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The Download: YouTubes deadly crafts, and DeepMinds new chatbot

Ann Reardon is just about the last person whose content youd be prepared to be banned from YouTube. A former Australian youth worker and a mother of three, shes been teaching an incredible number of loyal subscribers how exactly to bake since 2011. However the removal email was discussing a video that has been not Reardons typical sugar-paste fare.

Since 2018, Reardon has used her platform to warn viewers about dangerous new craft hacks which are sweeping YouTube, tackling unsafe activities such as for example poaching eggs in a microwave, bleaching strawberries, and utilizing a Coke can and a flame to pop popcorn.

Probably the most serious is fractal wood burning, that involves shooting a high-voltage electrical current across dampened wood to burn a twisting, turning branch-like pattern in its surface. The practice has killed at the very least 33 people since 2016.

At this juncture, Reardon have been swept up in the inconsistent and messy moderation policies which have long plagued the platform and in doing this, exposed a failing in the machine: How do a warning about harmful hacks be deemed dangerous once the hack videos themselves aren’t? Browse the full story.

Amelia Tait

DeepMinds new chatbot uses Google searches plus humans to provide better answers

The news headlines: The secret to creating a good AI-powered chatbot may be to possess humans tell it how exactly to behaveand force the model to back up its claims online, according to a fresh paper by Alphabet-owned AI lab DeepMind.

How it operates: The chatbot, named Sparrow, is trained on DeepMinds large language model Chinchilla. Its made to talk to humans and answer questions, utilizing a live Google search or information to see those answers. Predicated on how useful people find those answers, its then trained utilizing a reinforcement learning algorithm, which learns by learning from your errors to achieve a particular objective. Browse the full story.

Melissa Heikkil

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The must-reads

Ive combed the web to get you todays most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 We still dont know once the pandemic will undoubtedly be over

President Biden could have heralded its end, but theres no denying covid continues to be a significant issue. (The Atlantic $)

+ Japan is finally lifting its restrictions to tourists. (The Guardian)

+ Hong Kong has scrapped its hotel quarantine rules, too. (Bloomberg $)

+ Two inhaled covid vaccines have already been approvedbut we dont know yet how good they’re. (MIT Technology Review)

2 Russias internet regulator is currently a fully-fledged intelligence agency

The countys authorities utilize it to surveil and quash dissent at scale. (NYT $)

+ The horrifying reality of living under Russian occupation in Ukraine. (Economist $)

3 The shameware enabling churches to snoop on the congregations

In a bid to discourage people from watching porn or other sinful activities. (Wired $)

4 Amazon is hiring dangerous trucking contractors

A lot more than 75 folks have been killed in crashes since 2015. (WSJ $)

+ Amazon is desperately attempting to crack India, without much success. (Rest of World)

5 How crypto rose, fell, rose again and fell again

Its had a wild 13 yearsbut whats next could possibly be a lot more unpredictable. (WP $)

+ Coinbase has denied dabbling in proprietary trading. (WSJ $)

+ Crypto data center Compute North has filed for bankruptcy. (Bloomberg $)

+ Its okay to opt from the crypto revolution. (MIT Technology Review)

6 Recycling dead EV batteries may be the next great challenge

Due to the fact reprocessing old cells is tricky, expensive and inefficient. (Knowable Magazine)

+ This startup really wants to pack more energy into electric vehicle batteries. (MIT Technology Review)

7 Its likely to create civilization extinction-proof

We have to lower the existing existential risk first, though. (Vox)

8 Heres how exactly to detect an audio deepfake

They could be super convincing, especially on the phone. (Fast Company $)

+ A RESIDENCE of the Dragon deepfake turns Emilia Clarke into Rhaenyra. (CNET)

9 Your oral microbiome could explain why your teeth will be the way they’re

Consumer tests ensure it is better to track the mouth area healthbut are they worth the amount of money? (Neo.Life)

10 Why tech bros are receiving into fighting techinques

Less silent retreat, more put me in a chokehold. (THE INFO $)

Quote of your day

There will never be a hyperloop system constructed which will transport either goods or passengers or Ill eat a tractor.

Carlo van de Weijer, director of smart mobility at Eindhoven University of Technology in holland, explains his misgivings concerning the promise of hyperloop transportation to the NY Times.

The big story

One mans crusade to get rid of a worldwide scourge with better salt

December 2020

When he was growing up, Venkatesh Mannar and his siblings treated the household saltworks as their playground. After many years in the usa, first studying and working at salt producers which used giant mechanized harvesters, he returned to India in 1972 to perform his business.

After assisting to persuade countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America to iodize their salt to remove iodine deficiency, which in turn causes problems which range from hypothyroidism to learning difficulties, Mannar turned his focus on another element that lots of people dont get enough of: iron. Too little it really is one reason behind anemia, which affects over 1.6 billion people, causing dizziness, poor maternal and infant health, and decreased cognitive function.

Mannar eventually made defeating anemia with iron-enriched salt section of his lifes mission. Adding iron to salt that’s already iodized has ended up being a genuine technical challenge, and getting manufacturers and the general public to adopt it really is another problem entirely. If the effort succeeds, Mannar and his backers desire to add yet more essential minerals, turning humble table salt into perhaps one of the most potent public health tools the planet has at its disposal. Browse the full story.

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