The Download: Google’s AI cuteness overload, and America’s fight for gun control

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One more month, another flood of strange, wonderful and sympathetic images generated by artificial intelligence. In April, OpenAI unveiled its new neural imaging network, DALL-E 2, which could produce remarkably high-resolution images of just about anything you asked for.

Now, just a few weeks later, Google Brain has unveiled its own AI for creating images, called Imagen. And it works even better than DALL-E 2: it scores higher on a standard measure to evaluate the quality of computer-generated images, and the images it produced were preferred by a group of human judges.

But, as OpenAI did with DALL-E, Google is betting on the friendly. Both firms promote their tools with a series of photographs full of anthropomorphic animals doing adorable things: a fuzzy panda dressed as a chef doing too much, a corgi sitting in a house made of sushi, a teddy bear swimming 400 m butterfly in the Olympics, and so on.

This sympathy hides a darker side of these tools, which the public cannot see because it would reveal the ugly truth about how they are created. Read the full story and see more images created by Imagen here.

“Will Douglas Heaven.”

Mandatory readings

I combed the internet to find the funniest / most important / scary and fascinating stories about technology.

1 The Uvalde school shooting reinforces urgent calls for gun control
Lawmakers are pushing for an end to the outbreak of armed violence in the United States. (The Guardian)
+ President Biden asks when America will face the arms lobby. (politician)
+ Texas has some of the most lenient weapons laws in the country. (NOW $)

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