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Monthly Archives: June 2024

ChatGPT is bullshit

ChatGPT is bullshit. Michael Townsen Hicks, James Humphries. Ethics and Information Technology, June 8, 2024. Volume 26, article number 38. “Recently, there has been considerable interest in large language models: machine learning systems which produce human-like text and dialogue. Applications of these systems have been plagued by persistent inaccuracies in their output; these are often called “AI hallucinations”. We argue that these falsehoods, and the overall activity of large language models, is better understood as bullshit in the sense explored by Frankfurt (On Bullshit, Princeton, 2005): the models are in an important way indifferent to the truth of their outputs. We distinguish two ways in which the models can be said to be bullshitters, and argue that they clearly meet at least one of these definitions. We further argue that describing AI misrepresentations as bullshit is both a more useful and more accurate way of predicting and discussing the behaviour of these systems.”

  • See also TechCrunch – MIT robotics pioneer Rodney Brooks thinks people are vastly overestimating generative AI – “…He says the trouble with generative AI is that, while it’s perfectly capable of performing a certain set of tasks, it can’t do everything a human can, and humans tend to overestimate its capabilities. “When a human sees an AI system perform a task, they immediately generalize it to things that are similar and make an estimate of the competence of the AI system; not just the performance on that, but the competence around that,” Brooks said. “And they’re usually very over-optimistic, and that’s because they use a model of a person’s performance on a task.”
  • See also: “So, as we have seen, LLMs are essentially confident-sounding lying machines with a penchant to occasionally disclose private data or plagiarise existing work. While they do this,  they also use vast amounts of energy and are happy using all the GPUs you can throw at them which is a problem we’ve seen before in the field of cryptocurrencies. As such, it does not feel right to bundle any such solution into Vivaldi. There is enough misinformation going around to risk adding more to the pile. We will not use an LLM to add a chatbot, a summarization solution or a suggestion engine to fill up forms for you until more rigorous ways to do those things are available. Julien Picalausa on the Vivaldi blog

Vox PopulAI: Lessons from a global law firm’s exploration of generative AI

Ashurst: “The speed at which organisations are adopting generative AI technology (GenAI) shows no sign of slowing. Business leaders in every industry are seeking to identify the best use cases for GenAI and where it can add the most value to their organisations. This is as true in law firms as it is in other… Continue Reading

AI in Finance and Banking June 30, 2024

Via LLRX – AI in Finance and Banking June 30, 2024 – This semi-monthly column by Sabrina I. Pacifici highlights news, government documents, NGO/IGO papers, industry white papers, academic papers and speeches on the subject of AI’s fast paced impact on the banking and finance sectors. The chronological links provided are to the primary sources, and… Continue Reading

Plastics companies blocked mitigation efforts and may have broken US laws

The Guardian – Paper outlines different legal theories that could help governments pursue accountability for harms: “Companies have spent decades obstructing efforts to take on the plastics crisis and may have breached a host of US laws, a new report argues. The research from the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) details the widespread burdens… Continue Reading

No surprises act

ProPublica:  “In 2020, Congress passed the No Surprises Act to protect patients from exorbitant medical bills that had burdened Americans with tens of thousands of dollars in debt. The law was designed to decrease the charges for patients treated by an out-of-network doctor during medical emergencies. Such ER visits often left people vulnerable to so-called… Continue Reading

How to manage deleted files on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS

The Verge: “If you want to get rid of files permanently, make sure you’re deleting them across your iCloud sync….By default, all of the Apple devices you’re signed in to with your Apple ID should be syncing files through iCloud, but it’s worth double-checking — otherwise, you can be leaving files you thought you’d deleted…” Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, June 29, 2024

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, June 29, 2024 – Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis  Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the… Continue Reading

ABA Financial Literacy

“The American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) and the National Urban League are collaborating with Thomson Reuters to promote financial literacy. The goal of the partnership is to promote economic empowerment by equipping individuals with the knowledge and tools needed to own their financial future. The project bolsters efforts to reach… Continue Reading

National Information Standards Controlled Digital Lending Working Group Stalls

Library Futures: “…I am stepping down because I believe that publishers and their affiliated trade associations are more interested in undermining that mission and the NISO process than they are in finding a solution for CDL that respects the rights of libraries, authors, publishers, and readers. The Working Group’s proposed standard, which offers best practice… Continue Reading

YouTube as an information source on politics and current affairs: Supply- and demand-side perspectives

Reveilhac, M. (2024). YouTube as an information source on politics and current affairs: Supply- and demand-side perspectives. First Monday, 29(7). “This study examines YouTube channels reporting on French news and current affairs. After identifying the relevant channels, the study identifies the top 10 viewed videos of each channel during the year 2023. Manual annotation… Continue Reading

ChatGPT is hallucinating fake links to its news partners’ biggest investigations

NiemanLab, Andrew Deck: “Over the past year, several major news media companies have signed on the dotted line with OpenAI, entering a content licensing partnership with the developer of ChatGPT. Most of those partnership announcements state that as part of the deals, ChatGPT will produce attributed summaries of each media company’s reporting and link to… Continue Reading

Generative AI Resources 2024

Via LLRX – Generative AI Resources 2024 – Referencing an article in this month’s Georgetown Law Technology Review, “…traditional AI algorithms normally operate by carrying out a specific function or completing a task using a data set that contains information on how that function or task has previously been done In other words, traditional AI is… Continue Reading