+ What does GPT-3 “know” about me? Large language models are trained on troves of personal data hoovered from the internet. But how much does it actually know about us? Read the full story.
+ Google’s new AI can hear a snippet of a song—and then keep on playing. The technique, called AudioLM, generates naturalistic sounds without the need for human annotation. Read the full story.
I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.
1 A more dangerous monkeypox variant could go global
Scientists worry the deadlier Clade I variant could spread beyond the Democratic Republic of Congo. (New Scientist $)
+ More than 26,000 people in the US contracted monkeypox this year. (WP $)
2 Women are smuggling abortion pills into the US from Mexico
They’re risking jail time and significant fines to help terminate pregnancies in post-Roe states. (New Yorker $)
+ Where to get abortion pills and how to use them. (MIT Technology Review)
3 Why mental health discourse on social media is so unbearable
While internet diagnosis is helpful for some, others have leaned too far into self-pathologizing. (Vox)
4 Iranian celebrities are galvanizing protestors online
Warnings from the country’s security officials have fallen on deaf ears. (FT $)
5 Bitcoin mining has soared to record levels
You can thank The Merge. (Bloomberg $)
+ Crypto mining is particularly hot in Africa right now. (CoinDesk)
+ A couple mistakenly refunded $10.5 million by crypto.com are in court. (The Guardian)
7 Black holes could help explain how the universe began
If a new quantum gravity theory pays dividends, that is. (NYT $)
+ This is the first image of the black hole at the center of our galaxy. (MIT Technology Review)
8 We should pay attention to flooding myths
Geo-legends teach us how our ancestors dealt with the climate. (The Atlantic $)
+ Pakistan’s flood survivors are trying to rebuild. (New Yorker $)
+ Deadly spores could spread to new areas via wildfire smoke. (Wired $)
9 The surprisingly controversial history of the microprocessor
Inventor Ted Hoff didn’t patent the invention—a decision he came to regret. (IEEE Spectrum)
10 Jellyfish can be tasty
There are a lot of them, too. But good luck convincing people to eat them. (Hakai Magazine)
+ A battery made from seaweed could pave the way to greener energy storage. (New Scientist $)
Quote of the day
“There is a person whose name is a scent fighting a company whose name reminds one of birds—Dickens would just love that.”
—Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University, tells the Wall Street Journal why literary fans are so invested in Elon Musk and Twitter’s legal scuffle.
The big story