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FaceDeer

@FaceDeer@kbin.social

Basically a deer with a human face. Despite probably being some sort of magical nature spirit, his interests are primarily in technology and politics and science fiction.

Spent many years on Reddit and is now exploring new vistas in social media.

This profile is from a federated server and may be incomplete. Browse more on the original instance.

FaceDeer ,
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Criticize Biden all you like, but if you advocate not voting for him in the Presidential election then you are a Trump supporter.

Unless something unexpected happens in the Democratic primaries those are going to be the only two choices the Americans have. And Trump is not going to be better for the Palestinians.

FaceDeer ,
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No, we're describing a human endeavour. If the promotional flyers had been made by outsourcing it to Fiverr and they came back wonky it would have been the same basic problem. They outsourced this and then ether didn't have the resources or interest in checking the work that came back.

FaceDeer ,
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Boycott your votes for Biden until he stops this Genocide.

Because Trump will be so much better for the Palestinians.

FaceDeer ,
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You missed "techbro grifter scam" from your list of buzzwords.

FaceDeer ,
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First thing I'd do when boarding a Federation ship is tell the computer it's authorized to keep an eye on my vitals.

FaceDeer ,
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But now that AI has become advanced enough to get uncomfortably close to us, we need to move the goalposts farther away so everyone can relax again.

FaceDeer ,
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This article is from June 12, 2023. That's practically stone-aged as far as AI technology has been progressing.

The paper it's based on used a very simplistic approach, training AIs purely on the outputs of its previous "generation." Turns out that's not a realistic real-world scenario, though. In reality AIs can be trained on a mixture of human-generated and AI-generated content and it can actually turn out better than training on human-generated content alone. AI-generated content can be curated and custom-made to be better suited to training, and the human-generated stuff adds back in the edge cases that might disappear when doing repeated training generations.

Fanfiction Community Rocked By Etsy Sellers Turning Their Work Into Bound Books (www.404media.co)

Etsy sellers are turning free fanfiction into printed and bound physical books, and listing them for sale on online marketplaces for more than $100 per book. It’s a problem that’s rattling the authors of those fanfics, as well as their fans and readers....

FaceDeer ,
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Indeed, this is a common misunderstanding of the status of fanworks. Most fanfics likely violate the copyright of the IP they're based on, but that doesn't mean that they aren't themselves original copyrighted works. The original IP's rightsholders can't simply claim the fanfic's copyright for themselves. It likely means that each party would need the other party's permission to make legal copies of the fanfic.

This is why most studios or authors will refuse to even read unsolicited ideas that are sent to them, they don't want to end up in a bind if someone sends them a fanfic that's got elements in it that they already intended to use in future books or episodes and then sues them for "stealing" their work.

FaceDeer ,
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I'm a big fan of fanfic, I support it and consider it a serious literary genre. It's basically the folklore of our modern times. I'm also not a fan of how extensive and restrictive copyright protection has become.

That said, I do find it amusingly ironic when fanfic authors get in a big huff about their copyright being violated.

FaceDeer ,
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Famously, "50 Shades of Grey" started out as a Twilight fanfic. The author later pulled out all of the Twilight-related stuff and then it was free and clear to publish as their own work. Given how much money 50 Shades raked in I would imagine there's been some legal scrutiny there from various sides.

FaceDeer ,
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Same here in Canada.

I'd be curious what the "cutoff" date is for eligibility for this. It could be that they generated the list of accounts they'd be sending this offer to some time ago, and OP deleted his account after that point.

FaceDeer ,
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A law that doesn't ban things that aren't against the law? Madness.

FaceDeer ,
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AI vision systems are already better than humans at distinguishing between a gun and a camera or other gun-like-but-not-a-gun object, so I for one am cautiously optimistic about this sort of thing. People need to bear in mind that humans aren't the greatest things to be putting in charge of targeting decisions either.

FaceDeer ,
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A T-800 tried to kill John Connor. A T-800 also tried to protect John Connor. It's all down to what the people programming it decide it should be aimed at.

FaceDeer ,
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The point is that T-800s are not inherently "good" or "evil."

Why does our civilization send signals and our location into space?

Individually doing atmospheric analysis for every planet in the galaxy is probably an impossible task for a civilisation confined to a single solar system. Listening for signals is something our civilisation already does. If we discover radio signals from a primitive civilisation in the next star system over there's a non-zero...

