Download: America’s AI Lawsuits and Limiting Threads

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekly newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s happening in the world of technology.

How judges, not politicians, can dictate America’s AI rules

It is becoming increasingly clear that the courts, not politicians, will be the first to set limits on how AI is developed and used in the US.

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission opened an investigation into whether OpenAI broke the law by scraping people’s internet data to train its ChatGPT chatbot.

Meanwhile, artists and authors are suing companies like OpenAI, Stability AI, and Meta, alleging they violated copyright laws by training their AI models on their work without credit or payment.

If successful, these cases could force OpenAI, Meta, Microsoft and others to fundamentally change the way AI is built, trained and deployed. Read the full story to find out how.

— by Melissa Haykill

If you’re interested in the messy world of AI regulation, why not check out the latest issue AlgorithmMelissa AI Weekly Newsletter. Register to get it delivered to your inbox every Monday. In the meantime, read more from us on this topic:

+ A quick guide to the most important AI laws you’ve never heard off. The European Union is planning to adopt new legislation aimed at curbing the biggest harm associated with artificial intelligence. Read this story to find out what you need to know about it.

+ Let’s walk you through all the most (and least) promising AI governance efforts around the world.

+ China is not waiting to set rules on generative AI. The draft regulation, released earlier this year, is part of a big game in the tech industry. Read the story in its entirety.

A must read

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

1 Topics limit the number of posts that users can see
A few weeks after Twitter did the same. (TechCrunch)
+ Instagram’s boss says it’s a bid to fight spam. (Insider $)

2 Who should decide how to secure artificial intelligence?
Anthropic has big plans to tame AI, but that’s easier said than done. (vox)
+ Forget chatbots: these days, artificial intelligence is all about autonomous agents. (Reuters)
+ To avoid AI doom, study nuclear security. (MIT Technology Review)

3 Those chip curbs in the US might not be such a good idea after all
The U.S. chip industry trade organization says that could backfire and hurt the country’s own investment. (WSJ$)
+ The US-China chip war is still escalating. (MIT Technology Review)

4 How Big Tech Became Addicted to Predatory Pricing
Venture capital itself has become a means for companies to dominate the market. (Insider $)

5 Demand for IVF is growing
But while it has become safer, success is far from guaranteed. (Economist $)
+ The first babies conceived with the help of a sperm-injecting robot have been born. (MIT Technology Review)

6 How contaminated eye drops passed the FDA
The drops, which contained an antibiotic-resistant superbug, caused blindness and even death. (Bloomberg $)
+ Why tiny viruses may be our best weapon against antimicrobial resistance. (MIT Technology Review)

7 Call center employees are prohibited from using ChatGPT
But many of them believe that the use of artificial intelligence is critical to the survival of their jobs. (rest of the world)
+ Publishers are also tempted by the potential of AI. (vox)

8 carmakers say they have settled a right-to-repair dispute
However, advocates say car owners still don’t have full control over their data. (Wired $)

9 Superapps of Asia are rocking
Now they are struggling to get through the pandemic. (FT$)

10 PinkyDoll is TikTok’s favorite “non-game character”.
The sunny character of the painter from Montreal won him legions of fans. (NYT$)
+ She earns $7,000 a day by responding to gifts people send her. (motherboard)

Quote of the day

“I prefer the status quo to two castles, one sunny and the other dark.”

— Vanta Black, a user of the Fediverse open-source web protocol, explains to Wired why she’s unsure about the community’s proposed plans to start working with industry giant Meta.

A great story

Running Tide faces scientist departures and growing concerns about sinking seaweed to sequester carbon

June 2022

Running Tide, an aquaculture company based in Portland, Maine, hopes to deliver tens of thousands of tiny floating kelp farms to the North Atlantic. The idea is that the fast-growing macroalgae will eventually sink to the bottom of the ocean, storing thousands of tons of carbon dioxide in the process.

The company has raised millions in venture funding and attracted widespread media attention. But it struggled to grow kelp along rope lines in the open ocean during its first attempts last year, and it has lost a number of scientists in recent months, sources familiar with the matter told MIT Technology Review. Read the story in its entirety.

— James Temple

We can still have nice things

A place for comfort, fun and distraction in these strange times. (Any ideas? Scribble me a few lines or shout at me.)

+ Why are TVs so damn neat these days?
+ This joyful video about a dog is a master class in waiting.
+ Take me to a nightclub with Paris Hilton, stat.
+ What it’s like to feel invisible, according to people who are paid to be invisible.
+ Song of the summer? Padam Padam, obviously.

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