The week in innovation: OpenAI alternatives, Xiaomi’s new EV

The week in innovation: OpenAI alternatives, Xiaomi's new EV

OpenAI dominates the generative AI market, and its GPT-4 is the industry’s best-performing model to date. But businesses are increasingly opting to build their own, smaller AI models that are more tailored to their business needs. – Michelle Cheng Read More In the court of public opinion, more charges are coming against America’s favorite electric vehicle manufacturer. Reuters is reporting that two US senators, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, are directly telling Elon Musk that they want Tesla to recall components with frequent failures it has been blaming on customers and user error. The letters come in response to a Reuters investigation that found the company knew the issues were because of manufacturing and engineering problems. – Melvin Backman Read More A world where your every move can be tracked using facial recognition has gone from science fiction to an everyday reality. Facial recognition is common at airports, concerts, and stores, its in our schools, and you might even have to use it to file your taxes. Some people are willing to trade privacy for safety, but facial recognition has serious, built-in flaws that limit its accuracy. The technology may already be responsible for putting innocent people in jail. – Thomas Germain Read More Being the space nerd that I am, I often imagine a museum filled with the most important objects ever sent to space. We couldn’t possibly build a place like this, but we can speculate as to which human artifacts deserve a place in our imaginary spaceflight museum. – George Dvorsky Read More A US appellate court has temporarily reversed a ban on US imports of the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch Series 9 models. It’s the latest chapter in a years-long patent dispute between Apple and a medical device company called Masimo. – Melvin Backman Read More Lei Jun, the billionaire co-founder and CEO of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, unveiled the company’s maiden electric car on Dec. 28. Jun did not divulge many details about its forthcoming SU7—including the exact timeline of its launch or its price—but he did say that Xiaomi harbors ambitions of becoming a leading player in the global industry. – Ananya Bhattacharya Read More X-planes are a class of experimental aircraft designed to test and demonstrate new innovations in flight—some were created for NASA, others for DARPA or the US military. The first X-plane, X-1, was flown by Chuck Yeager in the 1940s and was the first craft to fly faster than the speed of sound. Over the decades, these aircraft have pushed the boundaries of what humans can do in the air. Here are some of the more bizarre products of our taxpayer dollars, ones that confound our typical understandings of what a plane looks like. – Isaac Schultz Read More The problem of fresh farm produce going bad before reaching the market has been solved in many countries. In others, it’s still inspiring innovative fixes. That includes Nigeria, where a local mechatronics engineer is coming to the rescue of smallholder farmers trying to stem their losses to spoilage. – Faustine Ngila Read More Since the covid-19 pandemic especially, people have been wary about the hygiene of reusable glass cups that are washed by hand. The disposability of paper cups makes them seem like a healthier option—but they’re not. – Ananya Bhattacharya Read More Apple is one of the most globally respected technology companies, having built its reputation on creating reliable, high-end products with innovative features, from its ubiquitous iPhones to Macs with custom M-series silicon and even a subscription streaming service that went from “the one with the soccer show” to an award winner with a respectable catalog of original content. – Phillip Tracy Read More