How to ask Meta to not train its AI on your personal info

How to ask Meta to not train its AI on your personal info

Netizens can ask Meta, the home of Facebook, Instagram, and Threads, to not train its generative AI models on at least some of your personal data.

Like pretty much all businesses developing AI systems capable of producing text, images, and more, the social media giant scrapes the internet for material to teach various models. Folks can now ask Meta, via this online form, to remove some of their personal information from that training data to prevent it from being ingested by these models, if they qualify.

“Depending on where people live, they may be able to exercise their data subject rights and object to certain data being used to train our AI models. They can submit an objection form to us through the Privacy Center link,” a Meta spokesperson told The Register on Thursday.

That form can be used to ask Meta to delete, inspect, or edit third-party-sourced information about yourself that may be fed into a neural network to train it.

For example, a person’s name, details about their work, or contact information described in a public blog post could be swept up in data scraped by Meta for training, data that a model could late regurgitate to other people. If you don’t want this info to be used to train the mega-corp’s generative AI models, you can thus ask for it to be deleted.

Unfortunately, the new policy only covers third-party sources and doesn’t extend to any personal data uploaded to Meta’s social media platforms. In other words, Meta can use the text contained in posts or comments, or selfies and photos submitted by users to Facebook or Instagram, to train its AI models. People just have a little more control over the data that comes from outside Meta’s empire.

“Since it takes such a large amount of data to teach effective models, a combination of sources are used for training. These sources include information that is publicly available online and licensed information, as well as information from Meta’s products and services,” the giant said in a policy document. 

“When we collect public information from the internet or license data from other providers to train our models, it may include personal information. For example, if we collect a public blog post it may include the author’s name and contact information. When we do get personal information as part of this public and licensed data that we use to train our models, we don’t specifically link this data to any Meta account.”

A spokesperson, however, told us that the biz did not train its latest large language model Llama 2 on any user data, “public or otherwise.”

Eggheads at the Facebook titan have developed numerous generative AI models capable of producing text, images, code, and music. Meta top boss Mark Zuckerberg believes the technology is key to building his vision of the metaverse, where users can socialize and work in virtual reality worlds they can create. In the short-term, Meta is also developing generative AI tools for advertising and is using the technology to develop things like chatbots and customizable stickers for Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp in the near future. ®

2017 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar now considered vintage

2017 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar now considered vintage

Last year, Apple added the very first MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to its list of “Vintage Products” that may no longer have parts available for repair. Now, a year later, the 2017 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has also been deemed vintage – news that comes after the company confirmed that this model won’t get macOS 14.

2017 MacBook Pro is now a vintage product

According to Apple, a product is considered vintage five years after the end of its distribution for sales. As a result, Apple no longer guarantees that it will have parts available for repair at Apple Stores and Authorized Service Providers (AASP). And the 2017 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is now part of that list (via MacRumors).

The 2017 MacBook Pro is the second generation of Apple’s laptop with the Touch Bar, which was introduced with the 2016 models. These MacBook Pro models also became notorious due to issues with the Butterfly Keyboard, which led Apple to later acknowledge the malfunction and announce a recall for faulty keyboards.

While the 2017 models with Touch Bar are now considered vintage, the 2017 version with no Touch Bar and only two Thunderbolt ports still has an extra year before it makes the list. That’s because Apple didn’t update the entry-level version of the MacBook Pro in 2018 and kept the 2017 model in stores for another year.

Even so, none of the MacBooks introduced in 2017 will support macOS Sonoma – which was announced at WWDC 2023 in June and is expected to be released to the public this fall. These laptops will only get security patches from now on (and this should last for the next two years).

2017 MacBook Pro

Currently, the only MacBook to have a Touch Bar is the 13-inch version with the M2 chip.

From vintage to obsolete

Apple has a second category for discontinued products, “Obsolete Products.” While Vintage Products may or may not have parts available for repair, those considered obsolete are ineligible for any type of repair at Apple Stores or service providers. A product enters the obsolete list seven years after the end of its distribution for sales.

The only exception to this rule is the MacBook battery. Apple says that customers can get a battery repair for up to 10 years after the laptop has been discontinued.

If you’re looking to upgrade your vintage MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, check out the best deals for Apple’s latest laptops here.

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I’d love ChatGPT to steal this Google Search SGE feature

I’d love ChatGPT to steal this Google Search SGE feature

Google’s ChatGPT-fueled generative AI panic produced several products that are already out. Google Bard is the company’s alternative to OpenAI’s breakthrough product, but Google also released a beta of a Google Search experiment that puts AI front and center. Called Search Generative Experience (SGE), it is only available if you sign up for Google Labs.

