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The Download: dual-driving AI, and Russia’s Telegram propaganda



This is as we speak’s version of The Download, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a every day dose of what’s occurring on the earth of know-how.

This startup’s AI is wise sufficient to drive several types of autos

The information: Wayve, a driverless-car startup primarily based in London, has made a machine-learning mannequin that may drive two several types of automobile: a passenger automotive and a supply van. It is the primary time the identical AI driver has realized to drive a number of autos.

Why it issues: While robotaxis have made it to a handful of streets in Phoenix and San Francisco, their success has been restricted. Wayve is a part of a brand new era of startups ditching the standard robotics mindset—the place driverless vehicles depend on super-detailed 3D maps and modules for sensing and planning. Instead, these startups rely completely on AI to drive the autos.

What’s subsequent: The advance means that Wayve’s strategy to autonomous autos, by which a deep-learning mannequin is educated to drive from scratch, may assist it scale up quicker than its main rivals. Read the full story.

—Will Douglas Heaven

Russia’s battle to persuade individuals to hitch its warfare is being waged on Telegram

Putin’s propaganda: When Vladimir Putin declared the partial call-up of navy reservists on September 21, in a determined effort to attempt to flip his lengthy and brutal warfare in Ukraine in Russia’s favor, he kicked off one other, parallel battle: one to persuade the Russian individuals of the deserves and dangers of conscription. And this one is being fought on the encrypted messaging service Telegram.

Opposing forces: Following the announcement, pro-Kremlin Telegram channels started to line up dutifully behind Putin’s plans, keen to advertise the concept that the warfare he’s waging is simply and winnable.  But whether or not this vein of propaganda is working is much from sure. For all of the work the federal government is doing to attempt to management the narrative, there’s a vibrant opposition on the identical platform working to undermine it—and providing assist for these searching for to dodge the draft. Read the full story.

—Chris Stokel-Walker

NASA’s DART mission is on observe to crash into an asteroid as we speak

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft, or DART, is heading in the right direction to collide with the asteroid Dimorphos at 7.14pm ET as we speak. Though Dimorphos shouldn’t be about to collide with Earth, DART is meant to display the flexibility to deflect an asteroid prefer it that’s headed our manner, ought to one ever be found.

Read extra in regards to the DART mission, and the way the crash is likely to play out.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to seek out you as we speak’s most enjoyable/essential/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 The US says Russia will face disaster if it makes use of nuclear weapons
It’s exhausting to know whether or not Putin’s risk is a bluff—or lethal severe. (The Guardian)
+ Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky thinks it is vitally actual. (CNBC)
+ What is the chance of a nuclear accident in Ukraine? (MIT Technology Review)

2 YouTube desires to lure creators away from TikTok with money
But it gained’t say how a lot. (MIT Technology Review)

3 Germany’s zero-tolerance for hate speech is a double-edged sword
While the specter of fines disincentivizes some perpetrators, activists fear that too many individuals are being focused. (NYT $)
+ Misinformation is already shaping US voters’ choices forward of November’s midterms. (NYT $)

4 Why even the biggest firms are susceptible to hacking
A zero-trust strategy is useful, however will solely take you to this point. (WSJ $)
+ Hackers can disrupt image-recognition methods utilizing radio waves. (New Scientist $)
+ Microsoft is optimistic that AI can root out dangerous actors. (Bloomberg $)
+ The hacking business faces the top of an period. (MIT Technology Review)

5 NASA’s Artemis moon mission has been delayed once more
Due to tropical storm Ian. (BBC)
+ Saudi Arabia desires to ship its first feminine astronaut into house. (Insider $)

6 Fighting local weather change extends past kicking firms
A extra nuanced strategy could possibly be required to hurry up the transition to cleaner power. (The Atlantic $)
+ Global wildfires imply that snow is melting faster than typical. (Slate $)
+ Disaster insurance coverage is more and more tough to navigate. (Knowable Magazine)
+ Carbon removing hype is changing into a harmful distraction. (MIT Technology Review)

7 Crypto’s fired employees don’t know what to do subsequent
But loads of them haven’t let their experiences put them off the sector. (The Information $)
+ Interpol has issued a purple discover for Terraform Labs’ co-founder Do Kwon. (Bloomberg $) 

8 The Danish metropolis that banned Google
The tech big’s dealing with of kids’s information wasn’t correctly assessed. (Wired $)
+ Google says it’s unwilling to pitch it to fund community prices in Europe. (Reuters)

9 Why neuroscience is making a comeback
Some specialists are satisfied that making neurology and psychiatry departments work nearer collectively is lengthy overdue. (Economist $)

10 How plant-based meat fell out of style 🍔


Evangelists are satisfied the nascent business is merely experiencing teething issues. (The Guardian)
+ Your first lab-grown burger is coming quickly—and it’ll be “blended”. (MIT Technology Review)

Quote of the day

“There’s positively the boys’ membership that also exists.”

—Taryn Langer, founding father of public relations agency Moxie Communications Group, tells the New York Times about her frustrations on the sexist state of the tech business.

The massive story

The quest to study if our mind’s mutations have an effect on psychological well being

August 2021

Scientists have struggled of their seek for particular genes behind most mind problems, together with autism and Alzheimer’s illness. Unlike issues with another components of our physique, the overwhelming majority of mind dysfunction shows usually are not linked to an identifiable gene.

But a University of California, San Diego research revealed in 2001 recommended a distinct path. What if it wasn’t a single defective gene—or perhaps a sequence of genes—that at all times prompted cognitive points? What if it could possibly be the genetic variations between cells? 

The rationalization had appeared far-fetched, however extra researchers have begun to take it critically. Scientists already knew that the 85 billion to 100 billion neurons in your mind work to some extent in live performance—however what they wish to know is whether or not there’s a danger when a few of these cells could be singing a distinct genetic tune. Read the full story.

—Roxanne Khamsi

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.)

  • Some gadgets are positively extra helpful than others.
    + Calling all cat lovers! This potted historical past of mischievous felines in French painter Alexandre-François Desportes’ work is heartwarming stuff (thanks Melissa!)
    + A helpful information to understanding what you really need from life
    + A Ukrainian startup is reportedly planning to make use of AI to clone the iconic voice of James Earl Jones, aka Darth Vader. 
    + The rumors are true—butter actually is having a second.



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