Lights out? 61% of Americans think AI could spell the end of Humanity


Are we on the brink of an AI apocalypse? According to a recent survey, most U.S. citizens share Elon Musk’s concerns about the potential threat artificial intelligence poses to humanity’s future. 


What a poll shows: A majority of Americans, 61% to be exact, believe that the fast-paced growth of AI could endanger the future of humanity and over two-thirds expressed concerns about its potential negative impacts, reported Reuters, citing a survey conducted by Ipsos.  As per the findings, the proportion of U.S. citizens who anticipate negative consequences from AI is three times higher than those who don’t, with 61% of the 4,415 adults surveyed expressing concerns over the potential hazard of AI and only 22% disagreeing. Rest 17% of the people were uncertain. 


The aforementioned online survey included 4,415 U.S. adults and has a credible interval with a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points, the report stated. 


Why It’s Important: Landon Klein, director of U.S. policy of the Future of Life Institute, which is behind the “open letter” demanding a six-month pause in AI research “more powerful” than OpenAI’s GPT-4, said that the poll’s findings show that “a broad swath of Americans worry about the negative effects of AI,” the report noted.  “We view the current moment similar to the beginning of the nuclear era, and we have the benefit of public perception that is consistent with the need to take action.”


Musk, who co-founded OpenAI in 2015, along with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and over 1000 others, signed an open letter. Although Musk’s intention behind signing the letter has been questioned, considering the tech billionaire’s plans to launch his own chatGPT-rival called “TruthGPT.” 


Benzinga research has found that the exponential growth of OpenAI’s chatGPT has made AI a ubiquitous part of everyday life, leading to a surge of interest in the field and sparking an AI arms race between tech giants like Microsoft Corporation and Alphabet Inc., eager to showcase their own AI breakthroughs. 


In May 2023, Geoffrey Hinton, who recently left his job at Google citing the need to talk more freely about the risks posed by AI, stated that risks posed by AI to humanity could be more pressing than those of climate change. However, others like the godfather of virtual reality, Jaron Lanier, Bill Gates and Jürgen Schmidhuber have a different view and disagree with the sentiment.  

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CERN – Preparing for a quantum leap: Researchers chart future for use of quantum computing in particle physics


Recently, researchers have published an important white paper identifying activities in particle physics where burgeoning quantum-computing technologies could be applied. The paper, authored by experts from CERN, DESY, IBM Quantum and over 30 other organisations, is now available on ArXiv.


With quantum-computing technologies rapidly improving, the paper sets out where these could be applied within particle physics, in order to help tackle computing challenges related not only to the Large Hadron Collider’s ambitious upgrade program, but also to other colliders and low energy experiments world-wide.

The paper was produced by a working group set up at the first-of-its-kind “QT4HEP” conference, held at CERN last November. Over the last eight months, the 46 people in this working group have worked hard to identify areas where quantum-computing technologies could provide a significant boon.


The areas identified relate to both theoretical and experimental particle physics. The paper then maps these areas to “problem formulations” in quantum computing. This is an important step in ensuring that the particle physics community is well positioned to benefit from the massive potential of breakthrough new quantum computers when they come online.


“Quantum computing is very promising, but not every problem in particle physics is suited to this mode of computing,” says Alberto Di Meglio, head of the CERN Quantum Technology Initiative (CERN QTI). “It’s important to ensure that we are ready and that we can accurately identify the areas where these technologies have the potential to be most useful for our community.”


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Google’s Brain2Music: Reconstructing Music from Human Brain Activity


The process of reconstructing experiences from human brain activity offers a unique lens into how the brain interprets and represents the world. Recently, the Google team and international collaborators introduced a method for reconstructing music from brain activity alone, captured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This approach uses either music retrieval or the MusicLM music generation model conditioned on embeddings derived from fMRI data. The generated music resembles the musical stimuli that human subjects experienced, with respect to semantic properties like genre, instrumentation, and mood. The scientists investigate the relationship between different components of MusicLM and brain activity through a voxel-wise encoding modeling analysis. Furthermore, they analyze which brain regions represent information derived from purely textual descriptions of music stimuli.

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Claude 2 released is pleased to announce Claude 2, their newest model, which can be accessed via API as well as a new public-facing beta website at


They have been iterating to improve the underlying safety of Claude 2, so that it is more harmless and harder to prompt to produce offensive or dangerous output. The programmers have an internal red-teaming evaluation that scores our models on a large representative set of harmful prompts, using an automated test while we also regularly check the results manually. In this evaluation, Claude 2 was 2x better at giving harmless responses compared to Claude 1.3. Although no model is immune from jailbreaks, a variety of safety techniques (which you can read about here and here) have been employed, as well as extensive red-teaming, to improve its outputs.


