Harmful AI, and a deadlier monkeypox variant

+ What does GPT-3 “know” about me? Large language models are trained on troves of personal data hoovered from the internet. But how much does it actually know about us? Read the full story.

+ Google’s new AI can hear a snippet of a song—and then keep on playing. The technique, called AudioLM, generates naturalistic sounds without the need for human annotation. Read the full story.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 A more dangerous monkeypox variant could go global
Scientists worry the deadlier Clade I variant could spread beyond the Democratic Republic of Congo. (New Scientist $)
+ More than 26,000 people in the US contracted monkeypox this year. (WP $)

2 Women are smuggling abortion pills into the US from Mexico
They’re risking jail time and significant fines to help terminate pregnancies in post-Roe states. (New Yorker $)
+ Where to get abortion pills and how to use them. (MIT Technology Review)

3 Why mental health discourse on social media is so unbearable
While internet diagnosis is helpful for some, others have leaned too far into self-pathologizing. (Vox)

4 Iranian celebrities are galvanizing protestors online
Warnings from the country’s security officials have fallen on deaf ears. (FT $)

5 Bitcoin mining has soared to record levels
You can thank The Merge. (Bloomberg $)
+ Crypto mining is particularly hot in Africa right now. (CoinDesk)
+ A couple mistakenly refunded $10.5 million by are in court. (The Guardian)

6 WhatsApp spam is out of control in India
Users are left constantly blocking a stream of spam. (Rest of World)
+ The people using humor to troll their spam texts. (MIT Technology Review)

7 Black holes could help explain how the universe began
If a new quantum gravity theory pays dividends, that is. (NYT $)
+ This is the first image of the black hole at the center of our galaxy. (MIT Technology Review)

8 We should pay attention to flooding myths 
Geo-legends teach us how our ancestors dealt with the climate. (The Atlantic $)
+ Pakistan’s flood survivors are trying to rebuild. (New Yorker $)
+ Deadly spores could spread to new areas via wildfire smoke. (Wired $)

9 The surprisingly controversial history of the microprocessor
Inventor Ted Hoff didn’t patent the invention—a decision he came to regret. (IEEE Spectrum)

10 Jellyfish can be tasty
There are a lot of them, too. But good luck convincing people to eat them. (Hakai Magazine)
+ A battery made from seaweed could pave the way to greener energy storage. (New Scientist $)

Quote of the day

“There is a person whose name is a scent fighting a company whose name reminds one of birds—Dickens would just love that.”

—Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University, tells the Wall Street Journal why literary fans are so invested in Elon Musk and Twitter’s legal scuffle.

The big story

News Credit

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