Saturday, July 20, 2024

The fire-resistant house, and Big Tech's AI chokehold


With each devastating wildfire in the US West, officials consider new methods or regulations that might save homes or lives the next time.

In those parts of California where mountains meet human development, and where the state has suffered repeated seasonal fire tragedies, the stakes are especially high in discovering new means of survival.

Many of these methods are low cost and low tech, but not really any less innovative. In fact, the most difficult part to tackle may not be material engineering, but social change. Read full story.

-Susie Cagle

Susie’s story is from our upcoming Education print issue. If you are not already a subscriber, you can sign up by simply $69 a year—A special low price to mark Earth Week.

Generative AI runs the risk of concentrating the power of Big Tech. Here’s How To Stop It

If regulators don’t act now, generative AI will concentrate Big Tech’s power even more. this is the central argument of a new report From research institute AI Now. To understand this, consider that the current AI boom depends on two things: huge amounts of data, and enough computing power to process it.

Right now, Big Tech has a grasp on AI, and business is booming. But what separates this tech boom from previous ones is that we have a better understanding of all the destructive ways AI can go awry. And regulators everywhere are paying close attention. Read full story.