Junk websites filled with AI-generated text are pulling in money from programmatic ads

Google’s programmatic ad product, called Google Ads, is the largest exchange and made $168 billion in advertising revenue last year. The company has come under criticism for serving ads on content farms in the past, even though its own policies prohibit sites from placing Google-served ads on pages with “spammy automatically generated content.” Around a […]

“Stunning”—Midjourney update wows AI artists with camera-like feature

Enlarge / Midjourney 5.2 allows “zooming out” on synthesized images. The original synthetic image is shown in the red dotted box here. Midjourney reader comments 23 with On Thursday, Midjourney unveiled version 5.2 of its AI-powered image synthesis model, which includes a new “zoom out” feature that allows maintaining a central synthesized image while automatically […]

The Download: AI training AI, and the future of robotaxis

In some San Francisco neighborhoods, cars with no driver behind the wheel have become a common sight. Many of the city’s ghostly driverless cars are commercial robotaxis, directly competing with taxis and ride-hailing companies.  I spent the past year covering robotaxis for the San Francisco Examiner and have taken nearly a dozen rides in Cruise […]

The wild race to improve synthetic embryos

For Zernicka-Goetz’s part, she later said on Twitter that her lab’s creations “are not real embryos.” “In response to recent media on my group’s research, I would like to clarify that our goal was not to make headlines but to share our research with the community. We cannot control how the news reports our discoveries, […]

The chip patterning machines that will shape computing’s next act

Lathrop had spent years looking through microscopes to make something small look bigger. As he puzzled over how to miniaturize transistors, he and Nall wondered whether microscope optics turned upside down could let something big—a pattern for a transistor—be miniaturized. To find out, they covered a piece of germanium material with a type of chemical called […]

Robotaxis are here. It’s time to decide what to do about them

I spent the past year covering robotaxis for the San Francisco Examiner and have taken nearly a dozen rides in Cruise driverless cars over the past few months. During my reporting, I’ve been struck by the lack of urgency in the public discourse about robotaxis. I’ve come to believe that most people, including many powerful […]

Griffin on Tech: Gabrielle’s telecoms lessons and the limits of DIY innovation

When Cyclone Gabrielle tore through the North Island in February there was intense scrutiny of the telecoms providers as they scrambled to reconnect cell towers and fibre cables. Without communications, those in affected areas couldn’t contact emergency services, friends and family. Retailers in Gisborne couldn’t process Eftpos payments for much needed supplies. Confusion and disorganisation […]

AI wrap Friday 23 June

Do we need a national conversation on AI?  After returning from 10 days of holiday without reading much tech news at all I attended the Digital Technologies Industry Transformation Plan Partnership Board meeting on Wednesday, a board I co-Chair, and one of the items on our agenda was AI. With significant industry leaders around the […]

The people paid to train AI are outsourcing their work… to AI

No wonder some of them may be turning to tools like ChatGPT to maximize their earning potential. But how many? To find out, a team of researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) hired 44 people on the gig work platform Amazon Mechanical Turk to summarize 16 extracts from medical research papers. Then […]

The Download: lab-grown chicken, and rewilding the world

How it’s grown: Most meat alternatives on the market today are made using plants. Cultivated meat products are made using animal cells that are grown in bioreactors. Tissue samples from living animals are isolated and their cells grown in a lab. As those cells grow and multiply, they can be processed into food. Why it’s […]