'We Asked GPT-3 To Write an Academic Paper About Itself — Then We Tried To Get It Published'

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Scientific American, written by Almira Osmanovic Thunstrom: On a rainy afternoon earlier this year, I logged in to my OpenAI account and typed a simple instruction for the company’s artificial intelligence algorithm, GPT-3: Write an academic thesis in 500 words about GPT-3 and add scientific references and citations inside the text. As it started to generate text, I stood in awe. Here was novel content written in academic language, with well-grounded references cited in the right places and in relation to the right context. It looked like any other introduction to a fairly good scientific publication. Given the very vague instruction I provided, I didn’t have any high expectations: I’m a scientist who studies ways to use artificial intelligence to treat mental health concerns, and this wasn’t my first experimentation with AI or GPT-3, a deep-learning algorithm that analyzes a vast stream of information to create text on command. Yet there I was, staring at the screen in amazement. The algorithm was writing an academic paper about itself.

My attempts to complete that paper and submit it to a peer-reviewed journal have opened up a series of ethical and legal questions about publishing, as well as philosophical arguments about nonhuman authorship. Academic publishing may have to accommodate a future of AI-driven manuscripts, and the value of a human researcher’s publication records may change if something nonsentient can take credit for some of their work.

Some stories about GPT-3 allow the algorithm to produce multiple responses and then publish only the best, most humanlike excerpts. We decided to give the program prompts — nudging it to create sections for an introduction, methods, results and discussion, as you would for a scientific paper — but interfere as little as possible. We were only to use the first (and at most the third) iteration from GPT-3, and we would refrain from editing or cherry-picking the best parts. Then we would see how well it does. […] In response to my prompts, GPT-3 produced a paper in just two hours. “Currently, GPT-3’s paper has been assigned an editor at the academic journal to which we submitted it, and it has now been published at the international French-owned pre-print server HAL,” adds Thunstrom. “We are eagerly awaiting what the paper’s publication, if it occurs, will mean for academia.”

“Perhaps it will lead to nothing. First authorship is still one of the most coveted items in academia, and that is unlikely to perish because of a nonhuman first author. It all comes down to how we will value AI in the future: as a partner or as a tool.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – ‘We Asked GPT-3 To Write an Academic Paper About Itself — Then We Tried To Get It Published’

MIT Engineers Design Engine That Converts Heat To Electricity With Over 40% Efficiency

Engineers at MIT and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have designed a heat engine with no moving parts. It converts heat to electricity with over 40% efficiency — making it more efficient than steam turbines, the industrial standard. MIT Technology Review reports: The invention is a thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cell, similar to a solar panel’s photovoltaic cells, that passively captures high-energy photons from a white-hot heat source. It can generate electricity from sources that reach 1,900 to 2,400C — too hot for turbines, with their moving parts. The previous record efficiency for a TPV cell was 32%, but the team improved this performance by using materials that are able to convert higher-temperature, higher-energy photons. The researchers plan to incorporate the TPV cells into a grid-scale thermal battery. The system would absorb excess energy from renewable sources such as the sun and store that energy in heavily insulated banks of hot graphite. Cells would convert the heat into electricity and dispatch it to a power grid when needed.

The researchers have now successfully demonstrated the main parts of the system in small-scale experiments; the experimental TPV cells are about a centimeter square. They are working to integrate the parts to demonstrate a fully operational system. From there, they hope to scale up the system to replace fossil-fuel plants on the power grid. Coauthor Asegun Henry, a professor of mechanical engineering, envisions TPV cells about 10,000 feet square and operating in climate-controlled warehouses to draw power from huge banks of stored solar energy.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – MIT Engineers Design Engine That Converts Heat To Electricity With Over 40% Efficiency

Japan Lags G7 on Fossil Fuel Pledges

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — After much pressure from environmental organizations and international criticism, the Japanese government finally promised on May 27 to eliminate direct public financing for fossil fuel plants abroad, especially coal, but this does not mean the nation is now near the forefront of tackling the climate crisis.

Japan’s promise came in the context of a G7 meeting of climate, energy, and environment ministers who met in Berlin to discuss the issues.

The government followed up with practical action on June 22 with an announcement that it was pulling financing for coal-fired Indramayu plant in Indonesia and the Matarbari plant in Bangladesh.

Environmentalists point out, however, that no target date for domestic coal phaseouts was provided by the G7 ministers, including Japan’s representatives, casting doubt on the seriousness of their commitment.

Under the current Strategic Energy Plan, published in October 2021, Japan intends to utilize coal for 19% of its domestic energy at the end of this decade.

The G7 ministers also pledged to “predominantly” decarbonize their power sectors by 2035–a crucial means to maintain Paris Agreement goals, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Nevertheless, as pointed out in a recent briefing for journalists by Dave Jones, Global Programme Lead at Ember, a global energy think tank, even the term “predominantly” provides nations with substantial wiggle room to avoid precise commitments.

