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  • ✨93. 🤖 Elon Musk launches xAI | 🦋 EU's nature restoration plan | 🍎 Apple hires AV testers

✨93. 🤖 Elon Musk launches xAI | 🦋 EU's nature restoration plan | 🍎 Apple hires AV testers

PLUS: LLMs are computationally universal✨Hollywood wants actors' AI replicas for free, forever✨Texas solar & wind set records that grid can't handle✨Florida's ocean temps✨SF protestors against AVs✨NHTSA proposes regulatory path for AVs


  • Elon Musk has launched a new artificial intelligence company called xAI.

  • The company's goal is to "understand the true nature of the universe."

  • The team consists of 12 people, including Musk, with experience in OpenAI, DeepMind, Google Research, Microsoft Research, and Tesla.

  • xAI has tweeted once, asking about the most fundamental unanswered questions.

  • The company will be hosting a Twitter Spaces chat on July 14 to discuss its plans.

  • Despite the launch, Musk has previously expressed concerns about the risks of AI and signed an open letter urging a pause in AI development.

  • Transformer-based large language models (LLMs) like GPT-2 and GPT-3 have gained attention and interest in the research community.

  • In-context learning and chain-of-thought prompting have improved the accuracy of LLMs beyond simple question answering.

  • Current transformer-based LLMs have limitations in terms of conditioning on fixed input string length, which restricts the computations they can represent.

  • Researchers from Google Brain and the University of Alberta added an external read-write memory to an LLM to demonstrate its computational universality.

  • The research paper shows that an LLM with associative memory can emulate any algorithm on any input, making it computationally universal.

  • The study highlights the importance of external memory augmentation in expanding the computational capabilities of LLMs.

  • Hollywood actors have confirmed they are going on strike, and during the press conference, a proposal from Hollywood studios was revealed.

  • The proposal, reminiscent of an episode from Black Mirror, includes a groundbreaking AI proposal that would allow studios to own actors' digital likenesses without consent or compensation.

  • The use of generative AI has been a major point of contention in negotiations between the actors' union and studios.

  • SAG-AFTRA's president expressed concern that failure to take a stand against the proposal could lead to actors being replaced by machines.

  • The SAG-AFTRA strike is set to begin at midnight.


In a hypothetical scenario, imagine our society managed to reverse climate change and has fully adopted renewable energy sources. How would this impact our daily life, economic structures, and political systems? Consider factors such as job markets, infrastructure, international relations, and lifestyle changes.

Want to submit your own? Tweet me @MarcHoag!


  • Spoke.ai: AI-powered summaries of team tools like Slack, and more.

  • Afforai.com: Summarize, answer questions, translate documents, spreadsheets, and websites.

  • GPT Web App Generator: In-browser GPT web app builder.


  • Texas solar and wind power are projected to double by 2035, but the state's grid needs upgrades to handle the increased capacity, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

  • The EIA's analysis shows that without expanding the electrical transmission network operated by ERCOT, congestion and curtailments will increase.

  • In 2022, ERCOT curtailed 5% of available wind generation and 9% of available utility-scale solar generation. By 2035, those numbers could rise to 13% and 19%, respectively.

  • The EIA suggests that upgrading the transmission system and implementing battery storage can help mitigate curtailments during high demand and strong solar and wind power supply.

  • Texas' grid is not connected to other US grids, limiting its ability to balance supply and demand and leading to issues like the Big Freeze in 2021.

  • Failure to upgrade the grid could pose challenges for Texas despite its leading position in renewable energy.

  • The EU parliament has approved a new law aimed at restoring degraded land and ocean resources to protect biodiversity.

  • The law will protect 20% of the EU's land and fisheries from further degradation and promote restoration measures on 20% of land and sea by 2030, with a goal of covering all degraded ecosystems by 2050.

  • The proposal faced opposition from conservative political factions, farmers, and fishing groups who raised concerns about food security and economic impacts.

  • Scientists support the law, stating that restoring nature improves food security, helps fisheries, creates jobs, and saves money in the long run.

  • The EU's soil and habitats are in poor condition, and the decline in biodiversity poses significant threats.

  • The law will undergo further review before a full parliament vote later this year, with efforts to address financial impacts on affected industries.

  • The approval of the law comes amid increasing climate change impacts, such as extreme heatwaves and severe flooding, highlighting the need to protect and restore nature.

  • Ocean temperatures in Florida are reaching "downright shocking" levels, exacerbating the heat wave and posing risks to coral reefs and hurricane intensity.

  • Florida is experiencing its warmest year on record, with temperatures running 3 to 5 degrees above normal.

  • The extreme ocean heat is connected to historically warm oceans globally, contributing to the intensification of the heat wave.

  • The high ocean temperatures create more humidity, making it feel hotter and hindering nighttime cooling.

  • The situation highlights the need for urgent action to address climate change and its impacts on ocean ecosystems.


  • Apple's autonomous vehicle program has added new drivers after a significant team reduction in April.

  • The number of registered drivers for Apple's autonomous vehicle fleet has increased by about 5%, from 145 to 152, between April 28 and July 7.

  • The current staff size is in line with Apple's 2022 numbers and falls in the middle range compared to other companies testing autonomous vehicles in California.

  • Apple's AV fleet remains unchanged with 66 vehicles since the April report.

  • Apple has not applied for a driverless permit and experienced one collision since April, where one of its Lexus AV vehicles was rear-ended at a stop sign.

  • The release of the Apple Car is anticipated in 2026, but self-driving capabilities may not be included in the initial generation.

  • Protesters in San Francisco are placing traffic cones on self-driving cars to disrupt their operations.

  • The protest group, Safe Street Rebels, is targeting General Motors (Cruise) and Alphabet (Waymo) vehicles.

  • The group aims to combat the expansion of self-driving vehicle testing in the city and the reported traffic issues caused by these cars.

  • Placing a traffic cone on the vehicle's hood requires maintenance workers to reset the systems.

  • Concerns raised by the protesters include traffic congestion, impeding emergency vehicles, and potential police surveillance associated with AI-operated cars.

  • Waymo and Cruise have criticized the protest, calling it vandalism and unsafe behavior.

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing a new regulatory path for self-driving vehicles.

  • The proposed framework, called the AV STEP (Automated Vehicle Safety Transparency and Engagement for Testing and Deployment), would provide an alternative to the exemption requests process.

  • AV STEP aims to establish a standardized framework for safety evaluation and regulation of autonomous vehicles.

  • General Motors (GM) could benefit from this new regulatory path, as the company has been seeking exemptions for certain safety requirements.

  • The proposal is part of the government's efforts to streamline the development and deployment of self-driving technology while ensuring safety.

  • The NHTSA is seeking public comments on the proposal before finalizing the framework.


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