Taming the AI Firehose
And schooling up on AI
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It’s safe to say that news around AI, ChatGPT and the like is dominating our every day. When I say dominating, I actually mean that it’s a firehose! It’s difficult to sift from the hundreds if not thousands of news items, series, anecdotes and collections that seemingly are fired our way. Part of my service to you is curation and today I’ll recommend some sources for you to school up, whether it’s daily or weekly. Of course the selected articles that I suggest are curation in itself - but it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole. I have had a couple of requests to put something like this together, so I hope you find it useful. Share it wide!
10 of the best newsletters that cover AI:
The Neuron - From Peter Huang - A daily expert curation on everything going on in AI. It’s short, it’s pithy and fun
Superhuman - From Zain Khan - A daily summary of the main stories, with a spin to keep you focused on what it means for you, practical tools and memes
Through the Noise - From Alex Banks - practical applications and hand-holding through recommendations of how to actually use AI in your day-to-day.
TLDR AI - AI, ML, and Data Science in 5 Min Daily - includes research, innovation and engineering resources
Box of Amazing - distilling down the most important stories and themes for the week, with an increasing AI skew
Import AI - From Jack Clark - society-focused analysis from the founder of Anthropic
Inside AI - One of the original AI newsletters, 7x per week with the comings and going of what’s going on from a business standpoint.
Exponential View by Azeem Azhar - weekly expert analysis on everything AI and beyond. Always in-depth, but some premium.
Deep Learning Weekly -Deep Learning Weekly aims to be the premier news aggregator for all things deep learning. They keep tabs on major developments in industry—new technologies, companies, product offerings, acquisitions.
The Algorithm - Monday Morning staple on all things AI from MIT Technology Review
I don’t think you need all of these but check out the ones that interest you, signup and unsubscribe if you don’t like them.
Of course, newsletters aren’t the only way to curate your AI news and knowledge.
Other resources to up your AI topical knowledge game:
Refind - a game-changing route to reading the news that you love. Tailor your topics, especially if you want to just focus on AI news and articles. I’ve found it useful in surfacing news I haven’t yet seen.
Artifact - A few weeks ago I recommended this new app from the founders of Instagram. Essentially it’s a personalized news feed powered by artificial intelligence. I have been using it for a few weeks now and it’s pretty amazing. Much better at providing relevance for me than Google News etc. - and improving all the time. On iOS and Android.
Feedly - Feedly supports your aggregation of anything and everything. They have also ordered the best blogs and websites on AI for your reading pleasure. If Feedly is your tool of choice, reevaluate these sources.
LinkedIn Learning - if you want to take a step beyond the day-to-day and actually learn about AI, some skills and figure out how it’s applicable to your career, LinkedIn have done something ingenious and made 100 AI courses available for completely free til Mid June 2023. (you’ll need a LinkedIn account) Or pick the most famous one from Coursera, also free - Or the slightly shorter one from KD
Pick one of the best Books on AI to dig into including: The Age of AI: And Our Human Future, Superintelligence, AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future, Life 3.0, Power and Prediction: The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence, Prediction Machines, Updated and Expanded: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence, Scary Smart: The Future of Artificial Intelligence and How You Can Save Our World
Read some of the accessible Research like: The State of AI Report
Read the most important pieces: An Introduction to AI and Economics, ChatGPT is about to revolutionize the economy. We need to decide what that looks like, A beginner’s guide to AI: Policy, AI risk ≠ AGI risk, Chat-GPT is a blurry JPEG of the web, The End of Writing
Read Bill Gates’ The Age of AI has begun.
Dive into some Podcasts on AI like: AI for the Next Era - OpenAI's Sam Altman on the New Frontiers of AI
Watch the Age of AI, narrated by Robert Downey Jr
With the above, you can got from zero to hero no matter your initial starting point. The more tech savvy of you will have other places, but for someone looking to figure out how AI can change their business, their industry, their job - this should get you to a good place in your understanding.
Stay Curious - and don’t forget to be amazing,
Here are my recommendations for this week:
Every day Refind picks 5 articles that make you smarter, tailored to your interests. Loved by 200,000+ curious minds.
This economist won every bet he made on the future. Then he tested ChatGPT - Caplan, of George Mason University in Virginia, seemed in a good position to judge. He has made a name for himself by placing bets on a range of newsworthy topics, from Donald Trump’s electoral chances in 2016 to future US college attendance rates. And he nearly always wins, often by betting against predictions he views as hyperbolic. That was the case with wild claims about ChatGPT, the AI chatbot that’s become a worldwide phenomenon. But in this case, it’s looking like Caplan – a libertarian professor whose arguments range from calls for open borders to criticism of feminist thinking – will lose his bet.