Google has made several improvements to SGE in the past few months, and the company announced the program’s first big expansion this week — the beta is now available in India and Japan. More importantly, however, Google doubled down on a big change to SGE that I’d love to see OpenAI pick up for ChatGTP: Showing links to sources for SGE claims.

Google expanding SGE access to more markets is what I expected all along. The beta tests started with US consumers and are now extending to other languages and countries. That’s the only way to improve the AI and the search results it provides.

Google says that SGE will work similarly in India and Japan. Users will be able to type up prompts or use voice to dictate them in their own languages. Importantly, Indian users can choose between English and Hindi in their conversations with generative AI.

But SGE will continue as a test rather than the new Search default. Users in India and Japan must sign up for it via labs. SGE will work on Android and iPhone via the Google app and on computers via Chrome.

Google also explained that Search ads will continue to appear in dedicated ad slots throughout SGE results and that SGE will also deliver regular search results. All you have to do is to keep scrolling.

Google also detailed what it has learned from the American SGE experiment so far. Apparently, it’s younger users that make the most of SGE right now:

In the few months since launching generative AI in Search, we’re finding in our research that people are having a positive experience, and are using SGE for help with more complex queries and entirely new types of questions. We’re also seeing the highest satisfaction scores among younger users (18-24 year olds), who say they enjoy being able to ask follow-up questions conversationally. […]

Overall, we’re seeing people try queries that they never may have thought they could search for before, creating new opportunities for Google to be helpful.

As for ads, Google says that people find “ads either above or below the AI-powered overview helpful, as they provide useful options for people to take action and connect with businesses.” Of course, Google would make a big deal about ads in its Search products. That’s how Google makes money and also why Google is so afraid that a product like ChatGPT might “kill” Google Search.

Google Search SGE will display links to sources prominently. Image source: Google

The expansion to India and Japan might be the most important upgrade for SGE right now. But I’m more excited about a different feature that Google announced. Google Search SGE will always display links to sources in the AI snapshot. That’s an SGE feature that Google announced a few days ago, but Google is tweaking it:

We recently shared that we were experimenting with even easier ways for people to discover and visit the web pages that back up the information in AI-powered overviews. During testing, we’ve learned that people find it easier and more understandable when access to these links is presented within the overview itself.

So starting today, when you see an arrow icon next to information in an AI-powered overview, you can click to see relevant web pages and easily learn more by visiting the sites. This is launching first in the US and will roll out to Japan and India over the coming weeks.

You can see the placement of those links in the animation above.

Unlike Google Search SGE, the free version of ChatGPT isn’t connected to the internet. It can’t pick up on the latest developments on the web on any given topic. Still, I keep asking ChatGPT for sources with every prompt. That’s because generative AI can deliver wrong or misleading information, Google’s Bard and SGE included. The only way to verify the information is by having quick access to the sources it offers.

With that in mind, I’d love it if ChatGPT would display sources for its claims by default without necessitating a prompt for the user, even if the links it displays at the end of its responses point to sources older than September 2021.

Amazon’s Buy With Prime Now Offered in Shopify Stores

Amazon’s Buy With Prime Now Offered in Shopify Stores

Online store platform Shopify has a new way for customers to get extra benefits when buying from its merchants: by using Amazon Prime‘s network and perks.

If merchants integrate Amazon‘s new Buy With Prime app into their stores, customers who are also Prime subscribers can get Prime perks like free shipping and easy returns. Upon checkout at a store using the app, you just need to select “Buy With Prime” to use a payment method from your Amazon wallet and get the aforementioned Amazon network perks, the company announced Wednesday.

If you’ve already got everything set up in your Amazon Prime account, you should have an easier time buying goods, and merchants will likely appreciate Amazon’s colossal shipping network.

Shopify merchants are the latest online storefronts to integrate Buy With Prime, a program Amazon launched in April 2022 to extend its shipping network and Prime benefits beyond the company’s own site. Shops can also add customer reviews from Amazon to their own site to encourage customer confidence; stores that add Buy With Prime have an average of 25% increase in shopper conversion, Amazon said back in January.

Select Shopify merchants will be invited to integrate Buy With Prime into their shops today, and will be broadly available to US-based Shopify merchants by the end of September.

