Weapons-Grade Chatbot and Turing Test – computers outsmart humans for good or evil? #artificialintelligence #algorithms #FakeNews #FactCheck #FactsMatter

angry at something on the screenYour news source may be an algorithm.

The Turing test evaluates conversations between a human and a machine:

Developed by Alan Turing in 1950, is a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. Wikipedia

Maybe in conversation we can still spot a machine, but not in posts and articles. There’s a new text-generating algorithm that can write compelling articles without any ethical need to be truthful.

Last week, the nonprofit research group OpenAI revealed that it had developed a new text-generation model that can write coherent, versatile prose given a certain subject matter prompt. However, the organization said, it would not be releasing the full algorithm due to “safety and security concerns.” Slate

The algorithm was happy to write an article when prompted with nonsense like “scientists discover a herd of unicorns…” or “Russia declares war on the United States…”

Some observers think the danger to political discourse and public understanding of science is exaggerated, but if so, that will be temporary. How will you know what to believe any more on social media? On blogs? Can a giant like Facebook find a way to detect and delete such articles? Can you and I?

It will get worse. Software is being developed to create video and audio files too. If you think crazy memes mislead people today, imagine fake images of real people better than any CGI you’ve seen in the movies.

Perhaps we’ll lose faith in all news on social media and revert to viewing nothing but lol cats and baby pictures.

Fact checkers will be more important than ever, but we already have trouble agreeing on which fact checkers to trust. People are likely to seize on one source to trust and give up trying to evaluate what they see. Because sorting truth from lies can be hard and no one is an expert in everything.

You’ll be granting a lot of power to whomever you choose to follow. Be careful, because as the saying goes, power corrupts. We’re in for a wild ride.

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Fascinating Glimpse of Ancestors’ Lives Exposed in Ancient Writing #poem #poetry #history #archeology #ancient

Cuneiform tablet

Early writing tablet recording the allocation of beer in southern Iraq, 3100–3000 BC

What do you share with ancients,
With people lost in time?
Messages in cuneiform
Reveal that
our worries rhyme.

Advice to sooth a baby,
Betray a brother’s fear,
Invoice
your meal’s delivery,
Including all your beer.

Maps to aid your travels,
Proof your taxes
have been paid,
Seals that are signatures
That eons couldn’t fade.

Will future anthropologists
Revere your grocery list?
Concern themselves with UPS
From kin they can’t dismiss?

The world was once so different
At civilization’s s dawn,
But we are human,
as they were,
And our heirs
will carry on.

Kate Rauner

Thousands of cuneiform writings remain to be translated so we can understand the Mesopotamians who gave us the wheel, astronomy, the 60-minute hour, maps, economics and politics, and the story of the flood and  ark.

The records give us a picture of day-to-day life in ancient Mesopotamia, of power structures and trading networks, but also of other aspects of its social history, such as the role of female workers.

Thanks to advanced imaging techniques, anyone with an internet connection can now access treasures.

New imaging techniques are making the job of working with such ancient, often damaged texts easier… machines will eventually be able to translate more complex Sumerian tablets, and other languages like Akkadian. bbc.com