🐤 Living to regret it

One of the individuals directly responsible for AI is now denouncing the powerful new tech.

Tuesday | May 2nd, 2023
Early Chirp

Welcome to Tuesday, chirpers! We’re getting deeper into another week, so crank up some tunes and enjoy another installment of Early Chirp.

Whether you prefer country or hip-hop, any type of music can do your body good. Not only has it been proven to boost your mood and relieve stress, but new types of therapy show that it can even restore movement to paralyzed individuals.

For one 71-year-old man immobilized by Guillain-Barré syndrome, listening to his favorite song by the Carpenters reportedly helped him regain his ability to walk and talk.

-Chris Agee

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*Market data for this issue is from May 1st, 2023 at 9:01pm EST

🏦 Markets: Investors are looking forward to the results of the next Federal Reserve meeting, but the big news on Wall Street at the start of this week was yet another major bank failure.

After weeks of speculation, First Republic Bank finally collapsed and JPMorgan Chase took over the troubled institution on Monday. Despite the financial disruption, the stock market proved resilient throughout the day.

All three major indexes ended the day at practically the same point that they started.

technology

An AI Innovator Turns His Back On His Own Creation

Geoffrey Hinton laid the groundwork for AI more than 50 years ago.

An AI Innovator Turns His Back On His Own Creation Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The debate over artificial intelligence rages on, but there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do to meaningfully slow its progress. For some, that’s a good thing with seemingly endless possibilities.

Others, however, are increasingly worried about the rapidly evolving technology. Perhaps most troubling is the fact that one its pioneers now considers himself a part of this crowd.

Leaving Google

For more than a decade, Geoffrey Hinton has been working on the skeleton of what we now know as AI, including the framework that powers platforms like ChatGPT.

This week, he explained why he’s now plagued with regret.

In order to speak openly about his concerns, he had to leave his prestigious job at Google — but he felt it was worth it to warn us all about what he sees as the serious risks involved in embracing AI.

“It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things,” Hinton said.

In the short term, he shares misgivings about how chatbots and other AI tools can spread misinformation and even intensify division.

Beyond that, some of the most ardent critics think the technology could be detrimental to human society.

The path to condemnation

Although Hinton wasn’t one of the more than 1,100 prominent tech figures who signed a letter warning of AI’s possible negative effects, he clearly shares some of their trepidations.

He advised: “Look at how it was five years ago and how it is now. Take the difference and propagate it forward. That’s scary.”

Now, the industry he essentially created from scratch as a graduate student in 1972 is keeping him up at night.

His former employer and other AI companies claim they’re doing everything right, but Hinton’s not the only one who isn’t convinced.

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dad joke

I told a joke during a Zoom Meeting and no one laughed.


It turns out I'm not remotely funny.

World

The Breakdown

A quick look around the world.

The Breakdown South Park/Giphy

☢️ Going nuclear: As international tensions continue to mount, the U.S. is reportedly set to produce nuclear warheads after a pause that spanned more than three decades. According to TVP World, a Ukrainian politician cited a National Nuclear Security Administration report in a Telegram post on the matter. American forces haven’t been involved in creating nuclear warheads since prior to a 1991 treaty marking the collapse of the Soviet Union.

💵 Bank takeover: The nation’s banking crisis is clearly not over as some had hoped. First Republic Bank went under, making it the second-largest institution to fail in U.S. history. As with the only larger example (Washington Mutual’s 2008 failure), JPMorgan Chase stepped in to take over First Republic. All of the smaller bank’s branches opened as JPMorgan Chase locations on Monday morning.

⛰️ Hidden peaks: The depths of our planet’s oceans are among the most mysterious places ever studied by experts — but satellites are making it easier to see what is hidden deep underwater. A new report determined that researchers have confirmed roughly 20,000 mountains sticking up from the ocean floor. That’s cool enough on its own, but scientists say these areas are also known for providing a habitat for a wide range of diverse marine life.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Family business: Few names are as synonymous with the drug trade as “El Chapo,” the one-time head of the notorious Sinaloa cartel. Now, his sons are facing charges in the U.S. related to smuggling fentanyl across the southern border. An indictment against the brothers asserted that they sought to manufacture the powerful synthetic opioid and “sell it in the United States at the lowest price.”

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us news

Should It Be Harder For Landlords To Evict Their Tenants?

A growing number of states are considering new protections for renters.

Should It Be Harder For Landlords To Evict Their Tenants? John Moore/Getty Images

Maybe you’ve heard about so-called squatters who exploit laws to make it nearly impossible for a home’s owner to evict them. But far more often, say critics of the current system, landlords are able to essentially kick out tenants for any reason (or no reason at all.)

And lawmakers are fighting for change.

Albany takes the lead

Officials in New York’s capital voted in 2021 to give residents the benefit of the nation’s first so-called “good cause” eviction law.

Here’s what it did:

  • Gave tenants in good standing the right to renew their leases
  • Provided a clear explanation of the circumstances that could lead to an eviction
  • Protected renters from rent increases of more than 5%

Before long, a handful of other New York cities enacted their own versions of the law — but the good times for tenants didn’t last.

Landlords and advocacy groups took the local governments to court, arguing that the new laws amounted to a violation of their property rights. Judges agreed and most of the protections were either voluntarily repealed or reversed by a court order.

Here’s what comes next

While municipal laws weren’t successful, state lawmakers in New York and elsewhere are hoping they have more luck. Other states that have passed “good cause” eviction legislation include California, Oregon, and Washington. A number of other states — Maryland, Colorado, and Connecticut — are planning similar action.

Of course, New Jersey rightfully considers itself a leader in this regard since it’s had a version of these protections on the books for nearly 50 years. And now that state is in a position to dispel some of the concerns about passing such laws in other places.

Sociologist Peter Hepburn confirmed that New Jersey has “a thriving rental market” that “has not collapsed by any stretch of the imagination.”

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entertainment

Free TV Is Making A Comeback … But Get Prepared For The Ads

Older viewers might consider it a blast from the past.

Free TV Is Making A Comeback … But Get Prepared For The Ads Adweek/Giphy

In the early days of television, all it took was a small antenna to pick up local stations, which aired programs that were supported by their sponsors.

Then along came cable and the streaming revolution, meaning many folks have never known a time when most of their small-screen entertainment was free.

Well, prepare for a renaissance of sorts.

Things are changing FAST

You’re likely to start seeing the acronym FAST more often when related to your TV streaming options. It stands for “Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television” and a lot of companies are betting that it’ll be the next big thing for couch potatoes everywhere.

There have long been platforms like Pluto and Tubi that have offered this very old-school approach. Surf through channels to find something you like and sit through a block of commercials here and there.

The advantage, of course, is that it’s free. And if you’re among the many consumers who have grown overwhelmed by the number of options and increasing monthly costs of services like Netflix and Disney Plus, you might find FAST to be an intriguing change of pace.

Another ad-based alternative

If FAST doesn’t quite suit your tastes, there’s always AVOD — Advertising-Based Video On Demand.

This more closely resembles most major streaming networks in that you find a program you want to watch and press play instead of scrolling through channels trying to find something that is already streaming.

In the end, FAST and AVOD seem like win-win situations for consumers and streamers. About 44% of viewers have canceled at least one paid service in the past six months, and free options mean no need to convince people to fork over more cash.

And Netflix found through its ad-supported option that it makes even more than the subscription model.

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Poll

Would you rather pay to remove ads or watch free with ads?

  1. Free content please
  2. I never want to see an ad
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Early Chirp

Written by Chris Agee

90 N Church St, The Strathvale House
Grand Cayman KY1, 9006, Cayman Islands

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