FaceDeer ,
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The Dark Forest theory is something that makes for a scary sci-fi novel, but it isn't really plausible in the real world. One of the major reasons is that individually doing atmospheric analysis for every planet in the galaxy actually is an entirely possible task, especially for a civilization that's supposedly advanced enough and close-by enough to be able to destroy our civilization somehow. If advanced alien civilizations were present in our galaxy and had the philosophy of destroying potential competitors before they also become advanced then we should have been wiped out hundreds of millions of years ago already. We shouldn't exist under a Dark Forest scenario.

FaceDeer ,
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If this is to be a Fermi paradox solution (which the Dark Forest is usually presented as) then it has to be universal. "Sometimes a civilization somewhere decides to kill a few potential rivals" isn't enough to explain why the universe appears to be silent.

FaceDeer ,
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This is another example of a scary sci-fi novel needing a very specific set of circumstances to arise in order for the scary sci-fi novel's story to work. It isn't a plausible case to be basing any real-world decisions or science on.

It's like trying to have a serious discussion of vigilantism and the death penalty and someone brings up Freddy Krueger as the basis for their argument.

FaceDeer ,
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Indeed. I frequently use LLMs as brainstorming buddies while working on creative things, like RPG adventure planning and character creation. I want the AI to come up with new and unexpected things that never existed before.

If I have need of the AI to account for "ground truths" then I use things like retrieval-augmented generation or database plugins that inject that stuff into the context.

FaceDeer ,
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Have you not experimented with LLMs? They come up with new things all the time.

FaceDeer ,
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The movie "Bender's Big Score" recontextualized Jurassic Bark and made it much nicer.

FaceDeer ,
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People's heights change over time too. Men and women can nevertheless have different average heights.

FaceDeer ,
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I'd be very interested in those results too, though I'd want everyone to bear in mind the possibility that the brain could have many different "masculine" and "feminine" attributes that could be present in all sorts of mixtures when you range afield from whatever statistical clusterings there might be. I wouldn't want to see a situation where a transgender person is denied care because an AI "read" them as cisgender.

In another comment in this thread I mentioned how men and women have different average heights, that would be a good analogy. There are short men and tall women, so you shouldn't rely on just that.

Tumblr and Wordpress to Sell Users’ Data to Train AI Tools (www.404media.co)

this could not be timed worse for Tumblr which is in huge hot water with its userbase already for its CEO breaking his sabbatical to ban a prominent trans user for allegedly threatening him (in a cartoonish manner), and then spending a week personally justifying it increasingly wildly across several platforms. the rumors had...

FaceDeer ,
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They're giving you services in exchange for your contents.

Does nobody even think about TOS any more? You don't have to read any specific one, just realize the basic universal truth that no website is going to accept your contents without some kind of legal protection that allows them to use that content.

FaceDeer ,
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Are you serious? We're speaking in the Fediverse right now. It's notable in its difference. Though instances have their own TOSes, so it'd be pretty trivial to set one up to harvest content for AI training as well.

FaceDeer ,
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Hardly. They earn money by being paid by their users, but they can earn more money by being paid by their users and also selling their users' data. The goal is more money, so it makes sense for them to do that. It's not crazy.

From the WordPress Terms of Service:

License. By uploading or sharing Content, you grant us a worldwide, royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, and non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, modify, distribute, adapt, publicly display, and publish the Content solely for the purpose of providing and improving our products and Services and promoting your website. This license also allows us to make any publicly-posted Content available to select third parties (through Firehose, for example) so that these third parties can analyze and distribute (but not publicly display) the Content through their services.

Emphasis added. They told you what they could do with the content you gave them, you just didn't listen.

I'm sorry if I'm coming across harsh here, but I'm seeing this same error being made over and over again. It's being made frequently right now thanks to the big shakeups happening in social media and the sudden rise of AI, but I've seen it sporadically over the decades that I've been online. So it bears driving home:

  • If you are about to give your content to a website, check their terms of service before you do to see if you're willing to agree to their terms, and if you don't agree to their terms then don't give your content to a website. It's true that some ToS clauses may not be legally enforceable, but are you willing to fight that in court? If you didn't consider your content valuable enough to spend the time checking the ToS when you posted it, that's not WordPress's fault.
  • If you give someone something and they later find a way to make the thing you gave them valuable, it's too late. You gave it to them. They don't owe you a "cut." Check the terms of service.
FaceDeer ,
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I wouldn't really trust that promise, frankly. I just checked their terms of service and it has the usual clause:

You must own all rights, title, and interest, including all intellectual property rights, in and to, the User Content you make available on the Services. ASSC requires licenses from you for that User Content to operate the Services. By posting User Content on the Services, you grant ASSC a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, reproduce, distribute, perform, publicly display or prepare derivative works of your User Content.

