This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through February 17)


OpenAI Teases an Amazing New Generative Video Model Called Sora
Will Douglas Heaven | MIT Technology Review
“OpenAI has built a striking new generative video model called Sora that can take a short text description and turn it into a detailed, high-definition film clip up to a minute long. …The sample videos from OpenAI’s Sora are high-definition and full of detail. OpenAI also says it can generate videos up to a minute long. One video of a Tokyo street scene shows that Sora has learned how objects fit together in 3D: the camera swoops into the scene to follow a couple as they walk past a row of shops.”


Google’s Flagship AI Model Gets a Mighty Fast Upgrade
Will Knight | Wired
“Google says Gemini Pro 1.5 can ingest and make sense of an hour of video, 11 hours of audio, 700,000 words, or 30,000 lines of code at once—several times more than other AI models, including OpenAI’s GPT-4, which powers ChatGPT. …Gemini Pro 1.5 is also more capable—at least for its size—as measured by the model’s score on several popular benchmarks. The new model exploits a technique previously invented by Google researchers to squeeze out more performance without requiring more computing power.”


Surgery in Space: Tiny Remotely Operated Robot Completes First Simulated Procedure at the Space Station
Taylor Nicioli and Kristin Fisher | CNN
“The robot, known as spaceMIRA—which stands for Miniaturized In Vivo Robotic Assistant—performed several operations on simulated tissue at the orbiting laboratory while remotely operated by surgeons from approximately 250 miles (400 kilometers) below in Lincoln, Nebraska. The milestone is a step forward in developing technology that could have implications not just for successful long-term human space travel, where surgical emergencies could happen, but also for establishing access to medical care in remote areas on Earth.”


Our Unbiased Take on Mark Zuckerberg’s Biased Apple Vision Pro Review
Kyle Orland | Ars Technica
“Zuckerberg’s Instagram-posted thoughts on the Vision Pro can’t be considered an impartial take on the device’s pros and cons. Still, Zuckerberg’s short review included its fair share of fair points, alongside some careful turns of phrase that obscure the Quest’s relative deficiencies. To figure out which is which, we thought we’d consider each of the points made by Zuckerberg in his review. In doing so, we get a good viewpoint on the very different angles from which Meta and Apple are approaching mixed-reality headset design.”


Things Get Strange When AI Starts Training Itself
Matteo Wong | The Atlantic
“Over the past few months, Google DeepMind, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Apple, OpenAI, and various academic labs have all published research that uses an AI model to improve another AI model, or even itself, in many cases leading to notable improvements. Numerous tech executives have heralded this approach as the technology’s future.”


Single-Dose Gene Therapy May Stop Deadly Brain Disorders in Their Tracks
Paul McClure | New Atlas
“Researchers have developed a single-dose genetic therapy that can clear protein blockages that cause motor neurone disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and frontotemporal dementia, two incurable neurodegenerative diseases that eventually lead to death. …The researchers found that, in mice, a single dose of CTx1000 targeted only the ‘bad’ [version of the protein] TDP-43, leaving the healthy version of it alone. Not only was it safe, it was effective even when symptoms were present at the time of treatment.”


Spike Jonze’s Her Holds Up a Decade Later
Sheon Han | The Verge
“Spike Jonze’s sci-fi love story is still a better depiction of AI than many of its contemporaries. …Upon rewatching it, I noticed that this pre-AlphaGo film holds up beautifully and still offers a wealth of insight. It also doesn’t shy away from the murky and inevitably complicated feelings we’ll have toward AI, and Jonze first expressed those over a decade ago.”


OpenAI Wants to Eat Google Search’s Lunch
Maxwell Zeff | Gizmodo
“OpenAI is reportedly developing a search app that would directly compete with Google Search, according to The Information on Wednesday. The AI search engine could be a new feature for ChatGPT, or a potentially separate app altogether. Microsoft Bing would allegedly power the service from Sam Altman, which could be the most serious threat Google Search has ever faced.”


Here’s What a Solar Eclipse Looks Like on Mars
Isaac Schultz | Gizmodo
“Typically, the Perseverance rover is looking down, scouring the Martian terrain for rocks that may reveal aspects of the planet’s ancient past. But over the last several weeks, the intrepid robot looked up and caught two remarkable views: solar eclipses on the Red Planet, as the moon Phobos and Deimos passed in front of the sun.”

Image Credit: Neeqolah Creative Works / Unsplash

* This article was originally published at Singularity Hub

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