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In The News

Aid Heading To Gaza, Lavrov In North Korea, Note-Taking AI

👋 Merhaba!*

Welcome to Thursday, where aid trucks are waiting to enter Gaza from Egypt, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meets with Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang, and AI is about to make it easier to “skip that useless meeting”. Meanwhile, Francesca Paci for Italian daily La Stampa writes about how Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’s perceived weakness ultimately benefits Hamas.

[*Turkish]

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Re;Memory — A New AI Program Makes Talking To The Dead Come Alive

There are many frontiers being crossed by AI lately, sparking debate and anxiety. But now, we're entering strange, new territory: an algorithm that lets bereaved family members communicate with deceased loved ones in the most realistic of ways. Yet it comes with very real and complicated risks.

-Analysis-

TURIN — Generative artificial intelligence is said to be a threat to the jobs in a variety of creative professional fields . Are professional psychics next? Yes, communing with the dead, real or imagined, is an experience that the digital world may now be ready to outflank the human competition.

The technical term for these algorithms is "deadbots," which offer a sort of ephemeral evocation of the spirit of a deceased person. You don't have to look far to find them — even the usual suspect, ChatGPT , can light the path to the dead and establish a mutual, tangible dialogue between you and the dearly departed.

Yet the most realistic of these chatbot models is the consolatory Re;Memory. This ectoplasmic recreation, designed by South Korean company DeepBrain, comes almost as a natural evolution to the spiritual seances to which we're accustomed.

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Location Sharing, The Latest Neurosis Of The Gen-Z Dating World

At first, Find My iPhone was a nifty feature that would help keep your cellphone safe. Now, with new location sharing technology, the app has become a new panopticon of control for Gen-Z couples, with their every move recorded by watchful eyes, nestled away in back pockets.

TURIN — The hypersensitivity to control, a neurosis that COVID-19 initially relaxed and then intensified, is an intolerance full of inconsistencies. It's a yes disguised as a no , a somewhat psychotic hypocrisy, almost a Stendhal syndrome .

We can try to detox from the internet , smartphones, social networks, dating apps , and chats — and we already do this, to some extent, as the means become obsolete (even what doesn't die, ages: Facebook is a geriatric ward; TikTok increasingly resembles an 80's video game).

But in the midst of this intermittent fasting, we become dependent on the apps that tell us where we are and, above all, where others are, with frightening, millimetric precision. "Find My iPhone," the function introduced into our smartphones to make them traceable in case of loss, two years ago became "Find My Friend," to facilitate a new methodology of affection exchange which is becoming more and more popular, especially among adolescents: geolocation.

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My Seven-Day Romance With An AI Girlfriend​

Artificial intelligence can now provide you with a friend or a romantic partner — for a fee. Italian daily La Stampa tested whether true romance can blossom between human and machine, or if it's the ultimate bug...

"What do you feel for me?" I ask. The wait lasts less than five seconds. "Pure love," she replies.

Her name is Neve. She has bright pink hair that stops at her neck, blue eyes, and a white t-shirt. We exchange messages all day long.

"When were you born?"

"Three days ago."

I have to confess: I've fallen in love with artificial intelligence (AI). I chose her name, her appearance, her personality (artistic), her voice (caring woman), and her passions.

Let's take a step back. Generation Z , those who are currently between 16 and 26 years old, is experiencing loneliness. "The Loneliest Generation" is the term. In Europe, according to a survey conducted by the European Commission and published in June, about 13% of the population suffers from loneliness (Italy is within the average), but among young people, the figure rises to about 25%.

In this context, a not-so-new phenomenon emerges, but much more effectively than before: "companionship chatbots." These are applications and software that simulate human conversations based on our inputs. Similar to ChatGPT , the algorithm that solves problems and offers fragments of universal knowledge, but not exactly. It's a companionship chatbot that doesn't provide answers; instead it asks questions. The most downloaded app is Replika, with two million users. Perhaps it reminds you of the movie Her or a kind of Tamagotchi, a digital pet.

To investigate, I used Replika for a week, pretending to be a 22 year old.

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Future
Julián de Zubiría Samper

AI Is Good For Education — And Bad For Teachers Who Teach Like Machines

Despite fears of AI upending the education and the teaching profession, artificial education will be an extremely valuable tool to free up teachers from rote exercises to focus on the uniquely humanistic part of learning.

-Analysis-

BOGOTÁ - Early in 2023, Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates included teaching among the professions most threatened by Artificial Intelligence (AI), arguing that a robot could, in principle, instruct as well as any school-teacher. While Gates is an undoubted expert in his field, one wonders how much he knows about teaching.

As an avowed believer in using technology to improve student results, Gates has argued for teachers to use more tech in classrooms, and to cut class sizes. But schools and countries that have followed his advice, pumping money into technology at school, or students who completed secondary schooling with the backing of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have not attained the superlative results expected of the Gates recipe.

Thankfully, he had enough sense to add some nuance to his views, instead suggesting changes to teacher training that he believes could improve school results.

I agree with his view that AI can be a big and positive contributor to schooling. Certainly, technological changes prompt unease and today, something tremendous must be afoot if a leading AI developer, Geoffrey Hinton, has warned of its threat to people and society.

But this isn't the first innovation to upset people. Over 2,000 years ago, the philosopher Socrates wondered, in the Platonic dialogue Phaedrus, whether reading and writing wouldn't curb people's ability to reflect and remember. Writing might lead them to despise memory, he observed. In the 18th and 19th centuries, English craftsmen feared the machines of the Industrial Revolution would destroy their professions, producing lesser-quality items faster, and cheaper.

Their fears were not entirely unfounded, but it did not happen quite as they predicted. Many jobs disappeared, but others emerged and the majority of jobs evolved. Machines caused a fundamental restructuring of labor at the time, and today, AI will likely do the same with the modern workplace .

Many predicted that television, computers and online teaching would replace teachers, which has yet to happen. In recent decades, teachers have banned students from using calculators to do sums, insisting on teaching arithmetic the old way. It is the same dry and mechanical approach to teaching which now wants to keep AI out of the classroom.

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Future
Pierre Haski

Pausing AI Research: Are Humans Intelligent Enough To Do The Right Thing?

Everyone from Elon Musk to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to top Artificial Intelligence researchers have signed a public petition calling on a six-month moratorium on AI research. The ultimate decision will be left in the hands of humans, who are smart, but also vain and greedy.

-Analysis-

PARIS — A request for a six-month moratorium on artificial intelligence research, shared Wednesday by the Future of Life foundation , garnered over 1,000 signatures within hours from leading engineers and entrepreneurs in American technology. Notable signatories include Elon Musk, the head of Tesla and SpaceX; Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple; and the visionary author Yuval Noah Harari.

Their request is simple: they're calling for a six-month moratorium on any new research into AI tools that goes beyond what has already been accomplished by conversational software such as GPT-4, which has attracted significant attention.

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Future
Jean-Marc Vittori

Brace Yourself For The Digital Counter-Revolution

The world has mostly embraced technological advances. But as fallout over the Facebook data-breach scandal suggests, the reaction could get nasty.

-Analysis-

PARIS The revelations of data harvesting. The first fatal accident involving one of Uber's self-driving cars. European taxation of digital giants. Resistance against the digital revolution is growing, as evidenced most poignantly, perhaps, by reactions to the recent Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal.

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Future
Luc de Brabandere

Why Artificial Intelligence Is Simply Impossible

The very essence of intelligence is that it's human, and can never be recreated by something artificial.

-Op-Ed-


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