Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #526

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Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (Solve for Interesting, Tilt the Windmill, Interesting Bits, HBS, chair of Strata, Startupfest, FWD50, and Scaletechconf; author of Lean Analytics and some other books), Hugh McGuire (Rebus Foundation, PressBooks, LibriVox) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see.”

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another: 

  • iNNk: A Multi-Player Game to Deceive a Neural Network – PXL Lab – Vimeo. “Here’s one in which two human players try to pass secret messages to one another by drawing cryptic clues, while an algorithm in the middle tries to intercept them. The ethical and societal consequences of GPT-3 and its successors—good and dreadful—are astonishing.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Conversations with GPT-3 – Kirk Ouimet – Medium. “We will look back at July, 2020, as the moment something fundamentally changed in our relationship with machines. The release of an AI tool called GPT-3, trained on the contents of the Internet and able to produce seemingly rational responses, is a huge milestone. In the early days of computing, the human had to learn to ‘speak computer,’ writing software in binary, then assembly, and then low-level programming languages. While traditional coding tools have gotten much easier—languages like Python, and so-called ‘codeless’ creation services—they’re still coding. But training an AI is different. Rather than write code that produces data, you feed an AI data and it produces code (called models). By choosing the right prompts, and adjusting the parameters of the model, you can get surprising results. The best coders of tomorrow are those who write the best prompts. The company behind GPT-3 (which was announced in May) gave access to a few developers, who spent sleepless nights dreaming up astonishing ways to use it. Every two hours, some new, mind-blowing application—from translation, to joke-telling, to quiz-making, to search engines, to narrative role-playing games—hit Twitter. I had a hard time picking one, but I settled on this: A series of conversations with an app built on GPT-3 called, Wise Being. Remember, this is an algorithm trained on us. It’s like talking to our collective brain.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • How one couple has lived for 29 years on an island they built themselves – CNN. “Wouldn’t you like to get away from it all? How about building your own million pound, self-sufficient island, and floating in a cove off of the coast of British Columbia.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Dad Photoshops Kids’ Drawings As If They Were Real, And It’s Terrifyingly Funny – Bored Panda. “We often think of children as living in a universe of wonder and joy, but it turns out the world they inhabit is a nightmarish version of our own. Be afraid.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Global quieting of high-frequency seismic noise due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdown measures – Science. “It’s been pretty quiet out there lately, hasn’t it? That’s not just a statement about our stay-at-home tendencies in this pandemic-riddled environment that we’re all trying to deal with. The actual earth has gone silent… like never before. Check this out: ‘Human activity causes vibrations that propagate into the ground as high-frequency seismic waves. Measures to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread changes in human activity, leading to a months-long reduction in seismic noise of up to 50%. The 2020 seismic noise quiet period is the longest and most prominent global anthropogenic seismic noise reduction on record.’ How weird, cool and strange is that? The quiet of the earth…” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Primary Sources – The Public Domain Review. “What are we attracted to? When it comes to art? When it comes to clothes? When it comes to our physical environment? When it comes to just about anything? It turns out that the color of things drives appeal in a way that we humans will often ignore (or forget). Come with me on this journey through a natural history of the artist’s palette, and the space where color helps us appreciate and connect to almost everything. This is one big and fascinating read…” (Mitch for Hugh).

Feel free to share these links and add your picks on TwitterFacebook, in the comments below or wherever you play.

iNNk: A Multi-Player Game to Deceive a Neural Network from PXL Lab on Vimeo.