The Obtain: music-making AI, and Kasparov’s defeat

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That is in the present day’s version of The Download, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a each day dose of what’s happening on the earth of know-how.

Google’s new AI can hear a snippet of tune—after which carry on taking part in

A brand new AI system can create natural-sounding speech and music after being prompted with a couple of seconds of audio.

AudioLM, developed by Google researchers, generates audio that matches the type of the immediate, together with complicated appears like piano music, or folks talking, in a manner that’s virtually indistinguishable from the unique recording. Crucially, it doesn’t require labor-intensive transcription or labeling not like most different AI-generated audio. Discover out extra, and hearken to the sounds it created, right here.

—Tammy Xu

I Was There When: AI mastered chess

I Was There When is an oral historical past challenge that’s a part of our award-winning In Machines We Belief podcast. It options tales of how breakthroughs and watershed moments in synthetic intelligence and computing occurred, as instructed by the individuals who witnessed them. 

Within the newest episode we meet one of many world’s best chess gamers, Garry Kasparov, and listen to why his loss towards IBM’s Deep Blue pc 25 years in the past nonetheless issues in the present day. Take heed to it on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you often go for podcasts. 

Is a covid and flu “twindemic” coming?

For those who’re feeling a bit below the climate, relaxation assured, you’re not alone. For these of us within the Northern Hemisphere, it’s simply that point of 12 months. That’s partly why well being authorities on each side of the Atlantic are urging folks to get vaccinated—towards each the flu and covid-19. 

In current months, we’ve heard warnings of a flu and covid “twindemic” on the horizon. Ought to we be fearful? Let our senior biomedicine reporter Jessica Hamzelou stroll you thru the dangers. 

Jess’s story is from The Checkup, her new weekly e-newsletter supplying you with the within observe on all issues well being and tech-related. Sign up to obtain it in your inbox each Thursday.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to seek out you in the present day’s most enjoyable/vital/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 That is what life within the metaverse is like
It may be fairly enjoyable—in case you can afford it. (NYT $)
+ However Meta staff themselves aren’t satisfied. (The Verge)

2 A winter covid wave seems seemingly 
And this time, we’re doing next-to-nothing to cease it. (Ars Technica)
Lengthy covid continues to be disabling tens of millions of Individuals. (Axios)
How the Chinese language physician who sounded the alarm over covid spent his ultimate days. (NYT $)

3 Elon Musk has three weeks to purchase Twitter
If he doesn’t undergo with it in that timeframe, it’s again to the courtroom. (Quartz)
What occurs now? (The Guardian)
Misplaced observe of all of the twists and turns? Right here’s a useful timeline. (FT $)
Musk says he’ll flip Twitter right into a ‘tremendous app’. Right here’s how these apps work. (BBC)

4 Self-driving vehicles nonetheless appear to be on the street to nowhere 🚗
Even after $100 billion has been poured into their improvement. (Bloomberg $)
Uber continues to be betting it might probably make robotaxis work. (The Verge)
The massive new thought for making self-driving vehicles that may go anyplace. (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

5 Google has unveiled two text-to-video AI techniques
The movies they produce are spectacular, and vaguely unsettling. (The Verge)
That is what the following era of AI seems like. (MIT Know-how Evaluation) 

6 An influencer is suing TikTok over rip-off advertisements that use her movies
This form of fraudulent advertising is rife on-line—and there’s a rising political consensus in favor of a crackdown. (WP $)

7 Crypto change Binance says hackers stole $100 million
That is yet one more instance of a ‘bridge’ assault between two blockchains. (WSJ $)
These commonplace hacks reveal how safety is an afterthought within the crypto business. (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

8 Boston Dynamics has pledged to not weaponize its robots
Nice, however the subsequent query is: how do they cease prospects from doing it? (Axios)

9 This is the reason you possibly can’t tickle your self 
Your mind is aware of what’s coming. (Wired $)

10 It’s cool to hate on sweet corn on-line
For those who stay within the US, it’s merely not possible to keep away from at the moment of 12 months. (The Atlantic $)

Quote of the day

“I despatched it to the entire group. We did that—take a look at that.”

—Elena Adams, the lead engineer for NASA’s asteroid-smashing DART spacecraft, tells the New Yorker what she did with the telescope photographs of the aftermath of the collision final week. 

The massive story

India’s water disaster is already right here. Local weather change will compound it.

Extreme droughts have drained rivers, reservoirs, and aquifers throughout huge components of India in recent times, pushing the nation’s leaky, polluted water techniques to the brink.

Greater than 600 million Indians face acute water shortages. Seventy p.c of the nation’s water provide is contaminated, inflicting an estimated 200,000 deaths a 12 months, and a few 21 cities may run out of groundwater as early as subsequent 12 months.

Local weather change will certainly make the issue worse. It’s unsure what function greater temperatures have performed in current droughts, because the local weather fashions have primarily predicted more and more intense Indian monsoons. However the longer-term forecast is that the extremes will develop into extra excessive, threatening extra frequent flooding and longer droughts. Learn the complete story.

—James Temple

We will nonetheless have good issues

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

+ This list of the world’s 50 best bars is assured to be hotly contested. Just one technique to verify, I suppose… I’d higher pack my baggage! 
+ The moustache is formally again in style. 
+ Don’t even take into consideration visiting someplace new with out doing a vibe check on Google Maps.
+ Right here’s how lengthy it takes to color an infinite (and significantly spectacular) mural.
+ Stephen King—of comedy.

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