to the Washington Post.

The massive story

What does breaking apart Big Tech actually imply?

June 2021

For Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Alphabet, covid-19 was an financial blessing. Even because the pandemic despatched the worldwide financial system right into a deep recession and cratered most corporations’ income, these corporations—also known as the “Big Four” of know-how—not solely survived however thrived.

Yet on the similar time, they’ve come beneath unprecedented assault from politicians and authorities regulators within the US and Europe, within the type of  new lawsuits, proposed payments, and rules. There’s no denying that the stress is constructing to rein in Big Tech’s energy. But what would that entail? Read the full story.

—James Surowiecki

We can nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction in these bizarre occasions. (Got any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)



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