This is today’s edition ofDownload,Our weekday newsletter provides daily coverage of what’s happening in the tech world.
Google’s new AI can listen to a piece of a song — and then resume it
The new AI system can generate natural sounds and voices after being prompted with a few seconds of audio.
AudioLM, developed by Google researchers, produces sounds that match the style of reminders, including complex sounds like piano music or human voices, in a way that is nearly indistinguishable from original record. Importantly, it does not require laborious transcription or labeling unlike most other AI-generated sounds. Learn more and listen to the sound it makes, here.
When I was there: AI masters chess
I Was There When is an oral history project on our award-winning In Machines We Trust podcast. It tells the stories of how breakthroughs and first moments in artificial intelligence and computers happened, as told by those who witnessed them.
In latest episode we meet one of the world’s greatest chess players, Garry Kasparov, and hear why his loss to IBM’s Deep Blue computer 25 years ago is still important to this day. Listen to it on Apple Podcastsor wherever you usually go to watch podcasts.
Is a “pandemic” of covid and flu coming?
If you’re feeling a little uncomfortable with the weather, rest assured, you’re not alone. For us in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s just that time of year. That’s part of the reason why health authorities on both sides of the Atlantic are encouraging people to get vaccinated — against both the flu and covid-19.
In recent months, we’ve heard warnings about the flu and the impending “twin pandemic.” Should we be worried? Let our senior biomedical reporter Jessica Hamzelou guide you through the risks.
Jess’s story is from The Checkup, her new weekly newsletter that gives you insights into all things health and tech related. Register to get it in your inbox every Thursday.
Things to read
I scoured the internet to find you today’s most interesting/important/scary/striking stories about tech.
2 There may be a winter crowding wave
And this time, we won’t do anything to stop it. (Ars Technica)
+Long covid is still disabling millions of Americans.(Axios)
+How the Chinese doctor who sounded the alarm about covid has spent his last days.(NYT$)
3 Elon Musk has three weeks to buy Twitter
If he doesn’t pass it within that time, it goes back to the courtroom. (Quartz)
+What happens now?(Guardians)
+Lost track of all the twists and turns? Here’s a useful timeline.(FT$)
+Musk says he’s going to turn Twitter into a ‘super app’. This is how these apps work. (BBC)
4 Self-driving cars don’t seem to be going anywhere yet
Even after 100 billion dollars have been poured into their development. (Bloomberg$)
+Uber is still betting that it can make robots work.(The Verge)
+The big new idea of creating self-driving cars that can go anywhere. (MIT Technology Review)
6 An influencer is suing TikTok over deceptive ads using her videos
This kind of deceptive marketing is rampant online — and a growing political consensus supports a crackdown. (WP$)
7 Cryptocurrency Exchange Binance Says Hackers Stolen $100 Million
This is another example of a ‘bridge’ attack between two blockchains. (WSJ$)
+These popular hacks demonstrate how security is an afterthought in the crypto industry. (MIT Technology Review)
8 Boston Dynamics has committed to not weaponizing its robots
Great, but the next question is: how do they stop the client from doing that? (Axios)
9 Here’s Why You Can’t Tickle Yourself
Your brain knows what’s going to happen. (Wired$)
10 It’s great to hate candy corn online
If you live in the US, it’s simply unavoidable this time of year. (Atlantic$)
Quote of the day
“I sent it to the whole team. We did it — look at that. “
—Elena Adams, principal engineer for NASA’s asteroid-smashing DART spacecraft, toldNew Yorkerswhat she did with telescope images of the aftermath of last week’s collision.
India’s water crisis has arrived. Climate change will complicate it.
Severe drought has drained rivers, reservoirs and aquifers across large swaths of India in recent years, pushing the country’s polluted, leaky water system to the brink. deep.
More than 600 million Indians face severe water shortages. 70% of the nation’s water supply is contaminated, causing an estimated 200,000 deaths a year, and around 21 cities could run out of groundwater as early as next year.
Climate change will certainly make the problem worse. It is unclear what role higher temperatures have played in recent droughts, as climate models have largely predicted India’s increasingly severe monsoons. But the long-term forecast is that the poles will become more extreme, threatening more frequent floods and longer droughts. Read full story.
— Temple of James
We can still have good things
+ This onelist of the 50 best bars in the worldguaranteed to be hotly debated. There’s only one way to check, I suppose… I’d better pack my bags!
+ Themoustacheis officially back in fashion.
+ Don’t even think about visiting somewhere new without doingtest vibeson Google Maps.
+ Here’s how long it takes to paint a huge (and very impressive) pictureMural.
+ Stephen King — in totalcomedy.