Last Week in AI #207: Bing Chat's troubled beta tests, generative AI for Roblox, backslash against Apple using voice actor data, and more!
Bing Chat's first week of beta testing yields many troubled results, Roblox to launch generative AI tools for game creation, Apple halts text-to-speech training that used voice actor data w/o consent
Bing’s A.I. Chat: ‘I Want to Be Alive. 😈’
If you've heard anything about the Bing chatbot Microsoft recently unleashed, you might have seen the unhinged conversations it's had with users. In one conversation, a user asked for show times for the new Avatar—Bing insisted the movie had not been released yet and that the year was 2022, not 2023. This is just one of many user-reported interactions. It's difficult to verify the authenticity of each, and it is also very possible that some prompt engineering may have been involved, but Microsoft's acknowledgement of the problem indicates that may reports are probably true.
While Microsoft says it's acting on feedback to improve Bing's responses, it noted that long chat sessions could still cause issues. At the same time, Microsoft seems to have leaned into Bing's weirdness. Look at Bing's Twitter profile, and you'll see the description “I am a good Bing”
Our Take: In recent weeks, Microsoft has pulled off a feat that seemed impossible just a month ago: making Bing relevant. It's entertaining to see users' interactions with the bot, but also surprising that Microsoft's Bing team says they didn't predict people might use Bing chat for "social entertainment" or for "general discovery of the world." I don't know how true this is, because social entertainment seems like a pretty obvious thing to do with a chatbot (especially a new-fangled, LLM-powered one). If that statement is even partially true, though, it does speak to the need to remember to build for users.
Microsoft’s Bing is an emotionally manipulative liar, and people love it
Microsoft says talking to Bing for too long can cause it to go off the rails
Microsoft’s ChatGPT-powered Bing is getting ‘unhinged’ and argumentative, some users say: It ‘feels sad and scared’
Microsoft's AI Bing also factually wrong, fabricated text during launch demo
AI-powered Bing Chat spills its secrets via prompt injection attack
Roblox is working on generative AI tools
Roblox is working on generative AI tools to make game-building more accessible for developers. This includes tools to generate textures for 3D objects from text and to complete code. The company is aware of moderation issues and potential job losses, so they are looking for a way to support both AI algorithm developers and in-experience user-creators. The full impact of generative AI on game creation is yet to be seen, as the tools are yet to launch. However, generative AI tools could potentially offer benefits and make game creation more accessible.
Our take: Roblox has been one of the most popular and fastest growing online platform for some time. A big part of its success is its creator ecosystem and how their easy-to-use game creation tools allow kids to make their own video games. There will be many applications of generative AI in video game content creation, from text-to-image (the material creation part currently poised to launch) to text-to-3D, text-to-audio, text-to-speech, and of course text-to-text dialog for NPCs. I suspect it’ll be equally easy for other game engine developers (e.g. Unity, Epic Games) to incorporate these tools, so long as the copyright and license issues can be resolved.
Audiobook Narrators Fear Spotify Used Their Voices to Train AI
Apple and audiobook distributor Findaway Voices faced criticism after it was revealed that their contracts contained a clause allowing Apple to use audiobook files for machine learning training and models. Concerns were raised that this could enable Apple to use the voices of authors and narrators to develop synthetic voices for audiobooks, potentially taking jobs away from human narrators. However, Apple and Findaway have agreed to stop all “use of files for machine learning purposes” for union members affected. The move followed pressure from the labor union SAG-AFTRA, which represents recording artists and actors. The dispute has highlighted the growing interest in automating book narration, and the increasing use of synthetic voice technology in the entertainment and gaming industries.
Our Take: This seems to be just another instance of how success in Artificial Intelligence could replace human jobs. However, Apple and Findaway Voices should be transparent about their use of audiobook files for machine learning training and models, as well as ensuring that all authors and narrators are clearly informed about any clauses related to this use in their contracts. Appropriate compensation should be offered to authors and narrators whose work is being used in this way, and ensure that their rights are respected. Additionally, they should work with organizations like SAG-AFTRA to find a mutually agreeable solution that addresses the union’s concerns about the safe storage of recordings and data, usage limitations, and usage disclosures.
AI is dreaming up drugs that no one has ever seen. Now we’ve got to see if they work. - "At 82 years old, with an aggressive form of blood cancer that six courses of chemotherapy had failed to eliminate, “Paul” appeared to be out of options."
