Hi, I'm Anthony and I'm a computer scientist
Hi, I'm Anthony and I'm a computer scientist
If I had more free time right now I’d write another blog post about this. For now, I just wanted to register how infuriating, tiring, and lousy this firehose of AI this/AI that is.
A lot of people in the US don’t seem to know that cars were crammed down our collective throats in much the same way, over enormous protests. Cars killed tons of people, and building roads destroyed communities on a massive scale. Huge numbers of people protested all of this and more, but cars were rammed through as something we just had to bear anyway.
Many people, including me, have raised alarm bells about this AI technology, and yet here we are having it rammed through in much the same way. It’s a pattern in the United States for sure, if not in the Western world generally. The powers that be don’t seem inclined to slow this process down or regulate it in anyway. I suspect they won’t start until the harms it can cause and are already causing become so great they can’t be ignored anymore.
I posted this on LinkedIn:
ACM, Association for Computing Machinery recently circulated a survey about their authorship policies. I strongly agree with their stance that AI text generators should not be listed as authors. I strongly disagree with their stance that research articles could contain generated text if it is disclosed and meets some other reasonable critiera. I believe the inclusion of such text in research articles fundamentally reduces their quality relative to texts authored entirely by human beings. I also believe, given how AI text generators are trained, that their use is a form of plagiarism. I very much hope the ACM reverses course on that particular aspect of their policy.
@email@example.com Mozilla receives a significant fraction of its funding from Google. There’s no way in hell they are making “trustworthy” AI.
@firstname.lastname@example.org quite a birb!
Chatbots, deepfakes, and voice clones: AI deception for sale | Federal Trade Commission
It’s good to see at least one US agency taking this stuff seriously.
Peter Thiel is a very bad man. It’s amazing to me that anyone has anything to do with him.
@email@example.com I never got into Docker to begin with and their quasi-corporate structure always put me off, so I’m glad I don’t need to do anything in response to this mess.
Glaze: Protecting Artists from Style Mimicry
Nice. An artist can run their visual art image through this tool. The tool produces a new version of the image that is almost identical to the human eye, but will prevent unethical, extractive AI like Stable Diffusion or Midjourney from learning the artist’s style, so that their style can’t be stolen and copied. The artist can thus freely post images online without having to worry that some asshole company will co-opt their art style.
They do warn that AI advances quickly and this particular tool will most likely not always be effective. However, I think the effort is commendable, and this tool or some future variant could put enough of a barrier in place that it is no longer cost-effective for lousy AI companies to steal from artists.
@firstname.lastname@example.org @email@example.com I wouldn’t trust docker anymore if you did before and I’d migrate away ASAP. This kind of thing happens constantly: an actually hostile policy meets backlash, company puts out PR for damage control, and then when the fervor dies down they move ahead with the hostile policy.
@firstname.lastname@example.org But like @email@example.com said, the RSS feed is clean. And the fact that it’s always 13 repetitions and not an arbitrary number suggests a systematic bug.
@firstname.lastname@example.org hash the content?
@email@example.com hmm good to know thanks
LibreTranslate - Free and Open Source Machine Translation API
Nice. Self-hostable even!
If you look at the awesome scala weekly twtxt feed, https://feeds.twtxt.net/awesome-scala-weekly/twtxt.txt , it’s wild. “Issue 356”, the recent one I’m referring to, is repeated 13 times. Everything looks fine back to 2022-11-03T21:42:00Z, when “Issue 337” is repeated 13 times. “Issue 336” is repeated 13 times. “Issue 335” is repeated 13 times. Finally, I got bored and stopped counting.
The only conclusion is that this feed is cursed.
I see 13 in Goryon too. I only noticed 4 yesterday, but now that I’m looking again I see 13.
I’ve noticed this behavior before with other feeds.
@firstname.lastname@example.org 😆 ugh I know
@email@example.com yes, it turns out I see 13 copies on the web.
@firstname.lastname@example.org any idea why I’d be seeing four copies of the same post?
Plugin proposal for yarn: If a user’s first post contains the string “NFT”, they are auto-banned.
⨁ Followbutton on their profile page or use the Follow form and enter a Twtxt URL. You may also find other feeds of interest via Feeds. Welcome! 🤗
@email@example.com Sweet, an NFT spambot! Blammo!
@Phys_org@feeds.twtxt.net “Researchers use computers to listen for specific fish sounds”
@firstname.lastname@example.org GPT-E? DALL-3?
@email@example.com ooh yes definitely 😆
The GPT-4 article is a press release, not a scientific article. It’s comically bad.
@firstname.lastname@example.org It’s harder to fully spy on people in realtime with a statically-generated site?
@email@example.com Yeah. There are some other random signs that we might be headed into another crash like 2008. In the US at least, home foreclosures have been rising rapidly (my brother is an engineer and works with people who deal with home construction) and home prices have been volatile. Besides all the chaos in the crypto industry, which no one in a position of power will address with full transparency (like, how much money was actually lost? How many people were bankrupted or lost everything? etc etc).
@firstname.lastname@example.org I don’t know this guy in particular, but I’m deeply skeptical of this stuff because all these Silicon Valley assholes fund anti-aging research. I guess they think they deserve to live forever. But it’s all pseudo-science bullshit, the “science” version of the kind of software and startups they make.
Peter Thiel, of Facebook and PayPal fame, besides being a horrible Trump-supporting human being generally, literally wants to have injections of teenager’s blood under the bizarre belief that this will slow the aging process. That kind of “treatment” uses much the same rationale as this guy provides in the first few minutes of the video you posted.
