How do AI-powered virtual assistants figure out what to say? Scriptwriters come up with their lines.
A means to an end: Most people use conversations with virtual assistants transactionally. Exchanges consist mostly of “Alexa, order me more paper towels” or “Siri, play ‘Born to Run’ by Bruce Springsteen.” Scriptwriters have to learn the best way to help to users achieve their intended goals, while also planning for twists and turns.
Siri’s improv skills: As Mariana Lin, writer and creative director for Siri, wrote in the Paris Review: “Writing for AI, then, can be a bit like writing an absurdist play. You have a character, you have some goals in mind. But there’s no accounting for what the other characters, the humans, will say or do.”
In-depth conversation: It’s a new avenue of employment for out-of-work Hollywood writers and poets. But for some it’s about more than just making ends meet. Lin says her goal is for AI not to limit the depth and intricacy of human discussion. It can, she believes, create “inspired conversation in our lives.”
A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?
Robot vacuum companies say your images are safe, but a sprawling global supply chain for data from our devices creates risk.
The viral AI avatar app Lensa undressed me—without my consent
My avatars were cartoonishly pornified, while my male colleagues got to be astronauts, explorers, and inventors.
Roomba testers feel misled after intimate images ended up on Facebook
An MIT Technology Review investigation recently revealed how images of a minor and a tester on the toilet ended up on social media. iRobot said it had consent to collect this kind of data from inside homes—but participants say otherwise.
How to spot AI-generated text
The internet is increasingly awash with text written by AI software. We need new tools to detect it.
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