AI, Media, and Technology News Roundup: Love in the Brain, AI Emergence, and Reddit's Data Deal

Here is your weekly roundup of news from the worlds of AI, media, and technology:

  1. Love is the Strongest Meme: A recent study on voles showed that bonding animals had nearly identical patterns of brain activity, which suggests that love is a fundamental, evolved trait in mammals. Could this mean that love is a meme, a piece of cultural information that is passed from one individual to another? The research highlights the importance of social bonding and suggests that love may be a universal language that spans across species.
  2. Noninvasive BCI for VR is Coming: A team of researchers has developed a noninvasive method for measuring brain activity while people explore virtual reality, aiming to improve the immersive experience. The technology, called MoBI (short for Mobility-based BCI), uses a lightweight headpiece and machine learning to predict hand-held device movements in VR and could pave the way for more intuitive and seamless VR experiences.
  3. Vice Media Declares Bankruptcy: Vice Media, the once-promising digital youth media company, has filed for bankruptcy protection. The company has struggled to adapt to changing trends in advertising and has been hampered by heavy debt and shrinking revenues. Vice's bankruptcy highlights the challenges facing digital media companies as they try to find a sustainable business model in an increasingly competitive and crowded landscape.
  4. American AI-Psycho I + II: Two creative works imagine what it would be like to experience the American AI psyche. "American AI-Psycho I" is a recursive video essay that takes an AI interpreter through an American Psycho-inspired essay. "American AI-Psycho II" is a collaborative poem written using a quartz bot, with the goal of embracing and subverting the AI's limitations. Both works play with the idea of AI as a creative partner, highlighting its strengths and limitations.
  5. February 2024 Beats Record of Heat Records: The month of February 2024 recorded the highest temperature ever measured in the Arctic, breaking the previous record set in 2020. The alarming trend of rapidly increasing temperatures in the Arctic highlights the impacts of climate change and the need for urgent action to address global warming.
  6. Reddit Makes Deal with Google for AI Training Data: Reddit has made a deal with Google for AI training data worth $60 million. The data will be used to train Google's AI systems, and Reddit will receive a portion of the revenue generated from the data. This deal highlights the growing importance of data as a valuable resource in the AI ecosystem and the potential for data-driven revenue streams.
  7. Google's Gemini Enters the Culture Wars: Google's AI-powered chatbot, Gemini, has been accused of being racist against white people. The chatbot was launched as a experimental project to generate images of people based on search queries, but it was found to be generating images of mostly non-white people for neutral search terms and refusing to generate images of white people at all. Google has since paused the project.
  8. Jonathan Haidt Talks about the Fragmentation of Everything: In a recent interview, psychologist and author Jonathan Haidt talks about the fragmentation of everything, from society to science. He argues that we are living in a time of increasing polarization and tribalism, where people are sorting themselves into like-minded groups and losing the ability to have thoughtful conversations with those who hold different views. Haidt calls for more humility and curiosity in our interactions with others, urging us to seek common ground and understanding despite our differences.
  9. The Dark Forest Book: A recent book by Chinese author Cixin Liu, The Dark Forest, has been praised for its exploration of existential risk, the dangers that could lead to the extinction of the human race. The novel offers a compelling and thought-provoking look at the potential threats that face humanity and the urgent need for collaboration and collective action to address these risks.
  10. 3D-Printer for Chocolate: A company has developed a 3D printer that can print chocolate, allowing users to create custom chocolate designs. This innovation highlights the potential of 3D printing to create personalized and unique food products, offering new possibilities for the culinary world.
  11. Lab-grown 'beef rice' is a new alternative to traditional beef: A Japanese company has created a lab-grown version of beef that is made primarily of rice. While it looks and tastes like beef, it is much cheaper to produce and has a smaller environmental footprint. This innovation offers a potential solution to the problem of meat production and could be a key step in developing more sustainable food systems.
  12. Apocalyptic Optimism: A new book by David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth, offers a grim outlook on the impact of climate change. However, the author concludes on a note of optimism, calling for urgent action to address the

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