Hashtag Trending Feb.13th-Google employees criticize “botched” announcement of Bard, AI learns without being trained and coping with the biggest issue with hybrid and remote work

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Google employees have choice words for the company’s mismanagement of its AI rollout last week. AI that may be able to learn without being trained is what some are calling “the biggest issue in hybrid and remote work”.

February 13 is Monday. These stories and more on Trending Hashtags – today’s top technology news. I’m your host, Jim Love.

Google employees had words for their company’s performance last week in the rollout of Google’s AI offerings. According to a story on MSNBC, employees took to internal messaging platform Memgen to express their displeasure, calling Bard’s rollout “rushed” “botched” and even “un-googly”.

They were of course referring to the fact that Google’s AI – called Bard – made a very simple factual error, which went undetected and found its way into the corporate presentation. This caused an uproar on Twitter and sent the company’s stock plummeting.

It also added to the anger of Google employees, who were already unhappy with the recent layoffs.

One meme included a grim photo of Google CEO Sundar Pichai with the caption, “Dear Sundar, The launch and layoffs of Bard were rushed, inaccurate and myopic.” “Please return to taking the long term view.” The post received several upvotes from the staff.

Another popular post said: “Beautiful, and leadership, deserve a performance NI,” which is the lowest rating in the company’s employee performance review system. The authors add, “They are comically short-sighted and un-Googled in their quest to ‘focus’ Google vision.”

Source: cnbc

Popular user forum Reddit has been the victim of a cyber security breach. According to Bleeping Computer, the hackers managed to gain access to the company’s internal business systems and steal internal documents and even source code.

The hackers gained access using a phishing technique that targeted Reddit employees and directed them to a landing page that impersonated Reddit’s internal intranet site. Using that now common technique, they were able to steal employee credentials and even two factor authentication tokens.

As Reddit explained in their security incident notice“After successfully obtaining an employee’s credentials, the attacker gained access to some internal docs, code, as well as some internal dashboards and business systems,” but the report further notes:

“We do not show any indication of a breach of our primary production systems (parts of our stack) run reddit and store most of our data).”

Reddit said the employee reported the incident to the company’s security team.

The stolen data includes company contacts and limited contact information for current and former employees, according to Reddit and the data also includes some details about the company’s advertisers. Reddit also noted that credit card information and passwords were not affected.

Source: bleeping computer

Cisco 2023 Data Privacy Benchmark Report There were some very interesting insights that point to a real divide between consumer and corporate perceptions of how personal data should be handled, especially when it comes to its use by Artificial Intelligence based systems.

In the study, 95 percent of companies called privacy a “business imperative” and said it was an “integral” part of company culture. 94 per cent believe that customers will not buy from them if they do not protect personal data.

That belief has shown itself in corporate spending on privacy, which increased in 2019, according to the report, and remained “at least stable” in 2022 as companies saw or believed there were financial benefits from these investments.

But the report noted some strong negative reactions in terms of customer trust, especially when it comes to the use of AI. Only 43 per cent of consumers believe that AI will prove useful in improving people’s lives. Just over half (54 percent) are also willing to share anonymized personal data to improve AI products. 60 percent say they are concerned about how businesses will use AI, and most punitively, 65 percent say current uses have eroded their trust

Companies seem to recognize this, with 92 percent saying they need to do a better job of assuring customers that “AI solutions will only use data for the intended and legitimate purposes.”

But the study showed a real disconnect in terms of what’s important to consumers versus what’s important to the companies surveyed. Consumers said their priority was clear transparency about how the data was being used. Organizations were focused on compliance with privacy laws with transparency in second place.

The big surprise came when 90 percent of consumers preferred global data storage providers in terms of security. In earlier studies, consumers strongly favored the idea of ​​local storage or what has come to be called data sovereignty.

Source: cisco

According to an article in Vice, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and Google have discovered an “apparently mysterious” phenomenon where AI systems are learning new tasks they haven’t been trained for – which They refer to learning as “in context”.

Normally, in order to learn how to perform a new task, machine learning models need to be re-trained with new data – a difficult and time-consuming process. But what if these systems could learn new tasks from only a few examples, essentially picking up new skills it was not explicitly trained for?

That’s exactly what these researchers have observed. If correct, it means their model isn’t just replicating the training data, it’s building on previous knowledge, doing exactly what humans would do.

The researchers weren’t using ChatGPT or other popular tools, but they are smaller versions of the same type of model, so their work provides insight into these larger tools and data sets.

The researchers fed their model synthetic data, and it generated signals the program could never see before. According to one of the researchers, “despite this, the language model was able to make generalizations and then extract knowledge from them”.

The team hypothesized that AI models that exhibit in-context learning actually create smaller models within themselves to achieve new tasks. This may be possible due to a concept called “self-attention” used by transformer models such as ChatGPT to track relationships in sequential data, such as the words in a sentence.

The paper is being posted now and will undoubtedly be the subject of further research, but it could be a big step forward in understanding how and why this happens, how large language models learn and store information.

Source: vice president

Many companies are reporting that one of the biggest challenges in hybrid and remote work is on-the-job training and integration of junior employees. A Forbes report claims that remote and hybrid mentoring can be the solution to this problem.

The article states that an effective structured mentoring program will require companies to pair senior staff members with junior staff members for virtual mentoring sessions. They must also be part of a team that also includes two members from outside the regular work group of employees. One should be from the junior staff members’ business unit, and the other from a different unit. Must be from at least one different geographic region.

The team structure will address one of the key problems in remote and hybrid work – not only helping junior employees build their own networks, but also increasing cross functional connections for employees.

Staff members of the individual’s own team should meet monthly with their mentor in a brief 20-30 minute meeting, and go through a checklist that includes checking their progress, answering questions to determine An inventory of how the employee is feeling and how confident they are in their role. Also, one must see what are the obstacles they are facing and what else they need for their progress and development.

The article contains a list of questions, but suggests that each company or even team should adapt these for their own use.

Source: forbes

Here is today’s top tech news.

Links to these stories can be found in articles posted at itworldcanada.com/podcasts. You can also find more great stories and more in-depth coverage at itworldcanada.com or in the US at technewsday.com.

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I am Jim Love – Have a nice Monday.

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