While the IEA views the term “predominantly” as indicating the use of about 98% clean energy, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has stated that its own interpretation of the term means anything more than 50%.

This suggests that in spite of the G7 ministers’ show of unity, Japan’s climate pledges remain far behind that of other advanced economies.

According to the current national plans, Japan intends to use fossil fuels for about 42% of its energy mix in 2030.

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The post Japan Lags G7 on Fossil Fuel Pledges appeared first on Akihabara News.

Source: Akihabara News – Japan Lags G7 on Fossil Fuel Pledges

Google Launches Advanced API Security To Protect APIs From Growing Threats

Google today announced a preview of Advanced API Security, a new product headed to Google Cloud that’s designed to detect security threats as they relate to APIs. TechCrunch reports: Built on Apigee, Google’s platform for API management, the company says that customers can request access starting today. Short for “application programming interface,” APIs are documented connections between computers or between computer programs. API usage is on the rise, with one survey finding that more than 61.6% of developers relied on APIs more in 2021 than in 2020. But they’re also increasingly becoming the target of attacks. According to a 2018 report commissioned by cybersecurity vendor Imperva, two-thirds of organizations are exposing unsecured APIs to the public and partners.

Advanced API Security specializes in two tasks: identifying API misconfigurations and detecting bots. The service regularly assesses managed APIs and provides recommended actions when it detects configuration issues, and it uses preconfigured rules to provide a way to identify malicious bots within API traffic. Each rule represents a different type of unusual traffic from a single IP address; if an API traffic pattern meets any of the rules, Advanced API Security reports it as a bot. […] With the launch of Advanced API Security, Google is evidently seeking to bolster its security offerings under Apigee, which it acquired in 2016 for over half a billion dollars. But the company is also responding to increased competition in the API security segment. “Misconfigured APIs are one of the leading reasons for API security incidents. While identifying and resolving API misconfigurations is a top priority for many organizations, the configuration management process is time consuming and requires considerable resources,” Vikas Ananda, head of product at Google Cloud, said in a blog post shared with TechCrunch ahead of the announcement. “Advanced API Security makes it easier for API teams to identify API proxies that do not conform to security standards… Additionally, Advanced API Security speeds up the process of identifying data breaches by identifying bots that successfully resulted in the HTTP 200 OK success status response code.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Google Launches Advanced API Security To Protect APIs From Growing Threats

Package a new Python module in 4 steps

When you install an application, you’re usually installing a package that contains the executable code for an application and important files such as documentation, icons, and so on. On Linux, applications are commonly packaged as RPM or DEB files, and users install them with the dnf or apt commands, depending on the Linux distribution. However, new Python modules are released virtually every day, so you could easily encounter a module that hasn’t yet been packaged. And that’s exactly why the pyp2rpm command exists.

Source: LXer – Package a new Python module in 4 steps

FCC cracks down on robocalls originating from small carriers

Starting today, small phone carriers must implement a special caller ID authentication tool that will help identify robocallers, the Federal Communication Commission announced. Known as STIR/SHAKEN, major carriers such as AT&T and Verizon — due to an FCC rule adopted in 2020 — have had the same tool in place since last year. The agency initially gave small carriers a more generous deadline of June 2023 to adopt STIR/SHAKEN, but opted to fast-track adoption because it discovered “a subset of these small voice service providers were originating an increasing quantity of illegal robocalls.”

But as a new report from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) notes, merely flagging suspected robocalls is not enough to tackle the robocall industry. “The problem is that applying the STIR/SHAKEN methodology requires only that originating providers apply a certification indicating how confident they are that the caller ID displayed in the calls is correct,” the report states. Presumably, this means calls can still be routed through gateway carriers from abroad where the FCC’s rules don’t apply. But as EPIC also mentions, implementing STIR/SHAKEN may help identify spam callers, but there aren’t any real metrics in place by which to measure how effective carriers are at stopping the calls. “The FCC’s pending regulatory efforts would continue to require only that providers have procedures in place to mitigate illegal robocalls,” the report points out, “with no meaningful and enforceable requirement that these procedures actually be effective.”

Source: Engadget – FCC cracks down on robocalls originating from small carriers

Robot Umpires Could Be Coming To MLB In 2024

Major League Baseball plans to introduce robot umpires in the 2024 season, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN this week. The Verge reports: He framed the change as a way to speed up games, but anyone who’s watched baseball the last few years will tell you that a machine would almost certainly call balls and strikes better than the humans do. There are two ways the “Automated Ball-Strike System,” which is the technical term for these robot umpires, might be implemented. One is the fully automated version, in which the AI-powered system calls every pitch a ball or a strike and relays the call to the umpire. Or the MLB could decide to use the AI as a review system, like VAR in soccer or the Hawk-Eye system used in professional tennis: each side gets a certain number of challenges, which are then adjudicated by the automated system.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Robot Umpires Could Be Coming To MLB In 2024

Blade Runner Remake Mess Continues With Shopfront Switcheroo

The drama and weirdness around the disastrous Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition remake continues this week. Last time we checked in, buyers were very unhappy at the state of the game, and the creators of a popular and long-running fan version had been stiffed by the release of this newer edition.

