We did it! Despite humanity’s best efforts, we made it to 2022. Before we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and brace ourselves for whatever 2023 has in store, we should probably take a moment to reflect on the year that was.
Here at Neural, that means telling our favorite stories from the past 12 months. There was a lot of mind-blowing news in the tech world in 2022. From Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter to former Google engineer Blake Lemoine declaring he’d encountered a sentient AI, it’s been a year to remember.
But rather than rehashing months old news, we wanted to take this opportunity to share our most stunning and fascinating stories from the year. Some of these were big news when we published them, others have a more evergreen feel. But they are all articles that we are particularly proud of.
So, before we bid you and 2022 adieu, and without further ado, here are Neural’s most stunning stories of the year.
TNW/Neural reporter Thomas Macaulay had a fantastic year. It would take a few volumes to reprint all the great stories he wrote in 2022, but we managed to score five hits for your reading pleasure.
New ‘burnout’ theory explains why aliens avoid Earth
What if the real reason we haven’t encountered aliens yet is because their civilizations grew too big to succeed? This is all theoretical, but you might be surprised who is the first species to experience this “burnout”.
An inventor resurrected his imaginary friend with AI and then tried to kill him
It’s all fun and games until your childhood friend becomes a killer robot. This is eerily similar to the plot of the 1986 cult classic “Deadly friend.” While the real story is about a man who trained an AI-powered microwave oven to act like his imaginary friend, and the movie was about a man who pushed a computer chip into a dead person’s head, both stories have their merits as classic horror films. if you ask me.
A vegetable filet mignon gave me a taste of a meatless future
This story is a delightful dive into what it’s like to experience culinary delights. It’s a great story. But if I’m being honest, my biggest takeaway is that Tom’s favorite food from childhood was steak.
The Dutch are world leaders in cultured meat. How come they can’t eat it?
This is one of my favorites and a perfect example of why Tom is so good at what he does. This deep dive not only discusses the technology, but also dares to ask hard questions: “It’s not vegetarian, but if it removes all the disadvantages of conventional meat, why shouldn’t I eat it? And why can’t I find it in Europe?”
Elon Musk’s 7 Most Ridiculous Predictions
Elon Musk is the richest person in the world. If you ask us, that’s a lot less impressive than it sounds. In 2022, he did what he always does: make headlines and stir controversy. Rather than speculate on what he will do next, we kindly wanted to remind you that he has a habit of making things up as he goes.
I’m not usually one to toot my own horn. But since it’s the holiday season, I thought I’d share my favorite Neural stories written by yours truly in 2022:
DeepMind researcher claims new ‘Gato’ AI could lead to AGI, says ‘game is over!’
This whole thing became a big deal on Twitter, at least as far as the AI community is concerned. There was a considerable amount of respectful debate that has since spilled into plenty of other discussions about beautiful AI models from OpenAI and Meta.
Your brain may be a quantum computer hallucinating math
I’m not sure who needs to hear this, but your brain is much smarter than you think. While you enjoy life in a classical world, our brain (theoretically) operates in a quantum world. If it sounds tricky, that’s because it is.
Eureka! Scientists have just linked two time crystals together for the first time
The biggest story of 2021 has been Google’s time crystals. To date, I think this is the most important story I’ve ever covered. But 2022 also had some really cool experiments in the same domain. Can’t wait for 2023!
Why ‘home robots’ are much further away than you think
Elon Musk and Tesla are trying to convince the world that they are about to put a humanoid assistant robot into production. Spoiler alert: they certainly aren’t. A little critical thinking will get you a long way here.
Did the world really end in 2012?
I wrote this piece in early January 2022 and after thinking about it all year, I’m sticking with it. I’m pretty sure the world ended in 2012, it’s the only thing that makes sense.
However, should it not be so, and all this really happened, I would like to wish you a fantastic 2023. On behalf of Neural, thank you for reading. Happy New Year!