Technology

Volkswagen Sees Electric Vehicles as a Way to Grow in the U.S.
Technology

Volkswagen Sees Electric Vehicles as a Way to Grow in the U.S.

Probably only Americans of a certain age remember when the Volkswagen Beetle was the best-selling imported car in the United States and the hippest ride to a Grateful Dead concert was a Volkswagen Microbus.Volkswagen is trying to tap some of that nostalgia in its latest push to regain the status and sales it enjoyed in the United States during the Beetle’s and Microbus’s heydays in the 1960s. But this time it hopes its top models will be electric.The German carmaker is second only to Toyota globally but is a niche player in the United States. Part of its plan to revive its fortunes here is to lean on a new electric model that resembles the Microbus, the ID.Buzz, and to revive the Scout brand with a line of electric pickups and sport utility vehicles.Last week, as giant earth movers kicked ...
‘Most Wanted’ Man Pleads Guilty in Cyberattack That Upended Vermont Hospital
Technology

‘Most Wanted’ Man Pleads Guilty in Cyberattack That Upended Vermont Hospital

A Ukrainian man pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to his leadership role in two cyberattack schemes that caused tens of millions of dollars in losses and temporarily crippled a Vermont hospital in 2020, according to the Justice Department.Prosecutors said that Vyacheslav Igorevich Penchukov, 37, was a leader for an organization that in May 2009 began to infect thousands of computers at corporations with malicious software, and that he helped lead a separate malware scheme that began around November 2018.Mr. Penchukov, of Donetsk, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court in Nebraska to one count of conspiracy to commit an offense that violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He was arrested in Switzerland in...
OpenAI Completes Deal That Values the Company at $80 Billion
Technology

OpenAI Completes Deal That Values the Company at $80 Billion

OpenAI has completed a deal that values the San Francisco artificial intelligence company at $80 billion or more, nearly tripling its valuation in less than 10 months, according to three people with knowledge of the deal.The company would sell existing shares in a so-called tender offer led by the venture firm Thrive Capital, the people said. The deal lets employees cash out their shares in the company, rather than a traditional funding round that would raise money for business operations.OpenAI, which declined to comment, is now one of the world’s most valuable tech start-ups, behind ByteDance and SpaceX, according to figures from the data tracker CB Insights.The deal is another example of the Silicon Valley deal-making machine pumping money into a handful of companies that specialize in ...
OpenAI Unveils Sora, an A.I. That Generates Eye-Popping Videos
Technology

OpenAI Unveils Sora, an A.I. That Generates Eye-Popping Videos

In April, a New York start-up called Runway AI unveiled technology that let people generate videos, like a cow at a birthday party or a dog chatting on a smartphone, simply by typing a sentence into a box on a computer screen.The four-second videos were blurry, choppy, distorted and disturbing. But they were a clear sign that artificial intelligence technologies would generate increasingly convincing videos in the months and years to come.Just 10 months later, the San Francisco start-up OpenAI has unveiled a similar system that creates videos that look as if they were lifted from a Hollywood movie. A demonstration included short videos — created in minutes — of woolly mammoths trotting through a snowy meadow, a monster gazing at a melting candle and a Tokyo street scene seemingly shot by a...
SpaceX to Launch Intuitive Machines Nova-C Moon Lander: How to Watch
Technology

SpaceX to Launch Intuitive Machines Nova-C Moon Lander: How to Watch

Another month, another try at the moon.A robotic lunar lander is scheduled to launch in the early morning hours of Wednesday. If all goes well, it will become the first American spacecraft to set down softly on the moon’s surface since the Apollo 17 moon landing in 1972.It is also the latest private effort to send spacecraft to the moon. Earlier attempts have all ended in failure. But the company in charge of the latest effort, Intuitive Machines of Houston, is optimistic. “I feel fairly confident that we’re going to be successful softly touching down on the moon,” said Stephen Altemus, the president and chief executive of Intuitive Machines. “We’ve done the testing. We’ve tested and tested and tested. As much testing as we could do.”When is the launch and how can I watch?The Intuitive Mac...
When the Voice You Hear Is Not the Actor You See
Technology

