Friday, April 26, 2024

AI vs Natural Stupidity

 The Colorado legislature, or at least one member of it, has decided that AI represents a threat, or something, to themselves, or maybe someone else, and has offered legislation that would somehow regulate AI development in Colorado, to protect us. Or at least protect the politicians.

Money quote:

“The technology is literally changing on a weekly basis, just like the early days of the World Wide Web. It’s mind numbing how fast it’s moving,” said Kyle Shannon, CEO and founder of Denver-based Storyvine, which is using generative AI to add transcription and summaries to its videos. “I also know from experience how stifling a bill like this would have been in the mid-’90s. And I know that overregulating AI right now is going to put Colorado businesses at a significant disadvantage.”
Warning that letting the famously stupid legislature regulate anything is generally a bad idea. I used ChatGPT to write a bill calling for a top-level audit to be performed on statewide elections, and sent it to my representative, and to the Secretary of State. The rep never answered, and the SOS claimed we already did this, citing the reg that allegedly called for it. I read the reg. It DOES NOT call for any such thing, but rather sets up a checksum count to verify that the original count was correct. 200 ballots mailed in from a "residence" at a gas station is just fine as long as they all get counted. 

Technology Report

 Getting humanoid robots through the "uncanny valley". Here's an article about a company building companion robots. They look very realistic, although they lack human level strength and mobility, they're getting closer, and it looks like newer developments in high power electric motors will go a long way toward getting those 'bots up and running, so to speak.

“They had hired an actress to pretend to be a mannequin — and she was really good at it,” McMullen recalls. “For some reason that stuck with me, I was like, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to have a mannequin that looks so real, that people would think that it was?’ Kind of like an inverse of that experience. I started coming up with this, like, crazy idea of a hyper-realistic, pose-able mannequin.”

To this end, McMullen founded his own company, Abyss Creations in 1996, which is perhaps best known for developing the RealDoll adult companion mannequin, the most deluxe versions of which can fetch over $10,000.

He’s sold thousands of them.

McMullen then founded Realbotix in 2014 to bring a similar realism to robots.


Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Modern Campaigning

An article shows that an aspiring candidate can buy an AI that can work his or her name into daily news releases in a favorable way. The candidate can then do a quick fact check, and pass the releases on to the press, or incorporate them into fliers to be distributed to the constituents. The AI in question is written in Israel, but if that's a problem, others are available. Word is that they turn out workmanlike prose at very little cost.

At the same time, clever programmers can take images of their candidate and make videos of said candidate making speeches endorsing, or condemning, whatever issue is hot in any given district. This makes it possible for U.S. Grant to campaign effectively from his tomb. It also makes it possible for Joe Biden to come out in favor of reinstating slavery. So watch out. Still, it could get Trump out of the courtroom and back on the campaign trail in short order, rendering the Dem interference moot.