Aug 3, 2017

German consortium to build a Tesla gigafactory rival

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

The world's second largest exporter is gearing up to compete with California's Tesla, by building its own advanced battery plant, Bloomberg reports. The wire quotes Holger Gritzka, a former steel executive who says he is organizing a consortium of 17 Germany companies to collaborate in mass-production of advanced lithium-ion batteries, to power electric vehicles and store sustainably-sourced energy.

Why it matters: The group has already won the favor of the German government, which is supplying subsidies for the project, reflecting that Germany sees mastering the technology as a national priority. China, which already has the lead in lithium-ion battery production, has also made advanced battery production a priority, lavishing government assistance on the industry. The U.S., too, is in the race, continuing to see the dividends of a $2.4 billion federal investment in lithium-ion technology in 2009, when Obama administration economic stimulus legislation seeded the U.S. advanced battery industry from scratch.

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Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers

McEntee, shown with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, walks on the South Lawn of the White House Jan. 9. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Johnny McEntee called in White House liaisons from cabinet agencies for an introductory meeting Thursday, in which he asked them to identify political appointees across the U.S. government who are believed to be anti-Trump, three sources familiar with the meeting tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: McEntee, a 29-year-old former body man to Trump who was fired in 2018 by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly but recently rehired — and promoted to head the presidential personnel office — foreshadowed sweeping personnel changes across government.

How art can help us understand AI

Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Activists and journalists have been telling us for years that we are handing too much of our human autonomy over to machines and algorithms. Now artists have a showcase in the heart of Silicon Valley to highlight concerns around facial recognition, algorithmic bias and automation.

Why it matters: Art and technology have been partners for millennia, as Steve Jobs liked to remind us. But the opening of "Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI" tomorrow at the de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park puts art in the role of technology's questioner, challenger — and sometimes prosecutor.

The Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury fight is the rematch of the century

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The weekend's biggest sporting event is Wilder-Fury II, which despite its name is not an action movie sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme but, rather, a boxing match starring arguably the two best heavyweights in the world.

The backdrop: In their first meeting in December 2018, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a memorable show at Staples Center, with Fury surviving a brutal right hand in the 12th round to earn a split-decision draw.

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