Robot Can Write Its Own Code, Twitter’s Free Speech in Danger, AI May Finally Be Here, and Web3 security paradox

Google Robotics Researchers Show Robot Can Write Its Own Code Using Natural Language

Writing working code can be a challenge. Even relatively easy languages like HTML require the coder to understand the specific syntax and available tools. Writing code to control robots is even more involved and often has multiple steps: There's code to detect objects, code to trigger the actuators that move the robot's limbs, code to specify when the task is complete, and so on. Something as simple as programming a robot to pick up a yellow block instead of a red one is impossible if you don't know the coding language the robot runs on.

But Google's robotics researchers are exploring a way to fix that. They've developed a robot that can write its own programming code based on natural language instructions. Instead of having to dive into a robot's configuration files to change block_target_color from #FF0000 to #FFFF00, you could just type "pick up the yellow block" and the robot would do the rest!

Code as Policies (or CaP for short) is a coding-specific language model developed from Google’s Pathways Language Model (PaLM)to interpret the natural language instructions and turn them into code it can run. Read more...

Elon Musk Has Put Twitter’s Free Speech in Danger

When Elon Musk became the CEO of Twitter, the platform’s users had reason to be concerned.

Before becoming Twitter’s CEO, Musk had often lobbed criticism at the platform for its approach to content moderation, even going so far as to target the company’s former policy chief Vijaya Gadde. But while Musk has expressed his concern about “liberal bias” on the platform, many activists, journalists, and advocates outside the US—where the majority of Twitter’s users reside—have begun to worry about how Twitter will respond to authoritarian and authoritarian-leaning governments that have long sought to control public opinion.

How he treats pressure from countries like Saudi Arabia and India—I think those are key indicators of where he’s going with the platform,” says David Kaye, former UN special rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression and clinical professor of law at the University of California, Irvine.

While Twitter does not boast nearly as many users as Meta-owned Facebook or Instagram (which boasts over 2 billion monthly active users), it is widely used by activists, civil society groups, journalists, and politicians—all of whom are influential in shaping public policy and opinion. Read more...

After A Lot Of Hype, (Useful) AI May Finally Be Here

Artificial intelligence has once again become a hot buzzword in tech, even somewhat knocking off the malaise the venture capital markets have been under in the last several quarters.

However, this time around it may have real staying power as advancements in generative AI seem to be riding a wave of excitement some have compared to what cloud computing saw nearly two decades ago.

“About two years ago, we realized (AI) had crossed a threshold,” said Dave Rogenmoser, co-founder and CEO of Austin, Texas-based AI content platform Jasper. “It started producing better end results.”

Last month was filled with news about big rounds at bigger valuations by generative AI startups — basically companies that use AI to produce content. London-based AI-driven visual art startup Stability AI became a unicorn after locking up a $101 million raise. Rogenmoser’s Jasper announced a $125 million Series A led by Insight Partners at a $1.5 billion valuation. Sam Altman’s AI powerhouse OpenAI led an investment in San Francisco-based AI video and audio editing tool Descript at a $500 million-plus valuation, per a report. Read more...

Web3 security paradox

Web3 seems to be the buzzword of the day. It’s been around for a long time now, but it has taken its time to make its way into mainstream discussions about the future of blockchain technology.

Web3 is actually not that complicated – it just describes the next generation of internet protocols (or Web3). The current iteration of this protocol is called Web2 and it relies on centralized servers and databases which are vulnerable to cyberattacks and data theft.

Another key element of Web3 is that this decentralized system will no longer allow the same control over copyright piracy that exists today in Web2. It also means that there will be greater security thanks to blockchain technology, but less due to decentralization which is paradoxical according to Lambert’s research team.

As these cyberattacks become more sophisticated, users need to watch how they interact with social media platforms that are popular in the Web3 space, such as Telegram or Discord for example. They should also avoid sharing too much information online because that makes them vulnerable to social engineering attacks. Read more...

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