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Another blow to China's AI ambitions

ALSO: AI and the world's languages

Read time: under 4 minutes

Welcome back, Superhuman

Imagine a world with thousands of vibrant spices — but you have only a handful in your kitchen. That’s the current state of the internet, as only a few languages drown out the wide variety spoken worldwide. Will AI bring more spices into the fold — or only leave us craving more flavor?

Today’s Insights

  • Microsoft’s big bet on the UAE

  • Prompt of the day

  • Chart: The US leads in foundation models

  • AI and the world’s languages

  • 5 new AI tools to boost your productivity

  • AI-Generated Images: Alice in AI-land


Why Microsoft’s bet on the UAE is a big deal

Source: G42

American tech companies got a stern talking to this year: “Stop giving money to Chinese AI startups, or else,” the US government warned. Well, Microsoft has quickly fallen in line. It just handed over $1.5 billion to the United Arab Emirates-based AI technology group G42 in what will likely be a major blow to China. Here’s everything you need to know about the historic deal.

G42 is known for bringing AI to the Middle East: Last year, it entered into a partnership with OpenAI and introduced an Arabic-language model similar to ChatGPT to the region. It also has close ties to the UAE’s government: The chair of the company happens to be the nation’s national security adviser, and its CEO has worked with former Emirati spies.

The US was working behind the scenes to secure the deal: There were some strings attached. G42 agreed to strip out parts from Huawei and other Chinese companies to ensure that its AI data and research can’t fall into the wrong hands.

The lines are blurry: Congress had previously investigated G42 over its supposed collaborations with both Russia and China and even considered blacklisting the company. During recent negotiations, the US presented G42 with an ultimatum: “It’s either us or them.” The firm went with the US, cementing itself as a key player in the AI race.

What does Microsoft get out of it? It can now expand into a brand-new market. In particular, G42 will start using Microsoft’s Azure cloud service for its AI applications, including the ChatGPT clone Jais.

Today in AI & Tech

  • Power Hungry: If tech companies don’t come up with a more sustainable way to power their models, AI could use up a quarter of electricity in the US by the end of the decade, according to an executive at chip designer Arm.

  • AI Audits: New York and other states have started using AI to track down affluent remote workers who recently moved across state lines to evade taxes.

  • Workforce Boost: AMD unveiled new processors that will soon power AI-enabled business PCs, including models from HP and Lenovo that are set to launch later this year.

  • AI Imposters: Instagram says it’s working on a feature that would allow users to interact with a chatbot version of their favorite influencers.


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A to-do list for your to-do list

Prompt: Assess my list of tasks below. Consider factors such as deadlines, project impact, required effort, and any recent updates or new tasks added since the last assessment. Prioritize these tasks based on urgency and impact, creating an updated priority list and ensuring I am concentrating on what moves the needle most for [specific project or business area]. Provide your reasoning for each recommendation.

You can adapt the prompt to your needs by making sure you have a to-do list at the ready. You can also keep track of all your to-do lists in a document or spreadsheet.

Source: Jodie Cook/Forbes


How AI will affect the world’s languages

There are 7,000 languages spoken today, but 90% of websites are written in only 10, according to the Atlantic. As the world continues to embrace AI, researchers are trying to figure out what that will mean for the thousands of languages that aren’t prominent on the internet.

What’s the fear? Linguists are concerned that in order to learn lesser-known languages, AI models sometimes have to rely on very small sample sizes. For example, they might be trained entirely on a translation of the Bible — or they might churn out gibberish when fed a non-Latin prompt.

There are three big consequences:

  • It limits who can access AI platforms: A simple task like typing a question into ChatGPT gets much trickier if you’re using a language that the chatbot can’t understand

  • Results might be inaccurate or culturally insensitive, lacking the nuances that make each language unique

  • English-centric models might incentivize people to abandon their native language and instead use one that’s more common online

What can we do about the problem? Some researchers are trying to figure out what makes languages similar to each other — like the presence of subjects, verbs, and other sentence building blocks — to help models make more accurate translations. Others have recruited locals to manually train AI models in their own languages and dialects.

A net-good — or net-bad? It’s not a foregone conclusion that AI will hurt the world’s language diversity. For example, Mali is using AI to teach student’s Bambara, a native language that was once overshadowed by French. Meanwhile, entrepreneur Asmelash Teka Hadgu is creating a machine learning model fine-tuned for Ethiopian languages. “If it is done right, the potential in terms of democratizing access to education is enormous,” Hadgu told the Washington Post.



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The US leads in foundation models

Source: IEEE Spectrum

When it comes to foundation models — the kinds of all-purpose LLMs that power ChatGPT and other AI platforms — the US is leaps and bounds ahead of China, the European Union, and the UK. There were more than 100 foundation models in the US by 2023, compared with around 20 for China and the EU.

Don’t count China out just yet though: It’s in the lead when it comes to AI patents granted and the rollout of industrial robots.



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Alice in AI-land

Source: @liling_090123

Prompt: Alice in gold hair wearing bluetutu dress and a giant rabbit, the big rabbit walking between small houses, many small pumpkin houses, many little people, the Red Queen, abstract plants, petal street lights
--ar 5:6 --style:raw 


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