This week’s great tech stories from around the web (until June 18)

This week’s great tech stories from around the web (until June 18)

This week’s great tech stories from around the web (until June 18)


This AI model tries to recreate the mind of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Pranshu Verma | The Washington Post
The model, called Ask Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is based on 27 years of Ginsburg’s legal writings before the Supreme Court, along with a large number of news interviews and public speeches. A team at the Israeli artificial intelligence company called AI21 Labs fed this record into a complex language processing program, which the AI ​​claims was able to predict how Ginsburg would respond to queries. “We wanted to pay tribute to a great thinker and leader with a fun digital experience,” the company says on the AI ​​app’s website.


Meta could one day let you create an incredibly lifelike 3D replica of yourself from a phone scan
Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo
“Instead of sitting in a chair for an hour surrounded by hundreds of cameras, users simply need to pan their smartphones across their faces, side to side, and then mimic a sequence of 65 specific facial expressions. The researchers say the process now takes about three and a half minutes, and using a neural network previously trained on the 3D facial data captured from 255 different subjects in a camera setup similar to Mugsy, the new approach surprisingly generate lifelike 3D avatar models.”


Google’s ‘conscious’ chatbot is our self-deceiving future
Ian Bogost | The Atlantic Ocean
“…a Google engineer became convinced that a software program was conscious after asking the program, which was designed to respond credibly to inputs, whether it was conscious. A recursive just-so story. I’m not going to get into on the possibility that LaMDA is conscious. (It is not.) More important, and more interesting, is what it means that someone with such a deep understanding of the system would go so far off the rails in his defense, and that, in the resulting media frenzy, so many people would entertain the prospect that Lemoine is right.”


Amazon says its drones will deliver parcels to backyards this year
Sharon Harding | Ars Technica
“According to Amazon, Lockeford residents will soon be able to sign up for free drone deliveries. Then they can place orders on Amazon as usual, with “thousands of everyday items” available for drone delivery. Amazon has been working with a target of a five-pound load, which may sound small but represents 85 percent of Amazon deliveries, Bloomberg reported in April.”


This road charges electric cars wirelessly while they drive
Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo
†[Stellantis] recently unveiled a unique new test track in Italy’s Chiari, dubbed the ‘Arena del Futuro’ (Arena of the Future) circuit, which could potentially allow EVs to drive in circles forever without ever having to stop and recharge. …To take advantage of the track’s power distribution capabilities, an EV just needs to be upgraded with a special receiver that sends power directly to the electric motor. During testing, a Fiat New 500 was able to maintain speed on the highway while circling the track without using the energy stored in the batteries.”


Tesla Autopilot and other driver assistance systems linked to hundreds of crashes
Neal E. Boudette, Cade Metz, and † The New York Times
Nearly 400 accidents in the United States in 10 months involved cars using advanced driver assistance technologies, the federal government’s top auto safety regulator said Wednesday. … Speaking to reporters ahead of Wednesday’s release, Steven Cliff, the NHTSA administrator, said the data — which the agency will continue to collect — “will help our investigators quickly identify potential defect trends as they emerge.”i


Can democracy encompass a world outside of humans?
James Bridle | wired
“This understanding of politics also means that our decision-making processes must go beyond our own human lives: to non-human animals, to the planet and in the very near future to autonomous AI. I call this a ‘more-than-human’ policy, based on ecologist and philosopher David Abram’s concept of a more-than-human world, a way of thinking that fully recognizes and interacts with all living things and ecological systems.”


How do you become a techno-optimist?
Jonny Thomson | Big Thinking
“It is perfectly reasonable to suggest that there are many existing problems with technology, and that it alone is not enough to allow the good to prevail. Instead, we could sympathize with Danaher’s “modest techno-optimism.” According to this view, “we have the power to create the proper institutions for the generation, selection and creation of material technologies, and by acting prudently and wisely upon that belief, it may become more likely that good will prevail over the poor. †i

Image Credit: Karsten Winegeart/Unsplash