Thursday, September 21, 2023

Capturing carbon with seagrass and China’s election meddling

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Tidal, a project within the X division of Alphabet’s “moonshot factory,” has for years used cameras, computer vision and machine learning to better understand life beneath the oceans, including monitoring fish for the coast of Norway.

Now, MIT Technology Review can report, Tidal hopes his system can help preserve and restore the world’s seagrass beds, accelerating efforts to harness the oceans to suck up and store much more carbon dioxide.

The project’s ambitious mission is to improve our understanding of underwater ecosystems to inform and drive efforts to protect the oceans from increasing threats. It could also provide crucial answers to the many questions surrounding the role of seagrass in both sucking up carbon and regulating the climate. Read the full story.

—James Temple

China copies Russia’s electoral meddling playbook

China is increasingly interfering in U.S. politics by getting its agents to create social media accounts that impersonate U.S. citizens, according to research co-led by Renée DiResta, the technical research manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory, who examines foreign influence. has studied on social media for years.

DiResta published a report a few days ago outlining the scope of the problem, in which she and her colleagues recently analyzed three China-based networks of accounts masquerading as ordinary Americans on the right or left side of the political spectrum.

The fake accounts’ strategy of fueling political conflict in an already polarized America closely resembled the activity of the fake Russian accounts that flourished before the 2016 election, but were less effective than their Russian counterparts. Read the full story.

This story comes from China Report, our weekly newsletter that gives you an inside look at everything that’s happening in China. Sign Up to get it in your inbox every Tuesday.

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