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AI SMELLS

Plus Why Google AI Search Blew Up

AI Cracks the Code of Smell

Advances in machine olfaction, or digitized smell, are enabling computers to identify and interpret odors. Machine learning, particularly deep learning, maps molecular structures to odor descriptors, overcoming data shortages with larger datasets. This progress promises applications in personalized perfumes, insect repellents, disease detection, and augmented reality.

Why AI Search Blew Up in Google’s Face

Google’s AI Overviews, part of its AI-powered search enhancements, produced bizarre and inaccurate answers, revealing the challenges of automating the search process. Despite years of AI expertise, Google overestimated its technology’s capabilities and underestimated the complexity of user needs. This debacle highlights the difficulty of automating tasks traditionally managed by human users. 

Corporate Lobbyists Swarm Capitol Hill to Shape AI Policy

Lobbying for AI regulation surged in 2023, with over 3,400 lobbyists deployed, a 120% increase from the previous year. Public Citizen warns that corporate interests dominate AI policy discussions, potentially prioritizing profits over public welfare. Federal agencies are working on AI regulations to ensure transparency and accountability, but corporate influence remains a concern. 

AI Enhances, Not Replaces, Expertise

MIT’s David Autor argues that AI can augment human expertise and help restore middle-skill jobs, unlike past automation. Discussed at Singapore’s Asian Monetary Policy Forum, AI’s potential in sectors like healthcare demonstrates its role in complementing skills and addressing labor shortages due to declining birthrates.

iOS 18’s AI Will Summarize Notifications, Articles, and More

Apple’s iOS 18, part of Project Greymatter, will enhance Siri, Notes, and Messages with AI capabilities like notification summarization, article transcription, and text summarization. These features aim to improve user experience by automating routine tasks and offering advanced functionalities such as AI-powered photo editing, mathematical notation in Notes, and enhanced natural language responses.

AI’s Environmental Impact Exposed

Mariana Mazzucato warns about the significant energy consumption of AI technologies like ChatGPT, which exacerbate environmental issues. Datacenters, crucial for AI operations, contribute more to global emissions than commercial flights. The extraction of minerals for these technologies also harms the environment and human rights. Policymakers must ensure transparency and sustainable practices in the tech industry. 

AI Elevates the Value of Coding Skills

AI’s rapid growth offers opportunities rather than threats, making coding skills even more valuable. While AI generates base code, human creativity and problem-solving are essential for refining and applying it. Teaching children to code fosters these skills, ensuring they thrive in a tech-driven future where AI complements human ingenuity.

Unionization and AI: Can It Save White-Collar Jobs?

Unionization has historically been a safeguard for job security. While 2023 saw significant labor strikes, the union membership rate remains low among white-collar workers. AI poses a significant threat, especially for middle management, which is increasingly seen as replaceable. Experts argue for the importance of unions to protect jobs and advocate for better labor conditions amidst technological disruptions.

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