Lay Back and Enjoy Technocratic Anarchotyranny By James Reed

     My hatred, an unbalance pathological rage against runaway technology continues. What has made me really cranky today, is not merely running out of meds, but this: AI has now made writers redundant. In my case, that would not have been too hard, since a bunch of monkeys fed on rotten bananas, which reminds me of the bullpen here, could do better, but it hurts anyway. Read on and wonder if I am a real person, or just a bot in the matrix:

“An artificial intelligence system that generates realistic stories, poems and articles has been updated, with some claiming it is now almost as good as a human writer. The text generator, built by research firm OpenAI, was originally considered “too dangerous” to make public because of the potential for abuse. But now a new, more powerful version of the system – that could be used to create fake news or abusive spam on social media – has been released. The BBC, along with some AI experts, decided to try it out. The model, called GPT-2, was trained on a dataset of eight million web pages, and is able to adapt to the style and content of the initial text given to it. It can finish a Shakespeare poem as well as write articles and epithets. At the time, the firm said: “Due to our concerns about malicious applications of the technology, we are not releasing the trained model. As an experiment in responsible disclosure, we are instead releasing a much smaller model for researchers to experiment with.” As a result, the released version had far fewer parameters – phrases and sentences – than used during training. This month, OpenAI decided to expand the parameters, offering a much broader database of training data. Tech news site The Next Web said of the update: “This one works almost good enough to use as a general artificial intelligence for text generation – almost.”

Article author Tristan Greene added: I’m terrified of GPT-2 because it represents the kind of technology that evil humans are going to use to manipulate the population – and in my opinion that makes it more dangerous than any gun.” The BBC decided to test the system by inputting the first few sentences of a recent story, appropriately one about AI. We began with the first sentence of the real story: Chinese search engine Sogou is creating artificial intelligence lookalikes to read popular novels in authors’ voices. Here’s what the text generator came up with to complete it: According to the researchers, this method of reading is not just the brainchild of Amazon Kindle users. Users of Android devices are also a notable market for fake reading. There are several theories to explain this. Firstly, the device in a user’s hand is different from the tablet or computer they are reading on. Secondly, the device used to access the Internet might be tampered with in some way. A third reason is the user may just copy and paste content directly into their virtual characters. However, another explanation is that the device does not have voice recognition capabilities at all. If this is the case then voice recognition is more advanced than Google’s translation engine. As such, these users are tricked into thinking they are reading from a real author – the book is made to sound authentic as soon as they try and read.”

     So, this could be the end of the road for your favourite characters, who could be replaced by Right wing computer programs. Wait … that is not possible, Big Tech doesn’t go down that avenue, not the Right-wing way, which would be like touching Holy Water (not their metaphor, of course). Talk about saved by the bell, or is it program!



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Wednesday, 14 April 2021
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