Monday, May 23, 2022
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DeepMind’s AI shortcomings, and China’s social media translation downside


Earlier this month, DeepMind introduced a brand new “generalist” AI mannequin referred to as Gato. The mannequin can play the online game Atari, caption photos, chat, and stack blocks with an actual robotic arm, the Alphabet-owned AI lab introduced. All in all, Gato can do lots of of various duties.

However whereas Gato is undeniably fascinating, within the week since its launch some researchers have gotten a bit carried away.

One in all DeepMind’s prime researchers and a coauthor of the Gato paper, Nando de Freitas, couldn’t comprise his pleasure. “The sport is over!” he tweeted, suggesting that there’s now a transparent path from Gato to synthetic basic intelligence, or ‘AGI’, a imprecise idea of human or superhuman-level AI. The way in which to construct AGI, he claimed, is usually a query of scale: making fashions reminiscent of Gato larger and higher.

Unsurprisingly, de Freitas’s announcement triggered breathless press protection that Deepmind is “on the verge” of human-level synthetic intelligence. This isn’t the primary time hype has outstripped actuality. Different thrilling new AI fashions, reminiscent of OpenAI’s textual content generator GPT-3 and picture generator DALL-E, have generated comparable grand claims.

For a lot of within the subject, this sort of feverish discourse overshadows different necessary analysis areas in AI. Learn the complete story.

—Melissa Heikkilä 

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you right now’s most enjoyable/necessary/scary/fascinating tales about expertise.

1 Volunteers are translating Chinese language social media posts into English
Regardless that the posts have handed China’s web censorship regime, Beijing is sad. (The Atlantic $)
+ WeChat desires individuals to make use of its video platform. In order that they did, for digital protests. (TR)

2 Ukraine’s startup group is resuming enterprise as common
Many staff are juggling their day jobs with after-hours conflict effort volunteering. (WP $)
+ Russian-speaking tech bosses dwelling within the US are slicing ties with pro-war staff. (NYT $)
+ YouTube has taken down greater than 9,000 channels linked to the conflict. (The Guardian)

3 The Buffalo taking pictures highlighted the failings of tech’s anti-terrorism accord
Critics say platforms haven’t finished sufficient to sort out the foundation causes of extremism. (WSJ $)
+ America has skilled greater than 3,500 mass shootings since Sandy Hook. (WP $)

4 Crypto seems to have an insider buying and selling downside
Identical to the banking system its supporters rail towards. (WSJ $)
+ Christine Lagarde thinks crypto is value “nothing.” (Bloomberg $)
+ Crypto is weathering a bitter storm. Some nonetheless maintain on for pricey life. (TR)
+ The crypto business has misplaced round $1.5 trillion since November. (The Atlantic $)
+ Stablecoin Tether has paid out $10 billion in withdrawals for the reason that crash began. (The Guardian)

5 The nuclear fusion business is in turmoil
It isn’t even up and working but, however gasoline provides are already working low. (Wired $)
+ A gap within the floor may very well be the way forward for fusion energy. (TR)
+ The US midwest may very well be dealing with energy grid failure this summer time. (Motherboard)

6 Large Tech isn’t fearful concerning the financial downturn
Even when it drops a few of its market valuation alongside the best way. (NYT $)
+ However lawmakers are decided to rein them in with antitrust laws. (Recode)
+ Their carbon emissions are spiraling uncontrolled, too. (New Yorker $)

7 The US navy desires to construct a flying ship
The Liberty Lifer X-plane could be unbiased of fastened airfields and ports. (IEEE Spectrum)

8 We have to change how we recycle plastic
The excellent news is that the expertise to overtake it exists—it simply wants refining. (Wired $)
+ A French firm is utilizing enzymes to recycle one of the crucial widespread single-use plastics. (TR)

9 Why you must deal with utilizing your telephone like ingesting wine
Hanging that delicate steadiness from stopping the optimistic tipping into damaging. (The Guardian $)

10 Contained in the healthful world of web knitting 🧶
Its favourite knitter’s creations have gained a cult following. (Enter)
+ How a ban on pro-Trump patterns unraveled the net knitting world. (TR)

Quote of the day

“I like the moment gratification of constructing the web higher.”

—Jason Moore, who’s credited with creating greater than 50,000 Wikipedia pages, tells CNN about his motivations for taking over the unpaid work.

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