Whereas October’s information was dominated by Fb’s (excuse me, Meta’s) continued issues (you’d suppose they’d get bored with the apology tour), probably the most fascinating information comes from the AI world. I’m fascinated by way of giant language fashions to research the “speech” of whales, and to protect endangered human languages. It’s additionally necessary that machine studying appears to have taken a step (pun considerably supposed) ahead, with robots that train themselves to stroll by trial and error, and with robots that learn to assemble themselves to carry out particular duties.


  • The design studio Artefact has created a recreation to show center college college students about algorithmic bias.
  • Researchers are constructing giant pure language fashions, doubtlessly the dimensions of GPT-3, to decode the “speech” of whales.
  • A gaggle at Berkeley has constructed a robotic that makes use of reinforcement studying to train itself to stroll from scratch–i.e., by trial and error. They used two ranges of simulation earlier than loading the mannequin right into a bodily robotic.
  • AI is reinventing computer systems: AI is driving new sorts of CPUs, new “out of the field” type elements (doorbells, home equipment), decision-making slightly than conventional computation. The “pc” because the computational system we all know could also be on the way in which out.
  • Bizarre creatures: Unimals, or common animals, are robots that may use AI to evolve their physique shapes to allow them to clear up issues extra effectively. Future generations of robotics may not be designed with mounted our bodies, however have the potential to adapt their form as wanted.
  • Would a Nationwide AI Cloud be a subsidy to Google, Fb, et.al., a risk to privateness, or a helpful tutorial analysis device?
  • I’ve been skeptical about digital twins; they appear to be a expertise searching for an software. Nonetheless, Digital Twins (AI fashions of real-world methods, used for predicting their conduct) appear to be a helpful expertise for optimizing the efficiency of enormous batteries.
  • Digital Twins may present a method to predict provide chain issues and work round shortages. They may permit producers to navigate a compromise between just-in-time stocking processes, that are susceptible to shortages, and resilience.
  • Modulate is a startup at the moment testing real-time voice altering software program. They supply life like, human sounding voices that substitute the person’s personal voice. They’re focusing on gaming, however the software program is beneficial in lots of conditions the place harassment is a threat.
  • Voice copying algorithms have been in a position to idiot each folks and voice-enabled units roughly 50% of the time (30% for Azure’s voice recognition service, 62% for Alexa). This can be a new entrance in deep fakery.
  • Fb AI Analysis has created a set of first-person (head-mounted digicam) movies referred to as Ego4D for coaching AI.  They wish to construct AI fashions that see the world “as an individual sees it,” and have the ability to reply questions like “the place did I go away my keys.” In essence, because of this they might want to accumulate actually every thing {that a} subscriber does.  Though Fb denies that they’re eager about industrial functions, there are apparent connections to Ray-Ban Tales and their curiosity in augmented actuality.
  • DeepMind is engaged on a deep studying mannequin that may emulate the output of any algorithm.  That is referred to as Neuro Algorithmic Reasoning; it might be a step in the direction of a “common AI.”
  • Microsoft and NVIDIA announce a 530 billion parameter pure language mannequin named Megatron-Turing NLG 530B.  That’s greater than GPT-3 (175B parameters).
  • Can machine studying be used to doc endangered indigenous languages and help in language reclamation?
  • Beethoven’s tenth symphony accomplished by AI: I’m not satisfied that that is what Beethoven would have written, however that is higher than different (human) makes an attempt to finish the tenth that I’ve heard. It feels like Beethoven, for probably the most half, although it rapidly will get aimless.
  • I’m nonetheless fascinated by strategies to foil face recognition. Right here’s a paper about an AI system that designs minimal, natural-looking make-up that reshapes the components of the face that face recognition algorithms are most delicate to, with out considerably altering an individual’s look.


  • Thoughtworks’ Accountable Tech Playbook is a curated assortment of instruments and strategies to assist organizations grow to be extra conscious of bias and grow to be extra inclusive and clear.


  • Kerla is a Linux-like working system kernel written in Rust that may run most Linux executables. I doubt this may ever be built-in into Linux, but it surely’s yet one more signal that Rust has joined the large time.
  • OSS Port is an open supply device that goals to assist builders perceive giant codebases. It parses a challenge repository on GitHub and produces maps and excursions of the codebase. It at the moment works with JavaScript, Go, Java, and Python, with Rust help promised quickly.
  • Turing Full is a recreation about pc science. That about says it…
  • wasmCloud is a runtime surroundings that can be utilized to construct distributed methods with wasm within the cloud. WebAssembly was designed as a programming-language-neutral digital machine for  browsers, but it surely more and more seems like it can additionally discover a dwelling on the server facet.
  • Adobe Photoshop now runs within the browser, utilizing wasm and Emscripten (the C++ toolchain for wasm).  Along with compiling C++ to wasm, Emscripten additionally interprets POSIX system calls to net API calls and converts OpenGL to WebGL.
  • JQL (JSON Question Language) is a Rust-based language for querying JSON (what else?).


