Tech Digest daily roundup: Why M3GAN is the perfect AI villain

M3GAN is Hollywood’s latest attempt to turn AI into a horror genre. Pic: Universal

There is no shortage of robot uprising fiction in the Western canon (see: the works of Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick; classics like “The Terminator”; family-friendly spins like “The Mitchells vs. the Machines”). It’s a conceit that preys on one of mankind’s great fears, that robots will replace us. But there’s just something about M3GAN that makes for an ideal monster and the film in which she stars is a particularly chilling cautionary tale. (And a popular one at that – “M3GAN” has already made over $91 million globally with a sequel on the way.) “M3GAN is a metaphor for a lot of stuff happening in our lives, (including) the unintended consequences of autonomous robotics,” said Daniel H. Wilson, a science fiction author and erstwhile roboticist, in an interview with CNN.

Is my job about to be taken by a robot? Not according to the robot itself. ChatGPT – the AI language generator that has gone viral since its launch in November – assures me that it is not capable of replacing a human journalist. Sweetly self-deprecating, it claims to lack the “critical analysis and human perspective that is essential to good journalism”. But it would say that, wouldn’t it? If you haven’t tried it yet, ChatGPT is an online software that can write like a human. Type in just about any question, and its bots will scour the internet for answers before replying in clear and unnervingly fluent English. Telegraph 

Twitter has updated its developer rules to ban third-party clients, almost a week after it unceremoniously blocked the apps’ access to its platform, offering almost no explanation to what was going on (via Engadget). The new rules state that you can’t use Twitter’s API or content to “create or attempt to create a substitute or similar service or product to the Twitter Applications.”…The rule change comes after Twitter silently broke several popular third-party Twitter clients like Tweetbot and Twitterific starting on January 12th. The Verge

Instagram has evolved its platform over the past year, putting more focus on its creators and also enhancing the safety of its users through a variety of different tools. Now, the platform is introducing a new Quiet Mode that will let users better manage time spent with the app, along with new ways to filter content, to make the browsing experience even better. When Quiet Mode is enabled, users will no longer see notifications from the app, allowing them to enjoy life outside of the app in peace. XDA Developers 

Google is strongly rumored to be launching its own Bluetooth location tracker to rival Apple’s AirTag and Tile this year – and it could take the little object-finding tools to the next level, for good and bad. The reliable leaker Kuba Wojciechowski has unearthed a lot of evidence for the Google tracker, codenamed Grogu, suggesting that it’s both real and could arrive at Google I/O 2023. Like AirTags, they apparently have an onboard speaker for emitting sounds from lost devices and pack both UWB (Ultra-wideband) and Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity. Tech Radar

Cryptocurrency lender Genesis has filed for bankruptcy. The firm had recently been charged by US regulators Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with illegally selling crypto. It is part of the Digital Currency Group (DCG), a conglomerate of more than 200 crypto-focused businesses. The insolvency of Genesis is linked to the bankruptcy of FTX, which went under last November amid allegations of fraud. Genesis had originally been set up as an “over the counter” Bitcoin trading desk, enabling the trade of large amounts of crypto. BBC 


Chris Price
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