Which isn't really surprising, it's standard boilerplate for a reason. They don't want to be caught in a situation where they can't function legally any more. They say they won't sell the company or your data, and they might even believe that right now, but who knows what the future might bring? They have the ability to do so if the circumstances arise.

FaceDeer ,
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Well, a large part of my frustration stems from the "I've seen this for decades" part - longer than many of the people who are now raising a ruckus have been alive. So IMO it's always been this way and the "social contract we've adapted to" is "the social contract that we imagined existed despite there being ample evidence there was no such thing." I'm so tired of the surprised-pikachu reactions.

Combined with the selfish "wait a minute, the stuff I gave away for fun is worth money to someone else now? I want money too! Or I'm going to destroy my stuff so that nobody gets any value out of it!" Reactions, I find myself bizarrely ambivalent and not exactly on the side of the common man vs. the big evil corporations this time.

FaceDeer ,
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I'm just venting, really. I know it's not going to make a real difference.

I suppose if you go waaaay back it was different, true. Back in the days of Usenet (as a discussion forum rather than as the piracy filesharing system it's mostly used for nowadays) there weren't these sorts of ToS on it and everything got freely archived in numerous different places because that's just how it was. It was the first Fediverse, I suppose.

The ironic thing is that kbin.social's ToS has no "ownership" stuff in it either. For now, at least, the new ActivityPub-based Fediverse is in the same position that Usenet was - I assume a lot of the other instances also don't bother with much of a ToS and the posts get shared around beyond any one instance's control anyway. So maybe this grumpy old-timer may get to see a bit of the good old days return, for a little while. That'll be nice.

FaceDeer ,
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If it makes you feel better, the thing that annoys me most is not so much that this is happening but more how everybody is suddenly surprised by it and complaining about it. The data-harvesting itself doesn't really harm anyone.

FaceDeer ,
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A user's data still belongs to the user when they post it on sites like Reddit and such, too. The ToS doesn't take ownership away from them, at least not in any case that I've seen. It just gives the site the license to use it as well.

FaceDeer ,
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You could ask a lawyer, I suppose. But the basic gist of this is "we don't know what we might need to do with this data in the future, so we put 'we can do anything with this data' into the ToS so that we know that if the need arises we won't find ourselves unable to do what we need to do with it." Any website that doesn't do this could find itself unable to implement new features or comply with new laws they didn't think of when crafting the original ToS.

At the very minimum a ToS needs to have some way to update and apply retroactively to old data, which ends up being "we can do anything with this data" with extra steps.

FaceDeer ,
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No problem. I'm not a lawyer myself, mind you, but I've encountered issues like these enough times over the years that I feel I've got a pretty good layman's grasp. Plus I've actually read some of these ToSes and considered them from the perspective of the company running the site, which I suspect most people arguing about this stuff haven't actually done.

I wish the Fediverse sites running without rigorous ToSes well, of course, but I suspect failing to establish clear rights to use the content people post on them is likely to end up biting them in the long run. At least the bigger ones. Hobby-level websites get away with a lot because they don't have significant money on the line.

FaceDeer ,
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It's true, go ahead and read the ToS. It only grants a license to Reddit to use your content. It explicitly says:

You retain any ownership rights you have in Your Content, but you grant Reddit the following license to use that Content:

And then goes on to enumerate what you're licensing them to do with it. There's also a section titled "Changes to these Terms" about how they can change the ToS going forward.

FaceDeer ,
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I'd say it's how the Imperium swallowed up and destroyed a number of civilizations that had separated from them that had been developing in much more progressive, prosperous ways. The Olamic Quietude and the Interex come to mind as examples. They showed that humanity didn't have to go down the terrible path they've ended up on.

Or, going farther back to look for a single "worst thing" that's had the greatest awful knock-on effects, I'd say that'd be the Old Ones' refusal to grant any aid to the Necrontyr when they asked for it. That one selfish act sparked off the War in Heaven, created the Chaos Gods, and everything that followed.

If you can't find the books available through legal channels in your country, you might want to consider looking for them on the high seas. !piracy is a good resource for that sort of thing.

