Saturday, August 13, 2022

The Download: urgent climate change questions, and DALL-E’s big launch

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Blistering heat waves have smashed temperature records around the globe this summer, scorching crops, knocking out power, fueling wildfires, buckling roads and runways, and killing hundreds in Europe alone.

The sudden shift from an abstract threat to reality has many people wondering: is climate change unfolding faster than scientists had expected? Are these extreme events more extreme than studies had predicted they would be, given the levels of greenhouse gases now in the atmosphere?

As it happens, those are two distinct questions, with different and nuanced answers. Our senior climate change editor James Temple explains the issues point-by-point in this explainer.

Meanwhile, our energy and climate reporter Casey Crownhart examines the fact that recent heat waves might help to tip Europe over into adopting air conditioning en masse, and why that’s such a big problem. Read her story.

OpenAI is ready to sell DALL-E to its first million customers

The news: OpenAI will now sell its image-making program DALL-E 2 to the million people on its waiting list, MIT Technology Review can reveal. 

What’s next: Paying customers will now be able to use the images they create with DALL-E in commercial projects, such as illustrations in children’s books, concept art for games and movies, and marketing brochures. 

How much? A DALL-E subscription won’t break the bank: $15 buys you 115 credits, and one credit lets you submit a text prompt to the AI, which returns four images at a time. In other words, that’s $15 for 460 images. On top of this, users get 50 free credits in their first month and 15 free credits a month after that. Power users could soon burn through that quota.



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