December, 2023 archive
Noah Feldman, Bloomberg columnist and (I did now that he is a) Harvard law professor, takes a look at the New York Times’s suit against Microsoft and OpenAI for copyright infringement. I can’t say that it’s an exciting read, but, given the who-shot-john and over-the-top hype about “AI,” I think it’s a worthwhile one.
Here’s a bit:
Once you know the law, you can guess roughly how the legal arguments in the case are going to go. The New York Times will point to examples where a user asks a question of ChatGPT or Bing and it replies with something substantially like a New York Times article. The newspaper will observe that ChatGPT is part of a business and charges fees for access to its latest versions, and that Bing is a core part of Microsoft’s business. The New York Times will emphasize the creative aspects of journalism. Above all, it will argue that if you can ask an LLM-powered search engine for the day’s news, and get content drawn directly from The New York Times, that will substantially harm and maybe even kill The New York Times’ business model.
Most of these points are plausible legal arguments. But OpenAI and Microsoft will be prepared for them. They’ll likely respond by saying that their LLM doesn’t copy; rather, it learns and makes statistical predictions to produce new answers.
Sam and the crew dissect the deception behind the duplicity behind the double-talk.
At the Kansas City Star, Melinda Henneberger decodes de code. Here’s a bit:
The somewhat surging Republican presidential candidate’ supposed “blunder” was her response to a man who asked her . . . what had caused the Civil War. Only she answered the question pretty much as she has before, with some blah blah about the role of government. Missing from her answer, once again, was this word: Slavery.
A blunder is a stupid or careless mistake. Nad Haley’s answer was not careless, but calculated.
Instead, they were the broadest possible wink to MAGA nation that she sees them, as she always has, and is with them, still.
Bernard Golden, writing at Psychology Today Blogs, explores the psychology behind the appeal of authoritarianism.
I shan’t attempt to excerpt or summarize his piece. In the light of dis coarse discourse, I commend it to your attention as deserving to be read in its entirety.
Yet another “responsible gun owner” discharges his responsibility in yet another random act of politeness.
I’m currently watching it at tubitv.com, a free streaming service with surprisingly unannoying commercials.
Rebecca Watson warns that hedge funds are coming for your medical care.
Or you can read the transcript.
An Alabama Establishmentarian defends his choice to use the power of the state to foist his creed on others..
His name is Graham, and he’s a cracker.
You can’t argue with facts (unless, of course, you are a Republican).
Yet another family chose to celebrate Christmas by sharing politeness with a child.
We are a broken society.
Michael Cohen hoists himself on the “AI” petard.
Michael Cohen, former President Trump’s ex-fixer and personal lawyer, said in newly unsealed court filings that he accidentally gave his lawyer fake legal citations concocted by the artificial intelligence program Google Bard.
Cohen wrote in a sworn declaration unsealed Friday that he has not kept up with “emerging trends (and related risks)” in legal technology and was not aware that Google Bard was a generative text service that, like Chat-GPT, could create citations and descriptions that “looked real but actually were not.” He instead believed the service to be a “supercharged search engine.”
Just because you see (or hear) it on a computer screen, it ain’t necessarily so.
I linked earlier to PoliticalProf’s post regarding Nikki Halley’s white-washing the reason for the American Civil War.
Halley has since conceded that, yeah, maybe slavery did have a little bit to do with it.
Over at No More Mister Nice Blog, Steve M argues that said concession is not likely to help Halley with the Republican Party’s secessionist base. A snippet:
Haley has tried to regain her footing by blaming the question on a “Democratic plant,” but you can’t combine that with an admission that the hated libs were right and expect to remain viable in a GOP contest. If she felt the need to acknowledge slavery as the cause of the war, she should have said that the enslavers were members of the “Democrat Party” and that she belongs to “the party of Lincoln.”
But Haley can’t do any of that, because her brand is “reasonable-seeming Republican.” She’s polling best in New Hampshire, where members of any party (or no party) can vote in the Republican primary, and where the Republicans are, on average, more moderate than they are in most of the country. Angry wingnuttery might alienate these voters, so she’s ruled it out.
Natch, Donald Trump is descended from immigrants. If I remember correctly, he’s second-generation.
For that matter, so are all of us descended from immigrants whose families arrived after, say, just to pick a date, 1492.