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AI January 13, 2023

Bill Gates Bullish On AI, But Tepid on Metaverse And Web3

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Bill Gates Bullish On AI, But Tepid on Metaverse And Web3

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionary, but in sharp contrast Gates was lukewarm on Web3 and the metaverse in his annual Ask Me Anything (AMA) session.

Gates logged on Wednesday for the 11th session of his annual AMA on Reddit where he spent more than an hour fielding questions relating to climate change, ethical billionaires, technology and many more.

Also read: More Firms Unveil Improved Smart Glasses as AR Race Gathers Steam

He gave his views on the trends in the tech sector and answered questions from some Reddit users on an array of subjects.

He weighed in on some of the tech industry’s buzziest concepts during the AMA session. The tech guru thinks AI is “quite revolutionary,” and impressed with OpenAI’s ChatGPT which has been making waves recently as it is able to generate human-like text.

Metaverse, Web3 not a big deal

One Reddit user asked: “Many years ago, I think around 2000, I heard you say On TV like, ‘People are vastly overestimating what the internet can be like in 5 years, and vastly underestimating what it will be like in 10 years.’ Is any mammoth technology shift at a similar stage right now?”

In response, Gates said: “AI is the big one. I don’t think Web3 was that big or that Metaverse stuff alone was revolutionary, but AI is quite revolutionary.”

Another Reddit user asked Gates his views on generative AI, artificial intelligence that can create content. He appeared excited about it.

“I am quite impressed with the rate of improvement in these AIs. I think they will have a huge impact,” said Gates.

The philanthropist also spoke of applying AI to his humanitarian work.

“Thinking of it in the Gates Foundation context, we want to have tutors that help kids learn math and stay interested. We want medical help for people in Africa who can’t access a doctor.”

“I still work with Microsoft so I am following this very closely,” added Gates.

ChatGPT excites Bill Gates

Gates also showed keen interest in the ChatGPT platform. When asked about his views on the platform, he said: “It gives a glimpse of what is to come. I am impressed with this whole approach and the rate of innovation.”

Microsoft is said to be prepping a $10 billion investment in Open AI, although separate reports indicate that it’s bringing the ChatGPT AI chatbot and the tech like it to products like Bing, Office and Windows. The deal has Microsoft taking up 49% stake in the company after it absorbs 75% of OpenAI’s profits until Microsoft recoups its investment. It’s valued the AI-unicorn at $2 billion.

Up to date with Microsoft?

Gates admitted he was not up to date with some of Microsoft’s upcoming projects although the tech giant still involves him in some research and product plans.

“I really like working with Satya (Nadella) and his team. I am not up to date on their hardware roadmap,” he said.

Another Reddit user asked the business mogul: “With the benefit of hindsight regarding your years of involvement with Microsoft, what is the single biggest thing you wish you had done differently?”

Gates said having been a CEO until 2000, he now knows a lot more than back then and would work on 2 things – a phone operating system, and to try to settle the antitrust lawsuit sooner.

Although he doesn’t run the company day-to-day, Microsoft has been edging into the metaverse.

Last year it was one of the 35 companies alongside Meta, Sony and Alibaba to found Metaverse Standards Forum. The idea being to coordinate cooperation for an “open and inclusive Metaverse.

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Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney.

AI

Judge Used ChatGPT to Make a Court Decision

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Judge Used ChatGPT to Make a Court Decision

ChatGPT, an artificially intelligent chatbot from OpenAI, recently set a world record by reaching 100 million users in just two months after its November launch. OpenAI’s brainchild shook the world immediately after its launch, reaching 1 million users in five days and never looking back.

Also Read: Can AI Be Our Lawyer? ‘Robot Lawyer’ to Test That in US Court

To date, this chatbot has faced bans, restrictions, and countless appreciations and praises, as well as continuously expanding its sector to be used. Recently, a Colombian judge used ChatGPT to make a court ruling, Vice reported.

Judge Juan Manuel Padilla Garcia, of the First Circuit Court in Cartagena, has recently made a ground-breaking decision by incorporating the use of the AI tool ChatGPT in his ruling. According to a court document dated January 30, 2023, he used the AI to ask legal questions related to the case and used its responses to inform his decision. This is a historic moment, as this is the first time a judge has used the power of AI to make a ruling.

“The arguments for this decision will be determined in line with the use of artificial intelligence (AI). Accordingly, we entered parts of the legal questions posed in these proceedings.” Garcia wrote in the decision, translated from Spanish.

That the purpose of including AI-produced texts in his decision was not to replace his judgement, but rather to optimize the time spent drafting judgments by corroborating the information provided by AI, Judge Garcia explained.

