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Midjourney Zoom, Farming, Agents, and Camping Trips
This Week in AI
This week’s update:
Here’s this week’s news, product applications, and broader philosophical implications. So here we go:
🧮 AI Survey
🤖 LLM Agents
✒️ Marc Andreessen
Latest News and Updates
Midjourney continues to push the boundaries of AI image generation:
Midjourney unveiled version 5.2 of its AI-powered image synthesis model, which includes a new "zoom out" feature that allows maintaining a central synthesized image while automatically building out a larger scene around it, simulating zooming out with a camera lens.
We previously discussed a survey from March 2023 that showed how ChatGPT was still relatively unknown to most Americans. As of June 2023, we can see that more people are getting familiar with AI. But it is still fewer than you might think.
But despite widespread news coverage, use of these new tools is still fairly limited, at least when it comes to dedicated AI products. And experience with these tools skews decidedly toward younger users.
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It’s not just those of us in offices who will benefit (or be impacted) by AI:
Farmers interested in a fast, accurate way to rid their fields of weeds have a new option in the AI space. Carbon Robotics is now shipping its LaserWeeder to farms around the United States; the machine uses the power of lasers and robotics to rid fields of weeds.
Weeds are one of the most "tedious, time-consuming and challenging" elements of farming, Carbon Robotics told Fox Business via email.
Looking for more info about LLM agents? Here is a good resource:
Building agents with LLM (large language model) as its core controller is a cool concept. Several proof-of-concepts demos, such as AutoGPT, GPT-Engineer and BabAGI, serve as inspiring examples. The potentiality of LLM extends beyond generating well-written copies, stories, essays and programs; it can be framed as a powerful general problem solver.
Useful Tools & Resources
This week I explored tools to help plan camping trips. I’ll be creating a library of these tools soon, so remember to check back for everything soon.
We’re going camping soon, so naturally I thought it would be great to see what kinds of tools are available to help plan and manage trips. I haven’t subscribed, so I can’t give a detailed review yet, but found this to be really interesting. Especially geared toward camping and RVing.
We posted Marc Andreessen’s article about AI a few weeks ago:
He gave an optimistic view of AI and the future it will bring. But is he right? In an article this month, Wired takes a counter-position:
Andreessen is incredibly optimistic about the future of AI:
In Andreessen’s promised AI-augmented world, “every child will have an AI tutor that is infinitely patient, infinitely compassionate, infinitely knowledgeable, infinitely helpful.” Every adult will have “an AI assistant/coach/mentor/trainer/advisor/therapist” that “will be present through all of life’s opportunities and challenges, maximizing every person’s outcomes.”
But as the article acknowledges, Andreessen is leaving out a few blindspots.
First, the idea that AI will be infinitely knowledgeable. There is certainly the potential for an incredible amount of information, but many of us continue to see the lack of knowledge or understanding in AI. And second, the idea that AI will help us to make better decisions. I’m optimistic that will be the case, but the problem is always about alignment. Better decisions for who?
An “infinitely patient” and “infinitely helpful” AI coach could just as happily help its human master wreak genocide as devise a more efficient manufacturing process or a fairer benefits framework.
While I’m also optimistic that AI will be a productivity multiplier, we have to acknowledge there will be disruption. And we have to figure out how to deal with it in a better way than “learn to code.”
while technology may make companies more productive, it only sometimes makes individual workers more productive (so-called marginal productivity). Other times, it just allows companies to automate part of the work and employ fewer people.
While we may not be facing an AI apocalypse in the near future, we still have a lot to deal with in terms of disruption.