Happy Thursday! We’re in our 20s, yet somehow still way too old to understand what happened here. We think Capitol Records signed a “virtual rapper” powered by artificial intelligence to a record deal, and then immediately cut ties with that virtual rapper—which, again, is not a real person—when the algorithms supporting it churned out racially insensitive comments.
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
U.S. Central Command announced Wednesday that rocket strikes by Iran-backed militants on two housing areas in Syria minorly injured three U.S. servicemembers. The U.S. responded in a “proportional and deliberate” manner, CENTCOM added, deploying attack helicopters in retaliation and killing at least two people and destroying equipment involved in the strikes. The strike follows a failed rocket attack last week, which Central Command said the U.S. answered Tuesday by bombing bunkers of ammunition and military equipment controlled by militants affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. “The United States does not seek conflict with Iran, but we will continue to take the measures necessary to protect and defend our people,” CENTCOM said. The U.S. and Iran are reportedly in the final stages of negotiating a return to the 2015 nuclear deal.
The Pentagon on Wednesday announced a $2.98 billion military aid package for Ukraine—drawn from the $40 billion appropriated by Congress in May—which will include ammunition and radar equipment alongside not-yet-built surface-to-air missile systems that won’t arrive on the battlefield for several months. President Joe Biden said in a statement the package is intended to ensure Ukraine can “continue to defend itself over the long term.”