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

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology.

The dark secret behind those cute AI-generated animal images

Another month, another flood of weird, wonderful and cute images generated by an artificial intelligence. In April, OpenAI showed off its new picture-making neural network, DALL-E 2, which could produce remarkable high-res images of almost anything it was asked to. 

Now, just a few weeks later, Google Brain has revealed its own image-making AI, called Imagen. And it performs even better than DALL-E 2: it …

The dark secret behind those cute AI-generated animal images

Another month, another flood of weird and wonderful images generated by an artificial intelligence. In April, OpenAI showed off its new picture-making neural network, DALL-E 2, which could produce remarkable high-res images of almost anything it was asked to. It outstripped the original DALL-E in almost every way.

Now, just a few weeks later, Google Brain has revealed its own image-making AI, called Imagen. And it performs even better than DALL-E 2: it scores higher on a standard measure for rating the quality of computer-generated images, and the pictures it produced were preferred by a group of human …

The Download: Clearview AI’s hefty fine, and countries’ monkeypox preparation

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology.

The walls are closing in on Clearview AI

Controversial facial recognition company Clearview AI has been fined more than $10 million by the UK’s data protection watchdog for collecting the faces of UK citizens from the web and social media. The firm was also ordered to delete all of the data it holds on UK citizens.

The move by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the latest in a string of high-profile fines against …

The walls are closing in on Clearview AI

Controversial facial recognition company Clearview AI has been fined almost $10 million by the UK’s data protection watchdog for collecting the faces of UK citizens from the web and social media. The firm was also ordered to delete all of the data it holds on UK citizens.

The move by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the latest in a string of high-profile fines against the company as data protection authorities around the world eye tougher restrictions on its practices.

The ICO found Clearview AI had been in breach of data protection laws, collected personal data without people’s consent …

The Download: DeepMind’s AI shortcomings, and China’s social media translation problem

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology.

The hype around DeepMind’s new AI model misses what’s actually cool about it

Earlier this month, DeepMind presented a new “generalist” AI model called Gato. The model can play the video game Atari, caption images, chat, and stack blocks with a real robot arm, the Alphabet-owned AI lab announced. All in all, Gato can do hundreds of different tasks.

But while Gato is undeniably fascinating, in the week since its release some researchers have got …