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  • #57. 💀 China uses AI to talk to the dead | 💻 climate tech startups | 😖 Ford's L3 AVs fail

#57. 💀 China uses AI to talk to the dead | 💻 climate tech startups | 😖 Ford's L3 AVs fail

Plus: G7's call for AI tech standards | ChatGPT-sparked $800B AI arms race | El Niño to cause $3T in damages | zero-emission zones' benefits | Ford's EV plans | Tesla Model Y BYD batteries' faster charge times


The use of generative AI to recreate deceased loved ones is gaining popularity in China, with individuals training chat programs called "griefbots" to imitate the personalities and memories of the dead. The advancement of generative AI models, such as ChatGPT, has made it easier for people to recreate the appearance, speech, and thoughts of the deceased using minimal data. While some see these griefbots as a way to process emotions and mourn, others raise ethical concerns and question the potential negative effects on the grieving process. Nonetheless, the use of AI-powered griefbots continues to grow in China and has also been seen in other countries like the US and Canada.

The leaders of G7 nations have called for the development of technical standards to ensure trustworthy AI, stating that the governance of AI has not kept up with its rapid growth. While acknowledging variations in approaches, the G7 leaders emphasized that rules for digital technologies, including AI, should align with shared democratic values. The G7 agreement comes as the EU moves closer to passing comprehensive AI legislation, and follows calls from experts for increased regulation and control of AI technologies. The G7 leaders also established a ministerial forum to address issues related to generative AI.

According to Wedbush, AI presents an $800 billion market opportunity over the next decade, sparking an "AI arms race" among major tech giants like Microsoft and Google. The popularity of ChatGPT has accelerated this competition, with companies expected to invest billions in the AI space. Microsoft, which has already integrated ChatGPT into its operations, is seen as the frontrunner due to its early investments and potential for transformation across its various businesses. The battle for dominance in AI is expected to unfold over the next decade, impacting both enterprise and consumer tech sectors.


  • Dante: Custom zero-code chatbots built on your data.

  • TaxGPT: AI-powered tax filing, because of course.

  • Branition: AI-generated rhyming business names.


Researchers from Dartmouth College have published a report predicting that the economic impact of the next El Niño event, expected to occur this year, will total $3 trillion through 2029. El Niño triggers weather changes such as floods, droughts, and crop failures, leading to economic losses. The analysis of previous El Niño events revealed that they caused significant income losses globally, with the US and tropical countries experiencing GDP declines. The upcoming El Niño is anticipated to be intense due to a preceding La Niña period and record-high sea surface temperatures, potentially exacerbating its economic toll.

A new pan-European study commissioned by the Clean Cities Campaign and Transport & Environment reveals that the introduction of zero-emission zones (ZEZs) can significantly reduce air pollution levels in EU cities. The study shows that ZEZs, where only active travel and emission-free vehicles are allowed, could lead to a reduction of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) caused by local traffic ranging from 91% to 95%. The research also indicates that the proposed air pollution targets by the European Commission are achievable with the implementation of ZEZs, bringing NO2 levels closer to the guidelines set by the World Health Organization. The findings highlight the need for stronger action on polluting vehicles and the adoption of low- and zero-emission zones to improve air quality and protect public health.

The recent Climate Tech event in Abu Dhabi showcased a range of innovative companies and technologies aimed at addressing climate challenges. The Decarbonisation Technology Challenge was launched at the event, offering a prize of up to $1 million for winners selected from 10 finalists. The companies featured in the event addressed various climate challenges, including reducing emissions from the oil and gas sector, finding solutions for hard-to-abate sectors, building the future clean-energy economy, and reversing past pollution. Examples of companies and technologies presented include advanced digitalization and artificial intelligence, modular carbon capture systems, mobile solar power solutions, hydrogen technologies, graphene-enhanced cement, synthetic fuels made from captured carbon dioxide, direct air capture facilities, and carbon capture through olivine-rich rocks. The event highlighted the importance of bold action and innovation in achieving global decarbonization.


Ford outlined its plans for second-generation electric vehicles during its Capital Markets Day. The automaker will introduce a new full-size electric pickup, codenamed Project T3, focusing on efficiency and featuring continuous software updates. Ford also announced a new three-row electric SUV designed for road trips with a spacious interior and long range. To achieve its EV targets, Ford will introduce a new platform in 2025 to streamline manufacturing and aims to build 2 million EVs annually by 2026. The company has secured partnerships with major lithium suppliers and plans to offer flexible purchase options and accelerate deliveries. Ford expects its second-gen electric vehicles to be EBIT-positive in their first year.

The new Tesla Model Y built with BYD batteries at Gigafactory Berlin charges significantly faster than the previous version. The Model Y with the new BYD cells maintains a higher charge rate through a higher state of charge, resulting in shorter overall charging sessions. The cells can maintain 170 kW through 50% state-of-charge and 100 kW at around 70% state-of-charge, allowing for faster charging times. This improvement addresses one of the original disadvantages of LFP (lithium iron phosphate) cells. Further testing in cold weather conditions will determine the performance in low temperatures.

Ford has provided new details about its autonomous driving features at a capital markets event. The BlueCruise hands-free driver-assist system, a Level 2 system, will be available in 500,000 vehicles by 2024. However, Ford's Level 3 autonomous driving system, which allows drivers to take their eyes off the road in certain situations, will not be available by 2025. The company acknowledged the challenges of deploying Level 3 autonomy in urban environments with stop signs and pedestrians, stating that it is the hardest place to implement such technology. Ford aims to focus on stop-and-go traffic and long journeys for its Level 3 product.


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