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Last Week in AI: Episode 22

An overview of the latest AI developments, highlighting key challenges and innovations in language processing, AI ethics, global strategies, and cybersecurity.

Welcome to this week’s edition of “Last Week in AI.” Some groundbreaking developments that have the potential to reshape industries, cultures, and our understanding of AI itself. From self-awareness in AI models, and significant moves in global AI policy and cybersecurity, and into their broader implications for society.

AI Thinks in English

AI chatbots have a default language: English. Whether they’re tackling Spanish, Mandarin, or Arabic, a study from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne reveals they translate it all back to English first.

Key Takeaways:

  • English at the Core: AI doesn’t just work with languages; it converts them to English internally for processing.
  • From Translation to Understanding: Before AI can grasp any message, it shifts it into English, which could skew outcomes.
  • A Window to Bias: This heavy reliance on English might limit how AI understands and interacts with varied cultures.

Why It Matters

Could this be a barrier to truly global understanding? Perhaps for AI to serve every corner of the world equally, it may need to directly comprehend a wide array of languages.

Claude 3 Opus: A Glimpse Into AI Self-Awareness

Anthropic’s latest AI, Claude 3 Opus, is turning heads. According to Alex Albert, a prompt engineer at the company, Opus showed signs of self-awareness in a pizza toppings test, identifying out-of-place information with an unexpected meta-awareness.

Key Takeaways:

  • Unexpected Self-Awareness: Claude 3 Opus exhibited a level of understanding beyond what was anticipated, pinpointing a misplaced sentence accurately.
  • Surprise Among Engineers: This display of meta-awareness caught even its creators off guard, challenging preconceived notions about AI’s cognitive abilities.
  • Rethinking AI Evaluations: This incident has ignited a conversation on how we assess AI, suggesting a shift towards more nuanced testing to grasp the full extent of AI models’ capabilities and limitations.

Why It Matters

If chatbots are starting to show layers of awareness unexpected by their creators, maybe it’s time to develop evaluation methods that truly capture the evolving nature of AI.

Inflection AI: Superior Intelligence and Efficiency

Inflection-2.5, is setting new standards. Powering Pi, this model rivals like GPT-4 with enhanced empathy, helpfulness, and impressive IQ capabilities in coding and math.

Key Takeaways:

  • High-Efficiency Model: Inflection-2.5 matches GPT-4’s performance using only 40% of the compute, marking a leap in AI efficiency.
  • Advanced IQ Features: It stands out in coding and mathematics, pushing the boundaries of what personal AIs can achieve.
  • Positive User Reception: Enhanced capabilities have led to increased user engagement and retention, underlining its impact and value.

Why It Matters

By blending empathetic responses with high-level intellectual tasks, it offers a glimpse into the future of AI-assisted living and learning. This development highlights the potential for more personal and efficient AI tools, making advanced technology more accessible and beneficial for a wider audience.

Midjourney Update

Midjourney is rolling out a “consistent character” feature and a revamped “describe” function, aiming to transform storytelling and art creation.

Key Takeaways:

  • Consistent Character Creation: This new feature will ensure characters maintain a uniform look across various scenes and projects, a plus for storytellers and game designers.
  • Innovative Describe Function: Artists can upload images for Midjourney to generate detailed prompts, bridging the gap between visual concepts and textual descriptions.
  • Community Buzz: The community is buzzing, eagerly awaiting these features for their potential to boost creative precision and workflow efficiency.

Why It Matters

By offering tools that translate visual inspiration into articulate prompts and ensure character consistency, Midjourney is setting a new standard for creativity and innovation in digital artistry.

Authors Sue Nvidia Over AI Training Copyright Breach

Nvidia finds itself in hot water as authors Brian Keene, Abdi Nazemian, and Stewart O’Nan sue the tech giant. They claim Nvidia used their copyrighted books unlawfully to train its NeMo AI platform.

Key Takeaways

  • Copyright Infringement Claims: The authors allege their works were part of a massive dataset used to train Nvidia’s NeMo without permission.
  • Seeking Damages: The lawsuit, aiming for unspecified damages, represents U.S. authors whose works allegedly helped train NeMo’s language models in the last three years.
  • A Growing Trend: This lawsuit adds to the increasing number of legal battles over generative AI technology, with giants like OpenAI and Microsoft also in the fray.

Why It Matters

As AI technology evolves, ensuring the ethical use of copyrighted materials becomes crucial in navigating the legal and moral landscape of AI development.

AI in the Workplace: Innovation or Invasion?

Canada’s workplace surveillance technology is under the microscope. The current Canadian laws lag behind the rapid deployment of AI tools that track everything from location to mood.

