Tech

YouTube’s deadly crafts, and DeepMind’s new chatbot


Ann Reardon is probably the last person whose content you would expect to be banned on YouTube. A former young Australian worker and mother of three, she has been teaching her millions of loyal subscribers how to bake since 2011. But the deleted email mentions a video that isn’t a sugared rice paper. typical of Reardon.

Since 2018, Reardon has been using his platform to warn viewers about the dangerous new “crafts” that are sweeping YouTube, tackling unsafe practices like stealing eggs in the microwave, bleaching white strawberries and use Coke cans and flames to make popcorn.

The most serious is “cracked wood burning,” which involves firing a high-voltage electric current through damp wood to ignite a twig-like pattern on its surface. The practice has killed at least 33 people since 2016.

On this occasion, Reardon got entangled in the inconsistent and messy censorship policies that had long plagued the platform, and in doing so the system failed: How to warn about hacks harmful is considered dangerous when the hacking videos themselves are not? Read full story.

—Amelia Tait

DeepMind’s new chatbot uses Google searches along with humans to give better answers

News: According to a new paper by Alphabet-owned AI lab DeepMind, the trick to creating a good AI-powered chatbot could be to have a human tell it how to behave — and force the model to back up. its statements using the internet.

How it works: The chatbot, named Sparrow, is trained on DeepMind’s Chinchilla large language model. It is designed to converse with humans and answer questions, using direct Google search or information to provide those answers. Based on how helpful the people who found those answers were, it is then trained using a reinforcement learning algorithm, which learns by trial and error to achieve a particular goal. . Read full story.

—Melissa Heikkilä

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