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We are now seeing a frenzy to add AI to websites and programs, with little regard for consequences. Don't be surprised if your computer starts doing strange things. Here are some cogent articles for you:

A safety researcher working on ChatGPT has left his job after the release of GPT-40. Jan Leike felt strongly that "shiny products" were holding sway at the company rather than safety priorities. He is now the 2nd safety engineer to depart the company recently for the same reason.

The role of common sense is being debated in the training of AI models. Disagreements over what constitutes common sense are creating what is called "noise", since factual material is much easier to quantify and teach. Additionally, hiring human labor to define common sense is expensive and time-consuming: many conflicting opinions and biases show up in the testing.

The newest version of ChatGPT-40 shows interesting capabilities. It has greater speed, can translate languages, read and discuss images, identify emotions from facial expressions, and remember previous prompts. It can even sound chatty and flirtatious. It tends, however, to misread emotions, begins to solve an equation that it hasn't seen before, and mistakes a wooden surface for a human face.

It seems that both Apple and Meta are investing in AI technology that can "decode your brain activity" - ie read your mind - without needing surgery. The process is so concerning to neurorights proponents that they are battling for laws that would protect our privacy during the time that these scientists and engineers continue their brain scanning research.

Google's AI research lab DeepMind, has come up with a group of advanced AI models called Med-Gemini which, among other capabilities, searches the Web and accesses patient health records. The results are deemed promising but in need of more work.

In the city of Dalian in China, you can visit the Ex Future Science and Technology Museum where you can see partially-skinned realistic-looking humanoids being built, disembodied cyborg women's heads on stands, and groups of humanoid "presenters" wearing pants and shirts. Minute details are evident, like goosebumps on skin. You can also create and move a humanoid head with your own facial expression.

Two new AI song generators are now available, Suno and Udio. (I have tried Udio - fascinating.) They can now generate lyrics as well, put them into a voice model, and output a decent song. The issue raised in this article is whether AI has to experience feelings in order to provoke them in humans.

In a study of 16,000 patients in 2 hospitals, an AI is being tested that determines risk of death . Overall deaths from all causes with these patients were reduced by 31%, while high-risk patients' deaths from heart issues were down more than 90%.

Reid Hoffman, entrepreneur and co-founder of Linkedin, watched as an AI clone of himself generated its own desk and then wiped a booger off of it.

You will soon be able to take a walk without your cellphone. A pocket nondevice/compass called Terra will guide you using AI to wherever you want to go. An example given queries "Kyoto architecture tour, back by 4pm". Terra is categorized as "gorpcore", meaning outdoor recreation gadgets with style.

An AI company called Silicon Intelligence based in China is providing digital replicas of loved ones who have died in moving versions that you can talk to. The replica mostly listens but will occasionally talk to you. At the moment, the AI-replicated version has only a limited number of pre-written lines it can speak. The technology is called "digital immortality".

Struggling with the issues surrounding copyrights, as well as multiple lawsuits, scientists at the University of Texas at Austin and University of California Berkeley have devised an AGI training method that claims to corrupt the originals beyond recognition. The researchers used their Ambient Diffusion framework to illustrate their results, which appear somewhat ambiguous at best. The code is open-source and available on GitHub.

Now on to other June treats:

Take a look at some inflatable artworks being installed at The Hague. Set on a pontoon in the Hofvijver lake, they invoke multiple metaphors but basically they are simply fun.

Leonora Carrington has set a new auction record at Sotheby's with one of her surrealist paintings. Born in England and based in Mexico, Carrington was a founding member of the women's liberation movement in Mexico in the 1970's. Carrington believed in psychic freedom, which she felt could not be reached unless there was political freedom.

Wendell Gladstone in Los Angeles also creates dreamy images, focused on the stressed relationship between nature and humanity. Using symbolism and humor, Gladstone references the work of Thomas Malthus with his pessimistic view of where we are heading. Gladstone sometimes incorporates the letters CAB in his pieces, meaning crash and burn.

Natalie Moore uses stainless steel wire to immerse us into floating and fluid works, creating, as she says, an ephemeral world of the "shifting and the elusive."

"Emotional Detox" is the title of 7 sculptures created by Marc Quinn in the years 1994 - 2022. Quinn made casts in lead of his own body in devastating poses, suggesting the fragility of life, lead of course being a toxic material. The sculptures were made at a time when Quinn was recovering from an alcohol addiction and clearly reference the physical and psychological torment of withdrawal.

When you combine the surreal with the sculptural, you find the work of Ruben Ulises Rodriguez. Rodrigez investigates the bonds between the human, the animal, and the landscape, often with violent visual comments. His work has been described as "horror and beauty in rare combination". He touches the worlds of myth and anthropology, commenting upon the confluence of the mundane, the sacred, and the horrible.

Another talented artist draws our attention to the political, social, and military strands of current society. Isabelle Frances Mcguire creates assemblages that resemble "kitbashing" - creating new forms by using open source kits. Video games, instant gratification, unintended victims, and a never-ending cycle of violence fill these relentless works.

Metamemory is the title of the musical metacreations of Zubin Kanga. Kanga is described as "a fearless advocate of the new and unknown" and a cyborg pianist. His specialty is new interdisciplinary musical compositions, blending classical music with electronic experimentation.

A stunning exhibition of Cycladic art is on exhiit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The works are being repatriated to Greece after being on loan to the Met. The marble figures and vessels come from the Bronze Age covering a period of some 1,000 years. Seldom seen before, this exhibit brings an extraordinary opportunity to see how humans portrayed themselves in the BCE era.

Returning to the surreal, Amanda C. Baldwin combines the real and the imagined into new representations of themselves which are somewhat familiar and yet otherwoldly. Her paintings are suffused with rhythm and pattern, holding on to the past yet thrusting us forward into the new and tenuous.

"Until All is Dissolved" is the provocative title of this intense sculpture by Roksana Pirouzmand. Born in Iran in 1990, the atist weaves narratives of suffering, transformation, and personal experience into her work. She pays tribute to the women in her family who have preceded her. Her pieces are intense and deeply self-reflective.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2024

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