detfalskested

Om massefyringer hos Google

Google har netop fyret 12.000 af deres ansatte. Andy Walker, der har arbejdet en del år hos dem, deler sine tanker om det hele. Og han har mange fine pointer:

[The Dodge vs Ford Motor Company (1919)] ruling stands at the heart of the current situations being faced by companies like Google today. There are institional investors with the means to take them to court and these investors see Google as a company that is wasteful that they can extract more value from. I do not envy the people trying to navigate this. At its heart this is a problem about unrestrained capitalism.

When Google went public, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were aware of the risks posed by public ownership and went to a lot of effort to ensure they could maintain control over the company. They even attempted to set expectations as to how they wanted the company to operate in their Founders’ Letter to investors.

Der er sandsynligvis flere fyringer på vej, efter pres fra en hedgefond der er aktionær i virksomheden.

The way the company has gone about it, too, leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Finding out that you no longer have a job because you can’t log in any more (sometimes in cases where someone is on call for protecting your production systems) is no way to fire anyone. That’s like being in an abusive relationship with some kind of narcissistic sociopath.

Google’s leadership have done a stupid thing — mass firing — in stupid way. The problem they’re trying to solve is "how do we get rid of enough people to make investors happier?" and the outcome is "have 6% less people". Behaving like Elon Musk isn’t the sort of thing any empathetic leadership group should aspire to.

At the senior echelons of the company there aren’t enough VP jobs to go around for a group of highly motivated, ambitious and (increasingly) ruthless people. I’ve loitered around the edges of this world and a large part of my value was to insulate my teams from ever having to experience it.

Råmateriale til AI'er indsamles under stærkt kritisable forhold

Indenfor forbrugerelektronik er et af de store problemer som de fleste af os vælger at se bort fra, hvordan nogle af de sjældne mineraler og metaller der skal til for at fremstille dimserne er gravet ud i miner under kummerlige, nærmest slaveagtige forhold for arbejderne.

For tiden er går den ene nye model efter den anden indenfor kunstig intelligens (AI) sin sejrsgang. Den næste mere imponerende end den forrige indenfor sit felt. Men til trods for de flotte resultater, er der også masser af problemer med disse AI'er: Det viser sig at de er racistiske og homofobiske eller ganske enkelt ikke aner hvad de taler om, hvis man graver lidt dybere i værdien og sandheden af deres output.

I forsøget på at løse problemerne, har man skabt sig et nyt – og mindst lige så stort – problem, der minder om problemet fra produktionen af elektronik: Fremskaffelsen af det råmateriale som AI'erne er baseret på, sker via underbetalt arbejdskraft der – under pressede forhold – bliver eksponeret for stærkt traumatiserende tekst og billeder.

Three employees told TIME they were expected to read and label between 150 and 250 passages of text per nine-hour shift. Those snippets could range from around 100 words to well over 1,000. All of the four employees interviewed by TIME described being mentally scarred by the work.

...

Sama began pilot work for a separate project for OpenAI: collecting sexual and violent images—some of them illegal under U.S. law—to deliver to OpenAI.

...

Sama delivered OpenAI a sample batch of 1,400 images. Some of those images were categorized as “C4”—OpenAI’s internal label denoting child sexual abuse—according to the document. Also included in the batch were “C3” images (including bestiality, rape, and sexual slavery,) and “V3” images depicting graphic detail of death, violence or serious physical injury, according to the billing document.

...

But the need for humans to label data for AI systems remains, at least for now. “They’re impressive, but ChatGPT and other generative models are not magic – they rely on massive supply chains of human labor and scraped data, much of which is unattributed and used without consent,” Andrew Strait, an AI ethicist, recently wrote on Twitter. “These are serious, foundational problems that I do not see OpenAI addressing.”

Læs hele den foruroligende historie hos Time.

The science of why you have great ideas in the shower

Interessant artikel hos National Geographic om det at få de gode ideer mens man udfører rutineopgaver:

To consciously activate your [default mode network] and creative ideas during the day, allow yourself to spend time doing activities that aren’t cognitively demanding—such as going for a walk, taking a warm bath, or gardening—without listening to music or a podcast. Simply let your mind wander.

“One of the costs of this multimedia world we live in is we don’t leave enough time for personal reverie,” Schooler says. Giving your mind a chance to roam is an investment in your creativity, and that’s time well spent.

Læs mere hos National Geographic

Egen mailserver

På denne første tirsdag i 2023 har jeg gjort noget vildt! Efter gud ved hvor mange års dansen om den varme grød, og – til sidst – flere måneders tilløb, fik jeg her til aften endelig taget mig sammen til at flytte mine e-mails hjem til min egen server.

Hurra!

Nu venter jeg bare på at alle problemerne begynder at vælte ind.

De 2 nøgler til at få det hele til at lykkes:

mailu – komplet mailserverløsning i en flot æske (docker), så man ikke skal have styr på alt det beskidte.

imapsync – værktøj til at kopiere e-mails fra én server til en anden, så jeg (og de andre der har postkasser på mit domæne) får vores historik med os.

James Hoffmann: A Better 1 Cup V60 Technique

Altid behagelige James Hoffmann har udviklet en ny metode til en god kop pour-over-kaffe. Det er jo ikke rocket science, og det er begrænset hvor mange parametre man kan dreje på. Men det vigtigste er at man får en god kop kaffe ud af det, og det må jeg sige man gør ved James' nye metode.