TECH NEWS REVIEW Week 12-19 May 2020, by Stelios Iordanis

Exclusive: Tesla’s secret batteries aim to rework the math for electric cars and the grid – Reuters

Tesla  plans to introduce a new low-cost, long-life battery in its Model 3 sedan in China later this year or early next that it expects will bring the cost of electric vehicles in line with gasoline models, and allow EV batteries to have second and third lives in the electric power grid.


Tesla’s new batteries will rely on innovations such as low-cobalt and cobalt-free battery chemistries, and the use of chemical additives, materials and coatings that will reduce internal stress and enable batteries to store more energy for longer periods.

If successful, this is the technological breakthrough that will render gasoline and diesel cars obsolete; It is remarkable how cars not only emit pollution from burning fuel, but also extremely harmful particulate matter, due to the friction of the engine moving parts, tires and brakes.

If electric cars become so much economically competitive versus classic cars, the depreciation of the existing cars, and car industries will be toxic for the local economies of many regions; global shortage of lithium will be the only factor that could slow down widespread adoption, as well as production bottlenecks and lack of charging stations and electric grid issues.




A Nuclear Reactor—With a 3D-Printed Core | WIRED

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee have designed and built the components for a gas-cooled nuclear reactor. It’s a type of reactor that’s almost as old as the nuclear age itself, but Oak Ridge’s newest atom splitter has a distinctive 21st Century twist. When it comes online in 2023, it will be the first nuclear reactor in the world with a 3D-printed core.

Nuclear reactors can also be extremely safe if small scale installations are built according to the latest specifications; there are various types and the latest ones can be deemed as completely safe, although the justified skepticism and negativity of the population towards nuclear technology will take generations to diminish.



DARPA set to launch first Blackjack satellite later this year


“Blackjack seeks to develop and validate critical elements of global high-speed autonomous networks in LEO, proving a capability that could provide the Department of Defense with highly connected, resilient, and persistent overhead coverage,” the agency said in a May 11 statement.

DARPA is a US military R&D institution and military applications are imminent with this technology, of course.


The Pandemic Has Seriously Confused Machine Learning Systems


MIT Tech reports that a company that detects credit card fraud needed to step in and tweak its algorithm to account for a surge of interest in gardening equipment and power tools. An online retailer found that its AI was ordering stock that no longer matched with what was selling. And a firm that uses AI to recommend investments based on sentiment analysis of news stories was confused by the generally negative tone throughout the media.


Machine learning and mathematical optimization for scheduling, inventory planning, etc. are almost purely based on past historical records, therefore their accuracy dramatically drops when such a dramatic unprecedented regime switch in population behavior takes place, there for the manual readjustment of automated decision support systems that were viewed as ‘AI’ is critical.

AI-generated dictionary is still a notable accomplishment, given that understanding the meanings of words has long been one of the major limitations of modern-day artificial intelligence.


This Delightful AI Generates Words That Sound Real But Aren’t

The made-up words are generated by the website, Each time the site is refreshed, it comes up with a new word — with varying degrees of success.

Thisworddoesnotexist uses the OpenAI-created algorithm GPT-2, which generates plausible text that’s been used to algorithmically create everything from text-based adventure games to grad school essays.


Neuroscientist: Conventional Computers Will Never Be Conscious


Even simulating the complete biology of a human brain on conventional computer chips wouldn’t be enough to generate consciousness, Koch said. He argues that consciousness is defined by the underlying physics of that brain’s architecture, not its processing power.

An obvious truth is expressed here, however, which had to be expilicitly expressed by a top expert, as it is ignored by many sides for marketing and fuding reasons.



Nvidia unveils monstrous A100 AI chip with 54 billion transistors and 5 petaflops of performance | VentureBeat

Nvidia unveils monstrous A100 AI chip with 54 billion transistors and 5 petaflops of performance


Nvidia A100 can make supercomputing tasks — which are vital in the fight against COVID-19 — much more cost-efficient and powerful than today’s more expensive systems.

The chip has a monstrous 54 billion transistors (the on-off switches that are the building blocks of all things electronic), and it can execute 5 petaflops of performance, or about 20 times more than the previous-generation chip Volta.