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The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Malcolm Gay spotlights the “AI: Mind the Gap” exhibition at the MIT Museum, “which explores the social, cultural, and political implications of deepfakes and other forms of generative AI.” The exhibit is “meant to address the idea that technology can manipulate what we perceive as true or false,” said Lindsay Bartholomew, exhibit content and experience developer for the MIT Museum. “But you also need to appreciate what you can do as a human, you have some agency here.”

PBS

Prof. David Autor speaks with PBS host Walter Isaacson about the fear surrounding AI’s impact in the workforce and his view that AI could provide new opportunities for middle class workers. “Most of the time, technology is good for the elite and not so good for everybody else,” says Autor. “[AI] is a case where the technology might compete a little bit more with the elite and enable more people to do valuable work,” resulting in higher wages and more job opportunity for the middle class. 

Nature

Nature reporter Amanda Heidt speaks with postdoctoral researcher Tigist Tamir about her experience using generative AI with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. “Whether I’m reading, writing or just making to-do lists, it’s very difficult for me to figure out what I want to say. One thing that helps is to just do a brain dump and use AI to create a boiled-down version,” Tamir explains. She adds, “I feel fortunate that I’m in this era where these tools exist.”

New Scientist

Postdoc Xuhai Xu and his colleagues have developed an AI program that can distribute pop-up reminders to help limit smartphone screen time, reports Jeremy Hsu for New Scientist. Xu explains that “a random notification to stop doomscrolling won’t always tear someone away from their phone. But machine learning can personalize that intervention so it arrives at the moment when it is most likely to work,” writes Hsu.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Shalene Gupta spotlights new research by Prof. David Autor that finds “about 60% of jobs in 2018 did not exist 1940. Since 1940, the bulk of new jobs has shifted from middle-class production and clerical jobs to high-paid professional jobs and low-paid service jobs.” Additionally, the researchers uncovered evidence that “automation eroded twice as many jobs from 1980 to 2018 as it had from 1940 to 1980. While augmentation did add some jobs to the economy, it was not as many as the ones lost by automation.”

New York Times

Prof. David Autor speaks with New York Times reporter Steve Lohr about his hope that AI can be harnessed to become “worker complementary technology,” enabling individuals to take on more highly skilled work and find better paying jobs. “I do think there is value in imagining a positive outcome, encouraging debate and preparing for a better future,” Autor explains. “This technology is a tool, and how we decide to use it is up to us.”

TechCrunch

Researchers at MIT have found that large language models mimic intelligence using linear functions, reports Kyle Wiggers for TechCrunch. “Even though these models are really complicated, nonlinear functions that are trained on lots of data and are very hard to understand, there are sometimes really simple mechanisms working inside them,” writes Wiggers. 

Forbes

Forbes reporter Oludolapo Makinde spotlights research by Prof. Daron Acemoglu and Prof. Simon Johnson that explores the impact of AI on the workforce. “Instead of aiming to create artificial superintelligence or AI systems that outperform humans, [Acemoglu and Johnson] propose shifting the focus to supporting workers,” writes Makinde.

Fortune

A new report by researchers from MIT and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has uncovered “how AI-based machine learning and predictive analytics are super-powering key performance indictors  (KPIs),” reports Sheryl Estrada for Fortune. “I definitely see marketing, manufacturing, supply chain, and financial folks using these value-added formats to upgrade their existing KPIs and imagine new ones,” says visiting scholar Michael Schrage.

The Economist

Research Scientist Robert Ajemian, graduate student Greta Tuckute and MIT Museum Exhibit Content and Experience Developer Lindsay Bartholomew appear on The Economist’s Babbage podcast to discuss the development of generative AI. “The way that current AI works, whether it is object recognition or large language models, it’s trained on tons and tons and tons of data and what it’s essentially doing is comparing something it’s seen before to something it’s seeing now,” says Ajemian.  

New Scientist

FutureTech researcher Tamay Besiroglu speaks with New Scientist reporter Chris Stokel-Walker about the rapid rate at which large language models (LLMs) are improving. “While Besiroglu believes that this increase in LLM performance is partly due to more efficient software coding, the researchers were unable to pinpoint precisely how those efficiencies were gained – in part because AI algorithms are often impenetrable black boxes,” writes Stokel-Walker. “He also points out that hardware improvements still play a big role in increased performance.”

Boston Magazine

A number of MIT faculty and alumni – including Prof. Daniela Rus, Prof. Regina Barzilay, Research Affiliate Haddad Habib, Research Scientist Lex Fridman, Marc Raibert PhD '77, former Postdoc Rana El Kaliouby and Ray Kurzweil '70 – have been named key figures “at the forefront of Boston’s AI revolution,” reports Wyndham Lewis for Boston Magazine. These researchers are “driving progress and reshaping the way we live,” writes Lewis.

Bloomberg

Prof. David Autor speaks with Bloomberg’s Odd Lots podcast hosts Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway about how AI could be leveraged to improve inequality, emphasizing the policy choices governments will need to make to ensure the technology is beneficial to humans. “Automation is not the primary source of how innovation improves our lives,” says Autor. “Many of the things we do with new tools is create new capabilities that we didn’t previously have.”

The New York Times

Prof. David Autor and Prof. Daron Acemoglu speak with New York Times columnist Peter Coy about the impact of AI on the workforce. Acemoglu and Autor are “optimistic about a continuing role for people in the labor market,” writes Coy. “An upper bound of the fraction of jobs that would be affected by A.I. and computer vision technologies within the next 10 years is less than 10 percent,” says Acemoglu.