Efficient technique improves machine-learning models’ reliability - "Powerful machine-learning models are being used to help people tackle tough problems such as identifying disease in medical images or detecting road obstacles for autonomous vehicles."
Enhance! Deep learning tool boosts X-ray imaging resolution and hydrogen fuel cell performance - "UNSW Sydney researchers develop algorithm to significantly enhance images of hydrogen fuel cells, with potential future application in medical scanning."
A new way to encode and generate Super Mario Bros levels - "Prompt-conditioned generations from a single seed block. MarioGPT is able to create diverse levels solely based on a text prompt in natural language. Credit: arXiv (2023). DOI: 10.48550/arxiv.2302."
Machine learning techniques identify thousands of new cosmic objects - "Astronomy is entering a new era, as a huge amount of astronomical data from millions of cosmic objects are becoming freely available. This is a result of large surveys and planned observations with high-quality astronomical observatories, and an open data access policy."
AI analyzes cell movement under the microscope - "The enormous amount of data obtained by filming biological processes using a microscope has previously been an obstacle for analyses. Using artificial intelligence (AI), researchers at the University of Gothenburg can now follow cell movement across time and space."
Accelerating Prime Editing: Machine Learning Helps Design the Best Fix for a Given Genetic Flaw - "Researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute have developed a new tool to predict the chances of successfully inserting a gene-edited sequence of DNA into the genome of a cell, using a technique known as prime editing."
Google Research, 2022 & beyond: Robotics - "Within our lifetimes, we will see robotic technologies that can help with everyday activities, enhancing human productivity and quality of life."
Opera’s building ChatGPT into its sidebar - "Opera’s adding a ChatGPT-powered tool to its sidebar that generates brief summaries of webpages and articles. The feature, called “shorten,” is part of the company’s broader plans to integrate AI tools into its browser, similar to what Microsoft’s doing with Edge."
BuzzFeed’s AI-powered quizzes are here and they could be funnier - "BuzzFeed’s AI-powered quizzes have arrived. Starting today, there are six for readers to try. As you can probably imagine, the majority are themed around Valentine’s Day."
ChatGPT Gets Dartmouth Talking - "ChatGPT, OpenAI’s trending chatbot that generates conversational responses to user prompts through advanced artificial intelligence, has been busy since its launch in late November."
NASA Turns to AI to Design Mission Hardware - "Research Engineer Ryan McClelland pioneered the design of one-off spacecraft and mission elements for NASA using commercially available AI software."
Internal 'Minecraft' demo reportedly uses AI to play the game for you - "Microsoft has spent years teaching AI to play Minecraft, but it's apparently making enough progress that the game needs very little human involvement. Semafor sources claim Microsoft has produced an internal demo that lets you control Minecraft simply by telling AI what to do."
Amazon's Zoox robotaxi now giving rides to employees on public roads in California - "Amazon-owned autonomous vehicle venture Zoox said on Monday that it is now testing its self-driving robotaxis on public roads in California with passengers on board."
As ChatGPT hype hits fever pitch, Neeva launches its generative AI search engine internationally - "Challenger search engine Neeva wants to replace the familiar “10 blue links” in search results with something more fitting for the modern AI age."
Exclusive: South Korea aims to join AI race as startup Rebellions launches new chip - "South Korean startup Rebellions Inc launches an artificial intelligence (AI) chip on Monday, racing to win government contracts as Seoul seeks a place for local companies in the exploding AI industry."
Eric Schmidt Is Building the Perfect AI War-Fighting Machine - "Expensive military hardware like a new tank undergoes rigorous testing before heading to the battlefield. A startup called Istari, backed by Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google and chair of Alphabet, reckons some of that work can be done more effectively in the metaverse."
Otter.ai launches OtterPilot, its new AI meeting assistant - "AI-powered voice transcription service Otter.ai is launching a new AI meeting assistant called OtterPilot, the company announced on Tuesday. OtterPilot automates meetings and is designed to help professionals save time and increase meeting productivity."
Capsule snags $4.75M for its AI-powered video editor that summarizes text, generates images and more - "AI’s ability to reinvent web search remains murky, but the technology’s impact on everyday tools seems to be more promising. Case in point: a startup called Capsule has been putting AI to use in video editing software to improve the speed and efficiency of post-production edits."
