The Obtain: AI for good, and China’s shrinking web


That is immediately’s version of The Download, our weekday publication that gives a each day dose of what’s happening on this planet of know-how.

What I realized from the UN’s “AI for Good” summit

—Melissa Heikkilä

Final week, Geneva performed host to the UN’s AI for Good Summit. The summit’s large focus was how AI can be utilized to fulfill the UN’s Sustainable Improvement Targets, similar to eradicating poverty and starvation, attaining gender equality, selling clear vitality and local weather motion and so forth. 

The convention managed to convene individuals working in AI from across the globe, that includes audio system from China, the Center East, and Africa too. AI will be very US-centric and male dominated, and any effort to make the dialog extra international and various is laudable.

However truthfully, I didn’t depart the convention feeling assured AI was going to play a significant function in advancing any of the UN targets. In actual fact, essentially the most attention-grabbing speeches have been about how AI is doing the other. Read the full story.

This story is from The Algorithm, our weekly AI publication. Sign up to obtain it in your inbox each Monday.

Learn extra of Melissa’s tales concerning the points inside the AI sector:

+ How generative AI has made phishing, scamming, and doxxing easier than ever.

+ We’re all AI’s free knowledge employees. Fancy AI fashions depend on human labor, which might usually be brutal and upsetting. Read the full story.

+ The viral AI avatar app Lensa undressed me—without my consent.

+ Making a picture with generative AI makes use of as a lot vitality as charging your telephone. Every time you utilize AI to generate a picture, write an e-mail, or ask a chatbot a query, it comes at a price to the planet. Read the full story.

The must-reads

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

1 The Chinese language web is collapsing
Web sites are being yanked offline, and historical past is being misplaced within the course of. (NYT $)
+ The top of anonymity on-line in China. (MIT Technology Review)

2 The United Arab Emirates wish to cozy as much as the US over AI
And it’s greater than keen to spend billions of {dollars} within the course of. (FT $)
 
3 Google inadvertently collected voice knowledge from youngsters
Alongside customers’ dwelling addresses and YouTube suggestions. (404 Media)
+ Why baby security payments are popping up all around the US. (MIT Technology Review)

4 Our urge for food for knowledge facilities is at odds with zero-carbon targets
Demand for electrical energy is rising, and decarbonizing the grid is turning into a good greater problem. (Undark Magazine)
+ An enormous a part of why we’d like extra energy? Shock, shock—it’s AI. (Wired $)+ Vitality-hungry knowledge facilities are quietly shifting into cities. (MIT Technology Review)

5 X is formally permitting X-rated content material
NSFW pictures and movies have been rife on it for years anyway. (TechCrunch)
+ It’s supposed to dam under-18s from seeing NSFW materials. (The Guardian)

6 AI is getting significantly better at predicting the climate 🌩
Which is helpful, provided that the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season is coming. (Ars Technica)
+ Google DeepMind’s climate AI can forecast excessive climate sooner and extra precisely. (MIT Technology Review)

7 This new startup needs to carry cryonics to the lots
By specializing in the reviving, quite than the freezing half. (Bloomberg $)
+ Why the sci-fi dream of cryonics by no means died. (MIT Technology Review)

8 Retailers like it whenever you purchase issues in your cellular
For those who’re making an impulse buy, likelihood is it’s on a telephone, not a laptop computer. (WSJ $)

9 Dying stars produce glitching radio waves
Scientists are getting higher at reproducing these pulsar glitches. (New Scientist $)

10 Amazon bought faux copies of a significant UFO e book 🛸
Scammers produced false variations of the hotly-anticipated title, a few of which comprise AI-generated textual content. (404 Media)

Quote of the day

“We’re nonetheless behind them, however we’re respiratory down their again.”

—Vladimir Milov, a YouTube creator, tells Wired how he helped to create a direct competitor to Putin’s TV propaganda on the platform.

The large story

Broadband funding for Native communities may lastly join a few of America’s most remoted locations

September 2022

Rural and Native communities within the US have lengthy had decrease charges of mobile and broadband connectivity than city areas, the place 4 out of each 5 People reside. Exterior the cities and suburbs, which occupy barely 3% of US land, dependable web service can nonetheless be onerous to return by.

The covid-19 pandemic underscored the issue as Native communities locked down and moved faculty and different important each day actions on-line. However it additionally kicked off an unprecedented surge of aid funding to unravel it. Read the full story.

—Robert Chaney

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction to brighten up your day. (Acquired any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ Bats have extremely candy little ft.
+ Too many gardens aren’t overly hospitable to nature. Right here’s how one can make your inexperienced areas into wild wonderlands.
+ Summer time is right here, and honey garlic parmesan biscuits look like an effective way to rejoice.
+ This sundown ocean painting is admittedly fairly one thing.



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