The Download: Google’s AI Cuteness Overload and America’s Fight for Gun Control

Another month, another flood of weird, wonderful and cute images generated by an artificial intelligence. In April, OpenAI introduced its new imaging neural network, DALL-E 2, which could produce remarkable high-resolution images of almost anything asked of it.

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

But like OpenAI did with DALL-E, Google is all about being nice. The two companies promote their tools with a series of images filled with anthropomorphic animals doing adorable things: a fuzzy panda dressed as a chef making dough, a corgi sitting in a house made of sushi, a teddy bear swimming the 400m butterfly at the Olympics – and counting.

This cuteness hides a darker side to these tools, a side that the public doesn’t see because it would reveal the ugly truth about how they are created. Read the full story and see more photos created by Imagen here.

—Will Douglas Heaven

The unavoidable

I’ve scoured the internet to find you today’s funniest/important/scariest/fascinating stories about technology.

1 Uvalde school shooting reinforces urgent calls for gun control
Lawmakers are pushing to end the epidemic of gun violence in the United States. (The Guardian)
+ President Biden asks when America will stand up to the gun lobby. (Policy)
+ Texas has some of the most lenient gun laws in the country. (NYT$)


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