The Obtain: the human toll of moral AI, and lab-grown meat


That is at present’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a every day dose of what’s happening on the planet of expertise.

Accountable AI has a burnout downside

Margaret Mitchell had been working at Google for 2 years earlier than she realized she wanted a break. Solely after she spoke with a therapist did she perceive the issue: she was burnt out. She ended up taking medical depart due to stress.

Mitchell, who now works as an AI researcher and chief ethics scientist on the AI startup Hugging Face, is much from alone in her expertise. Burnout is turning into more and more widespread in responsible-AI groups, who’re unlikely to obtain the identical ranges of help as colleagues who concentrate on content material moderation, though the work could be simply as psychologically draining.

All of the practitioners MIT Expertise Overview interviewed spoke enthusiastically about their work: it’s fueled by ardour, a way of urgency, and the satisfaction of constructing options for actual issues. However that sense of mission could be overwhelming with out the best help. Learn the complete story.

—Melissa Heikkilä

Will lab-grown meat attain our plates?

Would you eat lab-grown meat? Loads of firms have got down to generate meat merchandise from muscle and fats cells cultured in vats—round 80 on the final rely. The promise is large: it might enable us to chop again on intensive animal farming, which could be brutal and inhumane, and to sidestep animal agriculture’s damaging results on the surroundings.

However whether or not these firms can ship on that promise is one other matter totally. And even when firms reach bringing an inexpensive cultured-meat product to market, would anybody eat it? Learn the complete story.

—Jessica Hamzelou

This story is from The Checkup, Jessica’s new weekly e-newsletter protecting the ins and outs of the biotech and well being sectors. Enroll to obtain it in your inbox each Thursday.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you at present’s most enjoyable/necessary/scary/fascinating tales about expertise.

1 Elon Musk has purchased Twitter
What occurs subsequent is anybody’s guess. (FT $)
+ Musk wasted no time: quite a lot of executives are set to depart. (NYT $)
+ His first intuition was to reassure advertisers. (Selection $)
+ The European Union has reminded Musk to play by its guidelines. (Bloomberg $)
+ Right here’s the right way to delete your Twitter account. (WP $)

2 Everyone seems to be ailing proper now
Flu and different bugs are again with a vengeance now we’re mixing once more. (Vox)
+ In the event you’re one of many fortunate ones, right here’s the right way to keep wholesome. (The Atlantic $)

3 Ethereum is tough to beat
The botched launch of a challenger blockchain demonstrates why. (Wired $) 
+ The Merge has birthed a brand new class of blockchain members. (Bloomberg $)
+ Why Ethereum’s swap to proof of stake issues. (MIT Expertise Overview

4 Massive Tech is feeling weak
Their quarterly earnings are down, and executives are nervous. (WP $)
+ Even the biggest firms are not resistant to the financial downturn. (NYT $)

5 How the detention of a Huawei government worsened US-China relations
The prisoner alternate additionally implicated Canada. (WSJ $)
+ Additional curbs on exports to China might be on their means. (WP $)

6 The way forward for on-line speech might depend upon this European legislation
And pressure them to overtake their moderation programs within the course of. (Slate $)

7 Hydroelectricity has a picture downside
It’s environment friendly and inexperienced, so why accomplish that few international locations need to put money into it? (IEEE Spectrum
+ World leaders are set to assemble subsequent week for COP27. (Economist $)
+ Droughts are chopping into California’s hydropower. (MIT Expertise Overview)

8 Right here’s what a future past animal testing might appear to be
A proposed US invoice might push us in direction of computer-based testing as an alternative. (Neo.Life

9 Right here’s how Iranian authorities are controlling protestors’ telephones
The SIAM system breaks encryption and slows connections. (The Intercept)

10 Anime and manga followers are rising up in opposition to DALL-E
Illustrators aren’t thrilled about text-to-image fashions, both. (Remainder of World)
+ It’s getting tougher to distinguish between AI artwork and actual pictures. (FT $)
+ This artist is dominating AI-generated artwork. And he’s not completely happy about it. (MIT Expertise Overview)

Quote of the day

“The metaverse is ‘dwelling inside a pc.’ The very last thing I need to do once I get dwelling from work throughout an extended day is reside inside a pc.”

—Evan Spiegel, who based Snapchat, has zero time for the metaverse, experiences Bloomberg.

The massive story

Growing older clocks purpose to foretell how lengthy you’ll reside

April 2022

Age is rather more than the variety of birthdays you’ve clocked. Stress, sleep, and weight loss program all affect how our organs deal with the damage and tear of on a regular basis life. Components like these would possibly make you age sooner or slower than individuals born on the identical day. Meaning your organic age might be fairly totally different out of your chronological age—the variety of years you’ve been alive.

Your organic age is probably going a greater reflection of your bodily well being and even your individual mortality than your chronological age. However calculating it isn’t practically as simple. Scientists have spent the final decade creating instruments known as getting old clocks that assess markers in your physique to disclose your organic age.

The massive concept behind getting old clocks is that they’ll basically point out how a lot your organs have degraded, and thus predict what number of wholesome years you could have left. Among the many lots of of getting old clocks developed within the final decade, although, accuracy varies broadly. And researchers are nonetheless grappling with an important query: What does it imply to be biologically younger? Learn the complete story.

—Jessica Hamzelou

We will 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.)

+ Brandi Carlile belting out A Case of You is simply superb. What a voice!
+ Are you in contact along with your shadow self?
+ Sorry wedding ceremony planners—donut partitions are canceled.
+ There’s so much happening within the new Ultimate Fantasy XVI trailer.
+ Simply assume every thing’s cake any more, okay?


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