Claude 2 is generally available in the US and UK. is working to make Claude more globally available in the coming months. Interested users can now create an account and start talking to Claude in natural language, asking it for help with any tasks. Talking to an AI assistant can take some trial and error, so read up on our tips to get the most out of Claude. is also currently working with thousands of businesses who are using the Claude API. One of the partners is Jasper, a generative AI platform that enables individuals and teams to scale their content strategies. They found that Claude 2 was able to go head to head with other state of the art models for a wide variety of use cases, but has particular strength for long form low latency uses. “We are really happy to be among the first to offer Claude 2 to our customers, bringing enhanced semantics, up-to-date knowledge training, improved reasoning for complex prompts, and the ability to effortlessly remix existing content with a 3X larger context window,” said Greg Larson, VP of Engineering at Jasper. “We are proud to help our customers stay ahead of the curve through partnerships like this one with Anthropic.”


Sourcegraph is a code AI platform that helps customers write, fix, and maintain code. Their coding assistant Cody uses Claude 2’s improved reasoning ability to give even more accurate answers to user queries while also passing along more codebase context with up to 100K context windows. In addition, Claude 2 was trained on more recent data, meaning it has knowledge of newer frameworks and libraries for Cody to pull from. “When it comes to AI coding, devs need fast and reliable access to context about their unique codebase and a powerful LLM with a large context window and strong general reasoning capabilities,” says Quinn Slack, CEO & Co-founder of Sourcegraph. “The slowest and most frustrating parts of the dev workflow are becoming faster and more enjoyable. Thanks to Claude 2, Cody’s helping more devs build more software that pushes the world forward.”


The programmers at welcome user feedback as they work to responsibly deploy Claude more broadly. The chat experience is an open beta launch, and users should be aware that Claude – like all current models – can generate inappropriate responses. AI assistants are most useful in everyday situations, like serving to summarize or organize information, and should not be used where physical or mental health and well-being are involved. Please let the people at know if you would like to talk to Claude in a currently unsupported area, or if you are a business who would like to start working with Claude.


After working for the past few months with key partners like Notion, Quora, and DuckDuckGo in a closed alpha, has been able to carefully test out our systems in the wild, and are ready to offer Claude more broadly so it can power crucial, cutting-edge use cases at scale.


Claude is a next-generation AI assistant based on Anthropic’s research into training helpful, honest, and harmless AI systems. Accessible through chat interface and API in a developer console, Claude is capable of a wide variety of conversational and text processing tasks while maintaining a high degree of reliability and predictability.

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Exoplanet identified as most reflective because of metallic clouds that act like a mirror


A scorching hot world where metal clouds rain drops of titanium and other metals has been designated as the most reflective planet ever observed outside of our Solar System by astronomers.

Key points:

  • The side of exoplanet LTT9779b facing its star reaches 2,000 degrees Celsius
  • This helps it form metallic clouds that act like a shield and reflects 80 per cent of light
  • Scientists say this also prevents its atmosphere from being blown away, defying the odds

This strange world, which is more than 260 light years from Earth, reflects 80 per cent of the light from its host star, according to new observations from Europe’s exoplanet-probing Cheops space telescope. That makes it the first exoplanet comparably as shiny as Venus, which is the brightest object in our night sky other than the Moon. First discovered in 2020, the Neptune-sized planet called LTT9779b orbits its host star in just 19 hours. Because it is so close, the side of the planet facing its star is a sizzling 2,000˚C, which is considered far too hot for clouds to form. Yet LTT9779b seems to have plenty of them. “It was really a puzzle,” said Vivien Parmentier, a researcher at France’s Cote d’Azur Observatory and co-author of a new study in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. The researchers then “realized we should think about this cloud formation in the same way as condensation forming in a bathroom after a hot shower,” he said in a statement. Like running hot water steams up a bathroom, a scorching stream of metal and silicate — the mineral of which glass is made — oversaturated LTT9779b’s atmosphere until metallic clouds formed, he said. These clouds “act like a mirror,” reflecting away light, according to the European Space Agency’s Cheops project scientist Maximilian Guenther.

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Cal Fire Uses AI to Detect Wildfires Without the Need for Human Eyes


Cal Fire, the firefighting agency in California, has embraced the power of AI in its ongoing battle against wildfires.


Captain Chris Africa, stationed at the Cal Fire Emergency Command Center in Grass Valley, is at the forefront of this technological revolution. The newly installed wildfire cameras, driven by AI algorithms, generate real-time alerts whenever smoke is detected. 


Africa explained, “These cameras are all auto-generated and have all moved based off AI indicators.” The dispatch monitors now prominently display a red box whenever the cameras identify smoke, which Africa referred to as “signatures.”


