28 Posts

Feel the Fear! AI Turns Deadly, Data Disappears, Criminals Clone Voices, Hype Overshoots Reality

Feel the Fear! AI Turns Deadly, Data Disappears, Criminals Clone Voices, Hype Overshoots Reality

The Batch - AI News & Insights: Welcome to the Halloween special issue of The Batch, where we take a look at fears associated with AI. In that spirit, I’d like to address a fear of mine: Sensationalist claims that AI could bring about human extinction will cause serious harm.
Illustration of a woman peering through her front door, surrounded by plenty of candy and no one to give it to

Hype Overshoots Reality: Big AI buzz may not equal profit

AI companies are soaring on promises they can revolutionize society while making a profit. What if they're flying too close to the sun? The latest models generate publication-worthy essays and award-winning artworks, but it’s not clear how to make them generate enough revenue...
Illustration of a wolf offering candy to a trick-or-treating child

No Jobs for Humans: Will the dominance of AI in the workplace leave enough jobs for people?

AI is taking over the workplace. Will there be enough jobs left for people? Workers of all kinds are on the firing line as large language models, text-to-image generators, and hardware robots match their performance at a lower cost.
Illustration of a wizard with a facial expression evoking 'The Scream' painting in front of a half-empty bookshelf

Data Disappears: Creative workers don't want AI developers to train models on their work

The latest advances in AI are built on freely available training data. What will happen if it becomes off-limits? Creative workers don’t want AI developers to train models on their works without permission or compensation, or at all. Data is vanishing as they scramble to lock it down. 
Illustration depicting creatures swiping candy in a moonlit neighborhood

Criminals Unleashed: When AI falls in the hands of lawbreakers and wrongdoers

Do the latest machine learning models constitute a supercharged tech stack for cybercrime? Innovations like text generation, voice cloning, and deepfake videos give scammers powerful new ways to gain their victims’ trust and infiltrate their systems. They threaten to bring on an epidemic of e-fraud.
Illustration of a shadow leading a kid to the wrong way in the woods

AI Turns Deadly: The dangerous outputs of Large Language Models

Large language models occasionally generate information that’s false. What if they produce output that’s downright dangerous? Text generators don’t know true from false or right from wrong. Ask an innocent question about food or health, and you might get an innocent — but fatal — answer.
Dozens of toxic barrels on a road and a witch behind

Foundations of Evil: The Fear of Weapons of Mass Destruction Designed by AI

A growing number of AI models can be put to purposes their designers didn’t envision. Does that include heinous deeds?
Illustration of a hand coming out of a box to take a candy from a Trick or Treat paper bag

The Batch: Happy Halloween! Neural Nets Awaken, Foundation Models Go Rogue, Bots Take Over the Office, GPUs Dry Up

The Batch - AI News & Insights. Each year, AI brings wondrous advances. But, as Halloween approaches and the veil lifts between the material and ghostly realms, we see that spirits take advantage of these developments at least as much as humans do.
Office with coworkers transformed into mythical creatures like vampires, ghosts and werewolves

Your Coworkers Aren’t Human: Confronting the Fear of a White Collar AI Takeover

The new remote administrative assistant is a little too perky, hardworking, and efficient. Is it because he’s a bot?
Ghost controlling a humanoid marionette during a job interview with a female candidate

Inhuman Resources: Confronting the Fear of AI-Powered Hiring in 2022

Companies are using AI to screen and even interview job applicants. What happens when out-of-control algorithms are the human resources department?
Person with a sad face in front of an abandoned Chip's Candies factory

No More GPUs: Confronting the Fear of a Global Chip Shortage

Advanced AI requires advanced hardware. What if the global supply of high-end AI chips dries up? Most of the world’s advanced AI processors are manufactured in Taiwan, where tension with mainland China is rising.
Illustration of Frankenstein connected to many chemical elements inside of a lab

The Black Box Awakens: Confronting the Fear of Self-Aware AI in 2022

AI researchers are starting to see ghosts in their machines. Are they hallucinations, or does a dawning consciousness haunt the trained weights?
Illustration showing a witch cooking a copy of the Mona Lisa wearing a witch hat)

Artistry Is Obsolete: Is AI Making Human Artists Obsolete?

Is human creativity being replaced by the synthetic equivalent? The fear: AI is cranking out increasingly sophisticated visual, musical, and literary works. AI-generated media will flood the market, squeezing out human artists and depriving the world of their creativity.
Illustration showing a kid being followed during Trick-or-treating

Democracies Embrace Surveillance: AI Increasingly Spies on Citizens of Western Democracies

What if AI-enabled monitoring isn’t just for dictators and despots?The fear: Under the pretext of maintaining law and order, even countries founded on a commitment to individual rights allow police to take advantage of smart-city infrastructure and smart-home devices.
Halloween family portrait showing the inheritance of some spooky characteristics

New Models Inherit Old Flaws: Foundation models can pass along biases to their fine-tuned progeny.

Is AI becoming inbred? The fear: The best models increasingly are fine-tuned versions of a small number of so-called foundation models that were pretrained on immense quantities of data scraped from the web.
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