This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through March 18)


You Can Now Run a GPT-3-Level AI Model on Your Laptop, Phone, and Raspberry Pi
Benj Edwards | Ars Technica
“On Friday, a software developer named Georgi Gerganov created a tool called “llama.cpp” that can run Meta’s new GPT-3-class AI large language model, LLaMA, locally on a Mac laptop. Soon thereafter, people worked out how to run LLaMA on Windows as well. Then someone showed it running on a Pixel 6 phone, and next came a Raspberry Pi (albeit running very slowly). If this keeps up, we may be looking at a pocket-sized ChatGPT competitor before we know it.”


A Gene Therapy Cure for Sickle Cell Is on the Horizon
Emily Mullin | Wired
“[Evie] Junior…is one of dozens of sickle cell patients in the US and Europe who have received gene therapies in clinical trials—some led by universities, others by biotech companies. Two such therapies, one from Bluebird Bio and the other from CRISPR Therapeutics and Vertex Pharmaceuticals, are the closest to coming to market. The companies are now seeking regulatory approval in the US and Europe. If successful, more patients could soon benefit from these therapies, although access and affordability could limit who gets them.”


This Couple Just Got Married in the Taco Bell Metaverse
Tanya Basu | MIT Technology Review
“The chapel at the company’s Taco Bell Cantina restaurant in Las Vegas has married 800 couples so far. There were copycat virtual weddings, too. ‘T​​aco Bell saw fans of the brand interact in the metaverse and decided to meet them quite literally where they were,’ a spokesperson said. That meant dancing hot sauce packets, a Taco Bell–themed dance floor, a turban for Mohnot, and the famous bell branding everywhere.”


Inside the Global Race to Turn Water Into Fuel
Max Bearak | The New York Times
“A consortium of energy companies led by BP plans to cover an expanse of land eight times as large as New York City with as many as 1,743 wind turbines, each nearly as tall as the Empire State Building, along with 10 million or so solar panels and more than a thousand miles of access roads to connect them all. But none of the 26 gigawatts of energy the site expects to produce, equivalent to a third of what Australia’s grid currently requires, will go toward public use. Instead, it will be used to manufacture a novel kind of industrial fuel: green hydrogen.”


Has the 3D Printing Revolution Finally Arrived?
Tim Lewis | The Guardian
i‘What happened 10 years ago, when there was this massive hype, was there was so much nonsense being written: “You’ll print anything with these machines! It’ll take over the world!”‘ says Hague. ‘But it’s now becoming a really mature technology, it’s not an emerging technology really any more. It’s widely implemented by the likes of Rolls-Royce and General Electric, and we work with AstraZeneca, GSK, a whole bunch of different people. Printing things at home was never going to happen, but it’s developed into a multibillion-dollar industry.’i


AI-Imager Midjourney v5 Stuns With Photorealistic Images—and 5-Fingered Hands
Benj Edwards | Ars Technica
“Midjourney v5 is available now as an alpha test for customers who subscribe to the Midjourney service, which is available through Discord. ‘MJ v5 currently feels to me like finally getting glasses after ignoring bad eyesight for a little bit too long,’ said Julie Wieland, a graphic designer who often shares her Midjourney creations on Twitter. ‘Suddenly you see everything in 4k, it feels weirdly overwhelming but also amazing.’i


AI-Generated Images From Text Can’t Be Copyrighted, US Government Rules
Kris Holt | Engadget
“That’s according to the US Copyright Office (USCO), which has equated such prompts to a buyer giving directions to a commissioned artist. ‘They identify what the prompter wishes to have depicted, but the machine determines how those instructions are implemented in its output,’ the USCO wrote in new guidance it published to the Federal Register. ‘When an AI technology receives solely a prompt from a human and produces complex written, visual, or musical works in response, the “traditional elements of authorship” are determined and executed by the technology—not the human user,’ the office stated.”


GPT-4 Has the Memory of a Goldfish
Jacob Stern | The Atlantic
“By this point, the many defects of AI-based language models have been analyzed to death—their incorrigible dishonesty, their capacity for bias and bigotry, their lack of common sense. …But large language models have another shortcoming that has so far gotten relatively little attention: their shoddy recall. These multibillion-dollar programs, which require several city blocks’ worth of energy to run, may now be able to code websites, plan vacations, and draft company-wide emails in the style of William Faulkner. But they have the memory of a goldfish.”


Microsoft Lays Off an Ethical AI Team as It Doubles Down on OpenAI
Rebecca Bellan | TechCrunch
“The move calls into question Microsoft’s commitment to ensuring its product design and AI principles are closely intertwined at a time when the company is making its controversial AI tools available to the mainstream. Microsoft still maintains its Office of Responsible AI (ORA), which sets rules for responsible AI through governance and public policy work. But employees told Platformer that the ethics and society team was responsible for ensuring Microsoft’s responsible AI principles are actually reflected in the design of products that ship.”


It’s Official: No More Crispr Babies—for Now
Grace Browne | Wired
“After several days of experts chewing on the scientific, ethical, and governance issues associated with human genome editing, the [Third International Summit on Human Genome Editing’s] organizing committee put out its closing statement. Heritable human genome editing—editing embryos that are then implanted to establish a pregnancy, which can pass on their edited DNA—’remains unacceptable at this time,’ the committee concluded. ‘Public discussions and policy debates continue and are important for resolving whether this technology should be used.’i

Image Credit: Kenan Alboshi / Unsplash

* This article was originally published at Singularity Hub

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