Fear not deep fakes: OpenAI's machine writes as senselessly as a chatbot speaks


If you're reading these words, rest assured, they were written by a human being. Whether they amount to intelligence, that's for you to say. The age of writing by a machine that can pass muster with human readers is not quite upon us, at least, not if one reads closely. Scientists at the not-for-profit OpenAI this week released a neural network model that not only gobbles tons of human writing -- 40 gigabytes worth of Web-scraped data -- it also discovers what kind of task it should perform, from answering questions to writing essays to performing translation, all without being explicitly told to do so, what's known as "zero-shot" learning of tasks. The debut set off a swarm of headlines about new and dangerous forms of "deep fakes."

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