Rebel Tech Newsletter: Ability vs Quality

published3 months ago
3 min read

February 28th, 2023

The Rebel Tech Newsletter is our safe place to critique data and tech algorithms, processes and systems. We highlight a recent data article in the news and share resources to help you dig deeper in understand how our digital world operates. DataedX Group helps data educators, scholars and practitioners learn how to make responsible data connections. We help you source remedies and interventions based on the needs of your team or organization.


"Google has launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered chatbot called Bard to rival ChatGPT. Bard is built on Google's existing large language model Lamda, which is believed to be human-like in its responses. Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google) stressed that he wanted Google's AI services to be "bold and responsible" but did not elaborate on how Bard would be prevented from sharing harmful or abusive content. This could be the beginning of AI wars as Google also invests $300 million in Anthropic, an AI firm founded by former OpenAI researchers.”

The ‘shortcuts by AI’ technologies have dominated the mainstream general and tech news that it’s impossible to avoid. I’m personally drained from discussing any of them because they are classified in the AI hype bucket. ChatGPT and Bard aren’t the only AI writing tools around. I’m most familiar with Copy.AI or Jasper.AI, which were founded in late 2020/early 2021. So the fundamentals of Bard and ChatGPT aren’t new — it’s just that trillion dollar tech companies have enter the AI writing space. There’s renewed attention to the topic by those within and outside of tech circles. All of these AI writing platforms use natural language processing, large language models and leverage GPT-3.

The awe and amazement of Company G’s Bard, Company M’s ChatGPT, Jasper.AI, Copy.AI and so on are based on the ability to create, not the quality of the creation. I’ve tried out Copy.AI for creating copy for my social media posts a while back. I wasn’t impressed. It generated basic, uninspiring and mediocre commentary. It couldn’t capture my ‘voice’. But Bard and ChatGPT have bigger issues, since they’re backed by trillion dollar tech companies and used by millions of people. They need to have robust content moderation protocols in place. They don’t. Harmful content dissemination is tech’s Achilles heel. Oppression and discrimination is so far baked in these platforms that they can’t (and won’t) be able to track them. It’s a rot they can’t stop. If I had to predict how the AI writing trend will end, I would hazard a guess that people will use ChatGPT, Bard and the others as a starting point to kickstart their writing creativity. It’ll become the wikipedia of writing — useful for surface-level understanding and initial context, but not a trusted resource that’ll provide depth of knowledge.

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Tableau Fit is a blog managed by Bridget Cogley, an ASL Interpreter turned Chief Visualization officer. She uses her blog to share and teach about ethics, Functional Aesthetics, Data Literacy, and Tableau. She believes ethics are speed bumps to our processes, forcing us to slow down and review our surroundings. They force us to ask hard questions and explore potential harm.


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Brandeis Marshall - DataedX

Learn how to make more responsible data connections. I help educators, researchers and practitioners align data polices, practices and products for equity. Sign up for my Rebel Tech Newsletter!

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