Just One Word--Plastics

Organic semiconductors could put cheap circuits everywhere and make flexible displays a reality

12 min read
Just One Word--Plastics

This is part of IEEE Spectrum's special R&D report: They Might Be Giants: Seeds of a Tech Turnaround.

Counting the number of plastic items around you is an exercise only a plastics industry executive could love. The material is ubiquitous--which is just what electronics manufacturers want their products to be when they talk of putting intelligence everywhere.

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The EV Transition Explained: Battery Challenges

Batteries expose supply chain and skills gaps

6 min read
A General Motors Hummer EV chassis sits in front of an Hummer EV outside of an event

A General Motors Hummer EV chassis sits in front of an Hummer EV outside an event where GM CEO Mary Barra announced ta $7 billion investment in EV and battery production in Michigan in January 2022.

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

“Energy and information are two basic currencies of organic and social systems," the economics Nobelist Herb Simon once observed. "A new technology that alters the terms on which one or the other of these is available to a system can work on it the most profound changes.”

Electric vehicles at scale alter the terms of both basic currencies concurrently. Reliable, secure supplies of minerals and software are core elements for EVs, which represent a “shift from a fuel-intensive to a material-intensive energy system,” according to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). For example, the mineral requirements for an EV’s batteries and electric motors are six times that of an ICE vehicle, which can increase the average weight of an EV by 340 kgs (750 pounds). For something like the Ford Lightning, the weight can be more than twice that amount.

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Ownership of AI-Generated Code Hotly Disputed

A copyright storm may be brewing for GitHub Copilot

4 min read
An illustration of a pixilated person on a ladder placing code.
Edmon De Haro

GitHub Copilot dubs itself as an “AI pair programmer” for software developers, automatically suggesting code in real time. According to GitHub, Copilot is “powered by Codex, a generative pretrained AI model created by OpenAI” and has been trained on “natural language text and source code from publicly available sources, including code in public repositories on GitHub.”

However, a class-action lawsuit filed against GitHub Copilot, its parent company Microsoft, and OpenAI claims open-source software piracy and violations of open-source licenses. Specifically, the lawsuit states that code generated by Copilot does not include any attribution of the original author of the code, copyright notices, and a copy of the license, which most open-source licenses require.

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Fourth Generation Digitizers With Easy-to-Use API

Learn about the latest generation high-performance data acquisition boards from Teledyne

1 min read

In this webinar, we explain the design principles and operation of our fourth-generation digitizers with a focus on the application programming interface (API).

Register now for this free webinar!

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