When the Voice You Hear Is Not the Actor You See

In the darkest moments of a family tragedy, when the playwright Mona Pirnot couldn’t find the strength to verbalize her feelings to her boyfriend or her therapist, she tried something a little unorthodox: She typed her thoughts into her laptop, and prompted a text-to-speech program to voice them aloud.It was a coping mechanism that also sparked a creative pivot: Pirnot’s then-boyfriend, now-husband, Lucas Hnath, is also a playwright, with a longtime interest in sound and a more recent history of building shows around disembodied voices. His last play, “A Simulacrum,” featured a magician re-creating his side of a conversation with Hnath, whose voice was heard via a tape recording; and his play before that, “Dana H.,” featured an actress lip-syncing interviews in which the playwright’s mothe...
The Friar Who Became the Vatican’s Go-To Guy on A.I.
Technology

The Friar Who Became the Vatican’s Go-To Guy on A.I.

Before dawn, Paolo Benanti climbed to the bell tower of his 16th-century monastery, admired the sunrise over the ruins of the Roman forum and reflected on a world in flux.“It was a wonderful meditation on what is going on inside,” he said, stepping onto the street in his friar robe. “And outside too.”There is a lot is going on for Father Benanti, who, as both the Vatican’s and the Italian government’s go-to artificial intelligence ethicist, spends his days thinking about the Holy Ghost and the ghosts in the machines.In recent weeks, the ethics professor, ordained priest and self-proclaimed geek has joined Bill Gates at a meeting with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, presided over a commission seeking to save Italian media from ChatGPT bylines and general A.I. oblivion, and met with Vatican o...
F.C.C. Bans A.I.-Generated Robocalls – The New York Times
Technology

F.C.C. Bans A.I.-Generated Robocalls – The New York Times

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday outlawed unwanted robocalls generated by artificial intelligence, amid growing concerns over election disinformation and consumer fraud facilitated by the technology.The unanimous decision by the F.C.C. cited a three-decade-old law aimed at curbing junk phone calls, clarifying that A.I.-generated spam calls are also illegal. By doing so, the agency said it expanded the ability of states to prosecute creators of unsolicited spam robocalls.“It seems like something from the far-off future, but it is already here,” the F.C.C. chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel, said in a statement. “Bad actors are using A.I.-generated voices in unsolicited robocalls to extort vulnerable family members, imitate celebrities and misinform voters.”Concerns about the u...
Apple Vision Pro Review: First Headset Lacks Polish and Purpose
Technology

Apple Vision Pro Review: First Headset Lacks Polish and Purpose

About 17 years ago, Steve Jobs took the stage at a San Francisco convention center and said he was introducing three products: an iPod, a phone and an internet browser.“These are not three separate devices,” he said. “This is one device, and we are calling it iPhone.”At $500, the first iPhone was relatively expensive, but I was eager to dump my mediocre Motorola flip phone and splurge. There were flaws — including sluggish cellular internet speeds. But the iPhone delivered on its promises.Over the last week, I’ve had a very different experience with a new first-generation product from Apple: the Vision Pro, a virtual reality headset that resembles a pair of ski goggles. The $3,500 wearable computer, which was released Friday, uses cameras so you can see the outside world while juggling app...
How A.I. Is Remodeling the Fantasy Home
Technology

How A.I. Is Remodeling the Fantasy Home

I was scrolling through Instagram recently when I found a new page slipped into my feed through a suggested post: @tinyhouseperfect. It seemed designed to poke at my frustrated longings for a space of my own. I want to own a house; I cannot currently buy a house. But what if the house were very small? Very small, and also perfect?Soon I was navigating the reading nooks and chef’s kitchens of an elfin cottage, a gothic coastal A-frame, a cozy “loch house” in the Scottish Highlands. I had projected my future self to the Scottish seaside, wondering how much the house might cost to rent for a weekend, when I realized that price was no object because the house did not exist. Each of these teensy homes had been rendered by A.I. software and smoothed with an assist from more A.I. software. I had ...