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Daily Archives: August 2, 2023

The Problem With Plastics

Information is Beautiful: Why plastic recycling does not work.

  • Sources: Geyer at al, “Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made” (Sci Adv 2017)
  • Credits: Research & design: David McCandless
  • Data: View the data

Source: “Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made” Geyer et al., Sci Adv, 2017 (data) n.b. These numbers are from 2017. Humanity produces approx. 345 million tonnes of plastic a year. That means another ~1.7 billion tonnes since this study was released.

  •  A few Beautiful News items about plastics
  • CBS News – “The “chasing arrows” logo is universally recognized as a sign to recycle, but the Environmental Protection Agency is now saying it’s also universally confusing. In April, the agency recommended the Federal Trade Commission get rid of the chasing arrows recycling symbol for plastics, calling it “deceptive or misleading.” The proposed change comes amid a growing body of research that suggests that plastic recycling isn’t working and that most plastic is still ending up in landfills. As little as 5% of plastic is actually recycled, according to one recent study.”
  • See also The Guardian: “Supermarket plastic bag charge has led to 98% drop in use in England, data shows. Ministers urged to learn from success of single-use bag fee, amid criticism that other measures have been delayed.”

The GPTJudge: Justice in a Generative AI World

Grossman, Maura and Grimm, Paul and Brown, Dan and Xu, Molly, The GPTJudge: Justice in a Generative AI World (May 23, 2023). Duke Law & Technology Review, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2023, Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Series No. 2023-30, Available at SSRN: “Generative AI (“GenAI”) systems such as ChatGPT recently… Continue Reading

Canon warns printer users to manually wipe Wi-Fi settings before discarding

Ars Technica: “Printer manufacturer Canon is warning that sensitive Wi-Fi settings don’t automatically get wiped during resets, so customers should manually delete them before selling, discarding, or getting them repaired to prevent the settings from falling into the wrong hands. “Sensitive information on the Wi-Fi connection settings stored in the memories of inkjet printers (home… Continue Reading

Hopkins researchers discover a new technique to ground a large language model’s answers in reality

Johns Hopkins University Hub: “Asking ChatGPT for answers comes with a risk—it may offer you entirely made-up “facts” that sound legitimate, as a New York lawyer recently discovered. Despite having been trained on vast amounts of factual data, large language models, or LLMs, are prone to generating false information called hallucinations. This may happen when… Continue Reading

IRS Launches Paperless Processing Initiative

“Taxpayers will have the option to go paperless for IRS correspondence by 2024 Filing Season, IRS to achieve paperless processing for all tax returns by Filing Season 2025. IRS Paperless Processing Initiative will eliminate up to 200 million pieces of paper annually, cut processing times in half, and expedite refunds by several weeks. Paper-based processes… Continue Reading

Embracing Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Landscape: The Blueprint

Tąkiel, Maciej and Wagner, Dominik and Maksym, Błazej and Tarczyński, Tomasz, Embracing Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Landscape: The Blueprint (June 22, 2023). Available at SSRN: or “This innovative case study outlines a blueprint for strategic transformation based on the example of a real-life law firm operating in Germany, using AI tools and… Continue Reading

Hey Google, Does Voice Search Yield Better Results Than Typing?

Knowledge@Wharton: “New research from Wharton marketing professor Shiri Melumad reveals that the method of query makes a big difference in the quality of search results. When consumers use voice technology to dictate their search, rather than type it, their search yields better answers that are more precisely tailored to what they are looking for online.… Continue Reading

DOE Critical Materials Assessment July 2023

Politico: “The Energy Department this week unveiled its final list of “critical materials,” a determination that could shape how the agency spends billions of dollars to thwart climate change and bolster a shift to electric vehicles and renewable energy like offshore wind and solar. The assessment deems more than a dozen materials critical, including the… Continue Reading