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🤔🤳 Who is PimEyes and why do they have your selfies? Researchers receive funding to bioprint a human heart. Kevlar dethroned by the humble silkworm spinner.
We’re about a week into November now and that could mean a lot of different things depending on where you find yourself reading these words. The world seems a lot more chaotic and uncertain at the moment than it has been the past few months. Here at Bizarro Devs, we invite you to briefly zone out and join us, as we bring you the most interesting stories, stats, tools, and more from the previous month.
Here are the top stories:
🤔🤳 Who Is PimEyes and Why Do They Have Your Selfies?
🖨️🫀 Researchers Receive Funding to Bioprint a Human Heart
🧵🕸️ Kevlar Dethroned by the Humble Silkworm Spinner
Before we dive in, I also want to mention that there’s an interesting industry event coming up in December that you should check out. It’s the Autonomous Innovation Virtual Summit. Tickets are €50, but because you - yes, YOU - are a Bizarro Devs reader, you can use a special coupon code at checkout (BizarroAIS) and get 100% off (more details at the bottom of the newsletter).
Happy reading and have a wonderful week!
📰 From the Newsroom
The face of digital identification has taken a new turn due to PimEyes, a brainchild of two programmers from Poland. This facial recognition search engine allows users to upload a photo and identify individuals by scouring the internet for matching images - making the world a smaller, yet potentially more invasive place.
Initially aimed at helping individuals monitor their online presence, PimEyes has found favor among internet sleuths on TikTok, making the line between curiosity and stalking blurrier.
The absence of federal regulation governing facial recognition technology in the U.S. has left a gaping void for protecting and enforcing privacy there. In turn, it’s also led to a proliferation of privacy-invading tools like PimEyes.
While PimEyes does have an opt-out feature, it has proven to be ineffective at times, thus leaving individuals exposed to unsolicited searches.
As PimEyes unfolds a new chapter in digital identification, it beckons a larger societal dialogue on the ethical implications of facial recognition technology. Are we ready to face the reality and address the challenges that tools like PimEyes present? 🤔
A multidisciplinary team at Stanford has embarked on an ambitious project - funded by a $26.3 million U.S. government contract - to bioprint a human heart and implant it into a pig within five years. This groundbreaking initiative, termed a "moonshot effort," is a step towards the futuristic vision of creating patient-specific human organs.
The advancement in 3D bioprinting technology, especially the capability to print cells and blood vessels, is the cornerstone of this project, enabling the creation of large, implantable tissues.
A notable challenge is the massive scale of cell production required; billions of heart-specific cells will be produced using a bank of automated bioreactors, aiming to generate sufficient cells for a heart every two weeks.
Although the project fuels the vision of biofabricating organs for human implantation, the realization of such a goal is believed to be decades away, necessitating this initiative as a crucial proof-of-concept to propel organ engineering forward.
From a bioengineering standpoint, if this ends up being successful, it will be an absolute game-changer, but then how accessible is it really going to be? The ultra-rich will probably use it to replace their deteriorating organs and push their life limit into the 150s and possibly beyond, but will the common folk ever benefit from this? Maybe. It’s more likely to happen in OECD countries, but who knows. We’ll let you ponder that on your own.
Silkworms naturally spin fragile silk, while spiders create silk that is strong and tough. If that’s the case, then why don’t we rely on spiders as a source of silk? The reason is straightforward: they are impractical to farm due to their aggressive nature. But now, thanks to a new biological breakthrough, we might get silk with “spidey strength” without having to rely on spiders for it.
Scientists at Donghua University in China harnessed CRISPR technology to incorporate genes from a robust-silk-spinning spider into silkworm egg cells.
The endeavor pivoted on a concept called "localization," targeting a specific genome location, and devising a basic structure model of silkworm silk guiding the genetic tweaks.
The result: silkworms spun silk with tensile strength and toughness surpassing Kevlar, showcasing a six-fold increase in toughness.
This innovation illustrates a potential leap in materials science, with silkworm-spider silk harboring the promise of superior, naturally sourced, and perhaps more sustainable material. The future of fabric engineering is going to get interesting, that’s for sure. 🪱🕷️
⛓️ Ten Must See Links of the Month
The Pope has swiped right on Python. "Code with Pope" has been approved by the Pontiff. Young souls between the ages of 11 and 15 will be able to pursue their programming prayers while the Holy Father will continue to shepherd the spiritual flock.
Bing's AI was recently caught displaying an odd gender bias when it refused to generate "photorealistic images of a woman," labeling the request as "unsafe." This is despite having no issues with generating "photorealistic images of a man." What did Microsoft have to say about it?
It seems like renters in the U.S. have had enough with greedy landlords. They're accusing them of using software and insider data to jack up rental prices, and they’re taking them to court over it.
A group of ChatGPT-powered AI bots were assigned to specialized roles in a mock software firm. This AI bot team then developed software at an astonishing speed, calling into question the norms of traditional months-long development cycles.
WhatsApp is taking a leap into the AI realm, testing a new chatbot support feature so they can bid adieu to old-school email troubleshooting. The goal is to offer users swift answers and solutions within the app itself.
Fusing generative AI into search engines promises instant text answers to search queries instead of link lists. What will be the impact on the $68 billion SEO industry?
Anthropic's direct ChatGPT competitor, Claude 2, can summarize about 75,000 words. In comparison, GPT can only handle roughly 3,000. That ability gap was enough to convince Google to toss a cool $2 billion into Anthropic's AI pot. The AI war is getting fierce.
