White House dives into open source AI debate, bots boom and Google comes back to the top spot in Cloudflare’s 2023 web report, Google Cloud partners with Mistral AI on generative language models and Google admits that its demonstration of Gemini was what it “could” be like. All that, and the ultimate Canadian Christmas gifts on Hashtag Trending.
I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and Tech News Day in the US.
The Biden administration is wading into the debate on the potential benefits and risks of open-source AI. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is spearheading the initiative, aiming to determine whether freely accessible AI models can make society safer or unleash unforeseen dangers.
This move comes amid rising concerns about the potential misuse of AI and worries about the easy accessibility of open-source models.
Proponents of open-source AI argue that it fosters transparency and collaboration, allowing researchers to identify and mitigate biases and vulnerabilities in AI systems.
Critics warn that open access could enable bad actors to exploit these models for malicious purposes or even weaponize them.
The NTIA’s involvement signals the Biden administration’s commitment to shaping the responsible development and deployment of AI.
Their efforts will involve convening stakeholders from academia, industry, and civil society to hash out a framework for open source AI that hopefully balances innovation with safety.
Sources include: Axios
Cloudflare published its 2023 Year in Review and here are some of the key takeaways.
Global internet traffic increased by 25 per cent, driven by device connectivity and content consumption.
After a brief TikTok reign, Google recaptured the top spot as the most visited website.
Mobile devices now generate over 42 per cent of global internet traffic, with Android dominating most regions. Surprisingly, Finland, the land of Nokia, boasts the highest desktop traffic (80 per cent) globally.
Satellite internet provider Starlink tripled its traffic in 2023, showing rapid growth wherever it lands.
Bot Boom – Bot traffic surged by 33 per cent, with one-third originating from the US.
However, Cloudflare notes that not all bots are malicious.
IPv6 Lags: Despite years of anticipation, IPv6 adoption remains sluggish, with only 33.75 per cent of traffic on Cloudflare’s network utilizing the “next-generation” protocol.
You can explore the full report with interactive charts and graphs. A link is included in the show notes at itworldcanada.com/podcasts
Sources include: https://radar.cloudflare.com/year-in-review/2023
We did a story on Mistral yesterday – it’s a new AI that is making waves because of its faster and cheaper training and operations, the fact that it rivals OpenAI 3.5 and beats other models in terms of its speed, accuracy and performance. And oh yes, it’s open source.
Today Google Cloud announced a new partnership with Mistral AI to provide access to the generative language model via its cloud platform. Mistral integration with Google Cloud allows it to scale up rapidly, taking advantage of Google’s infrastructure, security and experience.
This partnership follows on the disappointing launch of Google’s Gemini, with allegations that the cloud giant may even have misled people with its video unveiling of its new AI update.
Sources include: Reuters
And on that story Google acknowledged it may have misrepresented the capabilities of its Gemini AI chatbot during what was presented to appear as a live demo.
The video that the company issued had been selectively edited to make it seem like the AI was having a real time conversation and responding to someone drawing in real time. This was not the case.
The actual demo was done with a text interface and still pictures.
And Google’s response to the criticism that follows is:
Google’s vice president of research, Oriol Vinyals wrote a post on X which said “The video illustrates what the multimode user experiences built with Gemini could look like.”
Operative word is COULD.
The revelation demonstrates the gray area emerging around marketing language for generative AI products. There are already reports of tricks used to fool benchmark tests by including the questions in the model training set – like bringing crib notes to an exam in the old days.
There’s a lot of talk about responsibilities and guardrails to keep AI from misleading the public. Maybe we need a little more focus on human responsibility.
As public excitement builds, and competition increases, tech companies feel pressure to position themselves as leaders.
While showcasing AIs that can mimic human conversations generates buzz, responsibly portraying current limitations is what will foster public trust.
Sources include: Yahoo News
And this has nothing to do with technology, other than it’s digital marketing, but our editor sent it to me and it’s delightful.
Expedia is partnering with Destination Canada to unveil a new tourism campaign focused on boosting travel to Canada. Dubbed “YesYouCanada,” it aims to inspire Americans to visit by highlighting unique Canadian destinations and experiences.
The promotion leans into playful Canadian stereotypes while showcasing the country’s vibrant culture and stunning landscapes. Example itineraries feature dog sledding, NHL games, and trips to see the Northern Lights.
But the promotion also features for $20.23 each, and bookable on a first-come, first served basis, the right to name:
A resident moose at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve in the Yukon
- A limited-edition beer at Container Brewing in Vancouver, British Columbia
- A train seat on the Rocky Mountaineer that crosses the Canadian Rockies
- A storm-watching hot tub at the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort on Vancouver Island
- A polar bear at Churchill Wildlife Management Area in Churchill, Manitoba
- A pond hockey team at Elk Ridge Resort in Saskatchewan
- A potato field at FarmBoys Inc. on Prince Edward Island
- A golf hole at Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club in Whistler, British Columbia
- An ice fishing shack on Lake Winnipeg in Gimli, Manitoba
- A canoe at the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Banff, Alberta
- And my personal favourite – a bar stool at the Rundle Lounge inside the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta
The press release notes that this “The chance to name one of these items after a loved one comes at a perfect time as many of us are struggling to finish up holiday shopping lists.”
Like everyone whose been married for more than forty years, I’m always struggling to find a new idea. But I’m not sure about giving my wife a moose named after her. Maybe I’ll go for the beer.
Is this working? Expedia says they are seeing surging search queries for Canadian vacations.
Sources include: Multivu
And that’s what’s trending today.
Hashtag Trending goes to air 5 days a week with a special weekend interview show we call “the Weekend Edition.”
You can get us anywhere you get audio podcasts and there is a copy of the show notes at itworldcanada.com/podcasts
I’m your host Jim Love. Have a thrilling Thursday!