Big Tech, Microsoft, Google, conversational AI, business, "Bard", testing
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Google Hopes ‘Bard’ Will Outsmart ChatGPT, Microsoft in AI (Maria)

The author writes, “Google is girding for a battle of wits in the field of artificial intelligence with ‘Bard,’ a conversational service aimed at countering the popularity of the ChatGPT tool backed by Microsoft. Bard initially will be available exclusively to a group of ‘trusted testers’ before being widely released later this year, according to a Monday blog post from Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Google’s chatbot is supposed to be able to explain complex subjects such as outer space discoveries in terms simple enough for a child to understand. … ‘Bard can be an outlet for creativity, and a launchpad for curiosity,’ Pichai wrote.”

Sorry, Not Sorry: Some 1/6 Rioters Change Tune After Apology (Reader Steve)

The authors write, “Appearing before a federal judge after pleading guilty to a felony charge in the deadly Capitol riot, former West Virginia lawmaker Derrick Evans expressed remorse for letting down his family and his community, saying he made a ;crucial mistake.’ Less than a year later, Evans is portraying himself as a victim of a politically motivated prosecution as he runs to serve in the same building he stormed on Jan. 6, 2021. Evans is now calling the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 prosecutions a “miscarriage of justice” and describes himself on twitter as a ‘J6 Patriot.’”

How Democrats Paved the Way for Kevin McCarthy’s Attack on Ilhan Omar (Laura)

From The Intercept: “For years, Republicans made spurious allegations of antisemitism against Rep. Ilhan Omar for her criticisms of Israel — and Democrats joined in.”

If ‘Independent’ Were a Party, It Could Dominate American Politics (Sean)

The author writes, “If the nation’s political independents somehow formed a party, polls suggest, they could dominate American politics. Two-fifths of Americans identified as independent in 2022, far more than stood with either party, according to Gallup. As a political identity, ‘independent’ has polled better than Democrat or Republican since 2009. It wasn’t always so. Going back to the era of former President Reagan, voters have generally identified as Democrat, Republican or independent in roughly equal measure.”

How an FBI Informant Derailed Denver’s BLM Movement (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “An outlandish guerrilla militant who drove a silver Hearse to Denver-area Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 was secretly a federal informant with a sex crime conviction, a new podcast reveals. The informant, Mickey Windecker, pushed an activist to buy a gun for him, resulting in the activist’s guilty plea on weapons charges. Other Denver-area activists accuse Windecker of inflaming otherwise-peaceful demonstrations, encouraging people to break windows, and leading marches directly into police traps. Windecker’s informant status was first reported this week on the podcast Alphabet Boys, which explores Windecker’s case and FBI involvement in the Colorado protests.”

Hulu’s 1619 Project Docuseries Peddles False History (Al)

From Reason: “The New York Times’ 1619 Project selected Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, as a filming location for its new Hulu docuseries. In doing so, creator Nikole Hannah-Jones sought to bolster her project’s most troublesome claim — the assertion that British overtures toward emancipation impelled the American colonists into revolution, ultimately securing an independent United States. In the past three years, the Times has grappled with the fallout from Hannah-Jones’ assertion, including the revelation that it ignored its own fact-checker’s warnings against printing the charge. … But Hannah-Jones was not ready to abandon the claim at the center of her lead essay, and the first episode of the Hulu series makes that abundantly clear.”

Researchers Say Time Is an Illusion. So Why Are We All Obsessed With It? (Russ)

From NPR: “It’s never been easier to know what time it is. NIST broadcasts the time to points across the country. It’s fed through computer networks and cellphone towers to our personal gadgets, which tick in perfect synchrony. … But time has another side to it, one that the clocks don’t show. ‘A lot of us grow up being fed this idea of time as absolute,’ says Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a theoretical physicist at the University of New Hampshire. But Prescod-Weinstein says the time we’re experiencing is a social construct. Real time is actually something quite different. In some of the odder corners of the Universe, space and time can stretch and slow — and sometimes even break down completely.”

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