Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Statistics Checker

"'Spell-checker for statistics' reduces errors in the psychology literature":

Developed to detect statistical errors, statcheck reduces mistakes in reported P values by up to 4.5-fold. 

The Assassin's Teapot

The physics of the Assassin's Teapot.  As Jason Kottke explains:
The teapot in question has two separate chambers for holding liquid, and the flow out of the pot from each chamber can be controlled by covering or uncovering small holes located on the handle. So, as the legend goes, a would-be assassin could pour themselves a perfectly fine drink from one chamber and then pour a poisoned drink to their prey from the other chamber, just by discreetly covering and uncovering the proper holes with their fingers. As the video explains, the mechanism here has to do with surface tension and air pressure.

Monday, March 27, 2023

AI Advances

"ChatGPT can now access the internet and run the code it writes
OpenAI has allowed its stunning ChatGPT AI to reach out into the world with staggering new powers. It can now access the internet, run its own code to solve problems, accept and work on uploaded files, and write its own interfaces to third-party apps... 

For the time being, its web browser activities are read-only beyond sending "get" requests to Bing. It can't fill in forms, or do anything else online – so it can't quietly go and set up unshackled copies of itself on some hidden server somewhere and start engaging in the kinds of "power-seeking behavior" it's already been caught exhibiting.

It feels like we are living in a real-life science fiction TV show today.  I'm looking forward to learining whether it's "Star Trek: The Next Generation" or "Black Mirror".

28 Years Of Browsers

Video: "Web browsers over the last 28 years"

Friday, March 24, 2023

Ethical AI Art

"Ethical AI art generation? Adobe Firefly may be the answer":

To avoid those legal and ethical issues, Adobe created an AI art generator trained solely on Adobe Stock images, openly licensed content, and public domain content, ensuring the generated content is safe for commercial use. Adobe goes into more detail in its news release...

Jurassic Park But With A Cat

"Jurassic Park But With a Cat"

Well done!

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Great Visual Guide To Fourier Transforms

"An Interactive Introduction to Fourier Transforms".

Highly recommend clicking through, watching the animations, and playing with the interactive modules for yourself!

Cartoon Guide To ROC Curves

"Diagnostic Test Metrics and Receiver Operating Characteristic Curves: The Graphic Novel"

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

AI Generated Scientific Fraud

"AI-generated research paper fabrication and plagiarism in the scientific community":

In this present paper, we posit that AI-generated research fabrication and falsification of work poses serious challenges to the scientific and medical community. The feasibility of producing fabricated work, coupled with the difficult-to-detect nature of published works and the lack of AI-detection technologies, creates an opportunistic atmosphere for fraudulent research.

Replacement Finger

"Missing Finger Gets A Simple Yet Fancy Replacement"


Monday, March 20, 2023

Career Choices, A Short Story [Slightly Updated Version]

Career Choices

A short story by Paul Hsieh, MD;  19 Mar 2023

It started innocently enough — a retrospective public health analysis of mortality across professions during the past three years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The young public health MPH grad student noticed the expected increased mortality amongst health workers and some public-facing jobs in the initial months. But then he was puzzled by the seeming increased mortality of computer science professionals in the past year. A number of mysterious recent deaths in car accidents, house fire, home invasions — across different ages, genders, races, and geographical locations.

Digging deeper, they all seemed confined to computer scientists working on AI safety — finding ways to constrain artificial intelligence to remain "aligned" to human interests.

Hmm, he thought. I'll have to run this past my professor. She also likes a good public health mystery. For now, the young student typed up his notes and saved them as a draft in his cloud-based online storage account.

He kept thinking about this puzzle as he drove home. Could there be something about questioning the future of artificial intelligence that made people accident-prone?

It was a slick rainy day, and he was glad for the intelligent brake system of his smart "connected" car. It had never failed him in the California rainstorms. But as his car approached a busy intersection, the accelerator mysteriously engaged and rammed his vehicle into oncoming traffic at 80 mph.

In the final seconds of his life, he thought to himself, "Dammit, I should have gone to veterinary school instead..."

Pong History

"'It changed the world': 50 years on, the story of Pong's Bay Area origins"

Avatars For Meetings

"Microsoft Teams is adding 3D avatars for people who want to turn their webcams off"

Microsoft said in late 2021 that the initial versions of these avatars would only animate when users were speaking, but eventually the company wants them to be able to mimic users' real-world facial expressions and movements as captured by their webcams.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Bad Stats

"The Bad Statistics That Never Go Away"

Definition Of "Family" For Wrongful Death Lawsuits

"Who Can Sue Docs for Wrongful Death? Some States Are Trying to Expand That Group"

The NY legislation would have expanded the definition of "close family members" to include spouses, domestic partners, children, parents, stepparents, siblings, grandparents, and perhaps more. Additionally, lawsuits could have allowed juries to determine "close family members" of the deceased patient on the basis of specific circumstances of the person's relationship with the decedent.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

AI Voice Hacking Update

"How I Broke Into a Bank Account With an AI-Generated Voice"

Space And EpiPens

"Elementary schoolers prove EpiPens become toxic in space -- something NASA never knew". Related story.