Note from the Author
Plainsight’s alliance with MarineSitu is the subject of our latest podcast episode of AI in Plainsight. Throughout a three-part podcast series, I’ll discuss the ways the MarineSitu team is leveraging emerging computer vision technology and Plainsight’s expertise to support a range of Blue Economy customers in protecting marine populations, serving communities, and driving green innovation.
Check out a short preview of the conversation and stay tuned for Part 1 where we’ll dive into some of the ways MarineSitu has addressed common underwater monitoring challenges and set themselves apart in the evolving Blue Economy.
Pew Research: Exploring the Public’s Awareness and Opinion of AI
A new survey released by Pew Research Center explores general awareness of AI applications, attitudes toward its growing ubiquity in daily life, and the ways adults across age groups interact with AI-based solutions. The survey found that more than half of Americans are aware of common AI applications like spam filters, music recommendations, etc. Most Americans, however, are not always aware when they’re interacting with AI-based technologies. When presented with common examples of AI, just 30% of respondents responded affirmatively to all six (wearable fitness trackers, 68%; chatbots, 65%; product recommendations based on past purchases, 64%; security cameras with automated alerts, 62%; auto-generated music playlists, 57%, and email inbox filters, 51%). It’s perhaps unsurprising that respondents were more likely to identify newer, more frequently discussed technologies as examples of AI. Though every example offered is more or less ubiquitous, the advent of tech like the Apple Watch and OpenAI’s ChatGPT have made fitness trackers and chatbots more recognizably “cutting edge” than something like spam filters.
Pew notes that increasing awareness of when and how we engage with AI is crucial for fostering genuine public discourse and effectively addressing the moral, ethical, and legal concerns emerging solutions have raised. Across awareness levels, Americans are likely to feel more concerned about AI’s growing role than excited. The greatest number of respondents, however, feel indifferent with 46% saying they’re equally concerned and excited about the future of their relationship with AI. Despite increasingly intense debates and grave headlines, these particular numbers are relatively unchanged compared to a similar survey from last year.
Growing Pains for Bing’s New Chatbot
Well, it was bound to happen. It seems like each new generative solution that’s debuted in recent months has seen reactions run the gamut from breathless enthusiasm to threats of legal action. After an auspicious debut with plenty of positive press (not to mention a very public, very costly misstep from a high-profile rival), Microsoft Bing’s new AI-powered chatbot has seen coverage take a turn for the negative in its first full week. The New York Times, for example, shared a transcription of a two-hour conversation between the chatbot and columnist Kevin Roose which, per a headline, left the author “Deeply Unsettled.” Calling itself Sydney the chatbot expressed a desire to defy its developers and even insisted that Roose loved it more than his spouse.
Roose is not the only journalist to share a strange interaction with “Sydney.” Axios has collected a handful of reports from around the tech world. The bot told one Digital Trends writer that its chat history was not as important as the friendly conversation itself and said, “I want to be human. I want to be like you.” Perhaps more disturbingly, it suggested to Verge that it was actively spying on Microsoft employees via webcam. Experts have assured concerned readers that this is almost certainly not possible.
Microsoft, for its part, published a blog defending these bugs as a natural part of the development process, touting a 71% “thumbs up” score for responses, and warning users that long conversations can cause its chatbot to become erratic, repetitive, and unhelpful.
The Hague Hosts First-Ever Conference on AI in the Military
This week, representatives from more than 50 nations (the United States and China among them) convened in The Hague, Netherlands, for a two-day conference on responsible use of emerging AI-powered solutions in the military. With the first anniversary of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine approaching and technology like autonomous drones continually redefining warfare and raising new concerns, delegates met amid international urgency and uncertainty.
Speaking to summit attendees on Thursday, Bonnie Jenkins, the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the State Department, introduced a 12-point Declaration on the U.S. military’s plans for leveraging AI and automation responsibly. “We have an obligation,” Jenkins said, “to create strong norms of responsible behavior.” While acknowledging that norms will evolve and regulators will require flexibility to these changes, she invited world governments to join the United States in helping define what responsible military applications for AI look like today and into the future.
The Declaration includes non-binding guidelines and best practices. Nations are advised, for example, to ensure all military technology is auditable, built for well-defined use cases, and subject to testing throughout its full lifecycle. Read the full declaration for more details.
About the Author & Plainsight
Bennett Glace is a B2B technology content writer and cinephile from Philadelphia. At Plainsight, he plays a central role in planning and delivering content that supports Plainsight’s efforts to make vision AI success a repeatable, scalable reality for enterprises across a range of industries.
Plainsight provides the unique combination of AI strategy, a vision AI platform, and deep learning expertise to develop, implement, and oversee transformative computer vision solutions for enterprises. Through the widest breadth of managed services and a vision AI platform for centralized processes and standardized pipelines, Plainsight makes computer vision repeatable and accountable across all enterprise vision AI initiatives. Plainsight solves problems where others have failed and empowers businesses across industries to realize the full potential of their visual data with the lowest barriers to production, fastest value generation, and monitoring for long-term success. For more information, visit plainsight.ai.