Collaborating Authors

Hollywood writers agree to end five-month strike after studio deal

BBC News

The writers' walkout began on 2 May, which members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) joined on 13 July, making it the longest strike to affect Hollywood in decades. They were striking in a row over pay and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the industry.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 581

Al Jazeera

Russia released a video reportedly showing Viktor Sokolov, commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, at a meeting with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and other military top brass a day after Ukrainian special forces claimed he was among dozens of officers killed in an attack on the fleet's Sevastopol naval base. Ukraine said it was clarifying information regarding Sokolov. The United Kingdom's defence ministry said "a dynamic, deep strike battle" was under way in the Black Sea after the Russian Black Sea Fleet suffered a series of major attacks. Kyiv said its air defences destroyed 26 of 38 Russian drones fired overnight but that some of the drones hit the Danube River port of Izmail, damaging more than 30 vehicles and injuring two drivers during a two-hour attack. The drone barrage also prompted the temporary suspension of ferry services to Romania.

The Slatest for Sept. 26: Why Autoworkers Are Worried About the Electric Car


Joe Biden showed up on the United Auto Workers' picket line today--but even with the president's historic gesture of union support, a specter is looming. The shift to electric vehicles is coming, and "this future is not guaranteed to offer the same kinds of middle-class jobs and robust benefits that unionized autoworkers enjoy in many states," Nitish Pahwa writes. He takes a close look at what the EV transition is going to mean for organized labor. Fred Kaplan noticed three of his own books among the list of titles that Meta used to train its new large language model, LLaMA (basically its answer to ChatGPT). So he decided to ask it some questions--what did it think of his books?

How to use Personal Voice in iOS 17


Apple's iOS 17 update has some meaningful new accessibility features for people with disabilities -- and that includes Personal Voice. Personal Voice is a tool that uses machine learning to create a synthesized version of your voice, created by audio samples you record. It works with Live Speech (another accessibility feature that's new to iOS 17) to convert text into audio. With Personal Voice and Live Speech, you can type out messages on FaceTime, or a call, and it will verbally say what you want in a voice that sounds like you. It's kind of like audio deepfaking yourself -- except, according to Apple, you have full control because the machine learning is done locally on the device, which "keeps users' information private and secure."

CIA is set to roll out its own version of ChatGPT to try and comb the internet for useful clues and potential security threats

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The CIA is set to launch its own ChatGPT-style AI tool to help sift through mountains of data for clues in ongoing investigations. Intended to mirror the famed OpenAI tech, the Central Intelligence Agency's latest initiative will use artificial intelligence to help analysts better access open-source intelligence, agency officials said. The CIA's Open Source Enterprise division developed the tech, which is also intended to be rolled out across the US government's 18 intelligence agencies in an effort to rival China's growing intelligence capabilities. 'We've gone from newspapers and radio, to newspapers and television, to newspapers and cable television, to basic internet, to big data, and it just keeps going,' said Randy Nixon, director of the CIA's AI division. Nixon noted that analyzing the level of data across the web is a significant challenge that the AI program would help handle, adding: 'We have to find the needles in the needle field.'

Meta's Chatbot Ingested My Books, So I Asked It What It Thought of Them. What I Learned Was Deeply Worrying.


When I learned that Meta's programmers downloaded 183,000 books for a database to teach the company's generative A.I. machines how to write, I was curious whether any of my own books had been fed into the crusher. Alex Reisner of the Atlantic has provided a handy search tool--type in an author's name, out comes all of his or her books that the LLaMA used. I typed "Fred Kaplan" and found that three of my six books (1959, Dark Territory, and The Insurgents) had been assimilated into the digital Borg. My first reaction, like that of many other authors, was outrage at the violation. However, my second reaction--also, I assume, like that of many other authors--was outrage that the program didn't include my other three books (The Bomb, Daydream Believers, and The Wizards of Armageddon). Were there really 182,997 books that were better than those three?

The 'brainternt' project: Scientists create wireless implants that could let users control computes and smart devices with their MINDS

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Humans could soon have'brainternet' thanks to a wireless implant that will let people control computers and smart devices with their minds. Scientists at Purdue University designed a device smaller than a dime that sensed and transmitted data to a pair of over-the-ear headphones. Unlike current brain chips, Purdue's implants do not need to connect to a computer or device to capture the user's brain waves. The team foresees their innovation letting people connect to the internet, computers and other smart devices no matter where they are. While there have been many attempts to link brain signals with an external device, the latest research is the first to demonstrate high-bandwidth wireless communication between neural implants and wearable devices.

Apple exec defends multibillion-dollar Google deal at trial

Washington Post - Technology News

Cue, Apple's senior vice president of services, said that under their agreement dating back to 2002, the two companies divvy up "net revenue" from Google searches on Apple devices after Google recovers its costs. When asked by Justice Department attorney Meagan Bellshaw if Apple could have walked away from the deal with Google when they were renegotiating terms in 2016, Cue replied: "There wasn't a valid alternative that we could have gone to at the time."

Even the CIA is developing an AI chatbot


The CIA and other US intelligence agencies will soon have an AI chatbot similar to ChatGPT. The program, revealed on Tuesday by Bloomberg, will train on publicly available data and provide sources alongside its answers so agents can confirm their validity. The aim is for US spies to more easily sift through ever-growing troves of information, although the exact nature of what constitutes "public data" could spark some thorny privacy issues. "We've gone from newspapers and radio, to newspapers and television, to newspapers and cable television, to basic internet, to big data, and it just keeps going," Randy Nixon, the CIA's director of Open Source Enterprise, said in an interview with Bloomberg. "We have to find the needles in the needle field."

OpenAI Seeks New Valuation of Up To $90 Billion in Sale of Existing Shares WSJD - Technology

OpenAI is talking to investors about a possible share sale that would value the artificial-intelligence startup behind ChatGPT at between $80 billion to $90 billion, almost triple its level earlier this year, people familiar with the discussions said.