  • Microsoft has launched an effort to coach 250,000 cyber safety staff within the US by 2025. This effort will work with neighborhood schools. They estimate that it’s going to solely make up 50% of the shortfall in safety expertise.
  • Integrating zero belief safety into the software program growth lifecycle is admittedly the one method ahead for corporations who depend on methods which can be safe and obtainable.
  • A provide chain assault in opposition to a Node.js library (UA-Parser-JS) installs crypto miners and trojans for stealing passwords on Linux and Home windows methods. The library’s regular operate is to parse person agent strings, figuring out the browser, working system, and different parameters.
  • A cybercrime group has created penetration testing consultancies whose function is to accumulate purchasers after which collect info and provoke ransomware assaults in opposition to these purchasers.
  • A federated cryptographic system will permit sharing of medical information with out compromising affected person privateness.  That is a vital factor in “predictive, preventive, personalised, and participatory” drugs (aka P4).
  • The European Parliament has taken steps in the direction of banning surveillance based mostly on biometric information, non-public face recognition databases, and predictive policing.
  • Is it potential to reverse-engineer the info on which a mannequin was skilled? An assault in opposition to a faux face generator was in a position to determine the unique faces within the coaching information. This has necessary implications for privateness and safety, because it seems to generalize to other forms of information.
  • Adversarial assaults in opposition to machine studying methods current a special set of challenges for cybersecurity. Fashions aren’t code, and have their very own vulnerabilities and assault vectors. Atlas is a challenge to outline the the machine studying risk panorama. Instruments to harden machine studying fashions in opposition to assault embody IBM’s Adversarial Robustness Toolbox and Microsoft’s Counterfit.
  • Researchers have found you could encode malware into DNA that assaults sequencing software program and offers the attacker management of the pc.  This assault hasn’t (but) been discovered within the wild.
  • Masscan is a subsequent era, extraordinarily quick port scanner.  It’s much like nmap, however a lot quicker; it claims to have the ability to scan all the web in 6 minutes.
  • ethr is an open supply cross-platform community efficiency measurement device developed by Microsoft in Go. Proper now, it seems like the very best community efficiency device on the market.
  • Self-aware methods monitor themselves continually and are able to detecting (and even repairing) assaults.

Infrastructure and Operations

Gadgets and Issues

  • Amazon is engaged on an Web-enabled fridge that may hold monitor of what’s in it and notify you once you’re low on provides.  (And there are already comparable merchandise in the marketplace.) Keep in mind when this was joke?
  • Client-facing AI: On one hand, “good devices” current lots of challenges and alternatives. Alternatively, it wants higher deliverables than “good” doorbells. Sensible listening to aids which can be field-upgradable as a subscription service?
  • A drone has been used to ship a lung for organ transplant. That is solely the second time a drone has been used to hold organs for transplantation.
  • Intel has launched its subsequent era neuromorphic processor, Loihi. Neuromorphic processors are based mostly on the construction of the mind, by which neurons asynchronously ship one another alerts. Whereas they’re nonetheless a analysis challenge, they seem to require a lot much less energy than conventional CPUs.


  • ipleak and dnsleaktest are websites that let you know what info your browser leaks. They’re helpful instruments for those who’re concerned with preserving privateness. The outcomes will be scary.
  • Darkish design is the apply of designing interfaces that manipulate customers into doing issues they may not wish to do, whether or not that’s agreeing to surrender details about their net utilization or clicking to purchase a product. Darkish patterns are already widespread, and changing into more and more prevalent.
  • Black Twitter has grow to be the brand new “Inexperienced Ebook,” a digital place for tips about coping with a racist society. The unique Inexperienced Ebook was a Jim Crow-era publication that informed Black folks the place they may journey safely, which inns would settle for them, and the place they have been prone to grow to be victims of racist violence.

Quantum Computing

  • A gaggle at Duke College has made important progress on error correcting quantum computing. They’ve created a “logical qubit” that may be learn with a 99.4% chance of being appropriate. (Nonetheless properly under what is required for sensible quantum computing.)
  • There are actually two claims of quantum supremacy from Chinese language quantum computing tasks.


  • Would our response to the COVID pandemic been higher if it was approached as an engineering drawback, slightly than scientific analysis?

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