Tag: AI

Section 230 and Hitler’s African-American Nazi Soldiers

 

I’ll keep this short because I’ve been away and it wouldn’t surprise me if someone has already commented on this (though I didn’t see it in my quick perusal of the site).

As we all know, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the bit of legislation that protects providers of online services from civil liability when people post otherwise actionable content on the services they host. The law says:

[Member Post]

 

Everyone has had lots of fun with the messes revealed in the launch of Google Gemini “Artificial Intelligence”: Its refusal to illustrate white men, even in a historical context; Its refusal to generate materials on several current and historical topics; Its blatantly false presentation of history. Yes, we had fun seeing Gemini illustrate a southeast […]

⚠️ This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet's community of conservatives and be part of the conversation.

Join Ricochet for free.

[Member Post]

 

Some books I read & liked this year: The Oceans and the Stars, Mark Helprin.  Subtitled ‘a sea story, a war story, a love story’ and set in the present era, this novel centers around Stephen Rensselaer, a talented naval officer who should have been an admiral. But his support of a new kind of […]

⚠️ This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet's community of conservatives and be part of the conversation.

Join Ricochet for free.

[Member Post]

 

By now we’ve probably all seen text generated by AI Large Language Models, and photorealistic images generated by AI graphics programs. Put them together, and you can have a newscast where the script is written by AI, and the newscasters are computer animated characters. It’s being done, and it looks and sounds like the real […]

⚠️ This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet's community of conservatives and be part of the conversation.

Join Ricochet for free.

[Member Post]

 

The city of Vienna commissioned a new public fountain to commemorate 150 years of the city’s spring water supply.  They chose a group of professional artists called “Gelatin” to create the new fountain. (One of “Gelatin’s” methods of creating art is to have, er, physical relations with the clay.) This is what “Gelatin” came up […]

⚠️ This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet's community of conservatives and be part of the conversation.

Join Ricochet for free.

Rise of The Machine

 

Artificial intelligence, or AI, has taken center stage in cultural conversations. We were discussing AI during my classes in the 1990s. But in the 21st century, AI has taken on a life of its own – literally. Here is what I mean.

You may have heard of AI but the expanded idea from the 1990s to today is something called “transhumanism.” A transhumanist is a person who believes the human species can evolve past our physical and intellectual limitations through technological breakthroughs. Some actually believe transhumanism can lead humans to become God.

The following quotes come from the essay “Rage Against the Machine” at The Free Press, noted at the end of this Truth in Two. Transhumanist Martine Rothblatt says that by building AI systems, “we are making God.” Transhumanist Elise Bohan says, “we are building God.” Futurist Kevin Kelly believes that “we can see more of God in a cell phone than in a tree frog.” “Does God exist?” asks transhumanist and Google maven Ray Kurzweil. “I would say, ‘Not yet.’ ”

‘The Courage to Be Free’: A Book Review

 

“The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is to be gravely regarded.  Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.  It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system – ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.” — President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Address, January 17, 1961

This is a quote that Gov. Ron DeSantis chose to place in his new book, The Courage To Be Free, and sums up the contents of this book.

I happened to catch the last few minutes of an interview by Mark Levin of Gov. Ron DeSantis. Levin commented that he read the book and found it was not your typical political read. He said to DeSantis that the governor doesn’t attack his competitors in the upcoming race in this book. It is a snapshot of how he grew up and how he came to make the choices he’s made. He wants to give people a picture of who he is — as a person, a governor, a husband and father, and a candidate for president of the United States. If Levin was impressed, I wanted to read it, and I am also impressed.

[Member Post]

 

Last week, Elon Musk announced he was changing Twitter to the new brand, called simply ‘X’.  The announcement was a surprise, classic Musk, and it came in the form of a letter to employees.  The new X will feature an ‘everything app’, which will include various communication platforms, and ‘financial opportunities including banking. (my bold) […]

⚠️ This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet's community of conservatives and be part of the conversation.

Join Ricochet for free.

MidJourney: My Highly Skilled and Kinda Stupid Art Buddy

 

I have been having fun with MidJourney, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) art generator. I create many of my post images using it. Good times.

It works by taking a text description of an image, and then rendering an image based on that text. It gives you four images, and it “learns” what you want by making variations of one of those four. It’s like natural selection – or rather, intelligent design – because an intelligence is selecting the desirable product of the rendering.

I started using it back in February, and the results were hilarious. The AI would make hands with like, 12 fingers, and smiles on women with creepy teeth and odd artifacts on their faces.

[Member Post]

 

Each Sunday, Michael takes over editing the newsletter and writes an essay to help explain the thought process behind his latest cartoon.  Here is this Sunday’s  – click HERE for Michael’s Substack, and below is part of Michael’s essay. Artificial intelligence and Kamala Harris go hand in hand or foot in mouth, as the case […]

⚠️ This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet's community of conservatives and be part of the conversation.