Judge Included Full Response in Decision

The case was about a dispute between a health insurance company and an autistic child, concerning whether the child should be granted coverage for medical treatment.

“Is an autistic minor exonerated from paying fees for their therapies?” and “Has the jurisprudence of the constitutional court made favorable decisions in similar cases?” were the legal questions asked to ChatGPT, according to the decision. And the judge Garcia included the entire ChatGPT response, as well as his own insights into relevant legal precedents.

The judge used AI to “extend the arguments of the adopted decision”. He detailed the exchanges with the AI, and then adopted its responses and his own legal arguments as grounds for the decision.

AI Judge before AI Lawyer?

This is not the first case of AI in court as an AI-powered “robot lawyer” will defend its first client in a US traffic court this month as artificial intelligence continues to disrupt various industries.

Joshua Browder, founder and CEO of consumer-empowerment start-up DoNotPay, is sending a defendant into court armed with a recording device and earpieces. The company will feed audio of the court arguments into an AI that will in turn provide responses to the defendant.

In this way, the use and experimentation of AI chatbots, particularly ChatGPT, are widely expanding. Because of the misinformation and errors that occurred, the CNET tech media outlet previously allowed and banned the ChatGPT written content.

Similarly, the popular publisher, Medium has decided to allow the articles generated by this tool, but they “should be declared as AI generated.” Many educational institutions have banned ChatGPT after discovering that it has become the best cheating partner for college students’ schoolwork.

 

 

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Unlike Bitcoin, ChatGPT Creator Mira Murati Wants AI Regulated

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Unlike Bitcoin, ChatGPT Creator Mira Murati Wants AI Regulated
Mira Murati, OpenAI.

OpenAI chief technology officer Mira Murati has called for regulation of the company’s wildly popular chatbot ChatGPT and other generative AI tools to prevent companies from deploying the tech irresponsibly.

Murati’s comments contrast sharply with those of early Bitcoin visionaries who emphasized freedom, autonomy and democracy. But some new movers have welcomed regulation as a solution to the trust problems that have affected the cryptocurrency industry.

Also read: Google’s AI Bard to rival ChatGPT

“It’s important for OpenAI and companies like ours to bring this into the public consciousness in a way that’s controlled and responsible,” Murati said in a recent interview with Time Magazine.

“But we’re a small group of people and we need a ton more input in this system and a lot more input that goes beyond the technologies – definitely regulators and governments and everyone else,” she added.

Growing AI impact

ChatGPT is an AI-powered tool that generates human-like responses on almost every topic. It can write complex essays, poetry, code and even pass MBA exams at the Wharton School of Business.

The software has set the Internet on fire since OpenAI launched the chatbot in November 2022. In January, ChatGPT reached 100 million active users, making it the fastest growing Web application in history.

When Mira Murati was asked whether it was too early for policymakers and regulators to get involved, over fears that government involvement could slow innovation, she said:

“It’s not too early. It’s very important for everyone to start getting involved, given the impact these technologies are going to have.”

Murati also spoke about the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) and how OpenAI was responding to those threats.

“[AI] can be misused, or it can be used by bad actors. So, then there are questions about how you govern the use of this technology globally. How do you govern the use of AI in a way that’s aligned with human values?” she stated.

“This is a unique moment in time where we do have agency in how it shapes society. And it goes both ways: the technology shapes us and we shape it. There are a lot of hard problems to figure out… And it’s important that we bring in different voices, like philosophers, social scientists, artists, and people from the humanities.”

ChatGPT surpasses Bitcoin in Google search

Searches for ChatGPT on Google have risen sharply over the last few months as interest in artificial intelligence continues to gather pace.

According to Google Trends, ChatGPT surpassed Bitcoin among popular search terms for most of January. The global Google searches for the word ‘ChatGPT’ peaked at a popularity score of 100 as of Feb. 2, compared to 45 for Bitcoin.

This is significant. At the beginning of November, when ChatGPT launched, the tool had a score of under 1. At the time, Bitcoin’s popularity score was 94. Search terms such as “crypto” and “Bitcoin” have declined in recent months, mainly due to the current bear market.

As shown in the graph below, searches for ChatGPT are more than double those of Bitcoin, even when the BTC price surged to more than $23,800 in recent days.

Unlike Bitcoin, ChatGPT Creator Mira Murati Wants AI Regulated

However, Murati’s calls for AI regulation are in stark contrast with the foundational principles of Bitcoin of privacy and autonomy. Bitcoin was conceived as an anti-authority invention where unmediated business is done peer-to-peer, away from regulatory oversight.

Has regulation helped curb Bitcoin illicit activity?

