The Chinese government is all in on autonomous vehicles


2. The Chinese EV leader BYD will spend $1 billion to build a factory in Turkey. (Financial Times $)

  • This will probably help BYD avoid some of the tariffs that Europe has imposed on made-in-China EVs. (MIT Technology Review) 

3. OpenAI’s recent decision to cut off access to its services in China won’t affect its business clients much, because they can still access ChatGPT through Microsoft’s cloud service. (The Information $)

4. Can you imagine Microsoft telling its employees to use only iPhones for work? Yep, that just happened in China as part of the effort to improve cybersecurity defenses. (Bloomberg $)

5. A Chinese academic recently revealed that the country currently has over 8.1 million data-center racks and a combined processing power of 230 exaflops—as much as 200 of the most advanced supercomputers today. And China wants to increase the total by 30% next year. (The Register)

6. Chinese factory owners are turning into TikTok comedians to find new business partners overseas. (Rest of World)

7. China is spending twice as much as the US on researching fusion energy. (Wall Street Journal $)

Lost in translation

At the 2024 World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC), held last week in Shanghai, humanoid robots were the star of the show, according to the Chinese publication Huxiu. The event saw a significant increase in exhibitors and panels, driven by a surge of new AI startups. But it was the concept of “embodied AI,” which integrates deep learning with robotics, that received the most attention from the audience.

At the conference, one company presented Galbot, a humanoid robot capable of performing complex tasks like opening drawers and hanging clothes, aiming for applications in elder care and household chores. Another introduced AnyFold, which can fold a blanket. Other robots can perform gymnastics, help users lift heavy objects, or just show very nuanced facial expressions.

One more thing

Who says multimodal AI has no real uses? People have figured out that ChatGPT’s image interpretation function is surprisingly good at one task: finding the most ripe and tasty watermelon out of a bunch of them. Now I’m hopeful about AI again.



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