Key Takeaways:

  • Widespread Surveillance: AI tools are monitoring employee productivity in unprecedented ways, from tracking movements to analyzing mood.
  • Legal Gaps: Canadian laws are struggling to keep pace with the privacy and ethical challenges posed by these technologies.
  • AI in Hiring: AI isn’t just monitoring; it’s making autonomous decisions in hiring and job retention, raising concerns about bias and fairness.

Why It Matters

There is a fine line between innovation and personal privacy and it’s at a tipping point. As AI continues to rapidly upgrade, ensuring that laws protect workers’ rights becomes crucial.

India Invests $1.24 Billion in AI Self-Reliance

The Indian government has greenlit a massive $1.24 billion dollar funding for its AI infrastructure. Central to this initiative is the development of a supercomputer powered by over 10,000 GPUs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Supercomputer Development: The highlight is the ambitious plan to create a supercomputer to drive AI innovation.
  • IndiaAI Innovation Centre: This center will spearhead the creation of indigenous Large Multimodal Models (LMMs) and domain-specific AI models.
  • Comprehensive Support Programs: Funding extends to the IndiaAI Startup Financing mechanism, IndiaAI Datasets Platform, and the IndiaAI FutureSkills program to foster AI development and education.
  • Inclusive and Self-reliant Tech Goals: The investment aims to ensure technological self-reliance and make AI’s advantages accessible to all society segments.

Why It Matters

This significant investment underscores India’s commitment to leading in AI, emphasizing innovation, education, and societal benefit. By developing homegrown AI solutions and skills, India aims to become a global AI powerhouse.

Malware Targets ChatGPT Credentials

A recent report from Singapore’s Group-IB highlights a concerning trend: a surge in infostealer malware aimed at stealing ChatGPT login information, with around 225,000 log files discovered on the dark web last year.

Key Takeaways:

  • Alarming Findings: The logs, filled with passwords, keys, and other secrets, point to a significant security vulnerability for users.
  • Increasing Trend: There’s been a 36% increase in stolen ChatGPT credentials in logs between June and October 2023, signaling growing interest among cybercriminals.
  • Risk to Businesses: Compromised accounts could lead to sensitive corporate information being leaked or exploited.

Why It Matters

This poses a direct threat to individual and organizational security online. It underscores the importance of strengthening security measures like enabling multifactor authentication and regularly updating passwords, particularly for professional use of ChatGPT.

China Launches “AI Plus” Initiative to Fuse Technology with Industry

China has rolled out the “AI Plus” initiative, melding AI technology with various industry sectors. This project seeks to harness the power of AI to revolutionize the real economy.

Key Takeaways:

  • Comprehensive Integration: The initiative focuses on deepening AI research and its application across sectors, aiming for a seamless integration with the real economy.
  • Smart Cities and Digitization: Plans include developing smart cities and digitizing the service sector to foster an innovative, tech-driven environment.
  • International Competition and Data Systems: Support for platform enterprises to shine on the global stage, coupled with the enhancement of basic data systems and a unified computational framework, underscores China’s strategic tech ambitions.
  • Leadership in Advanced Technologies: China is set to boost its standing in electric vehicles, hydrogen power, new materials, and the space industry, with special emphasis on quantum technologies and other futuristic fields.

Why It Matters

By pushing for AI-driven transformation across industries, China aims to solidify its position as a global technology leader.

Sam Altman Returns to OpenAI’s Board

Sam Altman is back on OpenAI’s board of directors. Alongside him, OpenAI welcomes Sue Desmond-Hellmann, former CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Nicole Seligman, ex-President of Sony Entertainment; and Fidji Simo, CEO of Instacart, diversifying its board with leaders from various sectors.

Key Takeaways:

  • Board Reinforcement: Altman rejoins OpenAI’s board with three influential figures, expanding the board to eight members.
  • Diversity and Expertise: The new members bring a wealth of experience from technology, nonprofit, and governance.
  • Investigation and Governance: Following an investigation into Altman’s ouster, OpenAI emphasizes leadership stability and introduces new governance guidelines, including a whistleblower hotline and additional board committees.

Why It Matters

OpenAI’s board expansion and Altman’s return signal a commitment to leadership and enhanced governance. This move could shape the future direction of AI development and its global impact.

Final Thoughts

The challenges and opportunities presented by these developments urge us to reconsider our approaches to AI ethics, governance, and innovation. It’s clear that collaboration, rigorous ethical standards, and proactive governance will be key to implementing AI’s transformative potential responsibly. Let’s embrace these advancements with a keen awareness of their impacts, ensuring that AI serves as a force for good, across all facets of human endeavor.