We know remarkably little about how AI language models work


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Deeper Learning

Google DeepMind has launched a watermarking tool for AI-generated images

Google DeepMind has launched a new watermarking tool that labels whether images have been generated with AI. The tool, called SynthID, will initially be available only to users of Google’s AI image generator Imagen.  Users will be able to generate images and then choose whether to add a watermark or not. The hope is that it could help people tell when AI-generated content is being passed off as real, or protect copyright. 

Baby steps: Google DeepMind is now the first Big Tech company to publicly launch such a tool, following a voluntary pledge with the White House to develop responsible AI. Watermarking—a technique where you hide a signal in a piece of text or an image to identify it as AI-generated—has become one of the most popular ideas proposed to curb such harms. It’s a good start, but watermarks alone won’t create more trust online. Read more from me here.

Bits and Bytes

Chinese ChatGPT alternatives just got approved for the general public
Baidu, one of China’s leading artificial-intelligence companies, has announced it will open up access to its ChatGPT-like large language model, Ernie Bot, to the general public. Our reporter Zeyi Yang looks at what this means for Chinese internet users. (MIT Technology Review)

Brain implants helped create a digital avatar of a stroke survivor’s face
Incredible news. Two papers in Nature show major advancements in the effort to translate brain activity into speech. Researchers managed to help women who had lost their ability to speak communicate again with the help of a brain implant, AI algorithms and digital avatars. (MIT Technology Review)

Inside the AI porn marketplace where everything and everyone is for sale 
This was an excellent investigation looking at how the generative AI boom has created a seedy marketplace for deepfake porn. Completely predictable and frustrating how little we have done to prevent real-life harms like nonconsensual deepfake pornogrpahy. (404 Media

An army of overseas workers in “digital sweatshops” power the AI boom
Millions of people working in the Philippines work as data annotators for data company Scale AI. But as this investigation into the questionable labor conditions shows, many workers are earning below the minimum wage and have had payments delayed, reduced, or canceled.
(The Washington Post

The tropical Island with the hot domain name
Lol. The AI boom has meant Anguilla has hit the jackpot with its .ai domain name. The country is expected to make millions this year from companies wanting the buzzy designation. (Bloomberg)

P.S. We’re hiring! 
MIT Technology Review is looking for an ambitious AI reporter to join our team with an emphasis on the intersection of hardware and AI. This position is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Sounds like you, or someone you know? Read more here

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