📽️🎞️ Have you seen those robot dogs developed by Boston Dynamics before? (You probably have.) Well they’ve just been upgraded with their own “brains” and are being tested out as tour guides. The one in this video has a posh British accent.
Talk about a historical comeback! So, Mount Vesuvius (a volcano) did a number on Herculaneum back in the year 79 AD, torching a bunch of ancient scrolls in a fancy villa. Fast forward nearly 2,000 years, and voila, researchers are now using AI to read words off of those burnt-to-crisp pages.
Planning on launching a new WordPress site soon? Then you’re going to need a reliable hosting provider. Unfortunately, the hosting market is crowded. Very crowded. On the one hand this is good because competition brings prices down, but on the other hand, how are you supposed to pick from so many choices? This roundup of the best WordPress hosting companies is a great place to start.
🎤 It’s How They Said It
"Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.”
🧮 The Numbers Game
About 54% of customers have returned a product they purchased online that didn’t match its description - according to a recent study by Salsify. The takeaway? Write accurate product descriptions.
28% of all businesses in the United States will fail within the first two years, and 48% during the first ten years. Just 25% of companies in the U.S. make it beyond fifteen years in business.
33,000 new domain name registrations happen every single day. That’s about one new domain every 2.61 seconds.
⚒️ Tools and Resources
Payload CMS 2.0: This is a substantial update to the Payload CMS, offering a blend of content management system (CMS) and application framework capabilities. It enables developers to have full backend control, avoiding a complete surrender to SaaS models. The new version introduces an "adapter pattern" enhancing database interactions, admin panel compilation, and rich text editing. It now supports Postgres in addition to MongoDB, aided by the Drizzle ORM for seamless database operations. Additionally, it incorporates migration support, facilitating schema changes and database version management, making it a more robust and flexible tool for modern web development
🖼️ Image of The Month
Okay, so the image below is obviously not one image, but six. In fact, it’s actually a screenshot from this Twitter post.
Why are you being shown this image, you’re asking?
No, it’s not because Bizarro Devs is changing to Mindblowing Makeup.
It’s to share with you a useful technique when using the new embedded DALL E-3 feature inside of ChatGPT Plus.
If you haven’t used it yet, it’s a significant improvement on using DALL E-3 by itself. The way it works is that ChatGPT creates a better prompt for DALL E-3 out of your initial prompt that you give it.
The problem is that if one of the generated images comes out almost perfect but you only want to tweak one or two variables, there’s no straightforward way to do that - unless you use the hack I’m going to share with you.
The hack is to ask it for the “Seed ID” of the image that you like. Once you have that Seed ID, then you can tell ChatGPT that you want to “edit image with Seed ID [insert the ID]” and tell it the adjustment you wish to make. The Seed ID is the key to the whole thing because if you just tell it to make the edit without the Seed ID, it will generate a brand new image from scratch, which won’t look like the image you originally liked.
💬 Word of The Month
"Sitzfleisch" (German): Think of this word as exemplifying the art of butt-in-chair resilience. It’s the mental fortitude required to see complex, often tedious tasks through to the end, without succumbing to the allure of distractions or the desire to give up during a brain-bending challenge.
Cultivating your inner Sitzfleisch means developing an almost meditative ability to commit to the task at hand. It could be that critical code that needs rewriting or those intricate bugs that demand patience and unwavering attention to untangle.
With that said, it’s important to acknowledge your limits and set a sustainable pace. Balance is key because too much Sitzfleisch can easily transform into burnout, and that helps no one. Embrace the spirit of Sitzfleisch, but keep an eye on your well-being. Your code (or other work) — and your sanity — will thank you for it!
📊 Results of Last Month’s Polls
We didn’t do any standard polls in last month’s issue, but many of you participated in our reader survey, which yielded some interesting findings. First, I’d like to thank those of you who took the time to take the survey. If you didn’t take it, you still can. It’ll only take you about a minute - tops.
Otherwise, here are a few of the results about you, our cherished audience:
64.7% of you read every issue of Bizarro Devs.
About a third of you are between the ages of 35 and 44. This is the largest age demographic, followed by 25 to 34, which is just under a quarter of the readership.
The 3 most popular topics, in order of popularity are: web development and coding, scientific breakthroughs, and AI and machine learning.
A little more than half of you are software engineers or web developers. The other half is a very diverse group of professions that range from hardware engineers to healthcare consultants, with some students and retired folks mixed in.
The majority of the audience hails from North America. However, if we combine all of the Americas with all of the different areas of Europe, then Europe beats out the Americas. The rest of the audience comes from various parts of Asia, Australia or New Zealand, and the Middle East or North Africa.
Finally, men make up the majority of the readership, clocking in at 68.6%, with women at 27.5%, and 3.9% declining to respond.
🧑🏻💻👨🏽💻👩🏼💻 Autonomous Innovation Virtual Summit
Remember that upcoming event we mentioned in the intro? Well here's the scoop:
40+ AI talks: There will be experts talking about interesting AI topics, such as synthetic idea validation, inclusive product innovation, and trend predictions.
Networking opportunities: Expect over 10,000 attendees, so it'll be a good chance to meet some new faces.
Playbacks: If you can't catch everything live, the event organizers will also send recordings after the event.
The Best Part? We got our readers a deal. Use the code BizarroAIS at checkout, and you'll get in for free instead of paying the €50 ticket price.
👉 Want in? Here's where you can grab a ticket.
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Until next time,