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Unveiling the Truth 🪞[HTC #63]
Welcome to Hold the Code #63!
In this edition, we bring you three captivating articles that delve into the intricate relationship between humans and AI. As AI continues to push the boundaries of automation and creativity, we explore the implications of the ongoing writers' strike. and discover the clash between traditional human authorship and AI-generated content. Next, step into the realm of science fiction as we review the critically acclaimed film, Ex Machina. Lastly, we shed light on the unsung heroes of AI development.
“I told ChatGPT to write a sign and it sucked”: AI and the writers strike
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
“Here’s a pitch: Pay us, Bitch!”
These chants and more emit from clusters of screenwriters are on strike, hoisting red-and-black picket signs above the sidewalks of Hollywood’s biggest studios. The Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) has multiple demands: Increased pay, better residuals, and an assurance that AI won’t take their jobs.
Wait, what was that last one? Let’s talk about it.
AI in the Writing Room
Many writers are concerned that AI will be used to write scripts or finish incomplete work. Among other WGA demands related to lack of job security caused by streaming platforms, this demand seems to be one of their biggest, exemplified in the sheer number of protest signs referencing AI.
The WGA demands that studios agree not to use AI to write or rewrite stories. However, the guild also said that it does not have a problem with writers using AI as a tool to aid in scriptwriting.
AI is not currently capable of replicating the quality of content that a human writer can produce. (Ask ChatGPT to write a script for you if you don’t believe me.) Still, many people don’t realize that AI uses human-generated content every day. In ten year’s time or even sooner, it’s entirely possible that interfaces like ChatGPT can more effectively harness content that humans produce, filled with real emotion, and leave writers’ jobs null.
But if big studios don’t act soon and regulate its usage, AI may be coming for them next.
Threat to All
In an article for Vanity Fair, journalist Nick Bilton discussed the real threat of AI.
It isn’t that AI will simply write scripts in the future – it will do everything, and do it in real time. Nick Bilton, journalist
This means that the very executives that the WGA is attempting to negotiate with are facing just as large of a threat from AI as the writers themselves, only perhaps a slightly delayed one.
If in the future, for example, a viewer can use an algorithm to create a 30-minute thriller fine-tuned to their viewing interests in that moment, what use will Disney or Warner Bros. Discovery have for all their executives?
Their jobs will be rendered useless too.
The WGA strike sends a message to executives about the threat of AI to writers’ jobs, but the conversation must be broadened for them to take action.
It’s cliche but true: AI will affect all of us. What these demands come down to is a need for executives to implement regulations before AI produces, directs, and edits them out of their own jobs.
Ex Machina Movie Review
Image Source: Ex Machina
Ex Machina, directed by Alex Garland, delves into the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) and its ability to serve as an emotional support system. The film presents a captivating exploration of the intricate dynamics between humans and machines, provoking thought and raising questions surrounding companionship, AI capabilities, and the complexities of human emotions.
Ava, the AI creation of Nathan, lies at the core of the film's narrative. The interactions between Ava and Caleb, the protagonist, reveal a bond that defies conventional expectations. While Ava possesses the expected traits of a machine, she displays an understanding of human emotions and acts as an empathetic source of comfort and support for Caleb.
Ex Machina challenges the notion that emotional connection is solely the domain of human beings. It prompts us to contemplate the potential for AI to fulfill our emotional needs, asserting that machines can develop a level of comprehension and empathy that rivals, or even surpasses, that of humans. The film questions the inherent qualities required for genuine emotional support, regardless of the source providing it.
Ex Machina delves into the depths of our understanding of AI, challenging us to reconsider preconceived notions about its capabilities. By blurring the lines between human and machine, the film highlights the potential for AI to serve as a confidant and companion, offering solace and support in an increasingly technologically driven world.
Ex Machina is a must-watch for those intrigued by the intersection of artificial intelligence and human emotions. The film's exploration of AI as emotional support leaves viewers contemplating the profound implications of machines evolving into empathetic entities, capable of understanding and responding to human needs in ways that were once thought to be exclusive to our own species.
The Hidden Workforce Behind AI
Image Source: New York Times
When it comes to artificial intelligence, it’s often researchers and big corporations who get most of the credit for pushing technology forward. But behind every popular AI-based product, from Siri to ChatGPT, is a large hidden workforce powering the rapid advancements we’ve seen in recent years. From behind the scenes, contract workers are the ones who have spent numerous hours over the past few years labeling datasets and teaching AI systems how to make better predictions.
A crucial job in AI
The job of providing training data and feedback is crucial for the success of AI models – their prediction and generation capabilities rely heavily on access to quality training data.
“We are grunt workers, but there would be no AI language systems without it,” said Alexej Savreux, who works as an AI trainer for tech startups including OpenAI. “You can design all the neural networks you want, you can get all the researchers involved you want, but without labelers, you have no ChatGPT. You have nothing.”
Ethical concerns for workers
It’s unknown exactly how many contractors currently work for AI companies, but it’s a job that’s becoming increasingly common, particularly in Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. This growth could potentially open up job opportunities for many people in need of work. Savreux, who was paid $15 an hour, credits the AI contract work for pulling him out of homelessness.
However, there are many ethical concerns to account for. The work is typically unsteady, uncredited, and benefits like health insurance are extremely rare. The people doing this labor are often sourced from countries that are the least likely to reap the benefits of AI advancements. In addition, there are few (if any) protections for workers with regards to the kinds of content they need to work with. OpenAI, Facebook, and TikTok hired laborers in Kenya to label hate speech and abusive language, in order to improve their products’ abilities to recognize toxic content. These workers were paid as little as $1.50 an hour, and the mental toll of the work left many suffering from PTSD. Over 150 of these workers recently voted to form a union, but noted that they faced significant intimidation to discourage them from unionizing.
Demand for this “data enrichment work” is expected to experience a sharp rise in demand in the coming years. In 2022, the Partnership on AI published voluntary guidelines for companies, with goals of improving compensation and conditions for their AI trainers. So far, only DeepMind (a subsidiary of Google) has publicly committed to these guidelines.
“A lot of people have recognized that this is important to do,” said Sonam Jindal, program lead at AI education nonprofit Partnership on AI. “The challenge now is to get companies to do it.”
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