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Computers just got a lot better at mimicking human language. Researchers created computer programs that can write long passages of coherent, original text.

Language models like GPT-2, Grover, and CTRL create text passages that seem written by someone fluent in the language, but not in the truth. That AI field, Natural Language Processing (NLP), didn’t exactly set out to create a fake news machine. Rather, it’s the byproduct of a line of research into massive pretrained language models: Machine learning programs that store vast statistical maps of how we use our language. So far, the technology’s creative uses seem to outnumber its malicious ones. But it’s not difficult to imagine how these text-fakes could cause harm, especially as these models become widely shared and deployable by anyone with basic know-how.

Read more here: https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/3/4/21163743/ai-language-generation-fake-text-gpt2 

Data is the oil that’s lubricating the sales machines at huge online retailers like Amazon.com and is exploring user behavior for tech giants like Google and Facebook.

According to Amazon Web Services (AWS), its payments data engineering team alone is responsible for data ingestion, transformation and storage of a growing dataset of more than 750 TB.

That enormous volume will dwarf that of most other organizations, but this doesn’t mean that their data is any less valuable or that there isn’t room left to compete.

The insight that a retailer can gain from good quality data isn’t determined by how much there is of it, but rather by how it’s collected, analyzed and used to meet customers’ requirements. Where will demand be particularly high next weekend? How much influence will the weather have on online sales? Under what circumstances is the probability of fraud or returns particularly high? Why does the customer behave like this and not differently? The answer to all of these questions is in the data.

Microsoft’s Project Silica aims to show that glass is the future of long-term data storage.

To prove its usefulness outside the lab, Microsoft partnered with Warner Bros. to write the 1978 Superman film into glass with lasers.

To see the whole process and the Superman glass, CNET visited Microsoft’s Research Lab in Cambridge, England and Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California.