tech, generative AI, open source, new model, 100 languages
Photo credit: Pxhere

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New AI Polyglot Launched to Help Close Massive Language Gap (Maria)

The author writes, “A new open-source generative AI model can follow instructions in more than 100 languages. Most models that power today’s generative AI tools are trained on data in English and Chinese, leaving a massive gap of thousands of languages. … Cohere for AI, the nonprofit AI research lab at Cohere, on Tuesday released its open-source multilingual large language model (LLM) called Aya. It covers more than twice as many languages as other existing open-source models and is the result of a year-long project involving 3,000 researchers in 119 countries.”

Will Biden and Trump Face One Another in Presidential Debates? There’s No Commitment Yet (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Nikki Haley is challenging Donald Trump to debate. Trump is challenging Joe Biden to debate. And Biden is laughing Trump off, at least publicly. But there are real questions about whether any of them will confront each other on a stage this year.”

Even Republicans Praise Tammy Baldwin (Al)

From Urban Milwaukee: “Rural voters have become a giant headache for Democrats. While Bill Clinton carried about half of all rural counties, more than 1,100 in 1996, that has declined drastically since then, to just 455 counties for Barack Obama in 2008 and a mere 194 for Joe Biden in 2020. That was about the same as Hillary Clinton won in 2016. But Wisconsin’s Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has bucked that trend. She won 18 rural counties in 2012 that would later vote for Republican Donald Trump for president in 2016.”

Are Russia and China Teaming Up to Control the Arctic? (Sean)

From Scientific American: “More aggressive posturing by Russia and China in the fast-melting Arctic is raising red flags for the Pentagon. Russia is working to quickly flex its muscle in the region through a partnership with China to build infrastructure along the Northern Sea Route, one of two major shipping lanes across the Arctic. That agreement, announced exactly a year after Russia invaded Ukraine, was viewed by experts as a signal that Russia and China increasingly share economic interests in the icy polar region.”

How the Late Bob’s Red Mill Founder Avoided Selling Out to a Food Giant And Instead Transferred Ownership to His 700 Employees (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “Bob Moore, the founder of Bob’s Red Mill, who died on Saturday, set up a unique ownership model for his natural food company. Rather than sell out to a food giant, he transferred full ownership to his employees — more than 700 of them. … In 2010, ‘after succeeding beyond his wildest dreams,’ Moore created an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, or ESOP, that would distribute stock in the company to the people who worked there. By April 2020, Bob’s Red Mill was 100% employee-owned.”

EU Fossil Fuel CO2 Emissions Hit 60-Year Low (Laura)

From The Guardian: “The European Union pumped out 8% less carbon dioxide from the fossil fuels it burned in 2023 than it did in 2022, The Guardian can reveal, pushing these emissions down to their lowest level in 60 years. The fall in planet-heating pollution is the steepest yearly drop on record behind 2020, when governments shuttered factories and grounded flights to stop the spread of Covid-19, according to analysis from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (Crea).”

Charlotte, a Stingray With No Male Companion, Is Pregnant in Her Mountain Aquarium (Dana)

The author writes, “Charlotte, a rust-colored stingray the size of a serving platter, has spent much of her life gliding around the confines of a storefront aquarium in North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains. She’s 2,300 miles (3,700 kilometers) from her natural habitat under the waves off southern California. And she hasn’t shared a tank of water with a male of her species in at least eight years. And yet nature has found a way, the aquarium’s owner said: The stingray is pregnant with as many as four pups and could give birth in the next two weeks.”


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