Emerging Tech Roundup — February 3
The Quantious team’s top picks for timely trending news in the tech world.
This week in tech: Google Shares Text-to-Music AI, AI Replicates Evolution and Generates New Enzymes, ChatGPT Tool Detects AI-Generated Text, Hypernative Raises $9M to Help Prevent Cyber Attacks, Instagram’s Co-Founders Introduce Social App for News Reading, Startup Teaches Robots the Feeling of Touch, and New High-Tech Yarn Generates Electricity.
AI Replicated Evolution and Generated New Enzymes as Good as Natural Ones
(Vice, January 27)
In a recent study, researchers tested the ability of a language model to generate amino acid sequences. The study follows the same concept of words being strung together to form sentences, only in this case, it’s the amino acids being strung together one by one to make proteins. The impressive findings uncover a potential use for AI to engineer solutions that effectively treat diseases.
Google’s New AI Turns Text Into Music
(The Verge, January 28)
Google researchers have developed an AI called MusicLM that can take text prompts and turn them into musical pieces. The AI is able to create snippets of a song based on a text prompt describing the genre or general vibe. Google has no plans to release MusicLM at this time, citing the risks of plagiarism, potential cultural appropriation, or misrepresentation in the early stages of development.
New High-Tech Yarn Can be Twisted and Untwisted to Generate Electricity
(Interesting Engineering, January 29)
Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas engineered a new type of high-tech yarn, dubbed “twisterons”. The yarn has an appearance that is similar to wool or cotton yarn and has the ability to convert mechanical movement into electricity when stretched or twisted. It can also be used for sensing and harvesting human motion.
Sensory Finger: Startup Teaches Robots the Feeling of a Touch
(Interesting Engineering, January 29)
New startup PowerON announced that the next generation of robotics will feature sensory skins, fabricated muscles, and artificial neurons printed on flexible materials. The applications for this technology include handling fragile items, removing rubber products from injection molds, harvesting fruits and vegetables, or working in medical care. The device is a gripper that is powered by artificial muscles, controlled by artificial neurons, and further equipped with tactile, touch-sensitive skin.
Crypto Security Startup Hypernative Raises $9M to Help Prevent Web3 Cyber Attacks
(Tech Crunch, January 30)
Crypto security-focused startup Hypernative has raised $9 million in seed funding. The startup was created to fill the gaps between tools that exist to prevent phishing and scams. Hypernative is concentrating on early detection in preventing cyber-attacks across varying industries. The team recently launched its first product, Pre-Cog, a platform that monitors on and off-chain data sources to predict security threats before they happen.
ChatGPT’s Creator Made a Free Tool for Detecting AI-Generated Text
(The Verge, January 31)
OpenAI has released a free tool meant to distinguish between text written by a human and text written by AI. The tool, known as a classifier, can assist in determining whether someone is trying to pass off AI-generated text as something written by a human. The classifier is considered a “work-in-progress” by the team, and at this time it is able to identify 26% of AI-written text as “likely AI-written”.
Instagram’s Co-Founders Introduce a New Social App…for News-r Reading
(Tech Crunch, January 31)
Instagram’s co-founders have publicly introduced their next social app, Artifact. Developed as a personal news-reader, Artifact uses machine learning to personalize each user’s experience while adding social elements for group discussions. The app, which is not yet publicly available, is expected to compete with Apple News and Google News.