Category Archives: language

Why are so many tech companies laying people off right now?

There’s an eerie similarity to the statements tech companies have made about their recent layoffs. Mainly, if the press releases are to be believed, the C-suite of every Big Tech company on Earth — well, with the notable exception of Apple, which has not announced layoffs — figured no one would ever go outside or spend money offline again after the pandemic and their various online businesses would stay just as big as they were during the heights of covid.

https://www.theverge.com/2023/1/26/23571659/tech-layoffs-facebook-google-amazon

Marie Kondo Has ‘Kind of Given Up’ on Tidying Up: ‘My Home Is Messy’

Kondo became an international phenomenon in 2019 with the launch of her Netflix reality series “Tidying Up,” in which she helped people clean up their messy homes and declutter their spaces in an attempt to restore calmness and “spark joy” in their lives. While Kondo has long been devoted to decluttering “physical” spaces, her new book also stresses the importance of cleaning up mental and emotional spaces. In other words, keeping your clothes folded and organized can be just as important as listening to classical music in the morning or making time for your children.

https://variety.com/2023/tv/news/marie-kondo-stops-tidying-up-home-messy-1235504610/

How to Use ChatGPT for Strategic Foresight: Limitations, Possibilities, and Workarounds

On futures and foresight, the focus of my own queries, ChatGPT readily admits that it’s not a crystal ball (a good start). As a language model, “it does not have the ability to predict future events or to understand the long-term consequences of actions.” Or so it tells me. It will even qualify any future-oriented questions with a standard disclaimer, “It’s hard to predict the future of [X] as it will depend on many factors…”

ChatGPT also confesses to other things it can’t do. It can’t understand what it says — neither the meaning nor concepts of its utterances. It can’t fact-check — at least not yet. By its own admission, it “does not have the ability to reason, plan or solve problems in the same way that a human can.”

https://www.iftf.org/insights/how-to-use-chatgpt-for-strategic-foresight-limitations-possibilities-and-workarounds/

‘This song sucks’: Nick Cave responds to ChatGPT song written in style of Nick Cave

“Writing a good song is not mimicry, or replication, or pastiche, it is the opposite,” he wrote. “It is an act of self-murder that destroys all one has strived to produce in the past. It is those dangerous, heart-stopping departures that catapult the artist beyond the limits of what he or she recognises as their known self.

“This is part of the authentic creative struggle that precedes the invention of a unique lyric of actual value; it is the breathless confrontation with one’s vulnerability, one’s perilousness, one’s smallness, pitted against a sense of sudden shocking discovery; it is the redemptive artistic act that stirs the heart of the listener, where the listener recognizes in the inner workings of the song their own blood, their own struggle, their own suffering.”

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2023/jan/17/this-song-sucks-nick-cave-responds-to-chatgpt-song-written-in-style-of-nick-cave

Digital Twins Are Set For Rapid Adoption In 2023

The idea of digital twins — digital representations of physical systems, products or processes that serve as indistinguishable counterparts for purposes such as simulations, testing, monitoring and maintenance — has been around for some time. But indications are the concept’s time has come for wider adoption to support business applications.

https://frankdiana.net/2023/01/24/digital-twins-are-set-for-rapid-adoption-in-2023/

Related Report: Pre-emptive Culture Mapping: Exploring a System of Language to Better Understand the Abstract Traits of Human Interaction | presentation slides

50-ish words you can use to show that you care without incriminating yourself.

AI researchers often say good machine learning is really more art than science. The same could be said for effective public relations. Selecting the right words to strike a positive tone or reframe the conversation about AI is a delicate task: done well, it can strengthen one’s brand image, but done poorly, it can trigger an even greater backlash.

The tech giants would know. Over the last few years, they’ve had to learn this art quickly as they’ve faced increasing public distrust of their actions and intensifying criticism about their AI research and technologies.

https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/04/13/1022568/big-tech-ai-ethics-guide/?utm_medium=tr_social&utm_campaign=site_visitor.unpaid.engagement&utm_source=Twitter&s=09

Spoof billboard ads take aim at BMW and Toyota over ‘going green’ claims

Satirising the manufacturers’ advertising messages, the billboards highlighted what activists describe as the misleading adverts and aggressive lobbying tactics used by Toyota and BMW.

https://amp-theguardian-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/amp.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/19/spoof-billboard-ads-take-aim-at-bmw-and-toyota-over-going-green-claims

Gender-neutral Brit awards nominate all men for 2023’s best artist

Men dominate nominations in the top categories for this year’s Brits as the music awards enter their second year without separate prizes for male and female artists.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/701f4664-928f-11ed-beb4-99fcdfa7645c?shareToken=871dd2bbd4f5f0d1c416aec496c13742

An A.I. Pioneer on What We Should Really Fear

Whenever there’s a lot of patterns, a lot of data, A.I. is very good at processing that — certain things like the game of Go or chess. But humans have this tendency to believe that if A.I. can do something smart like translation or chess, then it must be really good at all the easy stuff too. The truth is, what’s easy for machines can be hard for humans and vice versa. You’d be surprised how A.I. struggles with basic common sense. It’s crazy.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/12/26/magazine/yejin-choi-interview.html

23 items of vital vocabulary you’ll need to know in 2023

In 2020 and 2021 the world embarked on a crash course in epidemiology and vaccinology. Novel expressions such as “flattening the curve”, “viral load”, “spike protein” and “mRNA vaccines” became part of the public discourse. Then in 2022 the war in Ukraine made it grimly necessary to learn new terms, such as “himars” and “counter-battery fire”. What terms of art will enter wider circulation in 2023?

https://www.economist.com/the-world-ahead/2022/11/14/23-items-of-vital-vocabulary-youll-need-to-know-in-2023