AI-Generated New Year’s Resolutions Exhibited by the Smithsonian

The Washington Post says that when it comes to making New Year's resolutions, the Smithsonian has a better idea. "What if instead of relying on our own resolutions we asked an AI what it thinks we should do?" Starting this weekend, the "Futures" exhibit both online and at its Arts and Industries Building offers a "Resolutions Generator," an AI that makes suggestions on what commitments we should undertake for 2022.... It sounds like a slightly weird idea, and I'd be lying if I said it didn't turn up some weird results. "Change my name to one of my favorite shapes," it suggests, or "Every Friday for a year I will wear a different hat." And, "Every time I hear bells for a month, I will paint a potato." Designed by AI researcher-writer Janelle Shane, the generator's odd results are deliberate; she purposely trained the AI (the powerful GPT-3) with some of the wackier resolutions humans have put online, then set its parameters wide. "We wanted the AI to come up with the kind of interesting resolutions we're not thinking of," Shane said. "We wanted whimsy," added Rachel Goslins, the director of the Arts and Industries Building, "with a little bit of real." Okay, so probably not many people will really "Go into a library, climb up onto a shelf, yell down 'I am a giant giraffe!'" But it's a lot easier than trying to lose those 15 pounds. And this way you end up in a library. Plus they have a point. The truth is by accessing the collective corpus of human resolutions, AI might conceive of ideas that our pale human pea brains cannot... [T]here are growing piles of evidence that deploying AI that can think faster and even differently will pay dividends in the real world. A Stanford study last month concluded that AI sped up discoveries on coronavirus antiviral drugs by as much as a month, potentially saving lives. Canadian researchers in September found that AI made consistently better choices than doctors in treating behavioral problems. Even a button-down institution like Deloitte has a staffer who has persuasively argued that we should use AI, not humans, to update government regulations. The exhibit's AI also generated these New Year's resolutions: "Treat every dog I meet like a celebrity." "Every time I see a mirror I will remember that it is the gateway to another dimension." The AI researcher behind the project also generated Slashdot headlines back in 2017, using 162,000 headlines from the site's first 20 years. Some of my favorites: More Pong Users for Kernel Project Red Hat Releases Linux Games And Moon Why Open Source Power Man Sues Java Microsoft Releases New Months Ask Slashdot: Do We Want To Be the Computers?

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