This is today’s edition of The download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s happening in the tech world.
Here’s Why China’s New Social Credit Law Matters
It is easier to talk about what the Chinese social credit system is not than what it is. Since 2014, when China announced its intention to build it, it has been one of the most misunderstood things about China in Western discourse. Now, with new documents released in mid-November, it is possible to correct the record.
Most people outside of China assume it will act as a tech-powered Black Mirror-esque system to automatically score every Chinese citizen based on what they did right and wrong. Instead, it’s a mix of attempts to regulate the financial credit industry, allow government agencies to share data with each other, and promote state-sanctioned moral values, however vague. as it may seem.
Although the system itself will still take a long time to materialize, by releasing a bill last week, China is now closer than ever to defining what it will look like and how it will affect the lives of millions of citizens. . Read the full story.
Watch this robot dog dash through tough terrain just by using its camera
The news: When Ananye Agarwal took her dog up and down the steps of the local park near Carnegie Mellon University, other dogs stopped in their path. It’s because Agarwal’s dog was a robot, and a special robot. Unlike other robots, which tend to rely heavily on an internal map to move around, his robot uses a built-in camera and uses computer vision and reinforcement learning to walk through difficult terrain.
Why is this important: While other attempts to use signals from cameras to guide robot movement have been limited to flat ground, Agarwal and his fellow researchers were able to get their robot to climb stairs, climb over rocks, and jump over above the gaps. They hope their work will make it easier to deploy the robots in the real world and significantly improve their mobility in the process. Read the full story.
Trust big language models at your own risk
When Meta launched Galactica, a great open-source language model, the company was hoping for a big PR win. Instead, all he got was flak on Twitter and a spicy blog post from one of his most vocal critics, ending with his embarrassing decision to pull the model’s public demo. after only three days.
Galactica was intended to help scientists by summarizing academic papers and solving mathematical problems, among other tasks. But outsiders soon swayed the model to provide “scientific research” on the benefits of homophobia, anti-Semitism, suicide, eating glass, being white or being male – not only showing how premature its botched launch was, but how inadequate the AI was. efforts by researchers to make large language models safer have been. Read the full story.
This story is from The Algorithm, our weekly newsletter that brings you information on all things AI. Register to receive it in your inbox every Monday.
I’ve scoured the internet to find you today’s funniest/important/scariest/fascinating stories about technology.
1 Verified Anti-Vax Twitter Accounts Are Spreading Health Misinformation
And perfectly demonstrating the problem of verification billing in the process. (The Guardian)
+ Maybe Twitter wasn’t helping your career as much as you thought. (Bloomberg $)
+ A deepfake from the founder of FTX is circulating on Twitter. (Motherboard)
+ Some of the liberal Twitter users refuse to leave. (Atlantic $)
+ Twitter’s layoff bloodbath is apparently over. (The edge)
+ Twitter’s potential collapse could erase vast archives of recent human history. (MIT Technology Review)
2 NASA’s Orion spacecraft has completed its lunar flyby
Paving the way for the return of humans to the moon. (Voice)
3 Amazon’s warehouse monitoring algorithms are trained by humans
Low-paid workers in India and Costa Rica sift through thousands of hours of mind-numbing footage. (The edge)
+ The AI Data Labeling Industry Is Deeply Exploitative. (MIT Technology Review)
4 How to understand climate change
Accepting the facts is the first step to avoiding the darkest end for the planet. (New Yorker $)
+ The richest nations in the world have agreed to pay for global warming. (Atlantic $)
+ These three graphs show who is most responsible for climate change. (MIT Technology Review)
5 Apple Discovered Questionable Transactions of a Cybersecurity Startup
He has compiled a document that illustrates the extent of Corellium’s relationship, including with the famous NSO group. (Wired $)
+ The piracy industry is facing the end of an era. (MIT Technology Review)
7 The Criminal Justice System Is Failing Neurodivergent People
Impersonating an online troll led to an autistic man being sentenced to five and a half years in prison. (Economist $)
8 Your workplace might plan to scan your brain
All in the name of making you a more effective employee. (IEEE Spectrum)
9 Facebook doesn’t care if your account is hacked
A series of new solutions to save accounts doesn’t seem to have had much effect. (WP $)
+ Parent company Meta is being sued in the UK for data collection. (Bloomberg $)
+ Independent artists are building the metaverse in their own way. (Motherboard)
10 Why Training Image Generating AIs on Generated Images is a Bad Idea
“Contaminated” images will only confuse them. (new scientist $)
+ The facial recognition software used by the US government would not have worked. (Motherboard)
+ The dark secret behind these cute AI-generated animal images. (MIT Technology Review)
quote of the day
“It feels like they cared more.”
—Amazon Prime member Ken Higgins is losing faith in the company after a series of frustrating delivery experiences, he tells the the wall street journal.
The big story
What if you could diagnose diseases with a tampon?
On an unremarkable side street in Oakland, California, Ridhi Tariyal and Stephen Gire attempt to change the way women monitor their health.
Their plan is to use blood from used tampons as a diagnostic tool. In this menstrual blood, they hope to find early markers of endometriosis and, ultimately, a variety of other disorders. The simplicity and ease of this method, if it works, will be a big improvement over the current standard of care. Read the full story.
We can still have beautiful things
+ Happy Thanksgiving—in your nightmares!
+ Why Keith HaringThe legacy of is more visible than ever, 32 years after his death.
+ Even the gentrified world of assembling dinosaur skeletons is not safe from scandals.
+ pumpkins are a staple of Thanksgiving, but it wasn’t always that way.
+ If I lived in a frozen wasteland, I’m sure I’d be the the grumpiest cat in the world too.