ChatGPT - Is it hype or the next step in AI?
This month Hacks/Hackers Brisbane is looking at the hype, the limitations, and the potential of large language models like ChatGPT.
Are we stuck in another iteration of the 'hype cycle', or are these systems actually a step closer to a useful and general artificial intelligence?
This is an in-person and online event.
Dr Aaron Snoswell, computer scientist and post-doctoral research fellow in AI accountability at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision Making and Society. In his research, Aaron is working on ways to make large language models less toxic. Prior to academia, Aaron spent over a decade working in robotics, aerospace, software engineering, and medical device development.
When: 5.30pm, Wednesday 22 March
Where: Foyer of the ABC building, South Bank
Please RSVP via our Meetup page
Prof Daniel Angus has helpfully wrapped up last month’s meeting:
Last month’s meetup was a panel discussion on social bots, moderated by Rosie Ryan, and featuring Ash Kyd, Joshua Byrd, and Thom Ryan. The discussion was prompted by the recent announcements relating to Twitter effectively shutting down their free API, which has been an important and necessary element for most of the bots on the platform.
Bots often get a bad rap, and while there are examples of unhelpful bots on social platforms, the panel showcased the more helpful, whimsical and informative bots that they had a hand in creating and maintaining over the years, or just enjoyed following. The examples ranged from Ash’s Brisbane Lights (BNELights) bot which provides updates of what colours specific Brisbane bridges and public buildings are lit on certain days, and the causes and charities that these colours represent. Through to Josh’s auspolwatch which tracks the tweets that federal politicians engage with. Rosie and Thom talked about their whimsical sansculotides, a bot that provides a daily update of what each day is according to the French republican calendar.
As someone who studies bots a lot, I took a lot of meaning away from the event. We perhaps don’t acknowledge enough how these bots form a core part of the wonderful everyday experience of platforms. We heard numerous stories of how platform users interacted playfully with these bots, how in the case of Josh’s bot it caused a couple of controversies where politicians were caught liking risqué content, and how the creators lovingly maintained and nurtured their bots to keep them operating in a safe and respectful way.
Issues of whether the creators let the bots run in a fully automated capacity free of human intervention or control, or whether they would intervene in a ‘Wizard of Oz’ manner in directing responses from their bots were mostly met with the creators stating that they would be uncomfortable in pretending to be the bot, and would rather let them do what they were programmed to do.
Discussion also centred on respect and that bot creators need to respect issues relating to conversational norms. In the era of decentralised platforms like Mastodon, discussion also centred on being respectful of resources such that bots aren’t building mountains of data or using CPU time that may degrade the experience of other users and the admins.
Josh wrapped up proceedings with a wonderful 5-minute (yes, he actually did this in 5 minutes!) demo of building and deploying a bot on Mastodon. Josh has kindly shared the code and instructions below, and many in the audience will be trying this out I’m sure.
Some links from the meetup below!
Transphobic joke detection by bot-maker Darius Kazemi
Speaking of bots, for International Women’s Day, the Gender Pay Gap Bot is responding to organisations making #IWD2023-tagged statements with data on their gender pay gap. More at pedestrian.tv.
In Brisbane this week, the Royal Commission into the Robodebt scheme is holding its last week of hearings. On Wednesday it heard evidence that Australia’s AI Ethics Principles are also relevant to automated systems like Robodebt. There’s been media coverage from established outlets, but I’ve found the live-tweeting by ‘advocate-correspondent’ Thomas Studans particularly useful. The gofundme to support his coverage is here.