Hacker News - Wednesday, October 25th 2023
California suspends Cruise's autonomous vehicle deployment
California's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has ordered General Motors' (GM) Cruise autonomous driving unit to remove its driverless cars from state roads, saying they pose a risk to the public and stating the company had misrepresented the technology's safety. GM described the DMV decision as a setback. Bryant Walker Smith, a law professor at the University of South Carolina, commented: "This plays into the narrative about the technology and the companies failing. The whole industry will suffer as a result." The move follows a series of accidents involving Cruise vehicles. The firm responded by announcing it was pausing operations and said that an investigation was underway into an incident involving a pedestrian. GM CEO Mary Barra has previously stated that Cruise could generate $50bn annually by 2030.
Embeddings: What they are and why they matter
This article provides an overview of embeddings, a powerful technique used in natural language processing. Embeddings involve converting a piece of content, such as a blog entry, into an array of floating-point numbers. These arrays, known as embedding vectors, have a fixed length and represent the semantic meaning of the content. By examining the location and proximity of different embedding vectors in a multi-dimensional space, insights about the content can be derived. The author shares examples of how embeddings can be applied, such as finding related articles based on content similarity, visualizing embeddings in 2D, and using embeddings for semantic search. The article also discusses the use of different embedding models, including Word2Vec, and introduces a tool called LLM that facilitates working with large language models and embeddings. The author emphasizes the importance of open-source models to avoid relying on proprietary models that may be shut down.
Judas goat
A Judas goat is a trained animal, typically a goat or a steer, used in herding to lead other animals to a specific destination. The term originated from cattle drives in the U.S. in the 1800s and is a reference to Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus in the New Testament. In stockyards, a Judas goat may lead sheep to slaughter while sparing its own life. They have also been used in conservation projects to target invasive species. Judas goats are usually sterilized, outfitted with a transmitter, and released into the wild to find herds of feral animals targeted for eradication. This technique has been used to control feral goats on San Clemente Island and was employed in the Project Isabela initiative in the Galápagos Islands to help restore the local ecosystem by eliminating roughly 140,000 goats. The use of Judas goats can be found in various smaller slaughterhouses and conservation efforts around the world.
MAME 0.260
The latest release of MAME, version 0.260, introduced several exciting updates in October. One significant update is the support for bgfx video output with Wayland on Linux, despite encountering some initial difficulties. Users can now use delta CHD files for clone systems and software items, providing significant disk space savings in cases with multiple versions of a system or software item. Additionally, an updated version of PortAudio is included. The release also adds support for two systems from Casio: the CZ-101 compact keyboard synthesizer and the Loopy game console. Although the Loopy's sound output, sticker printer, and frame grabber accessory are not yet emulated, users can try out its entire library of eleven software titles. The release also includes several Korean arcade games, such as a Solitaire card game from F2 System with pre-rendered 3D animations. Numerous other updates and improvements are included as well. The full list of updates can be found in the whatsnew.txt file.
Waymo says insurance data shows its driverless cars are safer than humans
Waymo, one of the largest driverless car companies in San Francisco, has released a study on the safety of its self-driving vehicles. The study, conducted in partnership with insurance giant Swiss Re, compares the collision rates of Waymo's autonomous cars against human drivers using insurance liability claims data. The findings indicate that Waymo's fleet experiences 76% fewer accidents involving property damage compared to human-driven cars. For every million miles traveled, Waymo's driverless vehicles filed 0.78 property damage claims, compared to 3.26 for human drivers. The study also noted that Waymo's driverless cars have not been involved in any accidents resulting in bodily injury. However, some critics have questioned the validity of the comparisons, arguing that Waymo's cars have not been on the road long enough to draw fair comparisons against the many more miles logged by human drivers. Waymo has not released the raw data used in the study but plans to submit it for independent review in a scientific journal.