By clicking on the Raw AI option, he can access a comprehensive view of cameras currently detecting these signatures, indicating the potential presence of smoke or other anomalies the camera system perceives.


In addition to visual detection, computers equipped with cutting-edge technology are helping predict the trajectory of wildfires by considering various factors such as topography and wind speeds. 

Cal Fire Battalion Chief David Krussow, based at the Grass Valley Air Attack Base, relies on computer models accessible via his smartphone. This information provides real-time updates on the fire’s location and projected path, revolutionizing how firefighting operations are coordinated. 

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Liquid metal could turn everyday things like paper into intelligent objects


While paper isn’t exactly a smart material, it someday could be if it is covered in a new type of liquid metal. This liquid alloy has the potential to turn paper and other materials into gadgets that can do some things on their own. Liquid metal is already used in smart objects like circuits and wearable sensors—but not as a coating. Inspired by origami, a team of scientists led by Bo Yuan of Tsinghua University in China has figured out a way to formulate liquid metal and apply it with a stamp so it sticks to paper without an adhesive, which has never been possible before. In a study recently published in Cell Reports Physical Sciencethe scientists showed that paper coated in the metal can be crafted into origami shapes and re-fold itself. The metal coating also conducts heat and electricity. It’s like magic. Almost.

A sticky alloy

Because the particles in liquid metal tend to stay so close together, it is difficult to get it to adhere to any surface without something that acts as glue. But these adhesives usually have a negative effect on the metal’s properties, such as its conductivity. Yuan and his team wanted a liquid metal that could stick to paper without an adhesive. They used an alloy of bismuth, indium, and tin oxide (BiInSn) and tested how well it performed next to an indium/gallium alloy (eGaIn).


BiInSn turned out to be more effective. Unlike eGaIn, it doesn’t oxidize when exposed to air, so how well it sticks to a surface does not depend on the oxide film that forms on the metal. BiInSn is a solid at room temperature and has a higher melting point, so there is no risk of it liquefying at temperatures under 62° Celsius (about 144° Fahrenheit). It is also capable of stronger adhesion. However, getting optimal adhesion out of BiInSn required trial and error. “We needed to ensure the adhesion of liquid metal to be uniform in large scale on different paper, and to maintain the stability of the coating,” Yuan told Ars Technica in an email interview. “To solve these problems, we changed pressure applied on the stamp as well as the rubbing speed used in the experiments and finally found the most suitable parameters, which finally achieved fast, large-scale, and stable adhesion.”


The researchers tried stamping it onto paper with different amounts of pressure and found out that not much is needed for it to stay in place. They then created an origami cube out of the metal-coated paper, which required the edges to adhere to each other without any other binding agent. They even saw that when that square was unfolded, the coated paper could fold itself back into its original shape. Because the metal coating was self-adhesive, the edges that had been unfolded attracted each other until the paper became a cube again. Another shape they tried was a spring that could be stretched or compressed and would remain however it was adjusted. It was also possible for the team to build 3D structures out of individual pieces of flat, metal-coated paper. These structures could keep their shape without falling apart, and the coating could just be peeled off afterward without affecting the properties of its paper substrate in any way. The coating, which also lost none of its properties, could be recycled and used repeatedly. The paper just went back to being paper.

Next steps

Yuan thinks self-adhesion through liquid metal is an advantage, because, if it can be done with paper, it could be done with other thin, lightweight materials to create smart objects and soft robots that can fit into tight spaces. The next thing he wants to accomplish is finding a coating where the metal does not peel off once solidified. He is considering testing bio-friendly paint spray to protect the coating in materials that may eventually be used as packaging (boxes could open and close themselves just like the paper cube in the experiment), on human skin (bandages would come off painlessly without glue), underwater, and even in conditions seen on other planets and moons.


This substance could possibly be an asset to soft robots in alien environments. Some soft robots can already explore the deepest reaches of the ocean where the pressure is too high for humans and the cracks and crevices too small for larger machines. Soft robots are being designed with an eye for subsurface tunnels on Mars and other bodies in space. Autonomous soft robots that are thin and flexible would be able to venture into places where larger rovers are unable to fit or navigate safely, and the self-adhesion of the liquid metal coating would allow them to fold and unfold on their own.


“Utilizing our method, one can quickly create smart materials with good thermal and electrical conductivity as well as stiffness-tunable ability, which greatly expands material options for soft robots,” Yuan said in the interview. “I think that this method may provide a new route for designing space explorers.”

Cell Reports Physical Science, 2023.  DOI:  10.1016/j.xcrp.2023.101419 (About DOIs).

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