Everyone is “losing their mind” over Artificial Intelligence. Even The New York Times can’t get enough of covering stories about AI.
I realized this as I read the news today and started “down the rabbit hole” of AI stories. First, I read the story about Dr. Geoffrey Hinton, an AI pioneer, who just quit his job at Google “so he can freely speak out about the risks of A.I.” As he noted, “It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things”. As the story discusses, Dr. Hinton is just the latest technology leader to voice concerns about AI.
Perhaps AI knew he was going to say these things because, apparently, A.I. Is Getting Better at Mind-Reading, which is another story I stumbled across on The New York Times website. In a recent experiment, scientists recorded M.R.I. data from three participants as they listened to 16 hours of narrative stories to train the model to map between brain activity and semantic features that captured the meanings of certain phrases and the associated brain response.
Let’s go to The New York Times website and see if we can find any “normal” stories. Hey, here’s a book review! The Times is always a great resource for those! This book is a novella titled Death of an Author, “written” by “Aidan Marchine” (see what they did there?). Yep, you guessed it, the book was written using AI by the novelist and journalist Stephen Marche, who coaxed the story from three programs, ChatGPT, Sudowrite and Cohere, using a variety of prompts. The book’s language, he says, is 95 percent machine-generated.
What do all these stories have in common (besides AI, of course)? They were all published on the Times site yesterday. Along with these:
- Facial Recognition Powers ‘Automated Apartheid’ in Israel, Report Says
- An Art Professor Says A.I. Is the Future. It’s the Students Who Need Convincing.
- When A.I. Chatbots Hallucinate
- What Exactly Are the Dangers Posed by A.I.?
Even the news item about the Hollywood writers’ strike has an AI component – the writers are seeking to put significant guardrails around the use of, you guessed it, AI. Add Hollywood writers to the list of people concerned about their jobs over AI.
That’s eight stories about AI, in one day, on a single well-respected news publication. And there are already four more stories today (as of 10:58am CT). I can’t think of a better way to illustrate the extent to which people are talking about AI.
Even with all that coverage, the Times can’t cover it all. For example, the New York Post had this article about a study, published Friday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, which found that ChatGPT answers patient questions with more compassion than human physicians can. Yeah, that probably doesn’t surprise a lot of people. 😉
So, what do you think? Is AI getting too much coverage and discussion out there? Or are the capabilities and risks of AI so great, all the discussion and coverage is warranted? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.
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