This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through December 9)


Google’s Gemini Is the Real Start of the Generative AI Boom
Will Knight | Wired
“[Google DeepMind’s Demis Hassabis] was predictably effusive about Gemini, claiming it introduces new capabilities that will eventually make Google’s products stand out. But Hassabis also said that to deliver AI systems that can understand the world in ways that today’s chatbots can’t, LLMs will need to be combined with other AI techniques. Hassabis is in an aggressive competition with OpenAI, but the rivals seem to agree that radical new approaches are needed.”


Google DeepMind’s New Gemini Model Looks Amazing—but Could Signal Peak AI Hype
Melissa Heikkilä and archive page and  and Will Douglas Heaven | MIT Technology Review
“Hype about Gemini, Google DeepMind’s long-rumored response to OpenAI’s GPT-4, has been building for months. Today the company finally revealed what it has been working on in secret all this time. Was the hype justified? Yes—and no. …It’s a big step for Google, but not necessarily a giant leap for the field as a whole.”archive page


The First Crispr Medicine Is Now Approved in the US
Emily Mullen | Wired
“The US Food and Drug Administration [on Friday] approved a first-of-its kind medical treatment that uses CRISPR gene editing. Called Casgevy, the therapy is intended to treat patients with sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder that affects more than 100,000 people in the United States. The UK first approved the groundbreaking treatment on November 16. …The treatment aims to eliminate episodes of debilitating pain that are a hallmark of sickle cell disease.”


I Received the New Gene-Editing Drug for Sickle Cell Disease. It Changed My Life.
Jimi Olagherearchive page | MIT Technology Review
“After I received exa-cel, I started to experience things I had only dreamt of: boundless energy and the ability to recover by merely sleeping. My physical symptoms—including a yellowish tint in my eyes caused by the rapid breakdown of malfunctioning red blood cells—virtually disappeared overnight. Most significantly, I gained the confidence that sickle cell disease won’t take me away from my family, and a sense of control over my own destiny.”


AMD’s Next GPU Is a 3D-Integrated Superchip
Samuel K. Moore | IEEE Spectrum
“AMD lifted the hood on its next AI accelerator chip, the Instinct MI300, at the AMD Advancing AI event today, and it’s an unprecedented feat of 3D integration. MI300, a version of which will power the El Capitan supercomputer, is a layer cake of computing, memory, and communication that’s three slices of silicon high and that can sling as much as 17 terabytes of data vertically between those slices. The result is as much as a 3.4-fold boost in speed for certain machine-learning-critical calculations.”


The EU Just Passed Sweeping New Rules to Regulate AI
Morgan Meaker | Wired
“The European Union agreed on terms of the AI Act, a major new set of rules that will govern the building and use of AI and have major implications for Google, OpenAI, and others racing to develop AI systems. …It’s a milestone law that, lawmakers hope, will create a blueprint for the rest of the world.”


DNA Nanobots Can Exponentially Self-Replicate
Matthew Sparkes | New Scientist
“Feng Zhou at New York University and his colleagues created the tiny machines, which are just 100 nanometers across, using four strands of DNA. The nanorobots are held in a solution with these DNA-strand raw materials, which they arrange into copies of themselves one at a time by using their own structure as a scaffold.”


SpaceX Shares Cinematic Footage of Last Month’s Starship Mission
Trevor Mogg | Digital Trends
“SpaceX has shared spectacular new footage of last month’s launch of the most powerful rocket ever to fly. The cinematic content (see video below) shows the first-stage Super Heavy booster and the Starship spacecraft (collectively known as the Starship) blasting skyward in the second integrated test flight of the vehicle, which could one day carry astronauts to the moon, Mars, and beyond.”


The Binance Crackdown Will Be an ‘Unprecedented’ Bonanza for Crypto Surveillance
Andy Greenberg | Wired
“[The crackdown] means that when the company is sentenced in a matter of months, it will be forced to open its past books to regulators, too. What was once a haven for anarchic crypto commerce is about to be transformed into the opposite: perhaps the most fed-friendly business in the cryptocurrency industry, retroactively offering more than a half-decade of users’ transaction records to US regulators and law enforcement.”


Can’t Sleep? Listen to an AI-Generated Bedtime Story From Jimmy Stewart.
Isabella Kwai | The New York Times
“The sleep and meditation app Calm on Tuesday released a new story for premium users told by Mr. Stewart, the beloved actor who starred in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ But the voice in their ear lulling them to sleep is not from Mr. Stewart, who died in 1997. It is a version of his signature drawl generated by artificial intelligence.”


Meta and IBM Launch AI Alliance
Belle Lin | The Wall Street Journal
“The AI Alliance, whose members include Intel, Oracle, Cornell University and the National Science Foundation, said it is pooling resources to stand behind ‘open innovation and open science’ in AI. Its members largely support open source, an approach in which technology is shared free and draws on a history of collaboration among Big Tech, academics and a fervent movement of independent programmers.”

Image Credit: SpaceX

* This article was originally published at Singularity Hub

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