Home AI News This Week in AI: Ex-OpenAI staff call for safety and transparency

This Week in AI: Ex-OpenAI staff call for safety and transparency

This Week in AI: Ex-OpenAI staff call for safety and transparency

Hiya, of us, and welcome to Trendster’s inaugural AI publication. It’s really a thrill to sort these phrases — this one’s been lengthy within the making, and we’re excited to lastly share it with you.

With the launch of TC’s AI publication, we’re sunsetting This Week in AI, the semiregular column beforehand often known as Perceptron. However you’ll discover all of the evaluation we delivered to This Week in AI and extra, together with a highlight on noteworthy new AI fashions, proper right here.

This week in AI, hassle’s brewing — once more — for OpenAI.

A bunch of former OpenAI staff spoke with The New York Occasions’ Kevin Roose about what they understand as egregious security failings throughout the group. They — like others who’ve left OpenAI in latest months — declare that the corporate isn’t doing sufficient to stop its AI methods from changing into doubtlessly harmful and accuse OpenAI of using hardball techniques to aim to stop staff from sounding the alarm.

The group printed an open letter on Tuesday calling for main AI corporations, together with OpenAI, to ascertain higher transparency and extra protections for whistleblowers. “As long as there isn’t a efficient authorities oversight of those firms, present and former staff are among the many few individuals who can maintain them accountable to the general public,” the letter reads.

Name me pessimistic, however I anticipate the ex-staffers’ calls will fall on deaf ears. It’s powerful to think about a state of affairs during which AI corporations not solely conform to “help a tradition of open criticism,” because the undersigned suggest, but additionally choose to not implement nondisparagement clauses or retaliate towards present workers who select to talk out.

Contemplate that OpenAI’s security fee, which the corporate just lately created in response to preliminary criticism of its security practices, is staffed with all firm insiders — together with CEO Sam Altman. And contemplate that Altman, who at one level claimed to haven’t any information of OpenAI’s restrictive nondisparagement agreements, himself signed the incorporation paperwork establishing them.

Certain, issues at OpenAI might flip round tomorrow — however I’m not holding my breath. And even when they did, it’d be powerful to belief it.


AI apocalypse: OpenAI’s AI-powered chatbot platform, ChatGPT — together with Anthropic’s Claude and Google’s Gemini and Perplexity — all went down this morning at roughly the identical time. All of the companies have since been restored, however the reason for their downtime stays unclear.

OpenAI exploring fusion: OpenAI is in talks with fusion startup Helion Vitality a few deal during which the AI firm would purchase huge portions of electrical energy from Helion to supply energy for its knowledge facilities, in accordance with the Wall Road Journal. Altman has a $375 million stake in Helion and sits on the corporate’s board of administrators, however he reportedly has recused himself from the deal talks.

The price of coaching knowledge: Trendster takes a have a look at the expensive knowledge licensing offers which are changing into commonplace within the AI trade — offers that threaten to make AI analysis untenable for smaller organizations and tutorial establishments.

Hateful music turbines: Malicious actors are abusing AI-powered music turbines to create homophobic, racist and propagandistic songs — and publishing guides instructing others how to take action as properly.

Money for Cohere: Reuters experiences that Cohere, an enterprise-focused generative AI startup, has raised $450 million from Nvidia, Salesforce Ventures, Cisco and others in a brand new tranche that values Cohere at $5 billion. Sources acquainted inform Trendster that Oracle and Thomvest Ventures — each returning traders — additionally participated within the spherical, which was left open.

Analysis paper of the week

In a analysis paper from 2023 titled “Let’s Confirm Step by Step” that OpenAI just lately highlighted on its official weblog, scientists at OpenAI claimed to have fine-tuned the startup’s general-purpose generative AI mannequin, GPT-4, to attain better-than-expected efficiency in fixing math issues. The method might result in generative fashions much less liable to going off the rails, the co-authors of the paper say — however they level out a number of caveats.

Within the paper, the co-authors element how they skilled reward fashions to detect hallucinations, or cases the place GPT-4 bought its information and/or solutions to math issues fallacious. (Reward fashions are specialised fashions to judge the outputs of AI fashions, on this case math-related outputs from GPT-4.) The reward fashions “rewarded” GPT-4 every time it bought a step of a math downside proper, an method the researchers confer with as “course of supervision.”

The researchers say that course of supervision improved GPT-4’s math downside accuracy in comparison with earlier methods of “rewarding” fashions — no less than of their benchmark checks. They admit it’s not good, nonetheless; GPT-4 nonetheless bought downside steps fallacious. And it’s unclear how the type of course of supervision the researchers explored would possibly generalize past the mathematics area.

Mannequin of the week

Forecasting the climate could not really feel like a science (no less than once you get rained on, like I simply did), however that’s as a result of it’s all about possibilities, not certainties. And what higher strategy to calculate possibilities than a probabilistic mannequin? We’ve already seen AI put to work on climate prediction at time scales from hours to centuries, and now Microsoft is getting in on the enjoyable. The corporate’s new Aurora mannequin strikes the ball ahead on this fast-evolving nook of the AI world, offering globe-level predictions at ~0.1° decision (assume on the order of 10 km sq.).

Picture Credit: Microsoft

Educated on over one million hours of climate and local weather simulations (not actual climate? Hmm…) and fine-tuned on quite a few fascinating duties, Aurora outperforms conventional numerical prediction methods by a number of orders of magnitude. Extra impressively, it beats Google DeepMind’s GraphCast at its personal recreation (although Microsoft picked the sector), offering extra correct guesses of climate situations on the one- to five-day scale.

Corporations like Google and Microsoft have a horse within the race, after all, each vying in your on-line consideration by attempting to supply essentially the most personalised internet and search expertise. Correct, environment friendly first-party climate forecasts are going to be an essential a part of that, no less than till we cease going outdoors.

Seize bag

In a thought piece final month in Palladium, Avital Balwit, chief of workers at AI startup Anthropic, posits that the following three years may be the final she and lots of information staff must work because of generative AI’s speedy developments. This could come as a consolation reasonably than a purpose to concern, she says, as a result of it might “[lead to] a world the place individuals have their materials wants met but additionally haven’t any have to work.”

“A famend AI researcher as soon as informed me that he’s practising for [this inflection point] by taking on actions that he’s not significantly good at: jiu-jitsu, browsing, and so forth, and savoring the doing even with out excellence,” Balwit writes. “That is how we will put together for our future the place we should do issues from pleasure reasonably than want, the place we are going to not be the very best at them, however will nonetheless have to decide on tips on how to fill our days.”

That’s definitely the glass-half-full view — however one I can’t say I share.

Ought to generative AI substitute most information staff inside three years (which appears unrealistic to me given AI’s many unsolved technical issues), financial collapse might properly ensue. Information staff make up giant parts of the workforce and are typically excessive earners — and thus massive spenders. They drive the wheels of capitalism ahead.

Balwit makes references to common fundamental revenue and different large-scale social security web packages. However I don’t have lots of religion that international locations just like the U.S., which may’t even handle fundamental federal-level AI laws, will undertake common fundamental revenue schemes anytime quickly.

Optimistically, I’m fallacious.