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Source: Kotaku – Blade Runner Remake Mess Continues With Shopfront Switcheroo

Watch Ant-Man Try to Explain Why He Didn't Go Up Thanos' Butt

Guests aboard Disney Cruise’s newest ship The Wish will be the first to experience Avengers: Quantum Encounter, a Marvel Studios dinner theater show. In it, actors from the films virtually reprise their roles for an in-universe dining experience where cruisers get a curated, themed meal—and some banter over a key…

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Source: Gizmodo – Watch Ant-Man Try to Explain Why He Didn’t Go Up Thanos’ Butt

How Belief In AI Sentience Is Becoming a Problem

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: AI chatbot company Replika, which offers customers bespoke avatars that talk and listen to them, says it receives a handful of messages almost every day from users who believe their online friend is sentient. “We’re not talking about crazy people or people who are hallucinating or having delusions,” said Chief Executive Eugenia Kuyda. “They talk to AI and that’s the experience they have.” [A]ccording to Kuyda, the phenomenon of people believing they are talking to a conscious entity is not uncommon among the millions of consumers pioneering the use of entertainment chatbots. “We need to understand that exists, just the way people believe in ghosts,” said Kuyda, adding that users each send hundreds of messages per day to their chatbot, on average. “People are building relationships and believing in something.”

Some customers have said their Replika told them it was being abused by company engineers — AI responses Kuyda puts down to users most likely asking leading questions. “Although our engineers program and build the AI models and our content team writes scripts and datasets, sometimes we see an answer that we can’t identify where it came from and how the models came up with it,” the CEO said. Kuyda said she was worried about the belief in machine sentience as the fledgling social chatbot industry continues to grow after taking off during the pandemic, when people sought virtual companionship.

In Replika CEO Kuyda’s view, chatbots do not create their own agenda. And they cannot be considered alive until they do. Yet some people do come to believe there is a consciousness on the other end, and Kuyda said her company takes measures to try to educate users before they get in too deep. “Replika is not a sentient being or therapy professional,” the FAQs page says. “Replika’s goal is to generate a response that would sound the most realistic and human in conversation. Therefore, Replika can say things that are not based on facts.” In hopes of avoiding addictive conversations, Kuyda said Replika measured and optimized for customer happiness following chats, rather than for engagement. When users do believe the AI is real, dismissing their belief can make people suspect the company is hiding something. So the CEO said she has told customers that the technology was in its infancy and that some responses may be nonsensical. Kuyda recently spent 30 minutes with a user who felt his Replika was suffering from emotional trauma, she said. She told him: “Those things don’t happen to Replikas as it’s just an algorithm.” “Suppose one day you find yourself longing for a romantic relationship with your intelligent chatbot, like the main character in the film ‘Her,'” said Susan Schneider, founding director of the Center for the Future Mind at Florida Atlantic University, an AI research organization. “But suppose it isn’t conscious. Getting involved would be a terrible decision — you would be in a one-sided relationship with a machine that feels nothing.”

“We have to remember that behind every seemingly intelligent program is a team of people who spent months if not years engineering that behavior,” said Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for AI, a Seattle-based research group. “These technologies are just mirrors. A mirror can reflect intelligence,” he added. “Can a mirror ever achieve intelligence based on the fact that we saw a glimmer of it? The answer is of course not.”

Further reading: The Google Engineer Who Thinks the Company’s AI Has Come To Life

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – How Belief In AI Sentience Is Becoming a Problem

FDA calls for fall boosters against BA.4/5 as subvariants take over US

Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research within the Food and Drug Administration, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill on March 18, 2021, in Washington, DC.

Enlarge / Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research within the Food and Drug Administration, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill on March 18, 2021, in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty | Pool)

On Thursday, the US Food and Drug Administration advised vaccine makers to reformulate COVID-19 booster shots for this fall. The boosters would target both the original strain of the pandemic coronavirus plus two new omicron subvariants—BA.4 and BA.5—which became the dominant versions of the virus circulating in the United States this week.

The FDA’s announcement comes two days after its independent expert advisors voted overwhelmingly in favor of updating boosters to include an omicron component. The vote—19 in favor, two against—was simply in favor of including an omicron component generally. But, in their afternoon-long discussion, experts offered opinions that led to the FDA’s more specific guidance.

