The Obtain: combating covid, and the challenges of governing AI


That is as we speak’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a day by day dose of what’s happening on the earth of expertise.

What to find out about this autumn’s covid vaccines

Many individuals have began testing optimistic for covid just lately. Hospitalizations for the illness within the US rose almost 16% throughout the third week of August, and even Jill Biden examined optimistic this week.

Knowledge recommend we’re in the beginning of a fall wave. It’s been a 12 months since a covid booster was launched, and whereas the most recent wave isn’t more likely to be as unhealthy because the tsunami we skilled in 2021-2022, there’s plenty of uncertainty about what the following few months appear like. 

So, the place are the up to date photographs to assist defend us? And the way do they stack up in opposition to the difficult new variants? Learn the complete story.

—Cassandra Willyard

This story first appeared in The Checkup, MIT Know-how Evaluation’s weekly biotech e-newsletter. Enroll to obtain it in your inbox each Thursday.

My colleague Jessica Hamzelou just lately wrote about how covid hasn’t gone away. Test it out right here.

How ought to we regulate AI?

Deciding methods to regulate AI is likely one of the greatest challenges dealing with politicians and consultants alike. On September 12 we’re holding the second MIT Know-how Evaluation Roundtable: a 30-minute dialog with our writers and editors—and this one’s all about governing AI.

Melissa Heikkilä, our senior reporter for AI, will probably be chatting with information editor Charlotte Jee about what ought to be performed to maintain AI corporations in line. Roundtables are free for MIT Know-how Evaluation subscribers, so should you’re not already, you may change into one as we speak from simply $80 a 12 months.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you as we speak’s most enjoyable/vital/scary/fascinating tales about expertise.

1 Elon Musk lower off Starlink web to disrupt Ukrainian troops 
He scuppered a sneak assault Ukraine had deliberate on Russia’s naval fleet. (CNN
+ The information underscores the disproportionate energy that SpaceX wields. (WP $)
+ Musk’s famously impulsive choices usually come again to chunk him. (WSJ $)
+ Starlink alerts might be reverse-engineered to work like GPS. (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

2 Huawei has unveiled one other controversial smartphone
Officers are baffled how China seems to have sidestepped US chip sanctions. (Bloomberg $)
+ The brand new handset may very well be critically unhealthy information for Apple. (WSJ $)

3 US and UK authorities have sanctioned ransomware gang members
The infamous Trickbot group has evaded justice for years. (Wired $)

4 There aren’t any medicine to reliably deal with anorexia
Regardless of near 50 years of analysis, researchers have had little success. (The Atlantic $)

5 One other FTX govt has pleaded responsible
Ryan Salame made political contributions to the Republican get together beneath the guise of loans. (CoinDesk)
+ If he’s discovered responsible, he faces as much as 10 years in jail. (NYT $)

6 Microsoft is engaged on the world’s largest cancer-detecting AI mannequin
The system examines photographs of tissues and flags anomalies to human medical doctors. (CNBC)
+ A brand new blood take a look at might diagnose illnesses inside 10 minutes. (FT $)
+ Docs utilizing AI catch breast most cancers extra usually than both does alone. (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

7 ChatGPT satisfied the Pentagon to spend money on AI-powered weapons
That’s in keeping with former VR CEO Palmer Luckey, who now builds navy drones.  (Motherboard)
+ Contained in the messy ethics of creating conflict with machines. (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

8 Service employees have had sufficient of your TikTok gimmicks
They’re unwilling contributors in 1000’s of tedious meals skits. (WSJ $)

9 Australia is ditching handwritten signatures
Digital signatures and video hyperlink witnessing will exchange the necessity to signal on the dotted line in particular person. (The Guardian)

10 You most likely don’t have to improve your iPhone 📱
However Apple certain is sweet at convincing you that you need to. (Vox)

Quote of the day

“Individuals are beginning to go away a hint. They’re forgetting the core ideas of the burn.”

—Jeffrey Longoria, who attended this 12 months’s mud-stricken Burning Man competition, laments how guests are forgetting to clear up after themselves, Insider experiences.

The massive story

VR is pretty much as good as psychedelics at serving to individuals attain transcendence

August 2022

After a near-death expertise, artist and physicist David Glowacki tried to recapture the hallucinatory transcendence he felt. A VR expertise known as Isness-D is his newest effort.

On 4 key indicators utilized in research of psychedelics, this system confirmed the identical impact as a medium dose of LSD or psilocybin (the principle psychoactive element of “magic” mushrooms).

Meaning it might doubtlessly be used to alleviate the signs of psychological well being situations, together with obsessive-compulsive dysfunction, dependancy, post-traumatic stress dysfunction, and melancholy. Learn the complete story.

—Hana Kiros

We will nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction in these bizarre occasions. (Acquired any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ These drone photographs of marine creatures are fairly cool.
+ If monitoring murders in late medieval London, York, or Oxford is your factor, boy, do I’ve some maps for you.
+ These no-bake peanut butter bars sound like the right weekend deal with.
+ Ethan Lee is doing essentially the most: by porting our favourite indie PC video games to Linux.
+ Alien is filled with meticulously-designed semiotic requirements. Verify them out.


Leave a comment