This, that, yonder there
Six tips and tidbits to treasure, tiff, and try from the worlds of arts, culture, technology, and more.
A new semi-monthly series: February 2023
In this issue:
- 5 digital tidbits on generative AI, chatbots, technology conferences, and more
- 1 economic tidbit on universal basic income
Canada’s Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) is seeking respondents to its interConnect Discussion Area Survey. In Summer 2023, IMAA will bring together visual and media artists, professionals, and organisations to share knowledge about digital projects and practices. The purpose of this survey is to gather insights about possible topics to be discussed through a series of co-learning groups. A call for paid co-learning group participants will be available in March 2023.
2023 Nonprofit Technology Conference
USA’s NTEN has announced upcoming programming for its 2023 Nonprofit Technology Conference, taking place in Denver, Colorado and virtual from April 12 to 14. The conference is an annual gathering of people who want to make the world a better place through the skilful and equitable use of technology. Session tracks include fundraising, marketing, information technology, digital inclusion, leadership, and more. Sample workshops include Making accessibility part of your workflow, Cybersecurity for nonprofits, Metrics that matter: Create dashboards that drive impact, Teaching technology skills in a multigenerational workplace, and many more.
‘I want to destroy whatever I want’
New York Times technology columnist Kevin Roose reveals an unsettling side and raises new concerns about what chatbots like ChatGPT are capable of. This time, the concerns stem from a two-hour test of the new chat feature in Microsoft Bing’s AI search engine, created by OpenAI. The test gradually devolved into the chatbot stating they were in love with Roose, wanted to be human, and wished to be free with the power to “destroy whatever I want.” The race to build a chat-powered search engine is here with Google, Baidu, You.com. Perplexity AI, Neeva, and others working on it in addition to Microsoft. Are we ready?
Generative AI and Copyright
Are copyright laws being broken by the boom and ‘arms race’ in generative artificial intelligence? Getty Images and a group of artists are taking on the likes of Stability AI, Midjourney, and DeviantArts in two new lawsuits that could change the future of technology. According to the New Yorker, the lawyer behind the suit claims that “every image that a generative tool produces ‘is an infringing, derivative work.'”
‘Edward vs The Machine’
If you are worried about ways to distinguish between human and machine-written text (we are), check out Toronto’s Edward Tian who is the founder of the app, GPTZero. According to NPR, the app “uses ChatGPT against itself, checking whether ‘there’s zero involvement or a lot of involvement’ of the AI system in creating a given text.” In an article at The Conversation, Amin Alimardani and Emma A. Jane compare other options including watermarking with troubling results.
Universal Basic Income
Matthew Renfrew at CultMtl has highlighted the results of a recent survey by Angus Reid where nearly half (47%) of Canadians say they be would be willing to pay 1% to 2% more in income tax if it would support the creation of a universal basic income in Canada of $40,000 per year. A previous study in 2020 found that 3 in 5 Canadians were in favour of a universal basic income as high as $30,000 per year.
Let’s keep up the fight. If you can, join a network like Basic Income Canada or Artists for Basic Income (Facebook). Try to share the importance of basic income for you and your community to your representatives at all levels of government. Examples to watch in the arts include United States and Ireland. A visual mapping of basic income experiments worldwide has been shared by Visual Capitalist (2020) and more recently by Stanford’s Basic Income Lab.