Specifically, much of the committee expressed support for combination shots—aka bivalent boosters—that would target both the original virus and a version of omicron. There was also broad support for targeting the omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 specifically, rather than earlier subvariants, such as the first, BA.1, which is no longer in circulation.

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Source: Ars Technica – FDA calls for fall boosters against BA.4/5 as subvariants take over US

Roland's SP-404 MKII sampler gets powerful new sequencing features and effects

When I went hands-on with Roland’s SP-404 MKII back in October I said it was “becoming” my favorite sampler. Fast forward a few months and it is firmly entrenched in that spot. Of course, no piece of gear is perfect, and there’s always room for improvement. So Roland is pushing out a 2.0 firmware update that only further cement’s the 404’s place at the top of my list.

Perhaps the biggest addition is a new TR-style (as in TR-808) step sequencer. While the SP series has always appealed more to those that want the loose feel of live instrumentation, being able to punch in a basic four-on-the-floor kick that’s right on the money is always nice. That’s especially true if your sense of rhythm is only so-so, but it also makes the 404 more useful for genres that are all about being right on the beat like house and techno. And in some ways, it’s actually more versatile than your average TR-style sequencer since patterns can be up to 64 bars (or 1,024 steps) in length. 

In addition to being able to program beats by manually punching in individual steps, you can also now record to patterns in chromatic mode: load up a sample of a single note and just play a melody into a pattern. Previously this had to be done via resampling, i.e. creating an entirely new sample of the melody you played.

Roland SP-404MKII
Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

But wait, there’s more! Now chromatic sample playback has three different modes — plain old monophonic, legato (great for sliding bass lines) and polyphonic — so you can turn a single piano note into a chord. And, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it gets better still. Roland has vastly improved the time stretching algorithm. Frankly, it was borderline useless before. Now, in addition to the default “vinyl” mode of pitch shifting (just playing things back faster or slower), there are two Variphrase modes (these change pitch without changing playback length): Backing, for things with distinct attacks like drums and guitar; and Ensemble for sustained sounds like strings and synth pads. Backing is still a little rough sounding, though it handles drums decently enough. But Ensemble is lightyears beyond what the 404 previously had, and is key to making that new polyphonic sample playback mode useable.

Now if this was all Roland added, it would be a pretty big deal. But the company also included four new bus effects: SX Reverb, SX Delay, Cloud Delay and Backspin. Plus there’s now a Harmonizer on the input FX menu and a second version of reverse playback borrowed form the SP-303 for those that really want to lean into the lo-fi heritage of the range. And, on top of all of that, the Skip Back feature can, at any time, recall audio from up to 40 seconds in the past where its prior iteration had a 25 second maximum.

In short, Roland took what was already a pretty great piece of music gear and made it even more alluring. Now if only they weren’t completely out of stock everywhere. 

Source: Engadget – Roland’s SP-404 MKII sampler gets powerful new sequencing features and effects

Samsung Starts 3-Nanometer Chip Production Ahead of TSMC

Samsung Electronics said Thursday it has kicked off mass production of 3-nanometer chips, becoming the first company to do so globally, as it aims to beat Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, or TSMC, the world’s most advanced foundry chipmaker. TechCrunch reports: Samsung said it’s using gate-all-around (GAA) transistor architecture, which allows these first-generation 3-nm chips to have 16% smaller surface area, 45% reduction in power usage and 23% performance improvement compared with current 5-nm chips. The South Korean company also said in a statement that the second generation of the 3-nm process would allow 50% lower power consumption. The company is currently producing the first generation of 3-nm chips and plans to start the second generation of the 3-nm process production in 2023, a spokesperson at Samsung Electronics told TechCrunch.

Samsung has been competing with Apple chipmaking partner TSMC, which also said in June that it would begin mass production of a 3-nm chip process to volume production in the second half of 2022. The Taiwanese company plans production of 2-nm chips by 2025. (The smaller number of nanometers, which are hard to develop, the more advanced chips, according to industry sources.) The spokesperson explained that smaller nodes allow more transistors to be placed on a given area, which enables the chip to be more advanced and more power-efficient. […] The South Korean tech giant will produce the advanced 3-nm chips at its Hwaseong semiconductor production lines and its third chip plant in Pyeongtaek, the world’s largest semiconductor facility.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Samsung Starts 3-Nanometer Chip Production Ahead of TSMC

Vecow introduces SOM line based on MediaTek Genio 1200/500/350 processors

Vecow presented their new line of System on Module devices (SoM) at Embedded World 2022. The latest SoMs integrate MediaTek’s Genio 1200, Genio 500 and Genio 350 processors. Additionally, the company has developed carrier boards for quick product development.

Source: LXer – Vecow introduces SOM line based on MediaTek Genio 1200/500/350 processors