Fans Are Sharing The Most Frustrating Scenes In All Of 'Star Wars' (www.ranker.com)

Star Wars is a beloved franchise that has delighted fans for decades, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. However, sometimes things you love can have flaws. In this case, MAJOR flaws, frustratingly major flaws. Fans are sharing which scenes in the Star Wars movies they find...

FaceDeer ,
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The first line of the Disney trilogy was "This will begin to make things right." On its own, no biggie. But when you consider the utter dumpster fire of a trilogy that followed, which deliberately went out of its way to despoil the heroes of the previous Star Wars movies and destroy everything that they had worked to accomplish, incredibly frustrating. It's meta-frustrating. You can think of that line right before any of the other individually-frustrating scenes you may think of and it makes it even worse.

FaceDeer ,
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I actually don't mind that one particular scene much, and that comes from someone who really loathed The Last Jedi overall. Using the Force to propel oneself in zero gravity isn't bad, and the vacuum of space is not nearly as deadly in reality as science fiction often portrays it.

However, the one thing that did stick out as a glaring problem to me was the fact that the Raddus was fleeing the First Order's fleet at that moment, so its engines must have been firing at full thrust. So how is Leia and all that debris floating around motionless relative to the ship? Indeed, even if the ship wasn't actively thrusting, all that stuff was moving away from the Raddus pretty vigorously after the bridge blew open. Why did it stop? Is space actually an ocean?

FaceDeer ,
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A notable exception is the Stargate franchise, where Earth's spacecraft are largely run by the US Air Force.

FaceDeer ,
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Why does it matter why?

US government may sue PacifiCorp, a Warren Buffett utility, for nearly $1B in wildfire costs (apnews.com)

The U.S. government is threatening to sue PacifiCorp, a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, to recover nearly $1 billion in costs related to the 2020 wildfires in southern Oregon and northern California, though the company is trying to negotiate a settlement....

FaceDeer ,
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It's interesting when I see headlines start popping up identifying particular individual billionaires as the owners of companies that have done something bad. Usually it's just the company itself that gets called out, since investors usually have little direct control over stuff like this.

FaceDeer ,
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If all Russia has to do to get people to back off is cry "escalation!" Then might as well just surrender to them now.

FaceDeer ,
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Things should get better when Betelgeuse goes supernova.

FaceDeer ,
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Frankly, these NATO expansions and its general re-invigoration are a larger loss for Russia than anything they could possibly gain in Ukraine. Their Baltic fleet is now useless. Kaliningrad is useless.

Combined with all the other damage Ukraine has inflicted on Russia, they're basically spiralling the drain and I see no possible way Russia could rise in prominence in the future. Even if goodness forbid they were to "win" the current war they're fighting with Ukraine, that won't help them, it'll only hurt Ukraine.

FaceDeer ,
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I ran to the rocks and hide my face
the rock cried out 'No hiding place'
there's no hiding place down here.

FaceDeer ,
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I use quotation marks there because what is often referred to as AI today is not whatsoever what the term once described.

The field of AI has been around for decades and covers a wide range of technologies, many of them much "simpler" than the current crop of generative AI. What is often referred to as AI today is absolutely what the term once described, and still does describe.

What people seem to be conflating is the general term "AI" and the more specific "AGI", or Artificial General Intelligence. AGI is the stuff you see on Star Trek. Nobody is claiming that current LLMs are AGI, though they may be a significant step along the way to that.

I may be sounding nitpicky here, but this is the fundamental issue that the article is complaining about. People are not well educated about what AI actually is and what it's good at. It's good at a huge amount of stuff, it's really revolutionary, but it's not good at everything. It's not the fault of AI when people fail to grasp that, no more than it's the fault of the car when someone gets into it and then is annoyed it won't take them to the Moon.

FaceDeer ,
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I didn't say that everything in Star Trek was AGI, just that you can find examples there.

Could Reddit's data be "poisoned" to prevent its use in training AI?

In case you didn't know, you can't train an AI on content generated by another AI because it causes distortion that reduces the quality of the output. It is also very difficult to filter out AI text from human text in a database. This phenomenon is known as AI collapse....

FaceDeer ,
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Academic Torrents has Reddit data up to December 2023. This data isn't live-updated, my understanding is that it's scraped when it's first posted. That's how services like removeddit worked, it would show the "original" version of a post or comment from when it was scraped rather than the edited or deleted version that Reddit shows now.

The age isn't really the most important thing when it comes to training a base AI model. If you want to teach it about current events there are better ways to do that than social media scrapes. Stuff like Reddit is good for teaching an AI about how people talk to each other.

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