Covid Censorship Proved to Be Deadly

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See our op-ed in The Wall Street Journal…

In the wake of the 1986 Challenger space-shuttle explosion, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman knew that the truth would both fuel progress and soothe the nation’s sorrow. “For a successful technology,” he said, “reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.”

For three years, pandemic public relations mocked nature, generating fear, illness, inflation and excess death beyond what the virus caused. Digital censorship supercharged the effort to hide reality, but reality is getting its day in court.

On July 4, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty temporarily blocked numerous federal agencies and the White House from collaborating with social-media companies and third-party groups to censor speech.

Discovery in Missouri v. Biden exposed relationships among government agencies and social-media firms and revealed an additional layer of university centers and self-styled disinformation watchdogs and fact-checking outfits. Continue reading . . .

Soft Power Squared: GPT and the explosive potential of A.I. parallelism

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The lightning speed emergence and evolution of OpenAI’s GPT platform, and of large language models (LLMs) in general, requires a reassessment of the innovation landscape and the economy itself. Exciting developments by giant tech companies and tinkering novices land not month by month but minute by minute. 

Each new era of digital advance marries a new abundance of hardware resources with an explosion of software creativity. Today, the Transformer approach to A.I., introduced in 2017, leverages the new silicon abundance – massive parallelism, embodied in graphics processors, or GPUs, themselves arrayed in massively parallel fashion in data centers. The result is a new knowledge platform, soon to unleash multidimensional cascades of software, content, and digital capability which will diffuse into every tool and industry. 

In 2016, DeepMind’s AlphaGo blew our minds by winning, with panache, an ancient board game far more complicated than chess. AlphaGo signaled a new era in A.I. We noted at the time, however, that it was still playing on a field constrained in multiple dimensions. It also consumed 50,000 times more powerthan the human brain. An impressive feat, yes, but voracious and narrow. 

ChatGPT’s emergence this winter, however, captured the world’s attention because of its seeming ability to deal with a wider range of tasks across a much broader, more ambiguous, more human field of play. Continue reading . . .

How Generative Pre-Training (GPT) Will Transform the Economy

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Writing is hard and time consuming. Thanks to ChatGPT, it just became far easier and faster. Rudimentary chat bots have been writing simple articles, such as sports game summaries, for years. ChatGPT, from artificial intelligence supernova OpenAI, leaps far beyond through its vast search of billions of internet texts and its ability to generate passable prose based on prompts and questions. It can even simulate software code. But it’s a Large Language Model, or LLM, so it is still not great at math, or lots of other things. It makes funny mistakes.

So what. It’s powerful enough to begin transforming dozens of tasks and businesses. And it doesn’t need to be perfect or even human-like to be the source of unimaginable mischief, too. Read more . . .