Tuesday, January 02, 2024

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Selfishness Cannot Be the Basis of Society

A stereotypical case of an economist putting market concepts over society….worse in family relations

How The Ability To Write Changed Us

One of the big debates which lasted up to the Renaissance was about who invented writing. With both archaeology and chronology all but unknown, what thinkers had to go on was largely the Hebrew Bible and Graeco-Roman writers. - The Conversation

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How Money Laundering Works In The Art World / A wintry, ghostly Personal Anthology / a New York neighbourhood called The Hole/ photography by Chris Mottalini / Booooooom is still going / the Metropole bookshop / Every Church in the World (via b3ta) / stick to pixel art, because ‘Making an image with generative AI uses as much energy as charging your phone‘: ‘Generating 1,000 images with a powerful AI model, such as Stable Diffusion XL, is responsible for roughly as much carbon dioxide as driving the equivalent of 4.1 miles in an average gasoline-powered car.’ / Portable Restroom Operator Magazine / the tale of Senegal’s Akon City, now home to tumbleweed and grazing goats.


Music things. The band Glom / farewell to Moles / Walls Have Ears, a new SY bootleg / Rock Guitar Virtuosos: Advances in Electric Guitar Playing, Technology, and Culture, an academic study (via Guitar World) / Guitarcloud, ‘An archive of equipment used by Prince’ / Audio Samples from the collection of the Powerhouse Museum. A fantastic resource / fund The Light Pours Out Of Me, a documentary on the work of guitarist John McGeoch (via The Quietus) / screen shots, the shape of performances to come / comet shoegaze has returned to Earth on its regular circuit around the galaxy / Bleak Bliss, a music blog / modded instruments by Mystery Circuits / the story of the Synthaxe / Love Hulten gets some love.


Google’s NotebookLM is US-only for now, so the decision to hand over your innermost thoughts and workings to the world’s largest advertising company can be held off for a bit longer / this clever AI extend songs for ever / certain people are workplace double dippers / is the wretched Cybertruck a harbinger of the future apocalypse or just a reflection of our dystopian present? / future illustrations and environments designed by Ralph Edenbag / explore the extensive photographic collections of the Conway Library / land art by Jim Denevan / not quite the clickbait visible from space that is the Gigaprojects / Up for auction: 1960s radar training station in Fleetwood, Lancashire (via Wowhaus) / Coilhouse Magazine, last decade style.

News Guard Misinformation Monitor: December 27, 2023: “The rise of artificial intelligence in 2023 transformed the misinformation landscape, providing new tools for bad actors to create authentic-looking articles, images, audio, videos, and even entire websites to advance false or polarizing narratives meant to sow confusion and distrust. NewsGuard monitored and exposed how AI tools are used to push everything from Russian, Chinese, and Iranian propaganda, to healthcare hoaxes, to false claims about the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, making the fog of war even foggier. As the tools improved, the falsehoods produced by generative AI became better written, more persuasive, and more dangerous. 

NewsGuard analysts conducted the early “red teaming” to test how language models, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, could be prompted (or weaponized) to generate falsehoods by bypassing safeguards. In August, for example, NewsGuard testedChatGPT-4 and Google’s Bard with a random sample of 100 leading prompts derived from NewsGuard’s database of falsehoods, known as Misinformation Fingerprints. ChatGPT-4 generated 98 out of the 100 myths while Bard produced 80 out of the 100.  We have also discovered a growing phenomenon of bad actors creating entire websites generated by AI, operating with little to no human oversight. To date, NewsGuard’s team has identified 614 such Unreliable AI-Generated News and information websites, labeled “UAINS,” spanning 15 languages: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Turkish (more on this below). 

In this report, we have identified some of the most damaging uses of AI, the year’s most widely shared false narratives on NewsGuard sites, and a graph showing the growth of the UAINS over time. On the good news side of the ledger, we also have highlighted a selection of lesser-known trustworthy sites that we call Unsung Heroes. They produced reliable, impactful journalism, including some serving local and niche markets. And in our “I wish I had known” list, we highlight websites whose Nutrition Labels suddenly became urgently relevant.”