Read more: Amazon Is Holding a Prime Day Sale in October Again

The NYPD will police Labor Day parties with surveillance drones

#NYPD #police #Labor #Day #parties #surveillance #drones

We’re going to be utilizing technology, we’re going to be utilizing drones for this J’ouvert weekend. The drones are going to be responding to non-priority calls and priority calls, for example if we have any 311 calls on our non-emergency line, where if a caller states there is a large crowd, a large party in the backyard, we’re going to be utilizing our assets to go up, go check on the party, to make sure if the call is founded or not, and we’ll be able to determine how many resources we need to send to that location for this weekend. We will have our drone team out there, starting tonight, all the way into Monday morning.

AI Quadcopter ‘Swift’ Beats Top Human Drone Racers – Slashdot

AI Quadcopter ‘Swift’ Beats Top Human Drone Racers – Slashdot

An autonomous, artificial-intelligence-powered drone called Swift has beaten humanity’s best drone racers. “The AI-equipped drone, developed by researchers at the University of Zurich, came out on top in 15 out of 25 races and recorded the single fastest lap time,” reports Gizmodo. The findings have been published in the journal Nature. From the report: Swift beat the humans in the niche but growing sport of first-person view drone racing. Human competitors navigate using a headset connected to a camera on their drones to pilot a quadcopter through complex obstacle courses at extreme speeds, with the goal of finishing the race with the fastest time and avoiding taking too much damage in the process. Drones in these races can top 50 miles per hour when they’re really buzzing. The [video here] shows Swift battling it out against the human-controlled drones.

Swift emerged victorious in 15 out of the 25 total head-to-head races against the human pilots and clocked the fastest overall lap time at 17.47 seconds. That brisk lap time was nearly half a second better than the best human. The three human competitors, Alex Vanover, Thomas Bitmatta, and Marvin Schaepper, have each won drone racing championships in the past. In this case, the human competitors had a week to learn the new course and train for the race. During that same time, Swift was training as well but in a digitally simulated environment meant to resemble the course. Swift, according to the paper, used deep reinforcement learning while in the simulation along with additional data collected from the outside world.

During the actual race, Swift would take in video collected by its camera and send that to a neural network capable of identifying the gates it had to fly through. A combination of onboard sensors are then used to aid the drone with positioning, speed, and orientation. All of this happened autonomously, at extreme speeds. The researchers noticed some interesting differences in the ways Swift approached the course as opposed to its human competitors. The autonomous system, they noted, was more consistent across laps and appeared to take tighter turns. Those tight turns can add up and give a drone an edge in a race by repeatedly shaving off fractions of a second from lap times.

Quordle today – hints and answers for Friday, September 1 (game #585)

Quordle today – hints and answers for Friday, September 1 (game #585)

It’s time for your daily dose of Quordle hints, plus the answers for both the main game and the Daily Sequence spin off. 

Quordle is the only one of the many Wordle clones that I’m still playing now, around 18 months after the daily-word-game craze hit the internet, and with good reason: it’s good fun, but also difficult.

Saints Row developer Volition shuts down after 30 years thanks to a $2 billion deal gone south

Saints Row developer Volition shuts down after 30 years thanks to a $2 billion deal gone south

End of an era: If you play video games, chances are you’ve heard of a little studio called Volition. The development team started as Parallax Software in 1993 and had a groundbreaking hit with its first game, Descent, in 1995. It would create one of its most famous IPs, Saints Row, in 2006. The series was known for its dark humor and risqué style. Fans will mourn the loss of the studio as it shut down operations today. RIP Volition.

Saints Row developer Volition is no more. On Thursday, the studio announced that its parent firm, Embracer Group, has shuttered the developer “effective immediately.” The closure comes after Embracer revealed restructuring plans in June.

“This past June, Embracer Group announced a restructuring program to strengthen Embracer and maintain its position as a leader in the video game industry,” a spokesperson for the studio wrote. “As part of that program, they evaluated strategic and operational goals and made the difficult decision to close Volition effective immediately.”

Volition promised help affected employees with job placement.

The restructuring plans came after a $2 billion investment deal fell through. While holding company Embracer never revealed who it was in talks with, Axios claimed the angel investor was Savvy Games Group, the gaming division of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Unable to raise funding, Embarcer revealed a restructuring plan that included tightening its budget, pausing the development of some games while canceling others, and divesting or closing some of its holdings.

Unfortunately, it appears that Volition was first on the chopping block, which is too bad. The studio has been producing games since the early 1990s. While it is probably most famous for the Saints Row franchise, it was also responsible for well-received titles Summoner, Red Faction, and their sequels.

