Regular People Become Space Travelers, Apple Announces New Stuff, New Bot Harbinger of Doom?

This week's news: regular people become astronauts and blast off a SpaceX rocket, the Fruit Company announces new phones and watches to burn money on, and the most powerful AI bot

It’s Thursday, and this week has been an amazing week for technology news. We have a lot to share this week. I’m on with Mark Starling, Seth, John, and the First News 570 crew. This week’s news: regular people become astronauts and blast off a SpaceX rocket, the Fruit Company announces new phones and watches to burn money on, and the most powerful AI bot is…black. You can listen to Mark and I point and laugh while talking about the wild and crazy technology world every Thursday morning, LIVE at 6:43am Eastern.


One of this week’s big news items was last night’s Inspiration4 mission. Last night, around 8 o’clock, SpaceX flew 4 astronauts who were once ordinary citizens into space higher than the International Space Station. They flew 80 miles higher than the IST to a flight of 360 miles. Onboard were a GED holding payment processing exec, a physician’s assistant at St. Jude’s Hospital, a community college professor, and a Lockheed Martin data engineer. Flights like this are the proof the industry needs to show that spaceflight is safe for civilians. The flight used SpaceX’s Falcon9 rocket as the launch vehicle, and the Resilience capsule that was used to ferry SpaceX’s astronauts to the IST last summer. Capsule and booster were refurbished for the flight, demonstrating how close we are to making Earth escaping flights a regular thing.


The first set of big news for the week came from Apple. We teased their latest iPhone event on last week’s tech segment, and Apple delivered on everyone’s expectations. Apple announced a plethora of new devices, but are they enough to entice you to upgrade? Apple is shipping iPhone 13s all the way from regular to Pro Max. Apple has always touted its photo and video capabilities and this year, Apple has introduced Cinematic mode. A way of shooting video that allows you to shift focus around the scene, Hollywood style. Apple is saying this: the iPhone 13 shoots in Dolby Vision HDR, and…and…you are allowed to do all of these focusing tricks AFTER you shoot the video!

I’m sharing their promo video so you can check it out.

The latest iPhones are powered by a new A15 Bionic chip. This chip is the latest Apple silicon with a mind boggling 15 billion transistors. So, that’s 3.2 billion more transistors than the A14. That’s billions more with a ‘B’. Apple’s silicon has been outperforming other products for years now and it keeps getting faster. Apple’s phones will get better battery thanks to bigger cells and better code. The big one gets a whopping 1 terabyte of storage. Which is f-ing insane. You’ll need the pro for Cinematic mode. All phones are available next week.

Watches. Apple’s getting new watches as well. The new Apple Watch 7 will have a bigger display with thinner display borders improving the performance. The watch 7 will also feature a crack resistant display and faster charging. I thought it already charged fast.

I Have no Need for a New One

Apple’s releasing new iPads as well. The iPad isn’t as ground breaking as it once was. The latest pro model will get the A13 chip which is old hat for iPhone users, but the screens are great looking still. After 2 years, the iPad Mini finally gets an update. The iPad Mini finally gets TouchID and a new Apple Pencil.

Everything is available next week.

You can watch a rerun here.


Earlier this week, the Creative Lab and leadership organization, Trill or Not Trill announced a new virtual AI named C.L.AI.R.A. C.L.AI.R.A. is a bit different in that she is a Black/Latina AI and is running using Generative Pre-Trained Transformer 3 technology, also known as GPT-3. Yup. The upgrade from GPT-2. That GPT-2. C.L.AI.R.A. is bilingual, Afro-Latina, and will be debuting at schools this month. The Creative Lab is a non-profit that has a mission of helping minority and poor communities obtain technology skills. If you are a regular First News 570 listener, you may remember we reported on a technology called GPT-2. At the time, GPT-2’s scientists had said the technology was too dangerous to place in public consumption because the writing and output of the tech made it very hard to distinguish between a human and a bot’s speech. GPT-3 is even more powerful with the highest class of the product being trained on 175 billion pieces of speech. I am super geeked out and fascinated by this. With three parameters you can get a machine to give you text/speech. I love it!

Absolutely nothing to worry about

This means, and you need to understand this, you can tell GPT-3 a subject, and GPT-3 will do the research and give you back information on the subject in a human voice. A human voice making it hard for readers to tell. GPT-2’s scientists thought this tech would hurt humans by making it easy to spread misinformation and fake news that seems to come from credible sources. They didn’t think credible sources would spread misinformation and fake news on their on accord anyway. C.L.AI.R.A. has a generated face, generated voice, and the world’s most powerful artificial intelligence. What should we be concerned about?


Demystifying Computing

Have you ever looked at the screen and wondered what’s going on in there? Coming in time for the holidays, Seven Brief Lessons on Computing is a fast and entertaining read that shares how computers work for the curious.

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