Company Builds AI Text Generator Too Dangerous for Public Release

Company Builds AI Text Generator Too Dangerous for Public Release

As the age of automation draws increasingly nearer, the gatekeepers of this exciting, yet frightening, technology are being forced to make ethical decisions on whether or not their A.I. will better humanity or cause its downfall. And just recently the creators of the machine learning research group OpenAI, backed by Elon Musk, Sam Altman, and Reid Hoffman, decided one of their creations was too dangerous to release in full as they realized their AI was too good at generating “deepfakes for text.”

The nonprofit research firm’s GPT2 text generator was fed over 10 million news articles from Reddit – about 40 GBs worth of text – to generate an intuitive program that completes any input sentence into a full-length news article — a fake news article.

A demonstration of the technology can be seen in the below video posted by the Guardian, which shows what happened when the first sentence of an article was input to the bot. Within seconds, the tool generates a fabricated paragraph that reads in a journalistic tone, and sounds like it could actually be reporting legitimate news.

Entering the opening lines of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and George Orwell’s 1984, had the same effect – without hesitation, the bot filled in the next paragraphs with sentences that read fluently and made perfect sense, albeit they weren’t the sentences from the book.

In a world rife with fake news, ambiguity, and attempts to mislead through media, Musk and his colleagues must have immediately realized the implications GPT2 had when it came to exacerbating these issues.

Just imagine if someone could take an entire article and replace it with deepfakes generated by an AI algorithm such as this?

It would be even worse if only small snippets of an article were replaced by erroneous outputs from the bot, creating slight variations, imperceptible to those who wouldn’t know to verify what they were reading, while the rest of the document might look identical to the real thing.

But then there’s also the really fun applications for this technology that Musk and company certainly played around with for a while. Like the fake news article they had the bot create that outlined the unprecedented discovery of a unicorn the bot named Ovid’s Unicorn:

screen shot 2019 02 19 at 5 01 29 pm

 

But while OpenAI had the prescience to withhold their research from the public, it seems this level of technology could easily be created by another research group with fewer ethical reservations.

The journalists at the Guardian also decided to feed the first two paragraphs of their article on GPT2 to itself, out of curiosity of what it might say. Though the results were entirely fake, it wasn’t necessarily the eerie sentience one might have expected from an intelligent bot.  Though it said it hoped its creators would release a safe and useful version of it to the public.

Nice try GPT2, but we’re not falling for your devious tricks.

In addition to deciding their text-generating tool was too dangerous to be publicly released, Musk recently decided to leave OpenAI due to what he said was some of the decision making occurring there. It’s unclear whether this had anything to do with the conversations around GPT2.

But in all of the fear surrounding the repercussions this technology could have for news and media, there is certainly one group looking forward to the potential these bots portend: students looking for an easy way out of writing that English essay. Their poor teachers…

 

For more on the rise of artificial intelligence check out this episode of Deep Space :

A.I. and the Future of Humanity


5G Tech Could Significantly Impair Weather Forecasting Satellites

5G Tech Could Significantly Impair Weather Forecasting Satellites

Concerns over 5G health risks are coming to a head, and while early adopters and tech junkies want it implemented as quickly as possible, a good percentage of the public is wondering why legislation ensuring radiation safety standards from wireless technology are almost nonexistent.

And now there’s even more reason for trepidation toward 5G, namely that it will set back weather forecasting technology by roughly four decades.

At least that’s according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which issued a warning to lawmakers and wireless telecom giants trying to impinge on its satellite radio frequency bandwidth used to monitor our increasingly volatile climate and warn us of impending natural disasters. No big deal.

“The way 5G is being introduced could seriously compromise our ability to forecast major storms,” Tony McNally of the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts told the Guardian. “In the end it could make the difference between life and death. We are very concerned about this.”

That’s because the FCC offered the 24-GHz frequency band to wireless carriers earlier this year, the same range (23.6 -24 GHz) in which water vapor signals in the atmosphere are picked up by NOAA’s and other agencies’ weather satellites and microwave sounders. According to estimates, allowing 5G to live on this frequency would result in somewhere between a 30 to 77 percent data loss for NOAA satellites and bring our weather prediction capabilities to the same proficiency it had in 1980.

But that’s not all; similar auctions of other frequency bands used to detect snow, ice and clouds are also being scheduled for sale.

The US Navy even weighed in on the situation, saying that interference with this frequency range “will result in a partial-to-complete loss of remotely sensed water-vapor measurements.”

Of course, there seems to be a relatively simple solution to this problem – stricter regulation, a little bit of forethought, and maybe the patience to consult with experts in the field about the potential dangers of these new technologies before we just let our technocratic overlords run footloose and fancy-free.

Now if anyone calls you a Luddite for being apprehensive toward the rash construction of a sweeping 5G network, you have yet another example to give of just how recklessly Big Wireless and the FCC are acting. This doesn’t mean we can’t have nice things, let’s maybe just consider all the potentially negative outcomes before blindly building them.

 

For more on the dangers of wireless radiation, check out Resonance: Beings of Frequency:

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