In Spike Jonze’s 2013 film, “Her,” the protagonist falls in love with an operating system, raising questions about the role of artificial intelligence (AI), its relationship with the users, and the greater social issues emerging from these. South Korea briefly grappled with its “Her” moment with the launch of the AI chatbot, “Lee Luda,” at the end of December 2020. But the Luda experience was not heart-wrenching or pastel-colored like “Her” – instead, it highlighted different types of phobia and risks posed by new technologies that exist within South Korean society. Read more (The Diplomat)
In digital conversation, Riley is a young person who is trying to come out as genderqueer. When you message Riley, they’ll offer brief replies to open-ended questions, sprinkle ellipses throughout when saying something difficult, and type in lowercase, though they’ll capitalize a word or two for emphasis.
Riley’s humanness is impressive given that they’re a chatbot driven by artificial intelligence to accomplish a unique goal: simulate what it’s like to talk to a young person in crisis so that volunteer counselors can become skilled at interacting with them and practice asking about thoughts of suicide. Read more (Mashable)
TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES LIKE to portray artificial intelligence as a precise and powerful tool for good. Kate Crawford says that mythology is flawed. In her book Atlas of AI, she visits a lithium mine, an Amazon warehouse, and a 19th-century phrenological skull archive to illustrate the natural resources, human sweat, and bad science underpinning some versions of the technology. Crawford, a professor at the University of Southern California and researcher at Microsoft, says many applications and side effects of AI are in urgent need of regulation. Read more (Wired)
He wants Nevada to change its laws to allow “innovation zones,” where companies would have powers like those of a county government, including creating court systems, imposing taxes and building infrastructure while making land and water management decisions. The prospect has been met with intrigue and skepticism from Nevada lawmakers, though the legislation has yet to be formally filed or discussed in public hearings. Most in the Democratic-controlled Legislature are eager to diversify Nevada’s tourism-dependent economy, but many fear backlash against business incentives as they struggle to fund health care and education. Read more (Las Vegas Sun)
Facebook AI researchers and engineers are building the technology to — one day — let you do all this in one holistic, intelligent system. It means teaching machines what people easily learn: understanding the different items a closet or an apartment would have, how a garment relates to an accessory, and how an online product might look in real life — and doing this for millions of people around the world. Today we’re sharing new details on the cutting-edge AI techniques we’ve built to get us there. Our new system, GrokNet, can understand precise specifics about what’s in nearly any photo. We’ve also built technology that can automatically turn a 2D phone video into an interactive 360-degree view. We’re now one step closer to our vision of making anything shoppable while personalizing to individual taste. Read more (Facebook)
Emotion recognition technology is based upon a fundamentally flawed idea: that an algorithm can analyze a person’s facial expressions and accurately infer their inner state or mood. In reality, when a person experiences emotions like joy, worry, or disgust, studies have found that they don’t necessarily respond by reacting in consistent, universal ways. While many people may frown if they feel sad, that reaction is also dependent on factors such as culture and the situation and moment. Read more (restofworld.org)
Rich in tradition and material wealth, Japan’s reclusive youths are often completely uninterested in sex, relationships, or work.
The country’s youth – especially men – are seeking escape from the job and romance market. Video game addiction and shut-in adults (almost all male) make up a large part of what could have been Japan’s workforce. Suicide is rampant.
This may involve some unique Japanese cultural and economic factors, but the trend won’t be uniquely Japanese. This transition from productive nation to virtually reclusive, depressed, and aged nation is one that may be the natural course of the First World.
Artificial intelligence, more immersive virtual mediums, and continuing existential loss of purpose and direction. These factors are likely to drive many other rich First World nations into a solipsistic virtual escape. Read more (Dan Faggella)