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Tuesday, 20 December 2022

There is now AI that can write full — and relatively good — essays for you + A friendly reminder that Spotify Wrapped is an example of massive data surveillance

A new AI tool claims it can write essays for you: An artificial intelligence tool developed by US-based OpenAI, ChatGPT, is taking the internet by storm, with users reporting it could answer questions and write essays if given a prompt. A manager of a consulting firm was able to generate lecture notes using the tool, which he claimed saved him hours and needed only polishing and some edits before presenting, CNBC reports. The tool is a variant of OpenAI’s language generation software, and the company says it gathers its information from the web, archived books and Wikipedia. It was also trained to recognize linguistic patterns that allow it to mimic various writing styles, vice president of tech consulting firm Gartner told the newspaper.

The caveats: Businesses that have tried using the tool for research purposes have found that it can formulate “verbose answers” that seem to make sense, but aren’t getting the facts right. Some have also reported that it wrote biased and often sexist statements when users asked it to create song lyrics. OpenAI said in a blog post that the firm is working to address those issues, but warned that the software “will sometimes respond to harmful instructions or exhibit biased behavior.”

Is Spotify Wrapped a fun holiday season tradition or just creepy surveillance? Screenshots of people’s Spotify Wrapped flooding Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok have become recognized as a tell-tale sign that the end-of-year holiday season is upon us. The trend that sees users share a year-in-review of their listening history has continuously been picking up steam every year, since its debut in 2015, Wired reports. While this has become a fixture of many people’s social media activity, sharing our Spotify Wrapped with friends and followers ends up being a form of advertising for Spotify, as mns of users share their top artists and their most frequently listened to songs. One thing that participants of this trend seem to overlook is that the trend is all centered on user data. “Spotify has done an amazing job of marketing surveillance as fun and getting people to not only participate in their own surveillance, but celebrate it and share it and brag about it to the world,” explains digital rights advocacy group Fight for the Future Director Evan Greer.

What the FTX meltdown means for the crypto industry: The collapse of crypto exchange FTX — which was once valued at USD 32 bn — “could radically reshape crypto in the years to come,” CNBC reports, citing crypto industry insiders. For the industry to get back on its feet, there needs to be a good measure of regulation, consolidation, and innovation, CNBC’s sources say. Investors won’t be able to start investing again until it is strictly regulated — the US, EU, and UK governments are focusing on “cleaning the market,” while the EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets are becoming the leading “regulatory framework to date.” There is already some contagion — including to Binance, which suffered USD 6 bn of outflows last week — but “there will be exchanges that are doing things the right way and that will survive,” a partner at Keystone told CNBC. Restoring investor confidence will also require a large amount of innovation, industry players say, suggesting that blockchain technology will begin moving beyond its typical association with speculative asset trading.

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