Beyond the impossible: Lab-grown meat hopes to lure skeptics of plant-based options

This story is part of Tech for a Better World, stories about the diverse teams creating products, apps and services to improve our lives and society.

Winston Churchill foresaw the biggest food innovation of the 21st century back in 1931: “We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.”

Today that prospect nears, but is still so new it doesn’t have a widely agreed-upon name: cultured meat, clean meat, lab-grown meat, cultivated meat or, by its detractors, test tube meat. 

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All those terms denote meat grown from animal cells, rather than from a living, sentient animal. I’ll call it cultured meat, but regardless of name, it may start arriving at small scale in 2022 from companies such as Mosa Meat, Memphis Meats, Aleph Farms, and Meatable. It will be positioned as

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In 2021, Tesla’s Autonomy Tech May Change Skeptics’ Minds (NASDAQ:TSLA)

This week marks the rollout of the blank page rewrite of Tesla’s (TSLA) Full Self-Driving software to a small, exclusive group of non-employee beta testers. This marks the first step for Tesla toward recurring software revenue with high margins. In the very long term, we may see Tesla sell its vehicles at cost or even at a loss, yet become significantly more profitable by charging a subscription fee for Full Self-Driving.

The rewritten software encompasses several fundamental changes versus the software currently running in consumer Teslas:

  • A brand new neural network architecture known as HydraNet that emphasizes multi-task learning, i.e. sharing information between different tasks such as object detection and scene segmentation.

  • A move from humans labeling 2D images by drawing a cube around an object to humans labeling 3D scene re-creations.

  • Changing the atomic unit of data for neural networks from still video frames to video clips, thereby incorporating

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Google Critics Cheer Justice Department Suit, but Skeptics Question Motives

WASHINGTON—The Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against

Alphabet Inc.’s

Google drew bipartisan praise from lawmakers and cheers from the company’s competitors, while prompting skepticism and accusations of political bias from larger technology companies and critics of the Trump administration.

The reactions foreshadowed the lengthy debate to come from Washington to Silicon Valley over the merits of a government enforcement action targeting one of America’s most successful companies.

More on the Antitrust Lawsuit

“It cannot escape notice that this suit was hurried out on the eve of an election where the [Trump] Administration has aggressively pressured tech companies to take actions in its favor,” said a statement from the Computer & Communications Industry Association, whose members include large tech companies such as Google,

Facebook Inc.

and

Amazon.com Inc.

“Antitrust law should be driven by consumers’ interests, not political imperatives,” the group said. ”We look forward to a court’s review of the facts

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