Exclusive: Microsoft's Bing plans AI ads in early pitch to advertisers - "Microsoft (MSFT.O) has started discussing with ad agencies how it plans to make money from its revamped Bing search engine powered by generative artificial intelligence as the tech company seeks to battle Google's dominance."
Investors and techies gather in San Francisco to bathe in generative A.I. hype sparked by ChatGPT - "The tech industry may seem like it's in a lull, plagued by widespread layoffs at major tech companies and a down economy, but that air of doom wasn't apparent at a gathering of techies and investors in San Francisco on Tuesday. Instead, there was an overarching feeling of optimism."
Exclusive: Waymo expands service in San Francisco - "Waymo on Friday expanded its service area to offer autonomous rides to more parts of San Francisco, a Waymo spokesperson told Axios."
Introducing the AI Mirror Test, which very smart people keep failing - "In behavioral psychology, the mirror test is designed to discover animals’ capacity for self-awareness. There are a few variations of the test, but the essence is always the same: do animals recognize themselves in the mirror or think it’s another being altogether?"
Amazon’s Delivery Drones Served Less than 10 Houses in their First Month - "Roughly a month after Amazon Prime Air made its first deliveries in California and Texas, it’d served fewer than 10 households — and it’s already laid off more than half the employees at those locations."
The AI photo app trend has already fizzled, new data shows - "Is the AI photo app trend already over? Over the past several months, AI-powered photo apps had been going viral on the App Store as consumers explored AI powered-experiences like Lensa AI’s “magic avatars” feature and other apps promising to turn text into images using AI tech."
Cinema has helped 'entrench' gender inequality in AI - "Cinematic depictions of the scientists behind artificial intelligence over the last century are so heavily skewed towards men that a dangerous "cultural stereotype" has been established -- one that may contribute to the shortage of women now working in AI development."
Voice Actors are Having Their Voices Stolen by AI - "Towards the end of 2022, there was a big boom in AI-generated art on social media and artist-friendly sites such as ArtStation."
New AI voice-cloning tools ‘add fuel’ to misinformation fire - "In a video from a Jan. 25 news report, President Joe Biden talks about tanks. But a doctored version of the video has amassed hundred of thousands of views this week on social media, making it appear he gave a speech that attacks transgender people."
Video Game Voice Actors Doxed and Harassed in Targeted AI Voice Attack - "Artificial intelligence-generated voices are already being used to harass ordinary people, with online trolls creating the voices and then having them read out victim’s home addresses and posting the results online, according to four victims Motherboard spoke to."
This Tool Could Protect Artists From A.I.-Generated Art That Steals Their Style - "Robots would come for humans’ jobs. That was guaranteed. The assumption generally was that they would take over manual labor, lifting heavy pallets in a warehouse and sorting recycling. Now significant advances in generative artificial intelligence mean robots are coming for artists, too."
A tech CEO spent almost $600,000 on a Super Bowl ad to warn America about Tesla’s self-driving technology - "Dan O’Dowd spent over half a million dollars in his latest attempt to galvanize public opposition against Tesla’s self-driving software, but critics dispute his evidence."
Tesla Autopilot workers try to unionize, are “tired of being treated like robots” - "Tesla Autopilot workers in Buffalo, New York, today launched a unionization campaign that, if successful, would create the first union at Elon Musk's electric carmaker. Bloomberg reported on the union drive after speaking to several Tesla workers at the Buffalo facility:"
Facebook is going to explain more about how machine learning decides the ads you see - "Meta is updating Facebook’s ad transparency tools to better explain how it uses machine learning to decide which ads you see you. "
Father of internet warns: Don't rush investments into AI just because ChatGPT 'is really cool' - "Cerf pleaded with attendees at a Mountain View conference on Monday not to scramble to invest in conversational AI just because "it’s a hot topic." The warning comes amid a burst in popularity around ChatGPT."
Why you shouldn’t trust AI search engines - "This story originally appeared in The Algorithm, our weekly newsletter on AI. To get stories like this in your inbox first, sign up here. Last week was the week chatbot-powered search engines were supposed to arrive."
Can AI get you a date? CNN tested it - "As ChatGPT continues to show how AI can mimic human expression, companies like Keys AI are betting Open AI can help our dating game too. CNN put the latest tech to the test."
