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This week, we cover two trends. First, TikTok’s growing influence provides a direct lever for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to influence American society. Regulating TikTok is a crucially important task that has yet to gain traction in Washington. On a more cheerful note, we also review some interesting uses of AI for chip design emerging from Nvidia. We end with a new job posting on our job board from Modern Electron.
The Dangerous and Growing Influence of TikTok
The growth of TikTok usage among the American public is a concerning trend that continues to slip under the threat radar. Social networks hold immense powers; Facebook and Twitter have reshaped America’s political landscape over the last decade. TikTok looks to be developing similar power, but is not an American company (TikTok is a subsidiary of ByteDance). The CCP has started using company committees to exert increasing control over China’s large tech companies (cite). For example, it would be extremely hard to detect if the CCP were to issue a directive to ByteDance to alter the TikTok algorithm to favor one US political candidate over another or to worsen political dysfunction within the US. The CCP has not been shy about tightening the screws on its tech giants (see Jack Ma). Allowing the CCP to gain a direct lever to influence American politics is a dangerous risk to our democracy.
AI at Nvidia Shows Results in Chip Design
Nvidia has made considerable progress in using AI models to accelerate its internal chip design efforts. In a recent talk, Bill Dally, Nvidia’s chief scientist, explained how deep learning methods have been used to model the complex physics of GPUs. Tasks such modeling voltage drops, power estimation, parasitic effects, chip placements and more can be performed using graph neural networks. Graph neural networks and reinforcement learning are emerging as foundational technologies for AI-driven chip design.
Interesting Links and Pictures
https://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=12775: A post on Peter Woit’s blog is critical of a review article covering Mochizuki’s proposed proof of the ABC conjecture without mentioning Scholze’s critique.
These postings are for companies we personally find interesting (we are not currently accepting paid ads for posting). If you would like your company’s jobs to be featured, send us a brief blurb for us to review.
Modern Electron is a sustainable heat and power technology company that helps people save money, reduce carbon emissions, and increase resiliency during power outages. We've raised $70M of venture financing, including backing from Bill Gates. Our first technology transforms boilers’ and furnaces’ heat into power for use onsite, reducing wasted energy. The company’s next-generation technology decarbonizes further by converting gas to clean hydrogen for use in heating buildings and industry without CO2 emissions. Heat is 50% of final energy demand, so this is critical to help us meet our climate goals. Link to Open Roles.
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Author: Bharath Ramsundar, Ph.D.
Editor: Sandya Subramanian, Ph.D.