This week’s great tech stories from around the web (until May 14)


IBM’s Goal: A 4,000 Qubit Processor by 2025
Edd Ghent | IEEE spectrum
“The first iteration of [IBM’s 2020] road map awarded the [1,121-qubit] Condor processor slated for release in 2023, but now the company has revealed plans for a 1,386-qubit processor called Flamingo, which will be released in 2024, and for a 4,158-qubit device called Kookaburra, which will debut in 2024. 2025.”


DeepMind’s new AI can perform over 600 tasks, from playing games to controlling robots
Kyle Wiggers | TechCrunch
“Gato is what DeepMind describes as a general purpose system, a system that can be learned to perform many different types of tasks. DeepMind researchers trained Gato to complete 604, to be precise, including captioning images, engaging in dialogue, stacking blocks with a real robotic arm, and playing Atari games.”


These Nanobots can swim around a wound and kill bacteria
Max G. Levy | wired
The team loaded silica nanobots with experimental antibiotics — including one derived from wasp venom — to treat infected wounds on mice. The nanobots, dropped on one end of an infected wound, traveled through the skin to cover the entire area. – the first report of nanobots killing bacteria in animals.”


Google says its new image search functions are like ‘Ctrl+F for the world around you’
Emma Roth | The edge
“In explaining the function, Raghavan used the example of looking for a nut-free chocolate bar in a supermarket. You can scan an entire shelf of chocolate bars and then see overlays that provide “useful insights,” such as reviews about each item. We think Raghavan’s description of the feature sums it up nicely: “It’s like having a supercharged Ctrl+F on the world around you.”i


Clearview AI settles lawsuit and agrees to restrict facial recognition database sales
Ryan Mac and Kashmir Hill | The New York Times
“Under the settlement, which has been filed in an Illinois court, Clearview will not sell its database of it claims more than 20 billion facial images to most individuals and businesses in the country. But the company can still largely sell that database to federal and state agencies.


ESPN+ Introduces ‘McEnroe vs. McEnroe’, the first-ever tennis match between a real person and their virtual avatar
Lauren Forristal | TechCrunch
“In the match, the real McEnroe will face his ultimate opponent – ​​his younger self.…The Unit 9 team spent a day with John bringing the vision to life through full-body scanning, motion capture and Unreal Engine MetaHuman technology (a cloud-based app that creates photo-realistic digital people). The avatar game system will be projected onto a hologram particle screen and will simulate gameplay with a system of ball throwers and ball return robots.”


Paradise at the Crypto Arcade: Inside the Web3 Revolution
Gilad Edelman | wired
“…for a core of true believers, Web3 stands out from the ostentatious excesses and brutal misconduct of the flashing neon crypto casino. If cryptocurrency was originally about decentralizing money, Web3 is about decentralization…everything. Its mission is almost painfully idealistic: to liberate humanity not only from the domination of Big Tech, but also from exploitative capitalism itself – and this purely through code.”


The man who controls computers with his mind
Ferris Jabr | New York Times Magazine
“16 years ago Dennis DeGray was paralyzed in an accident. Now implants in his brain give him some semblance of control. … Only a few dozen people on the planet have neural interfaces embedded in their cortical tissue as part of long-term clinical research. DeGray is now one of the most experienced and dedicated among them. Since that first trial, he has spent more than 1,800 hours in nearly 400 training sessions mastering various forms of technology with his mind.”


How Starlink scrambled to keep Ukraine online
Tom Simonite | wired
“The rapid, widespread rollout of Starlink in Ukraine was also an unplanned experiment in the potential geopolitical power of next-generation satellite Internet services. If SpaceX or similar providers are willing, high-speed internet from the sky could be a powerful way to provide connectivity to people or populations suffering the rigors of war or authoritarian governments.”


Black hole image reveals the beast at the heart of the Milky Way
Jonathan O’Callaghan | Quanta
“The image immediately reveals new information about the Milky Way monster. “The main things we discovered about Sag A* were: Is the black hole spinning? Yes, it is,” said Sara Issaoun, an astrophysicist and member of the EHT team. “And what is the orientation of the black hole relative to us? Now we’re pretty sure it’s more or less with the face to us,” with the poles up and down, as if viewing it from a spot high above the equator.

The first image of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. Image Credit: EHT Collaboration


The threats of AI to jobs and human happiness are real
Eliza Strickland | IEEE spectrum
“But the short-term chaos will give way to long-term prosperity, says AI expert Kai-Fu Lee. †IEEE spectrum talked to Lee about [his book AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future], focusing on the last few chapters dealing with the major problems of job relocation, the need for new economic models, and the search for meaning and happiness in an age of abundance. Lee argues that technologists should seriously think about such social effects, rather than just thinking about the technology.”


San Francisco Police Are Using Driverless Cars As Mobile Surveillance Cameras
Aaron Gordon | Motherboard
“While the companies themselves, such as Alphabet’s Waymo and General Motors’ Cruise, tout the potential transportation benefits their services may one day provide, they’re not publishing another use case, one far less hypothetical: mobile surveillance cameras for police forces. … “Autonomous vehicles continuously record their environment and have the potential to assist with investigative clues,” says a San Francisco Police Department training paper obtained by Motherboard through a public records request. “Studies have done this several times.”i

Image Credit: Tom Caillarec/Unsplash

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