Victor Zagorodnov: Getting High on Glaciers

An ice-drilling specialist helps unlock the world’s climate history and gauge effects of global warming

5 min read
photo of Victor Zagorodnov
Gleaming: Victor Zagorodnov, standing in the Byrd Center’s refrigerator, admires an ice core containing clues to earth’s past.
Photo: Matthew Roharik

How did a Russian who worked his way through an institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, earning degrees in electrical engineering and hydrology, end up working in Ohio as the drilling technology specialist for the world’s leading research group in the field of tropical and subtropical glaciers? What was it that got this son of a World War II submariner into the business of climbing some of the world’s highest peaks to drill deep into fast-disappearing glaciers?

Victor Zagorodnov remembers the critical moment well: leading a Soviet drilling expedition in 1980, he was out on the ice of the Svalbard islands, Norway’s northernmost territory, in the Arctic Ocean, helping extract ice cores that the team hoped would shed light on Europe’s post-medieval Little Ice Age. As he looked at a glistening, translucent cylinder coming out of the drill tube, it suddenly struck him that he was looking at snow that had fallen when the Vikings were raiding the Baltic coasts. He was hooked.

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AI Goes To K Street: ChatGPT Turns Lobbyist

Automated influence campaigns could spell trouble for society

3 min read
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Concerns around how professional lobbyists distort the political process are nothing new. But new evidence suggests their efforts could soon be turbocharged by increasingly powerful language AI. A proof-of-concept from a Stanford University researcher shows that the technology behind internet sensation ChatGPT could help automate efforts to influence politicians.

Political lobbyists spend a lot of time scouring draft bills to asses if they’re pertinent to their clients’ objectives, and then drafting talking points for speeches, media campaigns, and letters to Congress designed to influence the direction of the legislation. Given recent breakthroughs in the ability of AI-powered services like ChatGPT to analyze and generate text, John Nay, a fellow at the Stanford Center for Legal Informatics, wanted to investigate whether these models could takeover some of that work.

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A World-Class Tech MBA on Your Own Schedule

Purdue University offers professionals around the world a flexible, STEM-focused, all-online MBA from a top-ranked business school

9 min read
Photo of Purdue campus showing a sculpture of a rock topped with a large metal P letter.

Purdue is one of the world’s premier engineering universities.

Purdue University

This sponsored article is brought to you by Purdue University’s online MBA program.

A Master of Business Administration degree can be a passport to broader career horizons—especially for ambitious young (and young-ish) engineers.

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