Tech

The Download: how Twitter is breaking, and YouTube’s TV experiment


This is today’s edition of Download, Our weekday newsletter provides daily coverage of what’s happening in the tech world.

Here’s how one Twitter engineer said it would break in the coming weeks

On November 4, just hours after Elon Musk laid off half of the 7,500 employees who were previously working at Twitter, some people began to notice small signs that something was wrong with Twitter. Everyone’s favorite site. And they saw it through retweets.

Some users who hit the retweet button encountered manual retweets, a copy and paste approximation of how the function would appear. But its return isn’t Musk’s latest attempt to appease users. Instead, it was the first public crack in Twitter’s codebase building – a blip on a seismometer that warned of an impending larger earthquake.

While many of Musk’s detractors might expect the platform to experience destruction equivalent to fusion, the demise of something like Twitter is gradual. Here’s how it could happen.

—Chris Stokel-Walker

YouTube wants to take on TikTok and put Shorts videos on your TV

What is happening: YouTube Shorts, the video site’s TikTok-like feature, has become one of its latest obsessions, with more than 1.5 billion users viewing short-form content on their devices each month. Now, YouTube wants to expand that number by bringing full-screen, vertical videos to your TV.

Why is it important: The team behind the initiative is still not entirely sure how adding short-form video to the YouTube experience on TV will be accepted. The company acknowledges that it is difficult to bring what is traditionally a mobile format and to find the right way to bring it to life on TV. But their dedication to doing so shows how important YouTube feels the short form model is to its future. Read full story.

—Chris Stokel-Walker

Where will AI go next?

This year, we’ve seen a dizzying number of breakthroughs in creative AI, from AIs that can create videos from just a few words to models that can generate audio based on snippets of music. a song.

Melissa Heikkilä, senior AI reporter for MIT Technology Review, visited Google’s new offices in Manhattan last week, where the company announced a series of advances in AI generation, including a system combines two text-to-video AI models, Phenaki and Imagen.

While they’re impressive studies of AI, it’s still unclear how Google can monetize them. Melissa spoke with some of the top executives at some of the world’s top AI labs to hear about the potential and limitations of these types of models. Here’s what they have to say.

Melissa’s story is from The Algorithm, our weekly AI newsletter that covers everything you need to know about industry dynamics and transformatives. Register to get it in your inbox every Monday.

Podcast: Decoding a Future of Fire

We look at how AI and other technologies are being used to help predict, detect, and pinpoint the location of wildfires in Monday of a two-part series. Refresh your memory by listening The first part of the above series Apple Podcastsor anywhere else you often hear.

Things to read

I scoured the internet to find you today’s most interesting/important/scary/striking stories about tech.

1 There is no evidence that US voting machines have been tampered with
Humans tend to be the weakest link in the security chain. (New Yorkers $)
+ Apps popular with immigrants are filled with political misinformation. (WP $)
+ The worst possible increase in misinformation is yet to come. (NYT $)

2 Cop27’s Wi-Fi in Egypt is blocking human rights sites
Global rights groups are struggling to access their own websites. (Guardians)
+ Greece will stop selling spyware after a series of accusations. (NYT $)

3 A German privacy activist is fighting the Clearview AI on his face
Matthias Marx wants EU regulators to crack down on data vandals. (Wired $)
+ A group in the United Kingdom filed a similar complaint against PimEyes. (BBC)
+ The walls are closing on Clearview AI. (MIT Technology Review)

4 Black Twitter Influencers Don’t Know Where To Go Next
Many of the workers who stopped racial hate speech were fired. (LA Times $)
+ Mastodon is facing a wave of defectors on Twitter. (Bloomberg $)
+ I made it big on Twitter. Now I don’t think I can stay. (MIT Technology Review)

5 Apple is China’s most profitable technology company
Its earnings far exceed those of native giants Alibaba and Tencent. (FT $)
+ But the relationship between the two became increasingly strained. (NYT $)

6 Inside the Rise of Humanoid Robots
They can go beyond the strange valley. (Economist $)

7 Self-driving cars may never truly drive themselves
Which type beats the whole point. (WSJ $)
+ The big new idea of ​​creating self-driving cars that can go anywhere. (MIT Technology Review)

8 How TikTok ate up the world
Trying to shoot video just right is tough. TikTok’s boom is making it harder and harder. (Atlantic $)

9 How hallucinations can play a role in hospice
Some doctors claim that they reduce anxiety and increase optimism in the face of death. (Slate $)
+ How do hallucinogens affect our brains? (MIT Technology Review)

10 Text Message Controversy
However, you don’t have to call it ‘fext’. (NYT $)

Quote of the day

“We’re on the highway to climate hell with our feet still on the gas.”

—António Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations, warns world leaders of the dire dangers facing the planet at the opening of the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt, reports Guardians.

Big story

How the AI ​​industry benefits from disaster

April 2022

It is considered a temporary side job. Oskarina Fuentes Anaya signed up for Appen, an AI data labeling platform, while she was still in college to land a well-paid position in the oil industry.

But then the economy collapsed in Venezuela. Her side gigs are now full-time; Temporarily now is the near future. Today Fuentes lives in Colombia, one of millions of Venezuelan migrants and refugees.

But she’s stuck at home — both because of a chronic illness that developed after delayed access to health care, and by the fuzzy algorithms that decide when she works and how much. the money she earns.

Despite threats from Appen to retaliate against her, she chose to continue recording as a named source. She wants people to understand what her life is like to be an important part of the global AI path, but the people who benefit from her work also mistreat her and make her a should be invisible. She wants the people who do this job to be seen. Read full story.

—Karen Hao and Andrea Paola Hernandez

We can still have good things

A place for comfort, fun and distraction during these strange times. (Any comments?Drop me a lineortweet ’em with me.)

+ These angel piglet Guaranteed to warm your heart.
+ Nothing but respect for the Legend of crossing the road in the NYC marathon.
+ I’m sorry, you can’t improve perfection.
+ This is so beautiful hotel is inside a working train station.
+ Take a minute outside to relax with the award-winning scenic spots (thanks Charlotte!)

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