Join Ricochet for free.

[Member Post]

 

Here it is.  What do you think? should i answer the “optional” race and gender questions on a job application? I am a cis-gendered white male with no disabilities.Absolutely, there is no reason to not answer those questions. It is important for employers to have a diverse workforce, and answering those questions allows them to […]

⚠️ This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet's community of conservatives and be part of the conversation.

Join Ricochet for free.

AI: Tool, Co-Worker, Competitor, and/or Executioner

 

When my sons were younger I suggested to them that they consider learning skilled trades, things that couldn’t practically be outsourced to an underdeveloped country or economically replaced with automation. I still think that’s good advice, though most of them did their own things and ignored it — perhaps wisely, it turned out. One is an honest-to-goodness computer genius who has left me far behind, one a doctor, another a public policy administrator and hyper-educated wonk, one a cop, and one — the only one who went in the direction I suggested (if probably of his own accord) — a factory machine technician. (It’s this last son, the youngest of the five, with whom I have the most in-depth and enjoyable work conversations, since we both deal with automation, albeit from different ends.)

My youngest child, Darling Daughter, works in a Big City for a subsidiary of some semi-notorious financial company (Black-something, though I can never remember what). She’s the one I was thinking of tonight on my long drive to a client’s location for a few days of on-site software integration. I listened, on the drive, to some discussions of modern AI, and that got me thinking about how, and if, AI is likely to impact their careers in the near future.

[Member Post]

 

On another thread we were talking about Artificial Intelligence. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf made an interesting comment: I don’t really worry about AI suddenly gaining sentience. But I do worry about a society where AI does everything and as a result people do . . . nothing. People are easily replaced. I mean, sure, there’s a worry […]

⚠️ This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet's community of conservatives and be part of the conversation.

Join Ricochet for free.

Elon Musk Calls for the Truth in New AI

 

Last night I watched Elon Musk’s interview with Tucker Carlson. (The video is under eight minutes.) It was fascinating, enlightening, and hopeful. Until I realized how out of touch Musk must be with the Left’s determination to shape society to its own goals. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

AI and the Flimflam Man

 

Courtesy of NightCafe. An AI-drawn mentalist, though more fantastical than I had in mind.

“Did you know that any one of you might have talent as a telepath?” shouts the mentalist as he excitedly paces around the stage. “I’ll prove it to you. I’ll think of a number between 1 and 50, two digits, both of them odd. All of you try and read my mind. Ready? How many of you were thinking of 37?”

To the amazement of the crowd nearly one third of them stand up. “I knew it!” shouts the mentalist, “but I almost didn’t pick 37; I thought of 39 at first. How many of you picked 39?” Over half the audience is now standing, to wild applause.


I think I pulled that example from Michael Crichton’s State of Fear, but it’s been so long since I’ve read the book that I’m no longer sure. Let’s figure out the trick. If I asked you to guess a number between one and 50, fair odds say you’d get it right 2% of the time. The mentalist does a great deal better than that. How? He isn’t asking for a number between one and fifty.

AI Means Scams Will Be Harder to Spot

 

When I was working in IT, I would remind the staff about email scams and how to spot them. One tipoff was the use of odd words or sentence structures that no native speaker of English would use. For example, just today I got this email: “This is to confirm if you have got my last mail. respond” Not sure what this is about, but it does not sound real.

But now, with ChatGPT and the like, there’s no need for scammers to rely on bad translations. They can generate emails that sound like perfectly normal English. Further, if you respond to the emails, they can maintain a coherent conversation back and forth. Scammers won’t even need staff!

It Takes a Thief…

 

When Alan Turing proposed his eponymous test (he called it “the imitation game,the title of a movie about Mr. Turing that, as I remember, doesn’t deal with the Turing Test at all), he imagined a human interlocutor on one end of a conversation and a machine on the other. The purpose was to determine if the machine had achieved human-like intelligence. The machine passed the test if a third party listening to the conversation could not reliably identify which participant was human and which was not.

Whether or not the Turing Test was ever an effective means of identifying machine intelligence depends almost entirely on what one means by “machine intelligence.” That’s an interesting topic, but not the topic of this post. I’m concerned about the evolution of the I Am Not a Robot test, given that robots can now pass the Turing Test as originally conceived.

[Member Post]

 

I have a friend who is an elderly doctor, a man who still talks to patients. He has what seems to me a remarkable ability to diagnose illnesses and injuries quickly, often with little more than a glance at a texted photograph. I tested this recently when I sent him a picture of a friend’s […]

⚠️ This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet's community of conservatives and be part of the conversation.

Join Ricochet for free.