A literal fucking vampire:
Credit Suisse sheds nearly 25%, key backer says no more money | Reuters
Silicon Valley Bank crashed, now this. Buckle up folks, we could be in for a wild ride.
@email@example.com Did your account get hacked? What is this lol
@firstname.lastname@example.org wow this is cool
@email@example.com This sounds like a scary event and I’m sorry that it happened to you.
@firstname.lastname@example.org Like I said you didn’t read the articles. Which is fine, but my points stand as far as I’m concerned. 🤷♂
I’m sorry if I’m bursting anyone’s bubble by repeatedly pointing out that technologies like Tor or i2p or blockchain whatits aren’t as safe and secure as you’ve been led to believe. The truth is, you always need to have a threat model, and calibrate your expectations against it. If you want some piece of information to be inaccessible to, say, the US NSA, Tor or i2p will be inadequate. If that’s not your threat model then maybe they’re fine for you, though personally I don’t trust overlay networks like that because they’re black boxes to me. “Anyone can run a node” is terrifying to consider.
@email@example.com Research suggests users of hidden services are even more vulnerable to de-anonymization:
Hidden service users face a greater risk of targeted deanonymization than normal Tor users
@firstname.lastname@example.org You didn’t read the articles.
@email@example.com Please don’t blindly trust these technologies. #wrrgnnq
Tracking One Year of Malicious Tor Exit Relay Activities (Part II) | by nusenu | Medium
over 25% of the Tor network’s exit capacity has been attacking Tor users
NSA targets the privacy-conscious (Seite 1)| Das Erste - Panorama - Meldungen
Among the NSA’s targets is the Tor network
etc etc etc etc etc…..
@firstname.lastname@example.org Tor is well-known to be thoroughly infiltrated by law enforcement and other state actors, who even run their own exit nodes. There are playbooks for taking it down. It could be fully compromised right now for all we know. i2p I know less about, but human engineering–meaning, coercing, tricking, or otherwise persuading people to do stuff that compromises security–is always the way to compromise these things, and it always will be.
@email@example.com what are you talking about?
@firstname.lastname@example.org You seem to think, bizarrely, that cryptocurrency can’t be blocked. It can. Any cryptocurrency currently in existence, or yet to be invented, can be blocked, and will be. As things stand now, a script kiddie can steal all your funds if you screw up one tiny configuration detail lol
@email@example.com well, fuck Russia lol. Crypto should burn if only to deny those genocidal pricks access to money.
No institution can give an order to block your transactions! Even if you’re bank account is blocked, you can still trade with crypto! That’s at least one of the reasons it has value!
You’re literally trying to say that if your community has decided that you should not have access to certain funds, you should be empowered to thwart that decision. A profoundly anti-social stance to take.
Because that’s the notion here. Banks can’t legally decide that you no longer have access to your funds. You have a right to those funds that is protected by law. Legal authorities in some cases can restrict your access to your funds, but there is a reason and purpose to that, and in theory that reason and purpose is protection of the community. Yes I know I’m being simplistic, but the alternative is to take the extreme libertarian view that these institutions are all broken and hostile beyond hope, we should resist them at all costs, everyone else be damned. To me that’s far more simplistic, naive, and dangerous than believing that these institutions approximate the ideals we have for them and can be improved through time.
And honestly, if that’s your worry–that a bank would restrict your access to your money–why in the actual FUCK would you think that cryptocurrency gives you better access? Get a bunch of cash, bonds, and prepaid debit cards and bury it all in your backyard. That’s far better.
I’ve talked to many people who are enthusiastic about cryptocurrency, and almost to a one I find that they have a limited understanding of how actual currencies work. I’d urge you to read up on how banks work, how fiat currencies work, etc., before saying stuff like this.
Crypto increases or decreases in value just as any other good (or currency), based on demand, you can do Ponzi schemes with potatoes, you can’t say potates at their core are Ponzi scheme.
This is not true, because cryptocurrency is unique: it has no inherent value whatsoever. Potatoes have value as food, and so yes while they can be used as the underpinning of a Ponzi scheme, the presence of potatoes as a kind of currency does not immediately imply that you’re looking at a Ponzi scheme. You might be looking at a perfectly viable economy grounded, ultimately, in the value of a potato as a food.
There is no grounding for cryptocurrency. You can’t eat it, wear it, or live in it. You can’t use it to pay taxes, fees, or fines from a nation-state without first converting it into the fiat currency of that nation-state.
You might argue “well, you can exchange the crypto for those other things!” and the answer to that is: no you can’t, unless you have enough people participating in the Ponzi scheme. That’s how these schemes work. It’s a con game where the token only has a value if enough people believe it has a value. That’s a Ponzi scheme.
And cypto’s value is that it’s a currency outside the (at least the digital) reach of a countries institutions.
That is not a value. I have absolutely no need or desire for that, nor do the vast majority of people. People avoiding accountability from their community might view it as such.
@firstname.lastname@example.org lol same
@email@example.com I try not to be too snobby, but I kinda have the same impression? At the same time, I don’t think there are many companies that want people who know how to code–they actually want people who will stitch together other people’s stuff because they perceive that to be lower risk, and they probably pay folks like that less than they’d pay someone who generated novel software.
@firstname.lastname@example.org yeah, and I mean to a certain extent that’s fine. You need to be trained on how to use a company’s technology in order to get the best value from it, and that is often a great thing for all involved.
What I find objectionable is that Google and IBM (and others!) pretend that these training courses about their products are actually educational the way a university education is. That is blatant misrepresentation.