Saturday, February 18, 2023

Changing Face of Streets

Cate Blanchett’s Maestro Moment in Tár

Instead of happiness, Helen Garner on striving for “small, random stabs of extreme interestingness – moments of intense awareness of the things I’m about to lose, and of gladness that they exist”

The changing face of the High Street: Famous old names disappear from Britain’s favourite shopping thoroughfares – with owners even using fake shopfronts to make areas look less desolate Daily Mail

A mesmerizing look at nature’s eight-legged wonders National Geographic

ChatGPT, the almighty AI, is a neoliberal college graduate RT 

The Atlantic: “Internet retail was supposed to supercharge the informed consumer. What happened? Amazon is getting worse, but you probably already knew that, because you probably shop at Amazon. The online retail behemoth’s search results are full of ads and sponsored results that can push actually relevant, well-reviewed options far down the page. The proportion of its inventory that comes from brands with names like Fkprorjv and BIDLOTCUE seems to be constantly expanding. Many simple queries yield results that appear to be the exact same product over and over again—sometimes with the exact same photos—but all with different names, sellers, prices, ratings, and customer reviews. If you squint, you can distinguish between some of the products, which feels like playing a decidedly less whimsical version of “spot the difference” picture games. Last week, the journalist John Herrman published a theory on why, exactly, Amazon seems so uninterested in the faltering quality of its shopping experience: The company would rather leave the complicated, labor-intensive business of selling things to people to someone else. To do that, it has opened its doors to roughly 2 million third-party sellers, whether they are foreign manufacturers looking for more direct access to customers or the disciples of “grindset” influencers who want to use SEO hacks to fund the purchase of rental properties. In the process, Amazon has cultivated a decentralized, disorienting mess with little in the way of discernible quality control or organization…”

AI-powered Bing Chat loses its mind when fed Ars Technica article

Ars Technica: “Over the past few days, early testers of the new Bing AI-powered chat assistant have discovered ways to push the bot to its limits with adversarial prompts, often resulting in Bing Chat appearing frustratedsad, and questioning its existence. It has argued with users and even seemed upset that people know its secret internal alias, Sydney [since changed]/ Bing Chat’s ability to read sources from the web has also led to thorny situations where the bot can view news coverage about itself and analyze it. Sydney doesn’t always like what it sees, and it lets the user know. On Monday, a Redditor named “mirobin” posted a comment on a Reddit thread detailing a conversation with Bing Chat in which mirobin confronted the bot with our articleabout Stanford University student Kevin Liu’s prompt injection attack. What followed blew mirobin’s mind…”