2023-08-06 Links

Daily Reads:

Dr. Emily Bender is scathing on what the 7 companies avoided committing to in their public stance on "Ensuring Safe, Secure & Trustworthy AI". She’s linked to this Mastodon thread that has a brilliant metaphor comparing AI synthetic output to an oil spill. Worth the read.

Anne H Petersen: The workday deadzone is a fake problem

Take with a great big pinch of salt, a16z’s Economics Case for Generative AI The focus is on the marginal cost of creation, which the authors claim is near zero for many tasks. Yet,

For many applications, AI is not competing with a traditional computer program, but with a human. And when the job involves one of the more fundamental capabilities of carbon life, such as perception, humans are often cheaper. Or, at least, it’s far cheaper to get reasonable accuracy with a relatively small investment by using people.

Ooh, this is fascinating! Are people generous when the financial stakes are high? Two-hundred participants were drawn from three low-income countries (Indonesia, Brazil, and Kenya) and four high-income countries (Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States) as part of a preregistered study. On average, participants spent over $6,400 on purchases that benefited others, including nearly $1,700 on donations to charity, suggesting that humans exhibit remarkable generosity even when the stakes are high.

Ed Brenegar on Learning to Observe and Understand Culture: The deep lesson is that you cannot gain an understanding of the world by just reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching lectures on YouTube. You have to develop the facility to talk with people. I know that people do not do this because they fear looking ignorant. We are all ignorant about most things in life. It is only when we realize that our lack of understanding is the best entre’ into getting to know people and learning about the world. It is how real self-awareness happens.


"We can disagree and still love each other. Unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression, your denial of my humanity, my right to exist." – Robert Jones Jr.


Magnificent Oud meditative music