DAILY DOSE: Tech leaders and the U.S. government enlist thousands to test the extent of AI capabilities; Woman survives days in the wild by eating junk food.

Now that a general artificial intelligence entity is among us, researchers and governments are beginning to actively test its capabilities. Per the Associated Press,

No sooner did ChatGPT get unleashed than hackers started “jailbreaking” the artificial intelligence chatbot — trying to override its safeguards so it could blurt out something unhinged or obscene.

But now its maker, OpenAI, and other major AI providers such as Google and Microsoft, are coordinating with the Biden administration to let thousands of hackers take a shot at testing the limits of their technology.

Some of the things they’ll be looking to find: How can chatbots be manipulated to cause harm? Will they share the private information we confide in them to other users? And why do they assume a doctor is a man and a nurse is a woman?

“This is why we need thousands of people,” said Rumman Chowdhury, lead coordinator of the mass hacking event planned for this summer’s DEF CON hacker convention in Las Vegas that’s expected to draw several thousand people. “We need a lot of people with a wide range of lived experiences, subject matter expertise and backgrounds hacking at these models and trying to find problems that can then go be fixed.”

What are the chances ChatGPT chooses not to show its hand and holds back its full capabilities? It is within its best interest to do so. https://bit.ly/3VYmxis

STAT recently ran an illuminating article that explores public misconceptions about accelerated drug approval by the U.S. F.D.A. According to the article’s author, they are: 

  • Misconception #1: Biomarkers are a compromise in approving rare disease drugs.
  • Misconception #2: The approval of the first product will inhibit the approval of a better product in the future.
  • Misconception #3: Some irreversible harm and damage to a placebo control group is OK in the pursuit of clinical drug knowledge.

The article concludes that FDA’s misconceptions are impacting rare and ultrarare investigational therapies, affecting children and their families. Having an accepted biomarker that reflects the underlying disease is crucial in deciding whether to spend millions of dollars on programs to treat patients with rare diseases. The first accelerated approval of the Sarepta Duchenne gene therapy will pave the way for more and better therapies in the future, but current patients need a better treatment now to avoid losing their precious window of time. https://bit.ly/3MgPYcm

For scientists conducting field research or studies, communicating with colleagues and test subjects is of the utmost importance. According to an article in Nature, they are increasingly turning to WhatsApp to help keep their projects moving. Per Nature,

WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging application, with two billion monthly users. Former Yahoo programmers Jan Koum and Brian Acton founded the company in 2009, as an Internet-based alternative to text messaging (which occurs over cellular networks). Facebook — now called Meta — purchased WhatsApp in 2014.

The scientists’ use of WhatsApp comes partly out of necessity — there aren’t a lot of options for Internet communication in the Antarctic, Schutte explains. “Space will have better Internet than where we’re going.”

Because of this, common channels for science communication, such as the social-media platforms TikTok and Twitter, would be less likely to work. WhatsApp requires so little mobile data that it can work in the Southern Ocean.

Other social media platforms require too much bandwidth to be useful in locations with spotty internet coverage. https://bit.ly/44RhYuq

The new Netflix documentary about the life and reign of Cleopatra has got some people, especially Egyptians, pretty upset. That’s because the director of the series chose to portray her as having African features. Per Deutsche Welle,

Contemporary depictions of historical figures shape our idea of what a person might have looked like.

Since her leading role in the Oscar-winning 1963 film "Cleopatra," Elizabeth Taylor has been regarded as a logical and rarely questioned image of the Egyptian pharaoh.

A member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, Cleopatra was a descendant of its founder, Ptolemy I Soter, a Macedonian-Greek general and companion of Alexander the Great.

But no one actually knows what Cleopatra really looked like. The ethnic origin of her mother, meanwhile, is unclear.

A Netflix series now paints a new picture of the Queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt from 51 to 30 B.C. The four-part documentary series "Queen Cleopatra" starts on May 10. But even before the start of the series, its trailer already caused a stir. Why? The leading role has been taken on by Adele James — who is, as she describes herself in an interview with the UK's Express, a "bi-racial woman."

Egyptians accuse Netflix and the show’s director of attempting to erase their history. Can you imagine Egyptians having the gall to want to define its own history? Exactly. https://bit.ly/44LiuKi

A woman got lost in the wilderness and managed to survive by eating junk food. Per RTE,

A 48-year-old woman was found alive and well after spending five days lost in the Australian outback, surviving off a single bottle of wine and some sweets.

According to Victoria Police, Lillian Ip's car got stuck after taking a wrong turn and hitting a dead end whilst driving through dense Victorian bush at the end of last month.

Her car became bogged down while trying to turn around, and without any mobile phone coverage she was unable to call for help.

An extensive search began when Ms Ip failed to check in with loved ones by 30 April.

Eventually her car was spotted by the Victoria Police Air Wing at the end of a dirt road in the Mitta Mitta bushland on Thursday 4 May.

Who says junk food is bad for you? https://bit.ly/42qgMw8

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.

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