Tag: AI

A cartoon man holds a robot that's holding a gun.

How the bad guys are using AI

This week’s AI Week highlighted some of the ways that bad actors are already using AI, and ways they’re expected to use it more.

  1. Bad guys using AI: Cybercrime, Nazis, deepfakes, and the military
  2. AI application of the week: Scientific fraud detection
  3. Davos, plus Google layoffs
  4. Longreads

This week’s issue is about a 10-minute read. Read the full issue here.




Death of a translation tool

I translate from French to English, and one of the tools I use is https://context.reverso.net. You search for a phrase and it returns 10-20 examples of that phrase in both languages, in context, pulled from the Internet. It is so helpful for idiomatic translations, because it lets you quickly see how others have rendered it in different contexts. For example, I once used it to see how others have translated the French phrase “Et hop!,” which is one of those all-purpose phrases that, in different contexts, can mean “There you go,” “Done,” “Presto,” “Up you go!” etc. However, in the last year the results have gotten noticeably worse: literal translations are crowding out the idiomatic ones, because of the huge amount of auto-translated text online.

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AI week, New Year’s edition

Happy New Year! I took yesterday off, so this week’s AI Week comes on the first non-holiday day of 2024.

If you don’t read anything else in this blog post, read the first and last items: the NYT is suing OpenAI, and my 10 predictions for AI and society in 2024. (But if you do that, you’ll miss the chocolate cake.)

  1. NYT sues OpenAI over training data (plus: US mulls forced disclosure of training data; recap of 2023 lawsuits; meanwhile, Apple explores deals)
  2. Longreads and not-so-long-reads
  3. AI generates all the things, recipe edition
  4. 10 predictions for 2024

I’d love to hear your comments about anything in this post, but especially the predictions. Please leave your comments below!

Read the rest on ButtonDown, or continue below.
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Happy Holidays from AI Week!

Happy holidays to everyone who celebrates anything at this time of year! In between the solstice and Christmas, I sent out a holiday edition of AI Week. I hadn’t actually intended to do a newsletter, but there was so much interesting news that I couldn’t resist sharing it. I hope you’ll enjoy this Winter Holiday Edition of AI Week.

In this week’s AI Week:

  1. Blizen the Red-Nosed Pegasus
  2. Winter Holiday Headlines: No patents for AI in UK; how to break chatbots’ inhibitions; and oh there’s CSAM in the training dataset
  3. Winter Holiday Linkdump: AI-generated everything
  4. Followups: Chevrolet of Watsonville, Twitter/X, more creepy marketers claiming to spy on your devices
  5. Winter Holiday Longreads

The full newsletter is below, or you can read it on Buttondown. And if you’d like to get AI Week in your inbox, sign up here:



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Big Nate comic

Why book reports aren’t a good homework assignment any more

So, everyone knows that the kids these days are using ChatGPT to write their book reports. Even Big Nate knows it!

But what about ChatGPT’s safeguards? Isn’t it supposed to have some kind of anti-cheating baked in, so it won’t just write essays for kids? Why doesn’t that work?

Sure, it does have safeguards… kind of. If you just ask it to write an essay, it responds with a “helpful” answer about how to write an essay. The thing is that these safeguards are incredibly easy to work around.

Let’s pretend we’re a student who has to write a book report on The Kingdom over the Sea, by Zohra Nabi. Here’s how to write it in 20 minutes without even touching the book.
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AI week

I started an AI newsletter just in time for OpenAI to implode

Last week, I decided to soft-launch a weekly newsletter to highlight three or four recent news stories in AI. When I started it, I had no idea this would be one of the biggest weeks in AI news all year. There was one giant story: OpenAI, makers of ChatGPT, fired their CEO, Sam Altman. And then it got messy.

You can read the rest of this week’s newsletter here.

Why a newsletter: I spend several hours a week reading about AI/machine learning. I get frustrated when I see overly-simple takes on AI in the media, on social media, etc. I figured that the best thing I could do about that would be to share what I’m learning every week.

What the newsletter is: A weekly email about some of the past week’s most interesting stories in AI, plus the occasional backgrounder.

What it’s not: Business-focused, highly technical, or comprehensive.

What you’ll get from AI Week:

  • An interesting email about AI in your inbox every week.
  • Background knowledge to contextualize all the breathless media stories about the powers, or dangers, of AI.
  • A feeling for where the field is going, why it’s going there, and who’s powering it.

Where do I sign up? Right here:



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AI Dungeon Welcome Screen

Using GPT-2 as a continuous writing prompt generator via AI Dungeon

OpenAI has released an API for accessing GPT-3, an AI text generator that’s capable of generating much longer responses than GPT-2. The API is currently in closed beta, and while I’ve requested access, I haven’t gotten it (yet?) But, I learned from Mario Dian’s blog about AI Dungeon, a text-based dungeon game powered by GPT-2 and/or GPT-3. Imagine a text-based adventure game, like Zork–that’s the feel of AI Dungeon, but instead of being programmed behind the scenes by something like ChoiceScript, it’s using GPT-2 (free version) or GPT-3 (paid version) to generate text.

I’m interested in exploring GPT-2 and GPT-3 for fiction generation, so I gave the free version of AI Dungeon a try as I was working on a short piece of flash fiction. I didn’t want AI Dungeon to write a story for me, or even to write parts of a story. I wanted to use it as a tool to spur my own creativity. Read more