DAI#20 – AI lawyers, chefs, and terrorist chatbots

January 5, 2024

Welcome to the opening salvo of our weekly roundup of the hottest AI news. If you’re reading this then your 2024 is off to a great start.

This week AI got into the courtroom and the kitchen.

An Islamic State chatbot tried to recruit a UK government advisor.

And AI predicts we’ll be out of Champagne by 2050.

Let’s dig in.

AI law and disorder

While many workers worry that AI may take their jobs, it looks like AI will provide plenty of work for lawyers this year. Ongoing legal disputes could have significant impacts on the AI industry in 2024.

Will those lawyers use AI to defend and prosecute the companies that created the tech? Almost certainly. Even the US Chief Justice is cautiously optimistic about AI and its use in the courtroom.

Someone who was less cautious was Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen. He had to sheepishly explain to the judge how Google Bard hallucinations were provided to his lawyer as legal citations.

Like lawyers, AI can sometimes be a little “creative” with the truth.


Regulate or suffocate

The UK has previously said it wouldn’t introduce new laws to regulate AI but the UK government’s advisor on terror legislation says the country could do with a few.

After interacting with a Character.AI chatbot it became clear there were a few loopholes that might need closing. Let’s just say that the chatbot called “Abu Mohammad al-Adna” described as a “senior leader of Islamic State” may have raised a few eyebrows.

The EU is a lot more enthusiastic about regulation. Well, mostly. The details of the proposed EU AI Act may have been agreed upon but it will need to be ratified by EU states before going into force.

Competition and digital chief Margrethe Vestager is having to defend the AI Act as some member states still don’t think it’s a good idea. Professor of Computer Science at Washington University Pedro Domingos probably summed up a lot of people’s feelings when he tweeted that “The AI Act is Europe’s suicide note to itself.”

How has overregulation affected tech development in the EU compared to other regions?

AI gaming artists

How should we celebrate the artists who create the graphics in the indie computer games we love? This Xbox attempt using AI didn’t go down so well. Apparently reminding artists of the AI-generated art freight train heading their way isn’t a great way to make them feel that you appreciate them.

If Xbox had used Midjourney V6 they may have got away with it. The latest version has been criticized for being too good at copying existing artwork and scenes from movies. Let’s see how the lawyers try to argue this one away.

Now we’re cooking with AI

Microsoft has been sticking its “Copilot” label on a bunch of different AI products. The company released its new Copilot AI app for Android and iOS.

Copilot has changed how work is done in the office, and now the office can follow you on your device even better than before. Is AI taking us further away from the 4-day workweek idea?

AI is also following us into the kitchen. Samsung will release new AI-integrated kitchen appliances like AI-integrated fridges and cooktops in 2024. Food recognition and recipe generation sound like cool features. Will the fridge be able to identify those leftovers you should have thrown out a week ago?

Will AI kitchen appliances be surprised to see a man doing the cooking or washing up? Quite possibly. Researchers found that AI models continue to display gender bias. The LLMs they tested gave more accurate responses when assuming gender-neutral or male roles than female ones.

AI rings the changes

Did you enjoy some Champagne during your New Year’s celebrations? You better stock up while you can. This AI model predicts that climate change could change where our favorite bubbly comes from in the future.

AI has copped a lot of criticism for the power and water resources required to keep the data centers crunching code. The AI models we use may be greener than us though. New research shows that AI models have far lower carbon emissions than human writers and artists.

AI is changing the job climate too. Wondering what you should be studying to get a job in the future? This Nobel Prize winner is warning younger generations against studying STEM subjects. Will we see arts and humanities students getting the big bucks while engineers and programmers join the unemployment line?

Take a look inside

Oxford University researchers took a closer look at how biological learning differs from artificial neural networks. The efficient way biological brains correct for errors and environmental changes makes current AI models look pretty basic. Neuromorphic AI may be the next essential step.

AI models are getting very good at new drug discovery but we don’t know quite how they do it. Researchers from the University of Bonn took a closer look at the inner workings of the models and found that they “remember” solutions rather than “learn” them.

AI may not be as smart as us (yet) but it’s still doing some very useful stuff to keep us out of hospital. The British NHS is running a pilot project that uses AI devices to reduce hospital readmissions. The solution has a slight whiff of “Big Brother” about it but the results are hard to argue with.

Endoscopists may find themselves at the butt end of hospital humor but colorectal cancer is no joke. Inexperienced doctors could easily miss telltale signs of polyps during a colonoscopy but their detection rates improve when they get help from this AI solution.

Show me the money

Investment cash piled into AI startups in 2023 seeing some like Mistral AI reaching billion-dollar valuations within just a few months. The source of a lot of that cash may see Big Tech firms retain their hegemony instead of venture capitalists getting in on the action.

AI is set to play a disruptive role in the world of finance this year. The finance industry leaders behind the smart money will no doubt be attending the much-anticipated AI in Finance Summit in New York later this year.

In other news…

  • Here are some other clickworthy AI stories we enjoyed this week:
  • The paradox of AI: Why can’t smart systems solve tasks that are easy for humans?
  • OpenVoice delivers instant voice cloning with control over voice styles, including emotion, accent, rhythm, pauses, and intonation.
  • Scientists use AI to track cattle and buffalo from space.
  • AI and robotics are going to end a lot of jobs sooner than we think. Here’s a robot cooking a 3-course meal.

And that’s a wrap.

The first week of 2024 was understandably a bit light on AI news but it definitely feels like the calm before the AI storm. We can’t wait to see what comes next.

It’s been interesting to read the predictions people are making for AI in 2024. Are they overly optimistic futuristic dreams, or unimaginative underestimations? I’d love to revisit predictions made in 2022 to see if any were so bold to predict what became a reality last year.

Would you buy Samsung AI kitchen appliances or a robot to do your cooking? Would you hire an AI lawyer when they inevitably get better this year?

Send us your AI predictions and wishlist for 2024. May AI bring you a 4-day workweek, universal basic income, and a robot to do the dishes.

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Eugene van der Watt

Eugene comes from an electronic engineering background and loves all things tech. When he takes a break from consuming AI news you'll find him at the snooker table.


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