Keanu Reeves Says Deepfakes Are ‘Scary,’ Confirms His Film Contracts Ban Digital Edits to His Acting: ‘They Added a Tear to My Face! Huh?’ - "Keanu Reeves is terrified when it comes to acting and deepfake technology. During a recent interview with Wired ahead of the release of “John Wick: Chapter 4,” Reeved railed against deepfake technology making its way into Hollywood."
Tesla recalls 362,758 vehicles, says full self-driving beta software may cause crashes - "This is breaking news. Please check back for updates."
GitHub Copilot update stops AI model from revealing secrets - "GitHub has updated the AI model of Copilot, a programming assistant that generates real-time source code and function recommendations in Visual Studio, and says it's now safer and more powerful."
Google asks employees to rewrite Bard's bad responses, says the A.I. 'learns best by example' - "Google execs understand that the company's artificial intelligence search tool Bard isn't always accurate in how it responds to queries. At least some of the onus is falling on employees to fix the wrong answers."
AI porn is colliding with human sexuality—and raising some ethical red flags - "Beyond discussion around the likelihood of AI porn ever truly going mainstream, there’s also a thornier argument about whether generative AI images constitute theft. 9 minute ReadAt the end of last month, a set of four AI-generated images of women in bikinis went viral on Twitter."
Fraudsters are using machine learning to help write scam emails in different languages - "Business Email Compromise (BEC) gangs are making their payment fraud scams even more effective by using translation tools and machine learning to convincingly distribute emails in multiple languages."
Column: The real aim of big tech’s layoffs: bringing workers to heel - "This article discusses topics that may be distressing to readers, including suicide and sexual exploitation of children."
Google v Microsoft: who will win the AI chatbot race? - "The James Webb space telescope cost $10bn (£8.3bn) to build, but it left Google nursing losses of more than $160bn after the search engine’s new chatbot answered a question about it incorrectly."
Financial Times - "Gain a global perspective on the US and go beyond with curated news and analysis from 600 journalists in 50+ countries covering politics, business, innovation, trends and more."
AI is no threat to traditional artists. But it is thrilling. - "Instead of seeing the generated art as a doomsday development, think of it as something to be curious about."
Beijing to support key firms in building ChatGPT-like AI models - "China's capital Beijing will support leading enterprises in building large artificial intelligence (AI) models that can challenge ChatGPT, the city's economy and information technology bureau said on Monday."
University leaders issue AI guidance in response to growing popularity of ChatGPT - "Students, professors and administrators anticipate significant changes to teaching and learning at Yale as artificial intelligence technology continues to improve and develop."
Dutch host first summit on 'responsible' use of AI in the military - "AMSTERDAM, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Delegations from both the United States and China are set to attend a summit on the "responsible" use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the military this week in the Netherlands, the first of its kind."
U.S., China, other nations urge 'responsible' use of military AI - "THE HAGUE, Feb 16 (Reuters) - More than 60 countries including the U.S. and China signed a modest "call to action" on Thursday endorsing the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the military."
University of Hong Kong temporarily bans students from using ChatGPT, other AI-based tools for coursework - "HKU vice-president says any suspected violations of ban on using AI-based tools for coursework will be treated as cases of plagiarism."
Against University-wide policies concerning AI writing assistants - "For my Winter 2023 Stanford course Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics, I adopted a pragmatic policy regarding the use of AI writing assistants for coursework. Since then, ChatGPT has become a notional member of our course community."
Only you can stop an AI apocalypse - "This book is a call to action. You can participate. This is for you. Artificial intelligence might end the world. More likely, it will crush our ability to make sense of the world—and so will crush our ability to act in it."
I tried using AI. It scared me. - "Everything is about to change"
What Is ChatGPT Doing … and Why Does It Work? - "That ChatGPT can automatically generate something that reads even superficially like human-written text is remarkable, and unexpected."
Explaining Climate Change, With a Little Tech Help - "Times Insider explains who we are and what we do and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together. Last fall, the Climate desk at The New York Times asked readers to submit their questions on a complex topic: climate change."
Experiment #1: Creating a landing page using AI tools + No code - "Imagine a future, a future when you can bring a conceptual idea for a software product to life by simply writing a basic prompt into an interface."
TikTokers are roasting McDonald's hilarious drive-thru AI order fails — and it shows that robots won't take over restaurants any time soon - "Fast-food chains like McDonald's, Sonic, and Chipotle have been experimenting with AI-powered voice bots for taking phone and drive-thru orders for a few years."
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