The Obtain: dangers to Reddit, and the potential return of the dodo



That is at the moment’s version of The Obtain, our weekday publication that gives a day by day dose of what’s happening on this planet of know-how.

How the Supreme Court docket ruling on Part 230 may finish Reddit as we all know it

When the Supreme Court docket hears a landmark case on Part 230 later in February, all eyes might be on the most important gamers in tech—Meta, Google, Twitter, YouTube.

The case may need a variety of outcomes. One of many potential penalties is that these corporations could also be pressured to rework their strategy to group content material moderation.

Many websites depend on customers for group moderation to edit, form, take away, and promote different customers’ content material on-line—assume Reddit’s upvote, or modifications to a Wikipedia web page. If these customers have been pressured to tackle authorized danger each time they made a content material determination, specialists warn that it may have a catastrophic impact on on-line speech communities. Learn the total story.

—Tate Ryan-Mosley

A de-extinction firm is making an attempt to resurrect the dodo

The information: The dodo fowl was massive, flightless, and fairly tasty, too—all of which assist to clarify why it went extinct round 1662. Now a US biotechnology firm says it plans to carry the dodo again into existence.

Why a dodo? It’s the third species picked by Colossal Biosciences, of Austin, Texas, for what it calls a means of technological “de-extinction.” The corporate can also be engaged on utilizing large-scale genome engineering to morph fashionable elephants again into wooly mammoths and resurrect the Tasmanian tiger. 

How are they doing it? The corporate recovered detailed DNA info from 500-year-old dodo stays held at a museum in Denmark. It plans to attempt to modify the fowl’s closest residing relative, the Nicobar pigeon, turning it step-by-step right into a dodo and presumably “re-wilding” the animal in its native habitat. The issue is that whereas it’s straightforward to gene-edit fowl cells within the lab, it’s exhausting to show fastidiously edited cells again right into a fowl. Learn the total story.

—Antonio Regalado

Who will get to be a tech entrepreneur in China?

We dwell in an age the place the idea of being an entrepreneur is more and more broad. It’s usually exhausting to fit occupations—internet hosting a podcast, driving for Uber, even having an OnlyFans account—into the normal definitions of employment vs. entrepreneurship.

In fact, this isn’t a strictly Western phenomenon; it’s taking place all around the world. And in China, it’s additionally reworking how folks work—however with the nation’s personal twists. 

Our China reporter Zeyi Yang has spoken with creator Lin Zhang about her new ebook that explores the rise and social affect of Chinese language individuals who have succeeded (a minimum of briefly) as entrepreneurs. Learn the total story.

This story is from China Report, Zeyi’s weekly publication overlaying all the most recent information from China. Enroll to obtain it in your inbox each Tuesday.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you at the moment’s most enjoyable/necessary/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 OpenAI has launched a instrument that detects AI-generated textual content
Sadly, it’s not excellent. (WSJ $)
+ The instrument returns loads of each false positives and false negatives. (Axios)
+ It recognized solely 26% of AI-written textual content appropriately. (Bloomberg $)
+ What the human mind can train us about AI. (The Atlantic $)
+ Google is outwardly testing its personal ChatGPT rivals. (CNBC)
+ A watermark for chatbots can expose textual content written by an AI. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

2 The US protection business is struggling to arm Ukraine
Its provide chains are straining beneath the sheer demand for weapons. (FT $)
+ How Russia is sneakily bypassing oil sanctions. (Economist $)

3 Elon Musk’s Twitter feed is an echo chamber
Regardless of his insistence that the broader platform must be extra open and numerous. (NYT $)
+ Twitter isn’t joyful at the price of non-public jets. (Bloomberg $)
+ We’re witnessing the mind loss of life of Twitter. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

4 A streamer was caught watching deepfake porn of his colleagues  
The non-consensual movies show the risks of the know-how. (Motherboard)
+ A horrifying new AI app swaps girls into porn movies with a click on. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

5 Covid seems to be scrambling our immune techniques
Even delicate infections appear to disrupt our capacity to struggle off ailments. (Slate $)
+ Methods to work out how wholesome your immune system is. (New Scientist $)

6 Monitoring truckers hasn’t made long-haul driving safer
It has, nonetheless, ushered in a brand new period of surveillance. (New Yorker $)

7 What’s subsequent for laid-off tech staff?
Their expertise are extremely prized—particularly by companies exterior tech. (Vox)
+ Nameless app Blind is the most well liked place to seek for work. (CNN)
+ The US is weaning itself off being a nation of workaholics. (The Atlantic $)

8 Assembling iPhones in Foxconn’s manufacturing facility is a thankless activity
It pays nicely, however the grueling working circumstances problem workers day by day. (Remainder of World)

9 Airport protocols are getting quicker 🛫

E-gates and biometric passports are making it simpler to hurry by way of. (WP $)

10 It’s simpler than ever to report a UFO sighting 🛸
Merely hearth up Enigma Labs’ app. (Wired $)

Quote of the day

“As I saved trying, it was exhausting to not snicker out loud on the absurdity of these palms and enamel.”

—Programmer Miles Zimmerman recollects a nightmarish experiment with generative AI mannequin Mindjourney, which created photos of individuals with too many fingers and enamel, he tells BuzzFeed.

The massive story

This $1.5 billion startup promised to ship clear fuels as low cost as gasoline. Specialists are deeply skeptical.

April 2022

Final summer season, Rob McGinnis, the founder and chief government of startup Prometheus Fuels, gathered traders and staged a theatrical demonstration of his know-how. Prometheus guarantees to rework the worldwide gas sector by drawing greenhouse gasoline out of the air and changing it into carbon-neutral fuels which are as low cost as soiled, standard ones.

However whereas traders have thrown cash on the firm, pushing it as much as a valuation of greater than $1.5 billion, there may be little proof it could actually really dwell as much as its lofty claims. Learn the total story.

—James Temple

We will nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction in these bizarre instances. (Bought any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ It’s honest to say that I didn’t see the twist in any of those agony aunt letters coming (thanks Jess!)
+ Some selections are too powerful to ponder, and this is considered one of them.
+ What can board video games train us? Greater than you would possibly assume, really. 
+ Preserve a watch out for the inexperienced comet passing near Earth tonight—when you miss it, you’ll have to attend one other 50,000 years.
+ A espresso date with these three angels is my concept of the proper day.