Volition’s first game was 1995’s Descent, released on MS-DOS, PlayStation, Mac, and RISC OS. The studio was known as Parallax Software then, and Descent was the first truly 3D game that offered six degrees of movement. The game was popular enough to spawn several sequels, including a spiritual successor launched in 2018 called Overload. It gained recent attention when game design students in the Netherlands added ray-tracing support to the classic shooter, breathing new life back into the nearly 30-year-old title.

Volition’s latest game was the 2022 Saints Row reboot. The title was met with controversy almost immediately after its reveal. The studio had decided to take the franchise in a different direction, which had fans divided. Critical reception was equally polarized, earning mediocre reviews from critics, low scores from players, and a review bomb on Metacritic.

Last November, Enbracer CEO Lars Wingfors announced that Volition would merge with Gearbox Software due to Saints Row’s “disappointing reception,” despite the game meeting financial expectations. The merging was intended to give Volition the tools it needed to create a better “player experience.”

“The reception of Saints Row did not meet the full expectations and left the fanbase partially polarized,” Wingfors said. “The game development studio, Volition, has been working hard to improve the player experience. Going forward, Volition will transition to become part of Gearbox which has all the tools, including an experienced management team in the US, to create future success at Volition.”

Whether the transition occurred and now Gearbox is shedding Volition or the merging never completed is unclear. All that is for sure is that Volition is no longer with us but will be remembered for its decades of contributions to gaming.

eWEEK TweetChat, September 12: AI in the Enterprise | eWEEK

eWEEK TweetChat, September 12: AI in the Enterprise | eWEEK

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On Tuesday, September 12 at 11 AM PT, @eWEEKNews will host its monthly #eWEEKChat. The topic will be AI in the Enterprise, and it will be moderated by James Maguire, eWEEK’s Editor-in-Chief.

We’ll discuss – using Twitter, now called X – the evolving trends and strategies for deploying AI for enterprise companies. Our ultimate goal: to offer guidance to companies about how to get the most from enterprise-level AI – now and going forward.

See below for:

  • Participant list for this month’s eWeek Tweetchat on data analytics
  • Questions we’ll discuss in this month’s eWeek Tweetchat
  • How to Participate in the Tweetchat
  • Tentative Schedule: Upcoming eWeek Tweetchats

Participants List: AI in the Enterprise

The list of experts for this month’s Tweetchat currently includes the following – please check back for additional expert guests:

Tweetchat Questions: AI in the Enterprise

The questions we’ll tweet about will include the following – check back for more/revised questions:

  1. I’m sure you’ve noticed: we’re seeing a tsunami of interest in AI and generative AI. Is the hype justified?
  2. What’s your sense of the comfort/effectiveness of enterprise adoption of AI? Expensive science experiment? A great but nascent competitive tool?
  3. Less publicized fact: companies need a robust cloud and data strategy to support effective AI. Does this suggest that AI is still…in the future?
  4. Do executives fully understand AI technology? As a cohort, where are they in the learning curve?
  5. What recommendations do you offer to companies to build out a competitive AI strategy?
  6. The biggest challenge for enterprise AI? Is it compliance, skill staff, a comprehensive plan….?
  7. How do you recommend addressing this most difficult AI challenge?
  8. Your sense of the future of enterprise AI? It appears more unpredictable than earlier emerging technologies. Your forecast 1-3 years out?
  9. A last Big Thought about enterprise AI – what else should managers/buyers/providers know about deploying AI in the enterprise?

How to Participate in the Tweetchat

The chat begins promptly at 11 AM PT on August 15. To participate:

  1. Open Twitter in your browser. You’ll use this browser to Tweet your replies to the moderator’s questions.

2. Open Twitter in a second browser. On the menu to the left, click on Explore. In the search box at the top, type in #eweekchat. This will open a column that displays all the questions and all the panelists’ replies.

Remember: you must manually include the hashtag #eweekchat for your replies to be seen by that day’s tweetchat panel of experts.

That’s it — you’re ready to go. Be ready at 11 AM PT on September 12 to participate in the tweetchat.

NOTE: There is sometimes a few seconds of delay between when you tweet and when your tweet shows up in the #eWeekchat column.

#eWEEKchat Tentative Schedule for 2023*

July 25: Optimizing Generative AI: Guide for Companies
August 15: Next Generation Data Analytics
September 12: AI in the Enterprise
October 17: Future of Cloud Computing
November 14: Edge Computing Trends
December 12: Tech in 2024: Predictions and Wild Guesses

*all topics subjects to change