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


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

What to find out about this autumn’s covid vaccines

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

Knowledge counsel we’re at first of a fall wave. It’s been a 12 months since a covid booster was launched, and whereas the newest wave isn’t more likely to be as dangerous because the tsunami we skilled in 2021-2022, there’s lots of uncertainty about what the following few months appear like. 

So, the place are the up to date pictures 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 Expertise Evaluate’s weekly biotech publication. 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 the right way to regulate AI is among the largest challenges dealing with politicians and specialists alike. On September 12 we’re holding the second MIT Expertise Evaluate 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, shall be chatting with information editor Charlotte Jee about what ought to be achieved to maintain AI corporations in line. Roundtables are free for MIT Expertise Evaluate subscribers, so when you’re not already, you may turn into one as we speak from simply $80 a 12 months.

The must-reads

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

1 Elon Musk reduce 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 selections usually come again to chew him. (WSJ $)
+ Starlink indicators will be reverse-engineered to work like GPS. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

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 could possibly be severely dangerous 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 below 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 check may diagnose ailments inside 10 minutes. (FT $)
+ Docs utilizing AI catch breast most cancers extra usually than both does alone. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

7 ChatGPT satisfied the Pentagon to put money into AI-powered weapons
That’s based on former VR CEO Palmer Luckey, who now builds navy drones.  (Motherboard)
+ Contained in the messy ethics of constructing conflict with machines. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

8 Service employees have had sufficient of your TikTok gimmicks
They’re unwilling contributors in hundreds 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 individual. (The Guardian)

10 You in all probability don’t have to improve your iPhone 📱
However Apple positive is sweet at convincing you that you must. (Vox)

Quote of the day

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

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

The massive story

VR is nearly 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 primary psychoactive element of “magic” mushrooms).

Meaning it may probably be used to alleviate the signs of psychological well being circumstances, together with obsessive-compulsive dysfunction, habit, post-traumatic stress dysfunction, and despair. Learn the complete story.

—Hana Kiros

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

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

+ These drone pictures 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 proper weekend deal with.
+ Ethan Lee is doing probably the most: by porting our favourite indie PC video games to Linux.
+ Alien is filled with meticulously-designed semiotic requirements. Examine them out.



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