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Monthly Archives: April 2023

Has AI hacked the operating system of human civilization

  • The New York Times: ‘The Godfather of A.I.’ Leaves Google and Warns of Danger Ahead – For half a century, Geoffrey Hinton nurtured the technology at the heart of chatbots like ChatGPT. Now he worries it will cause serious harm.
  • Gizmodo – AI Will Make Our Society Even More Unequal, Economists Warn – AI threatens to shift even more power from workers to the wealthy, shrinking tax bases and weakening governments, writes economist Yingying Lu.
  • Security Week – OpenAI CTO Mira Murati discusses AI safeguards and the company’s vision for the futuristic concept of artificial general intelligence, known as AGI.
  • The Economist: Yuval Noah Harari is a historian, philosopher and author of “Sapiens”, “Homo Deus” and the children’s series “Unstoppable Us”. He is a lecturer in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s history department and co-founder of Sapienship, a social-impact company. Ears of Artificial Intelligence: “(AI) have haunted humanity since the very beginning of the computer age. Hitherto these fears focused on machines using physical means to kill, enslave or replace people. But over the past couple of years new AI tools have emerged that threaten the survival of human civilisation from an unexpected direction. AI has gained some remarkable abilities to manipulate and generate language, whether with words, sounds or images. AI has thereby hacked the operating system of our civilisation. Language is the stuff almost all human culture is made of. Human rights, for example, aren’t inscribed in our DNA. Rather, they are cultural artefacts we created by telling stories and writing laws. Gods aren’t physical realities. Rather, they are cultural artefacts we created by inventing myths and writing scriptures. Money, too, is a cultural artefact. Banknotes are just colourful pieces of paper, and at present more than 90% of money is not even banknotes—it is just digital information in computers. What gives money value is the stories that bankers, finance ministers and cryptocurrency gurus tell us about it. Sam Bankman-Fried, Elizabeth Holmes and Bernie Madoff were not particularly good at creating real value, but they were all extremely capable storytellers. What would happen once a non-human intelligence becomes better than the average human at telling stories, composing melodies, drawing images, and writing laws and scriptures? When people think about ChatGPT and other new AI tools, they are often drawn to examples like school children using AI to write their essays. What will happen to the school system when kids do that? But this kind of question misses the big picture. Forget about school essays. Think of the next American presidential race in 2024, and try to imagine the impact of AI tools that can be made to mass-produce political content, fake-news stories and scriptures for new cults…Fear of AI has haunted humankind for only the past few decades. But for thousands of years humans have been haunted by a much deeper fear. We have always appreciated the power of stories and images to manipulate our minds and to create illusions. Consequently, since ancient times humans have feared being trapped in a world of illusions…We can still regulate the new AI tools, but we must act quickly. Whereas nukes cannot invent more powerful nukes, AI can make exponentially more powerful AI. The first crucial step is to demand rigorous safety checks before powerful AI tools are released into the public domain. Just as a pharmaceutical company cannot release new drugs before testing both their short-term and long-term side-effects, so tech companies shouldn’t release new AI tools before they are made safe. We need an equivalent of the Food and Drug Administration for new technology, and we need it yesterday…”
  • New Yorker – There Is No A.I. There are ways of controlling the new technology—but first we have to stop mythologizing it. By Jaron Lanier. April 20, 2023.

Whistleblowers Are the Conscience of Society, Yet Suffer Gravely For Trying to Hold the Rich and Powerful Accountable For Their Sins

Via LLRX –  Whistleblowers Are the Conscience of Society, Yet Suffer Gravely For Trying to Hold the Rich and Powerful Accountable For Their Sins – Lawyer, activist, author, and whistleblower Ashley Gjovik states: “I blew the whistle and was met with an experience so destructive that I did not have the words to describe what… Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Board announces the results from the review of the supervision and regulation of Silicon Valley Bank

“The Federal Reserve Board on Friday, April 28, 2023 announced the results from the review of the supervision and regulation of Silicon Valley Bank, led by Vice Chair for Supervision Michael S. Barr. The review finds four key takeaways on the causes of the bank’s failure: Silicon Valley Bank’s board of directors and management failed… Continue Reading

The FDIC’s Report on the Failure of Signature Bank

FDIC Releases Report Detailing Supervision of the Former Signature Bank, New York, New York – April 28, 2023 “Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chief Risk Officer Marshall Gentry released FDIC’s Supervision of Signature Bank, an internal review evaluating the agency’s supervision of Signature Bank, New York, New York, from 2017 until its failure in March… Continue Reading

GAO Report on SVB, NY Fed Report on SVB

Bank Regulation – GAO-23-106736 – Preliminary Review of Agency Actions Related to March 2023 Bank Failures – Report to the Committee on Financial Services, House of Representatives, April 2023. Released April 28, 2023: “Risky business strategies along with weak liquidity and risk management contributed to the recent failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.… Continue Reading

7 burning questions about sunscreen, answered

Vox: “Anyone who’s suffered the torment of a sunburn can tell you how they wished they’d done a better job protecting their skin. Sunscreen, one of the tools in the sun-protective tool belt, is non-negotiable, regardless of the weather or your skin type. Any dermatologist will say so; they’re likely to recommend everyone include it… Continue Reading

Jane Roberts, who is married to Chief Justice John Roberts, made $10.3 million in commissions from elite law firms, whistleblower documents show

Business Insider: “Jane Sullivan Roberts, the spouse of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts made more than $10 million in commissions as a headhunter for top-tier law firms between 2007 and 2014, according to internal documents included with a whistleblower complaint. Jane Roberts was paid more than $10 million by a host of elite law… Continue Reading

30 years ago, one decision altered the course of our connected world

NPR: “30 years ago, listeners tuning into Morning Edition heard about a futuristic idea that could profoundly change their lives. “Imagine being able to communicate at-will with 10 million people all over the world,” NPR’s Neal Conan said. “Imagine having direct access to catalogs of hundreds of libraries as well as the most up-to-date news,… Continue Reading

EU names 19 large tech platforms that must follow Europe’s new Internet rules

Ars Technica: “The European Commission will require 19 large online platforms and search engines to comply with new online content regulations starting on August 25, European officials said. The EC specified which companies must comply with the rules for the first time, announcing today that it “adopted the first designation decisions under the Digital Services… Continue Reading

The Rapid Rise of Generative AI Threatens to Upend US Patent System ($) – “As issues about artificial intelligence make their way through the US patent system, greater disclosure about its use may lead to questions about how ideas are formed that are not considered under existing patent rules, warns Dr. Michael Sartori…When members of the US supreme court refused this week to hear a groundbreaking… Continue Reading