Trump's Indictment, But Also Trash Spiders

Trump claims he was "INDICATED". Also, Google shredded evidence, a giant trash spider has appeared, OpenAI has been asked politely to not, the Pope ain't in the best way, and more.

Trump's Indictment, But Also Trash Spiders

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Let's get this out of the way

Trump was indicted. It's a big deal in terms of historic precedent. Specifically, he's being indicted by a grand jury in Manhattan over his hush money payments to Stormy Daniels. More specifically, the crimes are along the lines of "you did some sleight of hand with campaign finances" rather than "you paid off a porn star to keep quiet about your affair."

So to be clear, he's not being indicted for the hush money but for the situation around it.

Still, Trump took to his social network and said he was "INDICATED" by the "Radical Left Monsters"

Makes sense makes sense alright alright ok

Google did a bad in court

A judge has found that Google intentionally destroyed and obfuscated evidence in an ongoing court case with Epic Games. The state has said that Google should be "sanctioned" over it, but no actual next steps have been laid out.

Basically what happened is Google didn't save chat history for a significant portion of people who, well, were supposed to have their chat history saved. They had those employee's chat logs set to delete after 24 hours, rather than be retained indefinitely. This was after Google had said they are retaining pertinent records.

I am not a lawyer, but I would highly recommend that next time that they need to destroy evidence, they should do what they do best: make a new chat app. It's Google, so the chat app—and all of its records—will be shut down soon enough anyway. They can just tell the court it was business as usual!

Suddenly, a giant trash spider

A giant trash spider appeared under an overpass in East Vancouver. No, not a living one. An art installation.

Montreal-based artist "Junko Playtime" (incredible name) affixed a large spider-like construct to the wall of an overpass, made out of reclaimed material (the "junko" part). The city has referred to the spider as "unsanctioned" and they want to get rid of it, despite locals and the artist being pretty freakin' chill.

"We hate fun and wanna get rid of the bad trash spider," said a strawman local official I just made up in my head. "It sucks and we hate it and also no fun allowed," they continued.

Hey OpenAI, maybe close that AI?

The Center for AI and Digital Policy requested that the FTC investigate OpenAI for violating consumer protections. Their complaint comes on the heels of an open letter requesting for AI firms to cease training new AIs that are "more powerful than GPT-4."

A notable point on the open letter: it is signed by Elon Musk, who was formerly involved in OpenAI, tried to take it over (as is his usual approach), failed to do so, then left and recently made noise about making his own "anti-woke AI," so I uh… question his signature there


This is kinda fascinating from a digital policy perspective. I mean, the open letter makes many-a-good-point, and the argument for generative AIs being dangerous are blatantly clear. AIs can "hallucinate" (make shit up), or they could be asked to generate malicious code, or write propaganda, or do any number of unethical things. Hell, a man reportedly committed suicide after chatting with an AI.

But hitting pause on a huge tech arms race is hard, mostly because the people funding these operations wholly and truly do not give the remotest shit about ethics and would rather make line go up.

I recommend reading the open letter. AI ethics researchers have a monumental task with massive headwinds. Virtually all major tech companies pushing their own "AI products" have laid off their AI ethics teams, because ethics don't make for speedy returns on investments.

Speaking of AI and ethics…

Rampantly popular AI image generation software Midjourney will be ending free trials after some high profile confusion around the now-infamous "Pope with drip" and "Trump being arrested" photos that went viral.

Midjourney CEO David Holz says that the safeguards of the trial version of the software just aren't enough, so it'll be on you to pony up the $10/mo to make swagged out drippy Pope memes.

Speaking of the Pope…

He's in the hospital

More stuff

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Jamie Larson