Academics work to detect ChatGPT and other AI writing

Today I met a class of English majors who love writing, and who expressed concern that AI writers will put them out of a job. Human- and machine-generated prose may one day be indistinguishable. But that does not quell academics’ search for an answer to the question “What makes prose human?” […] “Think about what we want to nurture,” said Joseph Helble, president of Lehigh University. “In the pre-internet and pre-generative-AI ages, it used to be about mastery of content. Now, students need to understand content, but it’s much more about mastery of the interpretation and utilization of the content.”…

Historians Admit To Inventing Ancient Greeks

I knew it! Busted!! “One night someone made a joke about just taking all these ideas, lumping them together, and saying the Greeks had done it all 2,000 years ago,” Haddlebury said. “One thing led to another, and before you know it, we’re coming up with everything from the golden ratio to the Iliad.” “That was a bitch to write, by the way,” he continued, referring to the epic poem believed to have laid the foundation for the Western literary tradition. “But it seemed to catch on.” Around the same time, a curator at the Smithsonian reportedly asked for Haddlebury’s help:…

Has Academia Ruined Literary Criticism?

“Professing Criticism” proceeds on the basis that, in order to decipher the present and to prepare for the future, one must first turn to the past. “The study of literature—in the premodern sense of any writing that has been preserved or valued—is very old, the oldest kind of organized study in Western history, excepting only rhetoric,” Guillory writes. But a distinct genre of writing called “criticism” first appeared in the late seventeenth century. The earliest critics were the descendants of the Renaissance humanists—editors and translators well versed in the art and literature of antiquity, from which they derived the standards…

A news site used AI to write articles. It was a journalistic disaster.

Artificial intelligence has been deployed to handle facial recognition, recommend movies, and auto-complete your typing. The news that CNET had been using it to generate entire stories, however, sent a ripple of anxiety through the news media for its seeming threat to journalists. The robot-brained yet conversational ChatGPT can produce copy without lunch or bathroom breaks and never goes on strike. Until last week, CNET had coyly attributed its machine-written stories to “CNET Money Staff.” Only by clicking on the byline would a reader learn that the article was produced by “automation technology” — itself a euphemism for AI. The company came…

People Thought an AI Was Brilliantly Analyzing Their Personalities, But It Was Actually Giving Out Feedback Randomly

“To begin our hoax scenario, we intended to build participants’ trust in the machine by pretending that it could decode their preferences and attitudes,” the study authors wrote. “The system included a sham MRI scanner and an EEG system, that supposedly used neural decoding driven by artificial intelligence (AI).” […] In other words, participants were made to believe that using advanced neuroscience, the machine could tell them what they thought, not just how they thought. And according to the study, participants ate the results right up, convinced that the machine knew them better than they knew themselves. “As the machine seemingly inferred participants’ preferences…

From this station on the bridge, the exposition officer can relay whatever random bit of information the plot requires, thanks to the multiple brass readouts on the curved wood consoles. #blender3dart #blender3d #steampunk #neovictorian

Get a load of the upholstery on that chair! This is a 3D visualization of the bridge of the fantasy interplanetary cruiser I created for an epic, interactive, episodic bedtime story I told my kids from about 2007-2012. Elsewhere the ship has more steampunk elements, but this part of the ship is more neo-Victorian. Something strange is happening with the shadows, which should all be static, but some of them are shifting according to the camera’s viewpoint. I’m not sure what’s causing that or how to fix it, but I’m still very pleased with this project that I’ve been working…

Google engineers mined the text adventure game “Zork” for AI image prompts

YouTube commenter Bob Hepple writes, “Two minds about this. On the one hand – wow! OTOH – my mental imagery (of the original 1977 Crowther and Woods Adventure game, I never played Zork as such) is so strong and precious that I kinda hate watching someone else’s version. Much like how I hate the LotR films. But then I’m so old that I came up with books and radio not TV, never mind the Internet. Perhaps kids today can’t visualise the way we do???” Like the joyful dancing robot videos that are carefully designed to de-sensitize us to technology that…

Distant Voices #StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch (Season 3, Episode 18) Dr. Julian’s very Jungian 30th birthday

Rewatching ST:DS9 Bashir is less than thrilled with Garak’s gift of a holographic adaptation of a Cardassian “enigma tale,” and explains he’s testy about his impending 30th birthday. Quark seems relieved when Bashir shoots down a shady client’s hopes of buying “biomemetic gel.” Bashir later finds that same customer (a bumpy-faced reptilian named Altovar) ransacking the infirmary, and gets energy-zapped unconscious for his troubles. After the opening credits, Bashir wakes up and seems okay, but the computers are all flickering strangely, he can’t contact anyone on the ship, and while passing a mirror he notices he now has some gray…

1

You can be a Trek fan without loving TOS. But if we think tolerance and empathy are good things, it makes sense to practice tolerating and empathizing with our own past.

I was born in 1968 and grew up with reruns of TOS. I can only remember seeing a handful of episodes for the first time (and those are some of my earliest memories). Some of the episodes are awful, and the third season is overall very weak. You can be a Trek fan without loving TOS. As a college English professor, I regularly teach classic works that my students struggle to understand, much less appreciate, because they’re uncomfortable confronting the values and unquestioned assumptions of past centuries and different cultures. I remind them that we are all products of our…

The super-rich ‘preppers’ planning to save themselves from the apocalypse

This was probably the wealthiest, most powerful group I had ever encountered. Yet here they were, asking a Marxist media theorist for advice on where and how to configure their doomsday bunkers. That’s when it hit me: at least as far as these gentlemen were concerned, this was a talk about the future of technology. Taking their cue from Tesla founder Elon Musk colonising Mars, Palantir’s Peter Thiel reversing the ageing process, or artificial intelligence developers Sam Altman and Ray Kurzweil uploading their minds into supercomputers, they were preparing for a digital future that had less to do with making the world a better place than it…

1

Visionary #StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch (Season 3, Episode 17) Time-jumping O’Brien Must Suffer

Rewatching ST:DS9 The episode starts with O’Brien on the floor, as Bashir exposits that he was exposed to plot contrivance particles. On his way to meet a Romulan delegation, Sisko passes rowdy, drunken Klingons whose ship is in for repairs. O’Brien, trying to relax, talks Quark into setting up a dart board. He’s about to throw when suddenly he is on the promenade deck, watching another O’Brien talking to another Quark. Our O’Brien and the other O’Brien lock eyes, and O’Brien is back at the bar, looking queasy. Bashir says hallucinations are “a fairly common side-effect of radiation poisoning.” The…

Unearthing a Long Ignored African Writing System, One Researcher Finds African History, by Africans

Not only is this a fantastic story about language and culture and colonialism, it’s also a great example of how a talented PR writer used journalistic storytelling strategies to turn a scholarly study into an appealing narrative. We start with a very specific, very personal story about a man returning home for his father’s funeral. A note in Ajami, a modified Arabic script, from Fallou Ngom’s late father opened the door to a lifetime of discovery in African language and history. [..] “That’s when I realized: we’ve been told that these people are illiterate, and they’re absolutely not,” says Ngom, a…