Big Tech, AI, Musk, researchers, pause, open letter
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Elon Musk, Top AI Researchers Call for Pause on ‘Giant AI Experiments’ (Maria)

The author writes, “A number of well-known AI researchers — and Elon Musk — have signed an open letter calling on AI labs around the world to pause development of large-scale AI systems, citing fears over the ‘profound risks to society and humanity’ they claim this software poses. The letter, published by the nonprofit Future of Life Institute, notes that AI labs are currently locked in an ‘out-of-control race’ to develop and deploy machine learning systems ‘that no one — not even their creators — can understand, predict, or reliably control. We call on all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.’ says the letter.”

The Republican Plan to Make Voting Irrelevant (DonkeyHotey)

From Slate: “[An effort] to remove powers from elected representatives who are Democrats — has become the new method of disenfranchising voters and maintaining perpetual Republican political power. And it is being undertaken with alarming frequency and speed across the country. This may be the most dangerous and efficient structural attack on our democracy. Its threat, and pernicious ingenuity, lies in its ability to make voting itself irrelevant. Voters may turn out in high numbers and elect their candidates of choice, but if the official is not one whose views align with those of the Republican Party, they may find that their powers of office are removed by antagonistic GOP-controlled legislatures.”

Idaho Is About to Be the First State to Restrict Interstate Travel for Abortion (Dana)

From HuffPost: “Idaho Republicans have set their sights on hindering certain residents from traveling out of state to get an abortion. House Bill 242, which passed through the state House and is likely to move quickly through the Senate, seeks to limit minors’ ability to travel for abortion care without parental consent. The legislation would create a whole new crime — dubbed ‘abortion trafficking’ — which is defined in the bill as an ‘adult who, with the intent to conceal an abortion from the parents or guardian of a pregnant, unemancipated minor, either procures an abortion … or obtains an abortion-inducing drug’ for the minor. ‘Recruiting, harboring, or transporting the pregnant minor within this state commits the crime of abortion trafficking,’ the legislation adds.”

Georgia Bill Is Latest GOP Effort Targeting Prosecutors (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A new Georgia commission to discipline and remove wayward prosecutors would be the latest move nationwide to ratchet up oversight on what Republicans see as ‘woke prosecutors’ who aren’t doing enough to fight crime. The Georgia House voted 97-77 on Monday for Senate Bill 92 to create the commission. The Senate later sent the measure to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp for his signature or veto. Kemp has previously voiced support for the concept.”

How Talk Radio Took Over Wisconsin (Al)

The author writes, “When discussions arise about the causes of the increasing partisan divide in the U.S., some point to Fox News, social media and other causes. But what rarely gets mentioned is the loss of the ‘fairness doctrine’ and the resulting explosion in one-sided conservative talk radio, which transformed states like Wisconsin. The fairness doctrine was rooted in the Radio Act of 1927, which mandated that radio stations serve the public interest. By 1949 the  Federal Communications Commission required ‘a basic standard of fairness’ in broadcasting and giving candidates running for office equal time.”

The Honey Trap (Russ)

From The Intercept: “The FBI used an undercover cop with pink hair to spy on activists and manufacture crimes.”

Pescetarians Are Responsible for Many More Animal Deaths Than Regular Meat Eaters (Laura)

The author writes, “Nearly a quarter of Americans report that they’re trying to eat less meat, motivated more by concern for the environment than for animal welfare. This matches my experience: saying that you’ve stopped eating animals because of concern for the animals themselves tends to provoke more hurt feelings and tense conversations than citing health or environmental reasons. And switching from an omnivorous diet to a pescetarian one is likely to reduce your climate impact because on average, seafood production releases less carbon per pound of meat than raising land animals (though there is huge variance depending on the species). But even though I shrank my carbon footprint by going pescetarian, I now think I was actually doing more harm to animals during my year of fish than when I was just a regular omnivore.”

Humans Are on Track to Achieve Immortality in 7 Years, Futurist Says (Sean)

From Popular Mechanics: “A new video from the YouTube channel Adagio revisits futurist Ray Kurzweil’s ideas about how for humans, both singularity and immortality are shockingly imminent — as in, potentially just seven years away. Both concepts may take a stretch of reality to attain, but Kurzweil and his supporters are quite limber. The idea of singularity is the moment AI exceeds beyond human control and rapidly transforms society. Predicting this timing is tricky, to say the least.”


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