Sunday, June 11, 2023

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☕️ Techpresso: MIT's Electric Aviation, Musk's Controversy, and Social Media Chaos

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This is your daily dose of ☕️ Techpresso, where you get the latest tech news of the day effortlessly.

Here's the latest tech news from the last 24 hours:
🛩️ MIT Developped a New Electric Motor for Next-Gen Aviation
🤔 Elon Musk's Controversial Take on Technology
🌀 Silicon Valley Grapples with the Singularity
🌐 The Impact of Twitter Chaos on Social Movements

🛩️ MIT Developped a New Electric Motor for Next-Gen AviationLINK

  • MIT engineers have developed a 1-megawatt motor capable of powering larger aircraft, representing a significant advancement in the field of electrically-assisted flight, which was previously hampered by power and weight limitations.
  • This new megawatt electric motor could be combined with a battery or fuel cell to power plane propellers, or augment a traditional turbofan jet engine in a hybrid propulsion system for larger aircraft.
  • Despite this breakthrough, to achieve the aviation industry's target of net zero emissions by 2050, further advancements in fuels, engines, energy storage, and other supporting systems are needed, as aviation technologies accounted for over two percent of global CO2 emissions as of 2021.
  • 🤔 Elon Musk's Controversial Take on TechnologyLINK

  • Elon Musk, owner of several major tech companies, has sparked controversy by suggesting that Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, might have been right about the rise of technology creating problems for humanity.
  • Despite Musk's technology-driven enterprises, such as Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, and X.AI, his comment aligns with Kaczynski's extreme anti-technology philosophy that led to his terrorist activities and life sentence in prison.
  • The cause of Kaczynski's death, who served his sentence in a maximum security prison and reportedly became friendly with Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, was not disclosed, but it was noted that he had been in "declining health".
  • 🌀 Silicon Valley Grapples with the SingularityLINK

  • The concept of the Singularity, a hypothetical future point where AI might surpass human intelligence, is creating fervor in the tech industry, with figures like Sundar Pichai, Reid Hoffman, and Bill Gates touting AI's transformative potential.
  • Some in the tech community, like Elon Musk and Sam Altman, caution about potential risks, while others, like Ray Kurzweil, are eagerly anticipating this event, suggesting that "computation will be part of ourselves, and we will increase our intelligence a millionfold".
  • However, critics argue that the current advances in AI are far from the Singularity, and there are concerns about the lack of transparency in AI research and development, with some suggesting that the emergence of advanced abilities in AI is due to errors in measurement rather than true progress.
  • 🌐 The Impact of Twitter Chaos on Social MovementsLINK

  • Twitter has historically played a significant role in social movements, offering a platform for organization, information dissemination, and demanding accountability from leaders; however, its dynamics have changed with Elon Musk's acquisition.
  • Musk's changes, including turning verification into a pay-for-play system, mass layoffs, and disruptive policy shifts have led to issues of credibility, reliability, and functionality, resulting in a projected loss of over 32 million users in the two years following his takeover.
  • As a consequence, activists and organizers are reassessing their relationship with Twitter, with some focusing on other platforms or grassroots, in-person work, highlighting that while social media is a valuable tool, the essence of organizing lies in direct, personal engagement.

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