In The Coming Hours.
Bonus link: A Daily Dave.
1. The world’s leading artificial intelligence researchers are transforming chatbots into a new kind of autonomous system called an A.I. agent. These agents can do more than chat. They can use software apps, websites and other online tools, including spreadsheets, online calendars, travel sites and more. In time, many researchers say, the A.I. agents could become far more sophisticated, and could replace office workers, automating almost any white-collar job. “This is a huge commercial opportunity, potentially trillions of dollars,” said Jeff Clune, a computer science professor at the University of British Columbia who previously worked on this kind of technology as a researcher at OpenAI, the San Francisco start-up that built ChatGPT. “This has a huge upside — and huge consequences — for society.” (Source: nytimes.com)
2. The artificial intelligence models underpinning chatbots could help plan an attack with a biological weapon, according to research by a US think tank. A report by the Rand Corporation released yesterday tested several large language models (LLMs) and found they could supply guidance that “could assist in the planning and execution of a biological attack”. However, the preliminary findings also showed that the LLMs did not generate explicit biological instructions for creating weapons. The report said previous attempts to weaponize biological agents, such as an attempt by the Japanese Aum Shinrikyo cult to use botulinum toxin in the 1990s, had failed because of a lack of understanding of the bacterium. AI could “swiftly bridge such knowledge gaps”, the report said. The report did not specify which LLMs researchers tested. (Source: theguardian.com, rand.org)
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