The Download: cleaning up shipping, and Elon Musk’s new AI startup

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. How common chemicals could help clean up global shipping Global shipping is a big deal for the climate, accounting for 3% of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions. Last week saw a big news announcement…
The Download: cleaning up shipping, and Elon Musk’s new AI startup

The must-reads

I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 Elon Musk has unveiled his new startup, xAI
But his chances of overtaking OpenAI any time soon are slim. (Wired $)
+ The new company will rely on Tesla for a lot of its resources. (WP $)
+ Anthropic’s new chatbot is here. (The Guardian)

2 What the James Webb Space Telescope has taught us 🔭
Its first year of operation has opened our eyes to the wonders of the universe. (The Atlantic $)
+ There’s granite on the moon, apparently. (Economist $)
+ How the James Webb Space Telescope broke the universe. (MIT Technology Review)

3 What hasn’t Sam Altman invested in?
Many of his 400 or so investments are benefiting from the AI boom, too. (The Information $)
+ Has GPT-4 been secretly overhauled? It seems like it. (Insider $)
+ Sam Altman invested $180 million into a company trying to delay death. (MIT Technology Review)

4 America’s aggressive subsidies policy is paying off
The US wants future technologies to be developed at home, and the rest of the world is scrabbling to keep up. (FT $)
+ The $100 billion bet that a postindustrial US city can reinvent itself as a high-tech hub. (MIT Technology Review)

5 Facebook and Google are tracking your tax preparations
Now, a group of lawmakers want to do something about it. (Vox)

6 Junky AI content is taking over the internet
It’s a new form of spam, and it’s everywhere. (WSJ $)
+ Junk websites filled with AI-generated text are pulling in money from programmatic ads. (MIT Technology Review)
+ AI is fueling a drug addiction crisis. (Insider $)