Month: November 2023

  • Meatballs, Worms, NASA, Joy and the Public Sphere

    I unabashedly love this story about designers celebrating the return of the “worm” logo at NASA. It is a silly little story about a meaningless design change but the people in it are just so happy their favorite logo is making a comeback. They are so deep into their design nerdery and I just love…

  • Fine Are Just a Cost: C Suite Executives Need to Start Going to Jail

    Recently un-redacted documents show that states claim to have evidence that Meta, Facebook’s and Instagram’s parent company, knew that children under the age of 13 were using the system, took no steps to prevent children from gaining access to Facebook, profited off of collecting their data without parental consent, and recieved over a million reports…

  • Facial Recognition and Police: The Triumph of Data over Expertise

    Police, collectively, are bad at their jobs. This is not a statement of opinions, but a fact. Their budgets have balloon since the George Floyd protests of 2020 (there is no record of any city anywhere in the country lowering its police budget). They have continued to kill Americans at a record rate. Their clearance…

  • Artificial General Intelligence and the Disconnect from Reality

    For those of you who are not caught up in the minutia of tech company internal dramas (and what lucky people you are), OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT among other programs, had quite the kerfuffle recently. The board fired its CEO, Sam Altman, with an ominously worded letter stating that he had not been honest…

  • In Praise of Nurses

    A short one today. My wife has had four surgeries in the last three years (including yesterday), three of them lifesaving (one more and she gets the next one free), and my son one and a long stay in the hospital for an emergency infection. At each and every one of them, it was the…

  • ChatGPT Firing and Insurance Rejections Show Problem with Imitative AI Discourse

    Sam Altman, the weirdo who wants to scan the retinas of everyone on Earth and put them on the blockchain (I swear, none of that was satire) and was also the CEO of OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, got canned last week. The reason for his canning and the huge coverage of it shows that…

  • Hackers and Restorative Justice

    Wired, surprisingly, has a very interesting story about three hackers who created a botnet tool that eventually crashed significant parts of the internet. It raises very interesting questions about how kids — because these hackers were kids when they started — fall into these kinds of self-sabotaging traps and how justice is applied. Unsurprisingly, because…

  • AI Training Data Should Not Be Fair Use

    Fair use is famously whatever a court says fair use is after you have spent all your money on lawyers, so I fully expect that the Copyright Office will end up allowing the AI companies to, at a minimum, get away with taking material from writers and authors for their training data without compensation that…

  • Health Care AI Bias Shows AI Privileges Data over Expertise

    A new study in Nature shows that LLM (Large Language Models, what most of think of when we think of AI — ChatGPT is the canonical example) in medical areas perpetuate racist myths about patients and treatments. This is another example of how imitative AI is going to lesson our ability to access expertise. In…

  • The Sexism of AI and STEM Expectations

    In an oddly telling article, the BBC reports that significantly fewer woman than men report using AI tools like ChatGPT. I say the article is oddly telling because it seems to be reinforcing sexist stereotypes while trying to report on how cultural expectations might cause women to be more reluctant to be caught using AI.…