This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through May 6)


Geoffrey Hinton Tells Us Why He’s Now Scared of the Tech He Helped Build
Will Douglas Heaven | MIT Technology Review
“Hinton says that the new generation of large language models—especially GPT-4, which OpenAI released in March—has made him realize that machines are on track to be a lot smarter than he thought they’d be. And he’s scared about how that might play out. ‘These things are totally different from us,’ he says. ‘Sometimes I think it’s as if aliens had landed and people haven’t realized because they speak very good English.’i


Chemists Are Teaching GPT-4 to Do Chemistry and Control Lab Robots
Alex Wilkins | New Scientist
“Gabriel Gomes at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania and his colleagues augmented GPT-4 with chemistry tools, similar to ChemCrow, but also supplied it with the documentation and software interface of a remotely controlled chemistry lab that had various liquid compounds attached to robotic arms and plates. They then asked it to perform specific reactions using the liquids and found that it could draft a workable plan and carry out actions to produce the required compounds.”


I Tried the New Microsoft Bing AI, and It Wants to Be the Future of Everything
Ryan Broderick | Fast Company
This newest upgrade also paints a very clear picture of what Microsoft has planned for the future: an AI interface for everything. In fact, the Edge browser, via the AI chat sidebar, can now perform actions based on what you ask it. In the demo I watched, it imported passwords over from one browser to Edge. It now seems inevitable that very soon—at least for Microsoft—the chatbot window will be the main way you use your computer.


Startup’s Proposed Satellite Swarm Would Create 3D Maps of Earth’s Entire Surface
Passant Rabie | Gizmodo
“Satellites flying overhead in Earth’s orbit largely provide a two-dimensional view of our planet, but a Florida-based company is hoping to change that by using satellites to routinely build 3D maps of Earth’s entire surface. During the Geospatial World Forum, held from May 2 to 5 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, NUVIEW announced its plans to launch a constellation of satellites, which will use LiDAR to map Earth in three dimensions.”


Waymo Doubles Service Area for Its Fleet of Robo-Taxis
Lawrence Bonk | Engadget
“Waymo is doubling the operational area for its fleet of self-driving taxis, making what the company calls ‘the largest fully autonomous service area in the world.’ The rapid growth is limited to Phoenix and San Francisco, but Waymo has big plans for both territories.”


Scientists Say They Have Found More Moons With Oceans in the Solar System
Eric Berger | Ars Technica
“[Data from Voyager and ground-based telescopes] has led NASA scientists to conclude that four of Uranus’ largest moons—Ariel, Umbriel, Titania, and Oberon—probably contain water oceans below their icy crusts. These oceans are likely dozens of kilometers deep and probably fairly salty in being sandwiched between the upper ice and inner rock core.”


Never Give Artificial Intelligence the Nuclear Codes
Ross Andersen | The Atlantic
Many [AI doomsday scenarios] are self-consciously fanciful—they’re meant to jar us into envisioning how badly things could go wrong if an emerging intelligence comes to understand the world, and its own goals, even a little differently from how its human creators do. One scenario, however, requires less imagination, because the first steps toward it are arguably already being taken—the gradual integration of AI into the most destructive technologies we possess today.


Chatbot ‘Journalists’ Found Running Almost 50 AI-Generated Content Farms
Alex Hern | The Guardian
“The websites churn out content relating to politics, health, environment, finance and technology at a ‘high volume’, the researchers found, to provide rapid turnover of material to saturate with adverts for profit. ‘Some publish hundreds of articles a day,’ Newsguard’s McKenzie Sadeghi and Lorenzo Arvanitis said. ‘Some of the content advances false narratives. Nearly all of the content features bland language and repetitive phrases, hallmarks of artificial intelligence.’i

Image Credit: Laura Ockel / Unsplash

* This article was originally published at Singularity Hub

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