AI generated image that relates in no meaningful way to the content of the page on which it appears.

This is what the techbros are excited about? Really?

Some 2300 years ago in ancient Greece, Plato wrote a dialogue featuring his mentor Socrates, who argued that the ability to churn out the longest written compositions on trivial topics or the shortest compositions on important topics is a shallow skill that has nothing to do with human understanding, much like demonstrating that you can…

Princess of Wales photo furore underlines sensitivity around image doctoring

Catherine’s attempts to adjust a family photo, amid frenzied social media speculation about her wellbeing, have run straight into widespread concerns about trust in images, text and audio in a year when half the world is going to the polls. “This photo is a prime example of why 2024 is a crucial year for spotting –…

Can you melt eggs? Quora’s AI says “yes,” and Google is sharing the result

Google Search is already well-known for having gone dramatically downhill in terms of the quality of the results it provides over the past decade. In fact, Google’s deteriorating quality has resulted in techniques like adding “Reddit” to a query to reduce SEO-seeking spam sites and has also increased the popularity of AI chatbots, which apparently provide answers without…

What if Generative AI turned out to be a Dud?

I’m sad thinking of all the students whose academic careers and personal intellectual growth will suffer because they depend on generative text software — whether or not they get “caught” for plagiarism. In my mind, the fundamental error that almost everyone is making is in believing that Generative AI is tantamount to AGI (general purpose…

Media Bias Chart version 11, Aug 2023 — Journalism sorted by bias (Left / Center / Right), reliability (Fact vs Fabrication) and medium (Web/Text, Video/TV, and Audio/Podcast/Radio) (Ad Fontes Media)

Whether a source is biased towards the left or right is not as important as to whether the story depends on facts and fact-dense analysis (best), fact-supported and fair opinions (okay), or taunts, propaganda, and fabrications (fringe stuff that’s harmful to our civic well-being). This version of the Ad Fontes chart shifts the AP a…

ChatGPT answers more than half of software engineering questions incorrectly

The results showed that out of the 512 questions, 259 (52%) of ChatGPT’s answers were incorrect and only 248 (48%) were correct. Moreover, a whopping 77% of the answers were verbose. […] According to the study, the well-articulated responses ChatGPT outputs caused the users to overlook incorrect information in the answers. “Users overlook incorrect information…

Bing’s AI chatbot helped me solve a technical problem, then showed me manatees, then denied showing me manatees

I was searching for how to change the default font in the WordPress editor, but the answers I was getting were overwhelmingly for how to change what the user sees in published posts, which I already know how to do. Bing’s response was right on target. It probably helped that I knew the specific name…

Media Bias Chart version 11 — Journalism sorted by bias (Left / Center / Right), reliability (Fact vs Fabrication) and medium (Web/Text, Video/TV, and Audio/Podcast/Radio) (Ad Fontes Media)

The very useful “media bias chart” is one of several useful ways to classify sources of journalism. While individual items published by any of these sources can vary considerably from the general location depicted in this chart, the takeaway message is that journalism can still be valid and useful even if it has a slant,…

That story about the pope requiring Catholics to fast from meat as part of a deal with the fishing industry? Never happened.

That story about the pope requiring Catholics to eat fish as part of a deal with fishing industry?   For some reason people keep sharing this story with the idea that the economic angle is scandalous, or it supports the assertion that the Catholic church is corrupt, or that liturgical practices not literally described in…

The focus on misinformation leads to a profound misunderstanding of why people believe and act on bad information

I’m consciously fighting confirmation bias by sharing some claims that I intuitively (irrationally?) doubt. Contrary to widespread beliefs, the share of misinformation in most people’s information diet is minimal, conspiracy theorising does not seem to have increased in recent years, and those who consume high rates of misinformation are largely hyper-partisans or dogmatists anyway. Moreover, even when people’s…

Engrossing but difficult to watch: “Man in Cave” documentary on caver Floyd Collins

I’m conflicted. This is a very well done animated documentary, creating visuals that were not part of the original press coverage of Floyd Collins, the caver trapped in Sand Cave in 1925, and the subject of the first media circus, fed by the emerging new medium of radio journalism. The animation adds sight gags and…