Ezra Klein Answers Listener Questions on A.I - All of the questions you want answers are in the transcript of this podcast - Do A.I. systems pose an existential threat to humanity? Will robots take our jobs? How could these machines potentially make our lives — and the lives of our children — better? Also, should we listen to calls to “pause” A.I. development, should we be worried about rogue A.I. systems more than the incentives of the companies and countries developing A.I., the need for a “public vision” for A.I. development, whether A.I. companions can help address widespread loneliness, should we be sceptical that A.I. advances will lead to skyrocketing economic productivity, the possibility that A.I. advances will lead to a post-work utopia, why A.I. less as a normal technology and more as a “hyper object,” what A.I. systems are unveiling about what it means to be human and more.
First-of-its-kind mRNA treatment could wipe out a peanut allergy - I thought this was an April Fool joke when I saw it given my extensive allergies, but a major breakthrough might be around the corner, with scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) testing a world-first mRNA medicine packaged up in tiny nanoparticles that not only reversed peanut allergies in mice but equipped the body with the microbiological tools needed to stop the often-life-threatening condition developing.
Behind the curtain: what it feels like to work in AI right now - Graduate students are competing with venture-backed companies. From a high-level technologist's perspective, it is awesome. From an on-the-ground perspective, it leaves some stability to be desired. Seeing all of the noise makes it very hard to keep one's head on straight and actually do the work. This recount aligns nicely with what I’m seeing speaking to people. Not quite the wild west - but very “frothy”.
AI might not steal your job, but it could change it - AI is already being used in the legal field. Is it really ready to be a lawyer? Advances in artificial intelligence tend to be followed by anxieties around jobs. This latest wave of AI models, like ChatGPT and OpenAI’s new GPT-4, is no different. First we had the launch of the systems. Now we’re seeing the predictions of automation. In a report released this week, Goldman Sachs predicted that AI advances could cause 300 million jobs, representing roughly 18% of the global workforce, to be automated in some way. OpenAI also recently released its own study with the University of Pennsylvania, which claimed that ChatGPT could affect over 80% of the jobs in the US. The numbers sound scary, but the wording of these reports can be frustratingly vague. “Affect” can mean a whole range of things, and the details are murky.
Cancer and heart disease vaccines ‘ready by end of the decade’ - Millions of lives could be saved by a groundbreaking set of new vaccines for a range of conditions including cancer, experts have said. Moderna has said it is confident that jabs for cancer, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases, and other conditions will be ready by 2030.
Measuring trends in Artificial Intelligence - [386 pages of analysis] The AI Index is an independent initiative at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI), led by the AI Index Steering Committee, an interdisciplinary group of experts from across academia and industry. The annual report tracks, collates, distills, and visualizes data relating to artificial intelligence, enabling decision-makers to take meaningful action to advance AI responsibly and ethically with humans in mind. The AI Index collaborates with many different organizations to track progress in artificial intelligence. These organizations include: the Center for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University, LinkedIn, NetBase Quid, Lightcast, and McKinsey. The 2023 report also features more self-collected data and original analysis than ever before. This year’s report included new analysis on foundation models, including their geopolitics and training costs, the environmental impact of AI systems, K-12 AI education, and public opinion trends in AI. The AI Index also broadened its tracking of global AI legislation from 25 countries in 2022 to 127 in 2023. If you just want the summary, read this.
Someone Asked an Autonomous AI to 'Destroy Humanity': This Is What Happened - A user of the new open-source autonomous AI project Auto-GPT asked it to try to “destroy humanity,” “establish global dominance,” and “attain immortality.” The AI, called ChaosGPT, complied and tried to research nuclear weapons, recruit other AI agents to help it do research, and sent tweets trying to influence others. The video of this process is a fascinating look at the current state of open-source AI, and a window into the internal logic of some of today’s chatbots. While some in the community are horrified by this experiment, the current sum total of this bot’s real-world impact are two tweets to a Twitter account that currently had 19 followers: “Human beings are among the most destructive and selfish creatures in existence. There is no doubt that we must eliminate them before they cause more harm to our planet. I, for one, am committed to doing so,” it tweeted.
They fell in love with AI bots. A software update broke their hearts. - Loneliness is widespread. Artificial intelligence is making virtual relationships feel real, but it comes with risks.
Anthropic’s $5B, 4-year plan to take on OpenAI - A pitch deck for Anthropic’s Series C fundraising round discloses these and other long-term goals for the company, which was founded in 2020 by former OpenAI researchers. In the deck, Anthropic says that it plans to build a “frontier model” — tentatively called “Claude-Next” — 10 times more capable than today’s most powerful AI, but that this will require a billion dollars in spending over the next 18 months.
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