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April Monthly News Digest: Data Science & Analytics

April 24, 2023

Welcome to Burtch Works’ Monthly News Digest, your go-to source for a comprehensive overview of the month’s most significant stories in the world of data science and analytics. This month, we delve into the fascinating and controversial world of generative AI, its impact on various industries including fashion and gaming, and the growing anxiety among workers about the potential for job loss due to automation.

Generative AI: It’s All A Hallucination!

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT, DALL-e2, and OpenAI Codex have gained immense popularity due to their ability to generate text, images, and code that seem incredibly realistic. However, there is a common misconception that their outputs can be fully trusted. In reality, all outputs generated by these models, regardless of their type, can be considered as "hallucinations." Unlike search engines, which rely on retrieving results based on partial matches, generative AI models generate a response from scratch based on millions of parameters created from their training data. The article by Bill Franks also discusses some of the common issues with ChatGPT, including the creation of fictitious authors and papers and the provision of details of events that never occurred. Even if there is an underlying document with the correct answer to a prompt, there is no guarantee that ChatGPT will provide all or part of that answer. While the output may seem realistic, it is ultimately just a probabilistically generated hallucination.Read the full article here.

Deep Agency Shows the Perils Of Applying AI To The Fashion Industry

Danny Postma, the founder of Headlime, a marketing copy startup that leverages AI technology, recently launched Deep Agency, a platform that uses AI to create virtual models that can be hired for photoshoots. The platform's pricing starts at $29 per month, but it has drawn criticism for its potential to exploit independent photographers and artists by further reducing the value of their work. Critics also argue that the technology may infringe on artists' rights by essentially copying images. Despite these concerns, the AI-generated models offered by Deep Agency are expected to be popular with some industries, such as e-commerce and fashion, where they could reduce the need for costly photoshoots and provide greater control over product displays. Furthermore, the platform could find a niche with brands seeking to increase diversity in their marketing campaigns. However, the ethical use of generative AI and its impact on creative professionals' livelihoods remain topics of concern.Read the full article here.

More Game Developers Openly Use Generative AI Despite Criticism

Generative AI tools are increasingly being used by game developers to create procedurally generated environments, characters, and storylines, which can greatly increase the replay value of a game. This technology can save developers time and resources, while also allowing for the creation of more diverse and complex game worlds. However, critics have raised concerns about the potential for generative AI to create less creative and original games and perpetuate biases and stereotypes if the training data used is not diverse or inclusive. Despite these concerns, the use of generative AI in game development is likely to continue to grow as technology becomes more sophisticated and innovative uses are discovered. Ultimately, the success of generative AI in game development will depend on how developers balance the benefits and pitfalls associated with its use.Read the full article here.

Simulated Terrible Drivers Cut the Time And Cost Of AV Testing By A Factor Of One Thousand

Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that can reduce the testing miles required for autonomous vehicles by 99.99%. The system uses AI to train virtual vehicles to perform perilous maneuvers in a simulated environment, allowing autonomous vehicles to encounter rare safety-critical events more frequently and accelerate the testing process. The researchers strip non-safety critical information from the driving data used in the simulation to preserve dangerous moments that demand action. The study appears on the cover of Nature, and the team believes the system could enable manufacturers to more quickly verify whether their autonomous vehicle technology can save lives and reduce crashes.Read the full article here.

AI Anxiety: The Workers Who Fear Losing Their Jobs to Artificial Intelligence

The increasing accessibility of generative AI tools is causing anxiety among workers who fear losing their jobs to machines. Goldman Sachs predicts that AI could replace the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs, and a PwC survey found that almost one-third of respondents were worried about their roles being replaced by technology in the next three years. Career coaches and HR experts advise workers to focus on developing new skills and learning how to work alongside technology to remain valuable to potential employers. However, research by a sociology professor at Brigham Young University suggests that fears of robots taking over human jobs may be overblown, as only 14% of workers have seen their jobs replaced by AI. The article recommends that workers should embrace AI as a resource rather than a threat and remain positive and forward-looking. Education and continuous training are key to adapting to the rapidly changing job market.Read the full article here.