Tuesday February 19, 2019
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Elon Musk Renames BFR to Starship

Instead of upgrading Falcon 9 for more reusability, SpaceX was now focusing on "accelerating BFR"

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Elon Musk, tesla, tunnel
AI could be first 'resident' of Mars, hints Musk. (Wikimedia Commons)

SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), a fully reusable vehicle designed to take humans and supplies to Mars and also to dramatically cut travel time within Earth, is getting a new name, Starship, the company’s CEO Elon Musk has announced.

“Renaming BFR to Starship,” Musk said in a tweet late on Monday.

This two-stage vehicle — composed of a Booster and a Ship — is designed to eventually replace the company’s Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and the Dragon spacecraft.

It is designed to service all Earth orbit needs as well as the Moon and Mars.

In a tweet, Musk explained that Starship would be the name for the spaceship/upper stage and Super Heavy would be the rocket booster needed to escape Earth’s deep gravity well.

All of Musk’s 23.5 million followers on the micro-blogging site, were, however, not impressed.

Elon Musk, tesla
Elon Musk renames SpaceX’s BFR rocket for interplanetary trip. IANS

While one Twitter user called the new name “boring”, another was left “pretty disappointed”. Some users liked the name change though.

On September 17, SpaceX announced that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be the company’s first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard the company’s BFR rocket in 2023.

In response to a reply that unless this “starship” is sent on a mission to another star system it cannot be called a “starship”, Musk said that “the later versions (of the rocket) will”.

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In a tweet over the weekend, Musk said that SpaceX is no longer planning to upgrade Falcon 9 second stage for reusability.

Instead of upgrading Falcon 9 for more reusability, SpaceX was now focusing on “accelerating BFR”.

“New design is very exciting! Delightfully counter-intuitive,” he said. (IANS)

Next Story

Musk-founded AI Group Not to Release Software on ‘Fake News’ Fears

OpenAI said governments should consider expanding or commencing initiatives to more systematically monitor the societal impact and diffusion of AI technologies

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Tesla CEO Elon musk, board
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (VOA)

Elon Musk-founded non-profit Artificial Intelligence (AI) research group OpenAI has decided not to reveal its new AI software in detail, fearing the AI-based model can be misused by bad actors in creating real-looking fake news.

Dubbed as “GPT2”, the AI-based automated text generator can produce fake news articles and abusive posts after being fed with a few pieces of data.

“We’ve trained a large-scale unsupervised language model which generates coherent paragraphs of text and performs rudimentary reading comprehension, machine translation, question answering and summarization – “all without task-specific training,” OpenAI said in a blog post late on Thursday.

Trained on a data set of eight million web pages, “GPT2” can adapt to the style and the content of the text you feed it.

OpenAI said the AI model is so good and the risk of malicious use is so high that it is not releasing the full research to the public.

However, the non-profit has created a smaller model that lets researchers experiment with the algorithm to see what kind of text it can generate and what other sorts of tasks it can perform.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. Wikimedia Commons

“We can imagine the application of these models for malicious purposes, including the following: Generate misleading news articles, impersonate others online, automate the production of abusive or faked content to post on social media and automate the production of spam/phishing content,” said OpenAI.

Today, malicious actors – some of which are political in nature – have already begun to target the shared online commons, using things like “robotic tools, fake accounts and dedicated teams to troll individuals with hateful commentary or smears that make them afraid to speak, or difficult to be heard or believed”.

OpenAI further said that we should consider how research into the generation of synthetic images, videos, audio and text may further combine to unlock new as-yet-unanticipated capabilities for these bad actors.

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Musk, who is the staunch critic of AI and co-founded OpenAI in 2016, stepped down from its board in 2018.

OpenAI said governments should consider expanding or commencing initiatives to more systematically monitor the societal impact and diffusion of AI technologies. (IANS)