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January 28, 2023, Issue 4, Total Issue 31

Dear Bodhisattvas, greetings!

The estimated reading time for this issue is about 4 minutes.

1. AI Eye Contact Technology

In the past few years, with the rise of AI tools, some AI software now offers advanced and powerful AI eye contact technology. This technology allows real-time editing of videos (including selfies) to make it appear as if people are making eye contact with the camera. While this technology can be entertaining when used in movie scenes, what happens when everyone can use it during real-time video calls?

The Verge interviewed professional visual effects expert Daniel Hashimoto to understand his views and usage of this technology.

Hashimoto was amazed by its ease of use. He simply had to connect his browser to Nvidia's broadcasting app and then perform real-time editing on any video clips he accessed online. He was also impressed by the "incredible" color matching and lighting capabilities of this technology. Importantly, this technology is subtle: if an actor clearly moves their head away from the camera, the software intuitively recognizes that they are looking at something else and refrains from editing.

Hashimoto expressed confidence that "every video conferencing tool will have some version of this in the near future," and it is already being used in this way.

2. OpenAI Hires a Large Number of Contractors to Make Basic Coding Obsolete

According to a report by Semafor, OpenAI has increased its recruitment efforts globally and has hired approximately 1,000 remote contractors in the past 6 months, particularly in Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Around 60% of these contractors were hired for "data labeling," which involves creating a large amount of images, audio clips, and other information to train AI tools or autonomous vehicles.

The remaining 40% are computer programmers who create data for OpenAI's models to learn software engineering tasks. OpenAI's existing product, Codex, was launched in August 2021 and aims to convert natural language into code.

A recruitment notice from OpenAI, published in Spanish by an outsourcing agency, states: "A mature company is looking for Python developers, determined to provide world-class artificial intelligence technology to make the world a better and more efficient place."

Previously, OpenAI trained its models using code obtained from GitHub and seems to be building a dataset that includes not only lines of code but also human explanations behind the code written in natural language.

3. Key Reason for the Spread of False Information on Social Networks is its Reward Mechanism

According to a study published in the journal PNAS, the reward mechanism employed by social media platforms to incentivize users to share information is a key reason for the spread of false information. This finding contradicts the previous belief that the proliferation of false information is due to users lacking critical thinking skills to discern truth from falsehood or distorted judgment caused by political beliefs. The study found that 15% of the most frequent information sharers spread 30% to 40% of fake news. What motivates users to share information? It is the reward mechanism of social media. Its reward system encourages users to post and share information. Sharing the most sensational information is more likely to attract attention. Once the habit of sharing information is formed, users no longer consider the potential consequences of spreading false information. The study suggests that social media platforms can limit the spread of false information by changing their reward mechanisms.

4. Data Insight

In 2022, WeChat Official Accounts published a total of 400 million articles. Only 360,000 articles, accounting for less than 0.09%, had over 100,000 views. There were 19.96 million original articles, accounting for only 4.9%.

5. Updates on Paid Columns

6. Blog Updates

7. Zen Teachings

Cold Mountain asked: "In this world, when people slander me, deceive me, insult me, laugh at me, belittle me, despise me, hate me, or deceive me, how should I respond?"

Shide replied: "Just endure, let it be, leave it be, avoid it, tolerate it, respect it, ignore it, and wait a few more years. Then see for yourself."

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© 2023 Shu Cheng Leslie

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