ABC News
"Relative to undocumented immigrants, U.S.-born citizens are over 2 times more likely to be arrested for violent crimes, 2.5 times more likely to be arrested for drug crimes, and over 4 times more likely to be arrested for property crimes," according to a 2020 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
It's good to see fact checking like this happening in the media. It's very difficult to correct lies when the media is flooded with bs, but the attempt to correct the record is important.
404 Media
Google Books is indexing low quality, AI-generated books that will turn up in search results, and could possibly impact Google Ngram viewer, an important tool used by researchers to track language use throughout history.
AI is why we can’t have nice things. Also maybe having a private for profit company organize the world’s information was a terrible idea. They make decisions to maximize their profits, not provide a data heritage for humanity.
Kiwi Hellenist
So in the story of the loss of ancient Greco-Roman literature, library fires are just a footnote. No single library had a monopoly on the classics anyway. A much bigger role was played by a format shift that affected every book, everywhere: the shift from scroll to codex. That format shift took place in the years 100 to 400 — in antiquity: most of the loss occurred before the dissolution of the western empire.
Interesting history of preserved Greek texts. Expiring formats have always been a problem, I guess? When Word, Powerpoint, and PDFs eventually die we're going to lose a lot of knowledge. It's easier to copy data once it's digital, but it's also easier to erase.
Mystery AI Hype Theater 3000
A clearer-eyed view of what has happened in the last two years is that a few companies have amassed enormous amounts of data (mostly taken non-consensually) and the capital to buy the computing resources to train enormous models which, in turn, can be used to output facsimiles of the kinds of interactions represented in the data.
I think a better understanding of how generative AI products are produced would help clear up some of this magical thinking that’s happening.
Though it seemed completely automated, Just Walk Out relied on more than 1,000 people in India watching and labeling videos to ensure accurate checkouts.
Like nutrition labels on food, we should require companies to provide ‘human labor’ numbers for their products. Centralized social media and generative AI also require a surprising amount of human labor. We should be aware of the human cost so we can make informed choices about which technologies to use.
The Guardian
“It’s been an amazing year for the world’s richest people, with more billionaires around the world than ever before,” said Chase Peterson-Withorn, Forbes’ wealth editor. “A record-breaking 14 centibillionaires [$100bn] have 12-figure fortunes. Even during times of financial uncertainty for many, the super-rich continue to thrive.”
slow clap.
Ars Technica
Months after unbundling the apps in the European Union, Microsoft is taking the Office and Teams breakup worldwide. Reuters reports that Microsoft will begin selling Teams and the other Microsoft 365 apps to new commercial customers as separate products with separate price tags beginning today.
The damage has been done, but good to see steps to remedy the situation. Teams is awful and if they had to compete with a fair price they would lose. Maybe they're trying to stop more damages by doing this worldwide.
The truth is that Donald Trump undermined faith in our elections in his false bid to retain the presidency. He sparked an insurrection intended to overthrow our government and keep himself in power. No president in our history has done worse.
I know it’s true, but it feels rare to see it in print because media organizations typically don’t acknowledge this truth. They usually smooth over reality so they don't offend potential customers and make their owners happy.
Knowing Machines
LAION-5B is an open-source foundation dataset used to train AI models such as Stable Diffusion. It contains 5.8 billion image and text pairs—a size too large to make sense of. In this visual investigation, we follow the construction of the dataset to better understand its contents, implications and entanglements.
An exercise in (and advocacy for) AI dataset transparency. Excellent information and presentation here.
The Verge
Calculating the energy cost of generative AI can be complicated — but even the rough estimates that researchers have put together are sobering.
Generative AI tools can be fun and can help productivity but are those gains worth their higher resource cost?
New York Times
“Some firms seem to have used rising costs as an opportunity to further hike prices to increase their profits, and profits remain elevated even as supply chain pressures have eased,” the report read.
Some firms deserve our scorn and ridicule, I say. It would be nice if the government could reign in the profiteering but I'm not holding my breath. Burn your large grocer loyalty cards I guess.
The Guardian
“When Americans see a case like this – so clearly concocted and motivated by special interests, and with evident connections between those interests and the judges on the case, it does tremendous damage to the reputation of the courts, and to the public trust in their ability to give all litigants an even shake,” said Alex Aronson, the executive director of the nonpartisan group Court Accountability and a former chief counsel to the Democratic senator Sheldon Whitehouse.
"It’s not technically illegal" is the first refuge of scoundrels.
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