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Why Half a Million Artists Left Instagram

Hey there AI Enthusiasts! This week covers some ethical qualms and new ways AI is being used in research and possibly politics. Here’s your weekly AI lab notes.

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This Week’s Insights 📰 

Can AI Decode Dog Speak?

Researchers from the University of Michigan are using AI to decode dog barks, and it’s like watching the tech that the dog Dug wears in Up come to life! They’re figuring out if a bark means playfulness or anger, and whether AI can pinpoint a dog’s age, gender, and breed. Using AI models trained on human speech, scientists made leaps in understanding canine chatter. “Advances in AI can revolutionize our understanding of animal communication,” said Rada Mihalcea, head of the University of Michigan AI Lab. The team fed barks, growls, and whimpers from 74 dogs into their AI model and hit about 70% accuracy. This research could be a game-changer for animal welfare, helping humans better interpret dogs’ emotional and physical needs. Presented at the Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, these findings are just the beginning of turning “Squirrel!” into serious science.           

Meta to Train AI on Your Social Data Going Back to 2007

Starting June 26, Meta is diving deep into your Facebook and Instagram data to train its AI tools, and it seems there’s no opting out, or at least it’s a performative opt out. Data from as far back as 2007, including posts, photos, and messages, will fuel their AI, raising major privacy concerns, especially for artists. “How can a…company like Meta take what’s mine, what’s my intellectual property, and just scrape it off and feed it to their AI?” asks children’s illustrator Sara Fandrey, echoing fears that AI will exploit their work without consent. As Meta pushes forward, artists are fighting back, with movements like #noaiart gaining traction and users flocking to alternative platforms like Cara. The AI landscape is heating up, and Meta’s move is just the latest spark in the debate over data and creativity.

Half a Million Artists Left Instagram

Speaking of Cara, did we mention that half a million artists left Instagram in the past 2 weeks to switch over to the new social media platform created by Jingna Zhang. Cara feels like Instagram did years ago, focusing on genuine, beautiful illustrations without the AI-generated clutter. It’s a fresh start for artists frustrated with Meta’s policies, especially as Meta plans to use user data. Cara’s standout feature is Glaze, a tool that subtly alters digital images to prevent them from being used to train AI models. This has made Cara a haven for artists wanting to protect their work, showing that artists are eager for a platform that truly supports their creativity.

Adobe Terms of Service Debacle

Last week, Adobe updated their Creative Cloud terms of service, and let’s just say, it didn’t go over well. Section 42 sparked outrage by granting Adobe a worldwide, royalty-free license to reproduce, modify, and create derivative works based on anything stored in their Creative Cloud. Artists feared this meant Adobe could use their work for AI training without explicit consent. Adobe’s VP Scott Belsky jumped on Twitter, claiming the terms are standard for cloud services and insisting they don’t use customer content for AI training. But after the Firefly debacle, where Adobe retroactively used stock images for AI training without clear consent, trust is in short supply. So, is Adobe training their AI on your designs? Whether they are or not, the damage is done, and creators are left skeptical and frustrated.

AI for Mayor

An AI named VIC (Virtual Integrated Citizen) is throwing its hat in the ring for mayor of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Developed by OpenAI, VIC promises to jazz up local governance with data-driven decisions and transparency, backed by a team of human sidekicks. But don’t worry too much – AI can’t legally vote, let alone run for office. City clerks are scratching their heads and getting ready to handle this curveball, but in the end, you still have to be an actual person to run. So, while VIC might be making headlines, it’s not likely to take the mayor’s seat anytime soon.

AI Lab Visual Vault 🖼️

Use the selection tool in ChatGPT mobile to edit your photos with text-based prompts, giving you more control over how the outputs appear. This feature is currently only available on the mobile app. You can use the pen tool to color what you want to change or go away!

Tools We Used This Week 🧰

Yoodli – Use this handy AI tool on your Zoom calls to improve your speaking, engagement, and tone! 

Claude – Outperforming ChatGPT in a lot of ways, we find Claude’s outputs to have a bit more variety and higher quality as far as copywriting. 

Vidyo.AI – Repurpose your long form content into short form video content ready to go for social media.

Join the Conversation  🔊

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