Mind Reading, Senatorial Hearings and AI Image Editing – Live and Learn #18
Welcome to this edition of Live and Learn. I already reached the 100+ tabs bookmarked again this week. The speed of things developing is nuts, and I have no idea how to put this into words anymore. I sometimes would like to drop everything else I do and just pursue learning about these developments full-time. And even then it would feel hard to keep up to date. But that's why I write this newsletter…
In this edition: AI can read people's minds now, it can also smell, and help to edit pictures in magical ways, while at the same time is still not able to handle some very simple questions such as: What is the fastest marine mammal?
We truly live in a weird but exciting world and I love that. However, I feel that my limit of 4-5 links is simply not sufficient anymore to cover everything that is going on. So this piece has some more links than usual, and I will start publishing weekly if I can.
✨ Quote ✨
Science doesn't work by waving wands and chanting spells, it works by knowing how the universe works on such a deep level that you know exactly what to do in order to make the universe do what you want.
— Eliezer Yudkowsky - (source)
🖇️ Links 🖇️
Marlo Levels Up by Kingshuk Das. This is a beautiful webcomic. It is about how our relationship with technology has shaped the way we live. It visualizes the tradeoffs that we had to make along the way, illustrating that with every new technology we add, we lose something critical to what it means to be human. I love the art style, and some of the slides are so beautifully drawn and full of symbolism, that their image will be forever burned into my brain.
Senatorial Hearing on AI. This was a bizarre listening experience. It felt like the Senate has no clue what is coming but tries to control it anyways. They have no idea what is going to happen once AGI is out and seem to underestimate what an exponential rate of progress truly means. The companies beg them to regulate before somebody accidentally deletes the world, yet the Senate seems to be more interested in whether they should build a new agency...
Mind to Video by Jonathan Xu. AI can officially read minds now. I wonder where this will go in the future and how soon that will change what it means to be human. Neuralink also got FDA approval which means they will start human trials soon.
DragGAN by Google AR/VR. The full title of the paper is: "Drag Your GAN: Interactive Point-based Manipulation on the Generative Image Manifold". A whole mouthful, but what they do there is super cool. It's a new way to have complete control over the output of an AI photo generation process. I highly recommend checking out their videos in the paper abstract. It's crazy what you can do with this tool. The amount of control it offers and how freely one can move through the latent space of the vector representations of images blows my mind. I was already blown away a few years ago, by how people could add the vector for "glasses" and "woman" and get a picture of a woman wearing glasses. But this is a different level of crazy.
ImageBind by MetaAI. Most models right now are still limited in the types of data they can produce and ingest. They are usually specialized in one modality only, like StableDiffusion for images and LLTMs for text. At least in that regard, AI is still very different from human brains. However, with models like ImageBind from Meta, this changes and AI creeps even closer to brain-like capabilities. Because ImageBind can integrate multiple different modalities, like heat maps, depth textures, textual data, normal images, and audio data.
The fastest marine mammal. This had me laughing super hard. ChatGPT, even with how crazy good it is already, still has its weird quirks and flaws. And sometimes these are absolutely hilarious. Because the fastest marine mammal is the peregrine falcon, of course.
Artificial Nose Project by Benjamin Cabé. This project built sensors that can detect smells with machine learning, i.e. an AI that can smell. You can even go and have a look at the source code and learn how this whole thing was made because guess what, it's open-source.
Brain Spine Interfaces. Soon disability because of spinal cord damage will cease to be an issue. Just replace the spinal cord's nerve connections with a wizard hat, some cables, and a computer that interprets your thoughts and there you go, it's not necessary anymore to have a spinal cord that works properly. I think this is still in its infancy, but proofs of concept like this, make me happy to be alive. Humans solve problems and are so awesome in what they can build and the kinds of obstacles they can overcome, that nothing feels to be impossible.
Adobe Firefly by Adobe. This is nuts. Photoshop and the other tools from Adobe are already pretty magical as they are right now. However, now, they will get a lot more magical with the integration of AI into Adobes toolbox and their Firefly suite of products that utilize that. I am looking forward to seeing what this does to image editing workflows and whether or not editing RAWs to make them "pop" will be done completely and perfectly by clever AI presets in the future.
🌌 Midjourney 🌌
🎶 Song 🎶
Nascence by Austin Winteroy
I hope you found this newsletter useful, beautiful, or even both!
Have ideas for improving it? Please let me know.