Posts tagged with “Microsoft”

ChatGPT: Friend or Foe?

Over the past few days I've been seeing posts in various places mentioning something called ChatGPT. It looks pretty nice, right through OpenAI's video that tries to tell us that they are a non-profit that just wants to make AI safe and open to everyone for the benefit of humanity. But these quotes paint a very different picture.

"We are excited to introduce ChatGPT to get users’ feedback and learn about its strengths and weaknesses. During the research preview, usage of ChatGPT is free."

OK so what does this mean? It sounds to me like they intend to get the whole world used to using it and then pull the rug out from under us. If they really were doing this for the benefit of humanity, ChatGPT would be a free open source project that we could all use, host on our own if desired, contribute to, etc. Instead, they have made it a for-profit venture that will eventually pad the pockets of a few, as by this quote it has done already.

"ChatGPT and GPT 3.5 were trained on an Azure AI supercomputing infrastructure."

Of course. That explains it all. Microsoft is obviously behind this, not some non-profit out to benefit humanity after all. If anyone believes that Microsoft wants AI to benefit humanity rather than padding the already fat pockets of Microsoft, then that person has obviously been living under a rock for the last 50 years.

"You can choose to enter the ChatGPT Feedback Contest for a chance to win up to $500 in API credits."

Sounds like a commercial venture to me all day long. They're gonna get hundreds, thousands, or maybe millions of people to send them feedback only to maybe give one lucky winner $500 worth of some kind of as yet undefined proprietary API credits. For a company that calls itself OpenAI and claims to be a non-profit, they look pretty damn for-profit and closed off from where I'm sitting. This is yet another walled garden AI, this time sponsored at least in part by Microsoft.

For now, even though the latest prebuilt units are a bit pricey, my money is still on Mycroft, as I can run their whole suite of tools on my own computer, and it is all open source and free to use. If I'm understanding things correctly, it is no longer even necessary to have an account on their website, as even the server part can now be self-hosted. Yes, Mycroft still needs a bit more work, and it's more like Alexa or Google Assistant than it is like a chat bot, but it's a far cry from a completely for-profit Microsoft-sponsored proprietary walled garden that claims to be an open non-profit that wants to make AI safe for the benefit of humanity, which as it turns out is a lie, and I would go so far as to say a fraud.

A petition that won't get my signature, even though it looks good

I just got a petition in my inbox today, stating that I should be concerned with the fact that Google reads my e-mail and uses it to sell targeted advertising. While I do think that reading my email, even via computerized methods, and using it for targeted advertising is a bit shady at best, I just can’t convince myself to sign this one. The problem is not the wording of the petition, nor is it the idea that Google should stop reading email and using it to show targeted advertising based on its content. Privacy is indeed a major concern for me, and under most circumstances, a petition like this would have gotten my signature immediately. My problem, however, is the fact that this specific petition didn’t originate from a group of concerned Gmail users, nor did it even originate from any consumer advocacy or similar type of organization that should be concerned with the privacy of its members. No, this Care2 petition lists its author as which is of course a Microsoft website that redirects to a Microsoft Live account login page. I have to question Microsoft’s motives at this point, and even question the validity of their claim that Google is in fact reading my e-mail and using it to sell ads. While I’m sure Google does some shady stuff, Microsoft definitely does shady stuff as well, so I wouldn’t put it past them to do something as underhanded as putting a petition on Care2 that accuses their competition of violating my privacy. "Look here. See? we raised concerns about our competitor's business practices that directly affect you, our prospective customers, even though we don’t give a care that our business practices leave a lot to be desired as well, and even though our competitor may or may not even be engaging in the evil business practices that we want to accuse them of doing." So because of this, I refuse to sign this otherwise worthy-looking petition. I’m not about to sign anything that basically says that a company wants me to agree with them that their competitor is doing something wrong. That is unfair to me, it’s unfair to the competitor, and it certainly gives an already disreputable company an unfair advantage in the e-mail market which, I should add, is an area where Microsoft is definitely struggling, and has been for many years. It certainly does remind me of other ways Microsoft has attempted to grow its market share by trashing the competition, and I refuse to be a party to that kind of dirty dealing.

"The next witness that will be called is scheduled to appear via Skype." Huh? Why in the world do they not use something like SIP or another free (as in freedom) video chat system? Did the prosecution get some kind of money from Microsoft for that advert? Did the judge get money for advertising proprietary software? So even a court of law must answer to Microsoft.