Exactly two weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Alexander Karp, CEO of analytics firm Palantir, addressed European leaders. With war on the horizon, Europeans must modernize their arsenals with the help of Silicon Valley, he argued in an open letter.

The military respond to the call. On June 30, NATO announced it was creating a $1 billion innovation fund to invest in early-stage startups and venture capital funds developing “priority” technologies, while the UK launched a new artificial intelligence strategy specifically for defence, and the Germans allocated a little less than half a billion for research and artificial intelligence.

The war in Ukraine has added urgency to the desire to bring more artificial intelligence tools to the battlefield. The biggest beneficiaries are startups like Palantir, which hope to cash in as the military races to update its arsenals with the latest technology. But long-standing ethical concerns about the use of artificial intelligence in warfare are becoming more pressing as the technology improves, while the prospect of limits and regulations governing its use appears as remote as ever. Read the story in its entirety.

— by Melissa Haykill

Computers will be transformed by alternative materials and approaches – perhaps sooner than you think

In less than a century, computing has transformed our society and helped drive countless innovations. But while we largely owe these capabilities to our ability to build ever-better computing devices, the transistor at the heart of computer chips is reaching its limits.

Members of this year’s MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 list are overhauling computer performance and energy efficiency with fresh ideas. Learn more about their exciting contributions to the next wave of computing in this essay by Prinekha Narang, Howard Reiss Professor of Physical Sciences at UCLA.

This essay is part of MIT Technology Review’s 2022 Innovators Under 35 package, which recognizes the most promising young people working in technology today. See the full list here.

A must read

I’ve combed the web to find the funniest/important/scary/interesting tech stories for you today.

1 The US and UK are seriously concerned about China’s industrial espionage
The countries’ spy chiefs have warned that Beijing is persistently stealing Western technology (FT$)
+ The US is considering expanding restrictions on exports to China. (NYT$)
+ It also forces a Dutch chipmaker to stop selling its equipment to China. (Bloomberg $)

2 Apple’s new security feature protects against government spyware
Activating lock mode is designed to prevent Pegasus-style spyware from transmitting data to other devices. (WP$)
+ The vast majority of iPhone users are unlikely to benefit from this. (Ars Technica)

3 Why molecules could become the next microchip
The biological sciences have much promise, but they are developing very slowly. (FT$)
+ Biologists would like to program cells as if they were computer chips. (TR)

4 Bad time for a startup
Funding has fallen to its lowest level in three years and more layoffs are looming. (NYT$)
+ It’s not looking rosy for the industry as a whole either. (Bloomberg $)

5 More and more women want to have their tubes tied
But first they have to convince the doctor. (Wired $)
+ Google should remove abortion searches. (Bloomberg $)

6 Misinformation is the elephant in Washington
The problem is that no one can agree on how to deal with it. (NYT$)

7 UK wants to make deepfake porn illegal
The country’s law commission says current laws are not keeping up with the times. (FT$)
+ Deepfake porn is ruining women’s lives. Now the law can finally ban it.
(MIT Technology Review)

8 Sorry, we don’t live in a simulation
Despite the best efforts of some theorists to convince us that we. (big idea)
+ This ultra-realistic virtual world is a driving school for artificial intelligence. (MIT Technology Review)

9 Walking to earn crypto is pointless, no matter how it sounds
Still, people fell for it. (NY Mag$)
+ Some US cities are still pinning their hopes on crypto. (slate)

10 Viral hikes are becoming a problem ⛰️
Instagram geotags cause overcrowding and crashes. (The Guardian)

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