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AI Wrap 15 September

Victoria MacLennan. 15 September 2023, 11:34 am

An AI Wrap written by me this time with no assistance from AI.

AI News from Aotearoa 

Report on - Addressing the consumer harms of generative AI

A long but fascinating read this week is the Gen AI report from the Norweigian Consumer Council - Ghost in the Machine - Addressing the consumer harms of generative AI. 

This is really good and well worth bookmarking to read over coming weeks if you can make the time. 

As Stuart who shared this on LinkedIN highlighted “While this covers a lot of familiar topics such as privacy, bias, regulation etc, there are some sections that stood out as offering useful additional perspectives not always covered in reports on AI:

1.1.3 - open source v. closed source models

2.7 - environmental impacts

2.8.1 - labour exploitation (ghost workers)”

Are we heading for an AI Winter? 

I was asked whether I think we are heading for an AI Winter at a meetup recently, what a great question. In case you’re not familiar with the term here is what ChatGPT describes an AI Winter as: 

I asked chatgpt what is an AI Winter - “An AI Winter is a period when interest and funding in artificial intelligence (AI) decline due to unmet expectations and technological limitations. During these episodes, AI progress slows, funding diminishes, and public perception sours, only to be followed by renewed interest and growth in AI research.”

And the Wikipedia page with the history of AI Winters can be found here. 

I was quite drawn to this quote from Fast Company - “A new AI winter seems necessary—a reality check—in a Darwinian sense. A thousand flowers are blooming, but only a few will be picked.”

And the harsher reality statment made in this article - “History has not been kind to AI pioneers who overpromise and underdeliver” (you need a medium account)

What did I respond to the question with? Well two things. The hype cycle seems quite extreme right now so logic would dictate this will crash and very soon while the Gen AI space settles into a new norm. The second observation I made was from a Digital Equity hui I recently attended where, when projecting forward 50 years we discussed the future of tech and it’s impact on society. Some members of our group felt there was a potential future where we reject technology and it’s control over our lives within 50 years. An AI Winter is really about rejection by the funding system but pressure from society could be a new permutation. 

Other AI in the News

Hope you enjoyed this AI Wrap. Until next week. Kia pai tō rā Vic


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