This is today’s version download, Our weekday newsletter provides daily updates on what’s happening in the world of technology.
what happened: Meta has launched an artificial intelligence system that generates short videos based on text prompts. Make-A-Video lets you enter a string of words, such as “a dog in a superhero costume and a red cape flying in the sky”, and it generates a 5-second clip that’s fairly accurate, but A psychedelic old home video with beauty.
How this works: Meta combines data from three open source image and video datasets to train its models. Standard text image datasets that label still images help AI understand the names and appearance of objects. A video database helped it understand how these objects should move around the world.
Why it matters: Although the effect is rather crude, the system provides an initial glimpse into what’s next for generative AI, the next obvious step for text-to-image AI systems that have generated huge excitement this year. But it also raises some major ethical questions. Read the full article.
China is betting on another gas engine alternative: methanol cars
As the Chinese government strives to meet ambitious carbon emissions targets, the country has become a global leader in the adoption of electric vehicles. But that’s not the only greener car option it’s going after.
While methanol fuel has been discussed and piloted in China for a decade, its adoption has been lagging for a long time. Now the government is working to speed up the adoption of methanol vehicles, and other countries last year to set methanol vehicle standards and support related industry efforts, reaffirming its commitment to alternative fuels.
This matters because, like electric vehicles, the technology can be both a commercial success and a political driver of China’s climate technology ambitions. Read the full article.
– Yang Zeyi
Can we find a way to live past 100? Millionaires are betting on it.
Scientists and biotech companies have been connecting with ultra-wealthy investors to inform longevity science and anti-aging strategies at a grand conference in Switzerland this week. They were joined by my colleague, our senior biomedical reporter Jess Hamzelou, and learned about some of the most cutting-edge work in the field. Learn about her findings.
Jess’ story comes from The Checkup, her new weekly newsletter that gives you the inside scoop on all things health and tech-related. register Get it in your inbox every Thursday.
I combed the internet to find you the funniest/most important/scariest/most fascinating tech stories of the day.
1 Hurricane Ian has left swathes of Florida underwater
As it headed to South Carolina, Biden warned it could become the deadliest in Florida history. (protector)
+ Coral reefs are an effective natural defense against hurricanes. (sound)
+ Storms are a powerful combination of powerful and unpredictable. (atlantic organization $)
+ It could join the list of storms as severe as Hurricane Katrina. (New Yorker $)
2 Iran is stepping up internet blackouts and censorship
So far, it has not achieved the results the government wants. (slate $)
+ A niche tech publisher is eyeing surveillance machines in China. (atlantic organization $)
3 Reasons That Make Plastic So Useful Also Make It A Recycling Nightmare
A new decomposition method might help. (economist $)
+ A French company is using enzymes to recycle one of the most common single-use plastics. (MIT Technology Review)
4 Why Russian cyberwarfare never really materialized
The attacks it did land on did not have the expected consequences. (foot $)
+ This is how the war in Ukraine ended. (New Yorker $)
+ Russian man reportedly pretended to have HIV to avoid conscription. (Rest of the world)
5 Jack Dorsey is trying to get Elon Musk a seat on Twitter’s board
But other members felt the appointment was too risky. (NBC Finance Channel)
+ The former CEO also tried to get Musk and CEO Parag Agrawal to gain a foothold. (Wall Street Journal $)
+ Musk wants to search for “Trump” when looking for bot data. (Bloomberg $)
+ Musk is also considering appointing Oprah to Twitter’s board. (information $)
Quote of the day
“I think when you can’t get an allocation in a seed round, you know who your true friends are “
— Angel investor Maia Bittner jokingly tweeting about the pitfalls of investing in a friend’s startup, Bloomberg Report.
Meet the wannabe child influencer who fought to be a star
On YouTube, kids can become millionaires — seemingly overnight, without trying. The top earner is 8-year-old Ryan Kaji, who made $22 million in 2018 from playing with toys on his channel Ryan ToysReview (now Ryan’s World). There are now thousands of equally famous children’s YouTubers: babies are videotaped from the moment they’re born, 10-year-olds show off video game tricks, teenage girls give acne advice in their bedrooms.
Why do so many kids want to be YouTubers? Are they only after fame, or is there more: creativity, community, and future careers? How can their parents help them? What happens if it doesn’t work out after spending thousands of dollars or dropping out? Read the full article.
– Amelia Tate
we can still have good things
+ Francis Ford Coppola’s fantastic chiller Bram Stoker’s Dracula is returning to theaters this Halloween.Enjoy gorgeous 4K trailers here.
+ these scallop Can’t get enough bright light.
+ Cher’s spread Family As luxurious as you would expect.
+ no, it’s not a joke, they really turned the Matrix into a Dance performance.
+ Controversial horns: these really are The best songs of the 90’s?