Weather forecasting is having an AI moment

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Big Tech’s arrival on the weather forecasting scene just isn’t purely based on scientific curiosity, reckons Oliver Fuhrer, the top of the numerical prediction department at MeteoSwiss, the Swiss Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology. 

Our economies have gotten increasingly depending on weather, especially with the rise of renewable energy, says Fuhrer. Tech corporations’ businesses are also linked to weather, he adds, pointing to anything from logistics to the variety of search queries for ice cream.  

The sphere of weather forecasting could gain rather a lot from the addition of AI. Countries track and record weather data, which implies there may be loads of publicly available data on the market to make use of in training AI models. When combined with human expertise, AI could help speed up a painstaking process. What’s next isn’t clear, however the prospects are exciting. “A part of it’s also just exploring the space and determining what potential services or business models could be,” Fuhrer says. 

Deeper Learning

AI-text detection tools are very easy to idiot

Inside weeks of ChatGPT’s launch, there have been fears that students could be using the chatbot to spin up passable essays in seconds. In response to those fears, startups began making products that promise to identify whether text is written by a human or a machine. Seems it’s relatively easy to trick these tools and avoid detection. 

Snake-oil alert: I’ve written about how difficult—if not unattainable—it’s to detect AI-generated text. As my colleague Rhiannon Williams reports, latest research found that the majority of the tools that claim to have the opportunity to identify such text perform poorly. Researchers tested 14 detection tools and located that while they were good at spotting human-written text (with 96% accuracy on average), that fell to 74% for AI-generated text, and even lower, to 42%, when that text had been barely tweaked. Read more

Bits and Bytes

AI corporations are facing a flood of lawsuits over privacy and copyright
What America lacks in AI regulation, it makes up for in multimillion-dollar lawsuits. In late June, a California law firm launched a category motion lawsuit against OpenAI, claiming that the corporate violated the privacy of thousands and thousands of individuals when it scraped data from the web to coach its model. Now, actor and comedian Sarah Silverman is suing OpenAI and Meta for scraping her copyrighted work into their AI models. These cases, together with existing copyright lawsuits by artists, could set a vital precedent for a way AI is developed within the US. 

OpenAI has introduced a latest concept: “superalignment” 
It’s a bird … It’s a plane … It’s superalignment! OpenAI is assembling a team of researchers to work on “superintelligence alignment.” Which means they’ll deal with solving the technical challenges that might be involved in controlling AI systems which are smarter than humans. 

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