Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Generating Change: A global survey of what news organisations are doing with artificial intelligence

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Generating Change: A global survey of what news organisations are doing with artificial intelligence

“Our media landscape is undergoing a significant transformation due to technological advancements, particularly since the proliferation of generative AI (genAI). This transformation has sparked discussions, and various media coverage- topics swing between positive breakthroughs in fields like medicine, to concerns about genAI’s potential to generate undetectable disinformation, exacerbating discrimination and societal inequalities. 

Our research delves further into these concerns, and positive uses, and also reveals that genAI is already reshaping the journalism landscape. It also includes context on how news organisations have continued to develop “traditional” AI and how they are approaching the new challenges of genAI. In this second JournalismAI global survey, more than 120 editors, journalists, technologies and mediamakers from 105 small and large newsrooms across 46 countries share their learnings on the use of AI and genAI. The report addresses the quality and sustainability of journalism

Regardless of your view on genAI, this report emphasises the importance of understanding and engaging with this technology, which is reshaping journalism. We hope it will help the industry identify best practices, useful strategies, and pathways to efficiency and innovation.”

Blaise Pascal is underrated

Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher, is often credited with establishing one of the earliest public transport systems in Paris, known as the “carrosses à cinq sols” (five-sou carriages).

Historical accounts note that in 1662, Pascal received royal permission to establish a system of carriages that would operate on fixed routes within Paris. These horse-drawn carriages had designated stops where passengers could board or disembark, much like modern bus services. The fixed price for a trip was five sous, which made it affordable for a wider segment of the population, unlike private carriages which were reserved for the wealthy.

Pascal’s involvement in this venture was primarily as an investor and organizer; he collaborated with the Duke of Roannez and other associates to get the project off the ground. Though the service initially enjoyed royal patronage and was somewhat successful, it eventually declined and was abandoned a few years later, partly due to the socio-political context of the time and the competition from other modes of transport that were less regulated and could operate more flexibly.

While it did not last long, Pascal’s carriage system is often seen as a forerunner to modern public transport services due to its structured, route-based approach to moving people around a major city. It reflects an early understanding of the need for regular, accessible transportation for the urban populace.


Late Republic Politics Joe Costello 

Henry Kissinger, preserving empire and powerThe Duran 

Listen To The Voice Of Nature Madras Courier

Chinks In The Armor Investor Amnesia

AI and Trust

Schneier on Security – “…Interpersonal trust and social trust are both essential in society today. This is how it works. We have mechanisms that induce people to behave in a trustworthy manner, both interpersonally and socially. This, in turn, allows others to be trusting. Which enables trust in society. And that keeps society functioning. The system isn’t perfect—there are always going to be untrustworthy people—but most of us being trustworthy most of the time is good enough…A lot has been written about AIs as existential risk. The worry is that they will have a goal, and they will work to achieve it even if it harms humans in the process. You may have read about the “paperclip maximizer“: an AI that has been programmed to make as many paper clips as possible, and ends up destroying the earth to achieve those ends. 

It’s a weird fear. Science fiction author Ted Chiang writes about it. Instead of solving all of humanity’s problems, or wandering off proving mathematical theorems that no one understands, the AI single-mindedly pursues the goal of maximizing production. Chiang’s point is that this is every corporation’s business plan. And that our fears of AI are basically fears of capitalism. Science fiction writer Charlie Stross takes this one step further, and calls corporations “slow AI.” They are profit maximizing machines. And the most successful ones do whatever they can to achieve that singular goal. 

And near-term AIs will be controlled by corporations. Which will use them towards that profit-maximizing goal. They won’t be our friends. At best, they’ll be useful services. More likely, they’ll spy on us and try to manipulate us. This is nothing new. Surveillance is the business model of the Internet. Manipulation is the other business model of the Internet…” [h/t Pete Weiss]

Disinformation researcher says Meta helped push her from Harvard NPR 

3 university presidents to face grilling on campus antisemitism at House hearing The Hill