Fire-resistant houses and the chokehold of Big Tech’s AI

Fire-resistant houses and the chokehold of Big Tech’s AI

Fire-resistant houses and the chokehold of Big Tech's AI

With each devastating wildfire in the western United States, officials consider new methods or regulations that could save homes or lives the next time around.

In areas of California where the hills meet human development and where the state has suffered recurring seasonal fire tragedies, this search for new means of survival has particularly high stakes.

Many of these methods are inexpensive and low-tech, but no less truly innovative. In fact, perhaps the hardest part to tackle is not materials engineering, but social change. Read the full story.

—Susie Cagle

Susie’s story is from our next print issue on education. If you are not already a subscriber, you can register from $69 per year—a special small prize to mark Earth Week.

Generative AI risks concentrating the power of Big Tech. Here’s how to stop it

If regulators don’t act now, generative AI will further concentrate the power of Big Tech. That’s the central argument of a new report from the AI ​​Now research institute. To understand why, consider that the current AI boom depends on two things: large amounts of data and enough computing power to process it.

At present, Big Tech has a hold on AI, and business is booming. But what separates this tech boom from previous ones is that we have a better understanding of all the catastrophic ways AI can go wrong. And regulators around the world are paying close attention to it. Read the full story.

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