Fury AI Drones, ASML manufacturing, and Seamless Translation – Live and Learn #24
Welcome to this edition of Live and Learn. This time with a deep dive on how ASML has innovated in the chip market, a paper showing that LK-99 is not a superconductor after all, Metas seamless translation model, and much more.
I know this edition is way way way too late, but I was traveling the last few weeks and didn't find the time to publish on my usual bi-weekly schedule. On the flip side, this one has a lot more content than usual because I didn't stop gathering links over that time 😌. I hope you still enjoy this edition of Live and Learn even if it's a bit different than usual.
✨ Quote ✨
When you think about it, languages are just networks of words; culture is just networks of narratives, and content is the thing we do to extend the network.
— Nathan Baschez (source)
🖇️ Links 🖇️
LK-99 is NOT a superconductor 😔. The community has failed to reproduce the room-temperature superconductor results. This makes me sad but in a way, the results in the first paper were also too good to be true. But what this showed is how the research community can get together and work in overdrive for a while when people get excited. It also showed how the internet (Reddit and Twitter) can play a role in scientific collaboration. And that is super cool. The Wikipedia article on LK-99 has a comprehensive overview of the different replication efforts and their results + further links, in case you want to read more.
Inside the AI Porn Marketplace by 404Media. People already use AI to create NSFW pictures and lots and lots of porn. This article dives into how this came about, where AI porn is distributed, and how the economics behind it work. It also examines the mindset behind the people who create AI porn and shines a light on the dilemmas platforms like CivitAI face. And how people – even though it's forbidden according to CivitAIs guidelines – find ways to bypass the filtering systems in place to generate pornographic content of real-world people, causing massive harm.
ASML machine deep dive by MIT Technology Review. ASML builds the equipment and machines that are critical in the production of transistors at the smallest scales. This article dives into the detailed story of the hardships the company had to overcome to solve EUV (extreme ultraviolet) chip manufacturing. I learned that the machines ASML builds are engineering and precision marvels. Within them, tiny drops of tin get blasted with lasers to produce high-intensity bursts of UV light which is then focused with ultra-high precision mirrors to etch tiny patterns into silicon. In order for any of this to work everything has to be perfect, there is no room for error, and this puts ASML in a unique monopoly position. Nobody can do what they do as well as they do. But they have earned that right by years of research... If you like the article, there is also this video on the company, which is equally fascinating.
Autonomous AI drones are here by Anduril. Anduril is a company that builds automated warfare solutions for the U.S. military. They just released their full autonomy drone named Fury. This adds another machine for automated killing to the company's arsenal. Killer drones are real already and other weapons utilizing advanced AI systems will follow and soon be deployed en mass in military operations worldwide. To me, the freakiest part of all of this is how Anduril has complete high-budget commercials about these things. Just like Tesla is advertising their new car models, Anduril is advertising its new killer drones. What a world to live in.
SeamlessM4T (or building a Babelfish) by MetaAI. This new model Meta released is simply mindblowing. I mean wtf. They are really building a babelfish... A babelfish, from the "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" is a fish that can directly translate all languages into the users' language when put into the users’ ear. With models like this one released by Meta, we are on the way towards building a device that can mimic such a functionality. The main achievement of this paper is the sheer amount of languages that they support. Best of all in true Meta fashion it's completely open-source and you can download the full model from Github.
When will weak AGI be available? by Metaculus. Prediction markets think that weak AGI will be here around 2027... This is absolutely nuts. Think about what this would mean for society and the shifts we might witness very soon. Just three years ago the same market's prediction was still at 2057... There is also the prediction market for normal AGI which puts the date at 2035. I find these graphs fascinating because they show how the developments in the last few years have changed the perception of what is possible in the not-so-distant future. If advances continue to surprise people like this, we might have AGI even sooner than the prediction markets think, which is a truly terrifying prospect.
Amazon One – Palm scanning technology by Amazon. Generative AI can be used to generate huge amounts of training data for novel problems. In this piece, Amazon explains how they used generative AI to build their Amazon One technology. Amazon One can uniquely identify humans by scanning their hands. This can be used to automate payments in physical stores so that smartphones or credit cards are no longer necessary. The technology is already in use in some Amazon stores and is being rolled out to other retailers in the future.
🌌 Traveling 🌌
I am in India right now, so I replaced the Midjourney pictures with real travel photos this time 😊
🎶 Song 🎶
Bottom Line by Wild Child
That's all for this time. I hope you found this newsletter useful, beautiful, or even both!
Have ideas for improving it? As always please let me know.