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What I've Been Reading (6)
Security, AI, Economics, and Algebra
What a week for AI: GPT4, Github Copilot, Adobe Firefly, Google Bard, press tours…
Pickaxes during a gold rush or waitlist software during the AI rush?
A review of cybersecurity companies’ earning reports - themes of consolidation, but everyone still seems to be making good money. Included: Cloudflare, Check Point, CyberArk.
USBs that brick your computer are one thing. USBs that explode are another. Although if I found one on the ground myself, curiosity will eat me up inside, I’d probably still plug it in... And a virtual machine doesn’t exactly protect against certain attacks.
Even the best of us goof: GitHub exposed their private RSA key in a public repository. Makes you wonder what the security controls were and who had access to it.
Stephen Wolfram on AI, computational irreducibility and more. He covers a lot of topics here, such as: surprise when developing technology, the innumerability of problems worth solving, and the value of computational languages.
Sam Altman / Lex Friedman interview. Worth listening to if you think now is a pivotal time in AI. Selected topics: Moderation (Sam thinks OpenAI (+ regulators) should design wide, but definite boundaries on information AIs respond with), and what makes LLMs valuable (good interfaces, refined through tools like RLHF).
ChatGPT plugins - web searches, bookings, Wolfram, and more. ChatGPT keeps getting more and more useful. Hopping on the waitlist.
The ChatGPT plugin that I’m most excited about - Wolfram integration. Now we can ask it to plot a graph, perform a computation, look up geographical data, and more.
Another waitlist or three. Github Copilot’s announcement - chat interface in VSCode, Copilot for CLI, Copilot performing PR checks and reviews, etc.
More waitlists. Firefly is better than Dalle / Stable Diffusion at some types of images, and worse at others. Adobe’s training set seems higher quality than anyone else’s, at least for art.
What would it take for nuclear power to be successful? Right now, it’s too expensive. Austin provides a short summary on what may make nuclear power worth the investment. He’s written more extensively on the economics of nuclear power before.
India shuts down internet access whenever it feels like it. Kinda scary. 106 internet shutdowns in 2021. I don’t know how much “India has a giant population” impacts the stats, but in any case, internet shutdowns aren’t great.
Deriving the quadratic formula, then doing the same for cubics. Sometimes I’m surprised at how rusty my algebra is. :(