Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, helps us make sense of today's stories in technology:
What are the Russians doing to the US election?
Well, they are trying to hack it. They're trying to hack into the accounts of individuals working on campaigns. They're trying to hack into accounts of nonprofit organizations. They're trying to mess it all up again. They're probably trying to help their favorite candidate, too. How did we find out about it? Well, Microsoft, thank you Microsoft, is running an election security operation and they noticed this. Now, have they found everything that the Russian group Fancy Bear is doing? I highly doubt it. We'll probably learn a lot more after the election, unfortunately.
What's this? Robots can write! Should we be afraid?
So OpenAI has used artificial intelligence to build a text generating system called GPT-3. It's way of computers writing sentences that look almost like human sentences. The Guardian ran a story written entirely by GPT-3 about whether robots will take over the world. Am I afraid this indicates robots will take over the world? I'm not. The article is terrible, confusing, incomprehensible. Not really a big concern. I am concerned, though, that systems like this could be used for the purposes of misinformation and for creating chaos on the Internet. But that's a separate matter.