Google AI Tools to Mitigate Climate Change; Generative AI May Affect 300 Million Jobs; Winnebago Snags Lithium-Ion Battery Provider; Clearview Claims Enormous Face Database for Law Enforcement

We have seen more extreme weather everywhere, and Google has now unveiled a new set of tools to help civil servants and community organizers to take action to stave off climate change induced disaster. reports that Google has already been pushing extreme weather alerts to users in affected locations, but now one tool they are adding brings extreme heat alerts to the list of conditions…which includes winter storm warnings, flood advisories, tornado warnings, and hurricanes. The tools are supposed to provide easy to understand information about the weather event via the Search page. Another top is Tree Canopy, a feature that “combines AI and aerial imagery so cities can understand their current tree coverage and better plan urban forestry initiatives.” This feature is already in use in a dozen cities, but now expanding to 350 cities worldwide. Google also has an AI ‘cool roofs’ feature, to help with the design of roofs that reflect heat from the sun rather than absorbing it like tar paper roofs found on many commercial buildings does. 

It seems there are either yawns or expressions of panic about AI. Apparently Elon Musk and 1000 others have sent a letter to the makers of ChatGPT asking them to hold off on the next iteration for at least 6 months. According to, a paper commissioned by investment bank Goldman Sachs indicates that recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence could lead to the automation of a quarter of the work done in the US and Europe. The study also finds that AI will eventually cause a productivity boom that will raise annual gross domestic product by 7% over a 10 year period. They found that about 2/3 of jobs in the US and Europe are exposed to some degree of AI automation, affecting some 300 million people. The authors of the paper, Joseph Briggs and Devesh Kodnani, calculate that most people would see less than half their workload automated, and would probably continue in their jobs…with time freed up for more productive activities. They think this would affect some 63% of the workforce in the US. Around 30% of the workforce doing physical or outdoor jobs would be unaffected. The really scary down side? About 7% of US workers are in jobs where half or more could be done by generative AI, and are vulnerable to replacement. They see it as ultimately doing about a fifth of work in big first world economies…some 300 million jobs.

Sales of electric cars, trucks, and SUVs are up from about 4% of total to the teens now, and some EV semi-trucks are in the works…so why not RVs? Well, those are on the road, too…with more coming. Winnebago Industries is acquiring lithium-ion battery provider Lithionics Battery. Winnebago debuted its eRV2 in January…but the rig that sits on a Ford E-Transit chassis only gets a bit over of 108 miles of range right now. says that Lithionics has battery tech that delivers ‘house power’ to the electrical features and appliances like RVs have…to keep from sapping power from the battery pack that drives the vehicle and cuts range. The company also claims to provide sustainable energy to RVs which will be more and more important moving forward. 

In a chilling announcement, Clearview AI, the company that makes facial recognition software used by over 3000 law enforcement agencies in the US, now has amassed over 30 million ‘publicly available’ images from social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. notes that this is up from 20 million last year. Despite setbacks coming from the ACLU and even legal threats from platform holders, Clearview presses on…and apparently so does demand from law enforcement. An assistant police chief in Miami says that department has used Clearview AI’s tech some 450 times in the past year. Although Clearview claims not to know of any cases where the software has mis-identified a person, others have determined that the software is right less than 90% of the time…and does worse with people of color. Boston and San Francisco have legislation restricting police use of the tech. A bill to ban use of the tech was introduced in 2021, but didn’t pass.

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘Technified’ for now. 


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