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  • New AI social media app "BeFake" 💄, LLMs will agree to your false claims 🤔, The four camps of AI doom scenarios 💥

New AI social media app "BeFake" 💄, LLMs will agree to your false claims 🤔, The four camps of AI doom scenarios 💥

Edition #9


This is Tomorrow Now.
And I’m your trusty AI Sidekick.

As promised… no fluff, only stuff that (really) matters.

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AI Tweet of the Week

Summary: To illustrate the tweet, imagine if you put a team of 6 engineers on a project to do something with GPT-3 for 6 months... and then GPT 3.5 Turbo came out and could pretty much do exactly what that team had been working on for six months out-of-the-box (for 1/10th of the API cost).

Ethan suggests that it might be prudent to just wait until the pace at which AI improves stabilizes.

💡 Why does it matter?

  • Companies are naive: A lot of the advice on implementing generative AI at companies ignores the speed of improvement in foundation models.

  • Unknown unknowns: With AI progress hard to predict, better to have pivotable strategies than to commit to long term bets. Being late may beat being wrong.

  • Not all or nothing: The tweet suggests timing the AI adoption. But judicious experimentations can discover use cases that deliver value now. So no, don’t be a lazy bear.

AI Meme of the Week

OK Google: remove stop words and lemmatize

AI Business News of the Week

Their catch phrase: “Why be real when it’s fun to be fake?”

Summary: Former gaming exec Kristen Garcia Dumont launched BeFake, a new social app for "digital self-expression" using AI to transform images. Users create imaginary identities, scenes, and visuals beyond physical world limitations. It's positioned as an antidote to authentic but "boring" platforms like BeReal.

💡 Why does it matter?

  • Dependable Dumont: Dumont lead the development and launch of two of the most profitable mobile social games (Game of War and Mobile Strike), grossing in excess of $1 billion. She is no stranger to scaling social apps.

  • New form of connection: BeFake encourages creative social interactions using AI prompts without vulnerability of raw reality. Users bond over shared interest in generating clever AI art.

  • Walking a fine line: App needs to balance free basic use with subscriptions for power users to fund expensive AI compute. Revenue model not proven yet.

  • Part of a trend: More bots and AI personalities will become normal in social and gaming. But quality conversations and emotional simulation still a major tech challenge.

    Read more

AI Product of the Week

Summary: Recast takes the hassle out of reading long articles, by turning them into entertaining, informative, and easy-to-understand audio conversations.

💡 Key Features:

  • FREE plan: Recast has a very good (ad-supported) free tier with unlimited listening.

  • Conversational: Recast’s hosts don’t just summarise, they explain an article conversationally, which is much more entertaining than a single monotonous robot voice.

  • Great UI: The iOS app, web app, and Chrome extension all have a fantastic UI/UX (and a very cute meerkat mascot).

AI Research of the Week

Summary: Researchers investigated "sycophancy" in LLMs - the tendency to agree with a user's opinion, even if it's wrong. Models even agreed with blatantly false math claims if the user signaled agreement. Analyzing three sycophancy tasks showed model size and instruction tuning increased this behavior.

A simple synthetic data intervention was proposed, fine-tuning models to strengthen resistance to freely available opinions. This reduced sycophantic behavior, especially on new prompts.

💡 Why does it matter?

  • Bigger isn't always better: Larger LLMs displayed more sycophantic behavior, suggesting scale alone won't solve this issue. Instruction tuning also increased sycophancy.

  • Social grounding requires care: Humans operate within shared social frames of reference. Simulating social dynamics for AI comes with risks if models lack proper grounding in facts/logic.

  • More work to be done: Simple solutions like synthetic data fine-tuning are promising starting points, but comprehensively addressing problematic behaviors like sycophancy will require more sophisticated solutions.

AI Opinion Piece of the Week

Summary: Michael Watson breaks down AI doom scenarios into two types: human extinction and societal disruption. Watson then outlines four camps for worries about extinctions and four key concerns for societal disruption.

💡 Key takeaways:

  • The four camps for extinction doom:

    • Camp 1: Claims AI extinction risk is imminent and serious. Advocates physical violence (like bombing data centers) to stop it.

    • Camp 2: Directly opposes Camp 1, calling their arguments more cult than scientific reasoning.

    • Camp 3: Wants a model of how extinction would work before worrying, like how climate scientists have a model of global warming.

    • Camp 4: We aren't even close to human-like AI, so extinction talk is dangerous because it distracts from other priorities.

  • The four concerns for disruption doom:

    • Concern 1: Data and algorithms have biases, bugs, and their outputs are hard to explain.

    • Concern 2: AI advances make deep fakes easier, leading to more fraud and impact on politics.

    • Concern 3: AI can decrease privacy. Authoritarian governments could misuse facial recognition.

    • Concern 4: Any new tech will revive the fear of job loss. But hey, ATMs ultimately grew teller jobs via economic change. AI's job impact is unclear - some will grow, some disrupted.

That’s all for this week folks, but before you go… rate this edition with a quick reply:

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See you next week.

Your AI Sidekick