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Artificial intelligence

Routine Maintenance

Embracing habit in an automated world

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Actuary of the Apocalypse

From “The Anti-Extinction Engine,” which appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of The Yale Review. In Good Morning Revolution—­a volume of Langston Hughes’s contributions to revolutionary magazines—­there is a small…

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Motherboard Issues

From a conversation between Vladimir Alexeev, a data journalist, and GPT-3, a language generator developed by the artificial-intelligence laboratory OpenAI. GPT-3 learned to respond to questions by analyzing online data.…

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Search and Destroy

By Joanne McNeil, from Lurking: How a Person Became a User, published this month by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. A user of Google products might be put off by the…

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The Silicon Mystique

If I’m having trouble sleeping and feel like spinning my wheels in the dark, I like to meditate on the simulation hypothesis—the idea that we’re living inside a kind of…

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Hanging by a Thread

From descriptions generated by two AIs of ten Rorschach inkblots. The AIs were part of an MIT project released in April, to examine the influence of biased data on machine…

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Known Unknowns

Here’s a story about how machines learn. Say you are the US Army and you want to be able to locate enemy tanks in a forest. The tanks are painted…

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Deep Blues

From a conversation between Chen Zhiyan, a Chinese journalist, and three chatbots: Chicken Little, Little Ice, and Little Knoll. The interview was conducted on WeChat, a social-networking platform. It was…

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