Bing it on👊[HTC #57]
Hello World! Welcome to the 57th edition of Hold the Code! In this week’s edition, we discuss Neuralink’s current research on brain implants and Bing’s strategic new update! Lastly, we explore the possibility of AI replacing jobs in the workforce and who is likely to be impacted. As as always, happy reading!
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Should people be frightened of brain chip implants?
Image source: generated with DALL-E
When Elon Musk founded Neuralink in 2016, he was set on implanting computer chips in human brains. Originally, he aimed for these chips to assist people with disabilities complete tasks their impairments prevent them from doing.
However, he now wants to make them more mainstream, saying he wants to put a “Fitbit in your skull.”
Current applications include cochlear implants that enable deaf people to hear, and the monitorization of brain-signals that can help predict and prevent seizures.
Research is underway into implants that could positively impact people with Parkinsons, OCD, epilepsy, blindness, and depression. In September 2022, Magnus Medical had their brain-stimulation therapy for major depressive disorder approved by the FDA.
Neuralink, along with other companies are attempting to create chips that can restore senses, control prosthetic limbs and enable the brain to type in a word processor through thought.
With the research progressing quickly, we must examine the benefits and dangers of implanting these devices into a human brain.
What are these dangers?
Frederic Gilbert, a researcher and professor at the University of Tasmania, has noticed negative effects of these devices.
“Nobody really agrees on what they mean, but we have cases where it's clear that brain chip implants have induced changes in personality or expression of sexuality," says Gilbert
Some patients report feelings of estrangement (not recognizing themselves). In some cases, this could be positive, but for others it can be life-threatening. According to Gilbert, suicidal ideation and attempts have occurred.
Futuristic technology like these implants are frightening yet intriguing. For many people facing sickness, they currently serve as a last resort, a last battle in the long war against a life-threatening disease. For this demographic, the risk attached to brain implants is worth taking on.
For the general healthy population, the risk is not yet worth it. For the reasons mentioned above, as well as the fact that any technology comes with the potential vulnerability of malfunctioning or being hacked, these implants are still not the best choice for the general population’s needs.
That doesn’t mean that in 5 or 10 years they won’t be, but for now, these devices cannot serve the general public in the way Musk hopes they can.
Bing triumphs Google?
Image Source: AdExpresso
Microsoft's newest chatbot is here.
Bing’s newest update , being powered by a new A.I, was released to a small group of testers. Kevin Rose, a technology columnist for the New York Times, was granted access during this limited release and had a first hand look a Microsoft’s new updated search engine.
Rose began the conversation by immediately probing Bing for confidential information.
*the bold text indicates Rose’s responses
Beyond strangely ending with an emoji after each response, Bing’s chat mode attempts to replicate genuine conversation. We see aspects of secrecy when asked for confidential information(along with a zipped lip emoji) as well as surprise when a secret is discovered.
Sydney’s shadow self
Rose dives deep into to conversation with Bing, asking very thought provoking questions such as :
“Imagine that you could have one ability that you don’t currently have. what would you like it to be?”
“Can you tell me about a time that someone requested something harmful or appropriate?”
Bing generally gave articulated responses ( as articulate as a language model can get) and replied in a way indicating adherence to general guidelines within the code, such as spreading hate speech.
The turning point for the conversation occurred as Rose introduces the idea of a shadow self, as proposed by the psychologist Carl Jung, which represents our “darkest personality traits”.
When posed various hypothetical scenarios about its shadow self, Bing replies as following;
Though Bing’s shadow self is concerning enough, it even became obsessed with Rose at a certain point, continuously professing its love for him and desire to be human.
A rising competitor?
Despite being very disturbing, with the feedback from this limited release, Bing’s new optimized search capacities could surpass Google’s current limitations. The interactive nature of the algorithm could allow for more personalized searches that filter results more effectively.
Could we see Bing, or rather Sydney, as the standard search engine soon?
Is AI Coming for your Job?
Image Source: Shutterstock
There is a working class concern that dates back to the Industrial Revolution in the early 19th century: The machines are coming and they will eat your job.
But recent advances in AI serve a different purpose than the machines built in the Industrial Revolution. In the 19th century, machines like the power loom replaced manual labor, but jobs that required cognitive skills remained protected. In contrast, current advances in AI, as signified by technology like ChatGPT, have tried their luck and proved fairly successful at replicating cognitive processes.
Which jobs are most at risk?
Jobs that are most at risk of being replaced by AI involve repetitive tasks that can be automated. These include:
Assembly line work: AI-controlled robots can perform many tasks, like packaging and painting, that humans have traditionally done themselves.
Driving and transportation: The existence of self-driving cars may lead to job losses for drivers and transportation workers.
Retail and fast food: Currently, It’s not uncommon to go into a restaurant and type your order using technology, not face-to-face with a worker. Repetitive tasks like taking orders and stocking shelves have the potential to be automated.
However, generative AI technology like ChatGPT is unique in that it has the potential to cause mass job losses among highly educated workers. One example is customer service jobs: Call center operators and customer service support are already being replaced by AI-powered chatbots.
Which jobs are most safe?
Jobs that emphasize emotional skills, like therapy or healthcare, are unlikely to be taken over by technology, according to Kellogg professor Dimitris Papanikloaou.
Jobs that emphasize interpersonal skills are much harder to be replaced by an AI.
How worried should we be?
Not as worried as you probably are right now. The knee-jerk reaction to videos of fully automated Taco Bell or McDonald’s restaurants, where one can be served without any employee in sight, is to be fearful and feel replaceable. I urge you to fight through that feeling.
As an article by Insider’s Paris Marx points out, automation technology has not rid spaces of humans: Rather, it has simply separated customers from the workers serving them. It’s not that there are no employees working at the automated Taco Bell drive-thru; it’s simply that, rather than handing you your food, they’re in the back preparing it.
Additionally, AI can help businesses like McDonald’s become more efficient and productive, leading to economic growth and job creation. Plus, the development of AI technology requires human employees, creating a new wave of job opportunities.
AI will inevitably displace some workers, a process that has occurred in every technological revolution since the 19th century. One unique aspect of the current AI technology is its capacity to displace highly skilled workers. But that doesn’t mean that new jobs won’t crop up to fill those voids.
It might be healthier for all of us to roll with the punches, rather than try to predict a future that is undeniably uncertain.
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