San Francisco News

Text-to-image AI: powerful, easy-to-use technology for making art – and fakes

Hany Farid, University of California, Berkeley Type “Teddy bears working on new AI research on the moon in the 1980s” into any of the recently released text-to-image artificial intelligence image generators, and after just a few seconds the sophisticated software will produce an eerily pertinent image. Seemingly bound by only your imagination, this latest trend in synthetic media has delighted many, inspired others and struck fear in some. Google, research firm OpenAI and AI vendor Stability AI have each developed a text-to-image image generator powerful enough that some observers are questioning whether in the future people will be able to

Read More »

What social media regulation could look like: Think of pipelines, not utilities

Theodore J. Kury, University of Florida Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, and his controversial statements and decisions as its owner, have fueled a new wave of calls for regulating social media companies. Elected officials and policy scholars have argued for years that companies like Twitter and Facebook – now Meta – have immense power over public discussions and can use that power to elevate some views and suppress others. Critics also accuse the companies of failing to protect users’ personal data and downplaying harmful impacts of using social media. As an economist who studies the regulation of utilities such as

Read More »

Twitter in 2022: 5 essential reads about the consequences of Elon Musk’s takeover of the microblogging platform

Eric Smalley, The Conversation You would be forgiven for growing numb to the almost daily assault of headlines proclaiming the latest stunning development involving Elon Musk’s tenure as owner and manager of Twitter. The microblogging platform has seen a rise in hate speech and technical problems as media reports say up to 75% of the staff has been cut since he took over. In December 2022, unsettling news about Twitter included the disbanding of the company’s Trust and Safety Council, the conspiracy theories and score settling of the “Twitter Files,” QAnon’s Musk-inspired revival, the suspension of the Twitter accounts of

Read More »

Why fusion ignition is being hailed as a major breakthrough in fusion – a nuclear physicist explains

Carolyn Kuranz, University of Michigan American scientists have announced what they have called a major breakthrough in a long-elusive goal of creating energy from nuclear fusion. The U.S. Department of Energy said on Dec. 13, 2022, that for the first time – and after several decades of trying – scientists have managed to get more energy out of the process than they had to put in. But just how significant is the development? And how far off is the long-sought dream of fusion providing abundant, clean energy? Carolyn Kuranz, an associate professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Michigan

Read More »