While the lack of internal controls, requiring users to utilize their own discretion, has been exploited by those with criminal motives, things are beginning to change. Illicit Bitcoin activity dropped sharply over the past decade and now accounts for under 1% of BTC usage.

Crypto analyst PlanB posted a chart on Twitter showing how crime-related use of Bitcoin fell between 2012 and 2020. “Less than 1% of Bitcoin usage is associated with ‘crime,’” said the pseudonymous Dutch investor, inventor of the stock-to-flow (S2F) model.

The chart from the Chainalysis Crime Report 2022 shows that illicit activity involving Bitcoin peaked at about 7% in 2012. It fell sharply to 1% the following year after the shutdown of Ross Ulbricht’s Silk Road darknet marketplace (DNM).

Bitcoin scams virtually ground to a halt in 2017 and 2018 following the closure of AlphaBay DNM. It picked up somewhat in 2019 to the current levels of under 1%. Thanks to the $2.25 billion PlusToken Ponzi scheme.

Observers say the declining illicit Bitcoin activity may be the result of regulation. It is this regulation which helped to bring transparency and credibility to the Bitcoin network. Bitcoin may have resisted regulation earlier on in its life, but governments eventually had their say.

Regulators tightened their grip on cryptocurrency following the multi-billion-dollar collapse of the Terra blockchain in May 2022. More recently, the spectacular collapse of FTX exchange means regulation has become a major focal area for governments all around the world.

Across the world, government agencies are targeting crypto investors not only with taxes but mandatory registration and full disclosure rules. State regulation appears to be the price the crypto community will have to pay for assimilation into the mainstream economy.

For OpenAI CTO Mira Murati, embracing governmental regulation now, rather than later, may be key to preventng future failures that impact negatively on the public.

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CNET’s AI Controversy Deepens

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AI CNET disaster

After publishing a series of disastrous AI-written articles, CNET and its parent company Red Ventures would have wished to avoid any further controversy – but they have singlehandedly failed in that respect.

Last month, MetaNews reported that from November of last year to January 2023, CNET published a series of financial advice articles written by artificial intelligence (AI). A later audit revealed that the bulk of articles created by CNET’s proprietary AI contained either factual errors or plagiarism or in some cases, both.

It is likely that CNET readers seeking information over that period will have received and taken significantly wrong advice. CNET claims to have learned lessons from the affair, which it posthumously labeled a ‘test’. 

Oops AI did it again

The parent company of CNET is Red Ventures, which also owns numerous other publications including Bankrate and CreditCards.com. Red Ventures monetizes these sites through affiliate advertising programs.

CNET apparently stopped publishing AI content on January 20, but editors at Bankrate failed to stop the practice until the end of the month. On January 31, Bankrate published a staggeringly irresponsible article on 5/1 Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM).

Firstly, Bankrate incorrectly stated that a 5/1 ARM is a 30-year mortgage when this is not always the case. This is a comparatively small error compared to what followed. The article went on to argue that the “benefit of a 5/1 ARM is more affordable monthly payments compared with a 30-year fixed mortgage.”

What the AI-written article forgot to mention is that these low rates only apply for the first five years, and that interest rates increase significantly every year after that. It means that while borrowers may get a good deal in the short term, what they end up with is an increasingly bad deal in the longer term.

What the article said next was perhaps even more criminal: “The lower payment allows you to take on a bigger mortgage and get a larger or better-located house.”

By most objective means that is bad financial advice, but the affiliate links pointing to mortgage companies make no mention of the drawbacks.

Staff are angry and confused

The mood at Red Ventures and its various publications appears to be one of anger and confusion.

What artificial intelligence has been doing at CNET and for how long, is a major topic of contention. 

According to sources within the firm a tool called Wordsmith, nicknamed “Morgotron”, has been writing mortgage-related stories at the publication for at least a year and a half. 

At this stage, the extent of AI-written content appears to be the subject of a cover-up, or at least of significant obfuscation. CNET made no mention of morgotron or its long-standing use of AI when they came clean about their ‘test’ on January 25.

One of the biggest issues for staff appears to be successfully checking the work of these machines. One staff member who is currently employed by Red Ventures went on to explain the difficulties in editing AI-written pieces.

“A human freelancer might have a typo here or there, or maybe a misconception about APR versus APY,” the anonymous writer told Futurism last week. “But an article by an AI can be total, authoritative-sounding gibberish. The poor editor in charge of fact-checking whatever the Machine produces isn’t looking for a needle in a haystack; they’re faced with a stack of needles, many of which look remarkably like hay.”

That however may be a moot point. Whatever happens next it seems that CNET and Red Ventures are determined to continue with their experiment. There is, of course, money at stake.

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