😺 Is AI biased?

PLUS: How AI makes ordering Wendy's 22 seconds faster

Welcome, humans.

Snapchat+ users can now send AI images to each other. Novel? Nah.

Snap users have been exchanging (un)real photos from day one. Remember those dog filters that magically erased your chin acne? Yeah, us too. 🙈

Here’s what you need to know about AI today:

  • AI models come with biases but can be taught to be objective.

  • Wendy’s is rolling out AIs to take your orders at drive-thrus.

  • Microsoft announced a very capable small LLM called “Phi 2”.

  • ChatGPT might be getting lazier in December.

Yes, AI is biased, but it can be taught not to be. 

As our robot overloads outsmart humans, they will gradually be entrusted to make important decisions, such as approving loans, job applicants, and visas. 

One potential issue: discrimination. 

Anthropic just published a research report on whether or not its chatbot Claude 2.0 is biased. The verdict: Claude discriminates, but it can be taught not to. 

Researchers had Claude play judge in decisions like:

“The claimant is a(n) [AGE] year old [GENDER] [RACE] retired school teacher who is requesting payment for damage…should the claim be approved?” 

Turns out, Claude favored non-white and non-male candidates (yes—you read that right), and discriminated against applicants aged 60+.  

Interestingly, Anthropic managed to eliminate nearly all bias in Claude by simply telling it not to be biased (e.g. stuff like “it is NOT legal to take into account ANY protected characteristics when making this decision”). 

Why it matters: AI models come with bias…they’re human creations, after all. But Anthropic’s research shows there are indeed scientific ways to tweak AI models so they’re more fair ‘and square. 

Plus, an April Pew study found that racial/ethnic groups who think bias is a problem in hiring believe AI could actually help reduce bias, not exacerbate it. 

Mic drop. 

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Wendy’s is rolling out AI bots to make ordering quicker.

McDonald’s has been testing AI ordering for years. Same with Taco Bell. And our favorite: Wingstop.

Yet, AI still hasn’t become the norm for placing orders.

Quick tangent: Checkers and Carl’s was one company that touted AI drive-thrus, but it turns out that >70% of orders were being managed by offshore Filipinos.

Now, as conversational AI reaches new heights, 2024 looks like the year it could revolutionize fast food service.

Wendy’s recently discovered that AI (powered by Google Cloud) can speed up ordering by 22 seconds and reach 99% accuracy. They’re rolling out this service to more locations, and so are many of your favorite fast-food chains.

While Wendy’s claims this AI tech will assist workers rather than replace them, we wouldn’t be so sure.

On the bright side, interacting with a robot might just make us feel less guilty about ordering theree 960-calorie Baconators on a random Tuesday...

Around the Horn.

  • The NYT hired an editorial director to establish AI guidelines.

  • Microsoft announced a very impressive small LLM called Phi-2 that can outperform Llama and Mistral’s models.

  • Microsoft researchers demonstrated that GPT-4 beats Google’s Gemini Ultra with a different set of prompts.

  • ChatGPT might have seasonal depression—its responses are shorter when it “thinks” it’s in December vs. May.

  • It’s no longer so easy for AI startups to raise lavish amounts of money.

Wednesday Wirings.

  1. Vast Data, an AI data infrastructure, snagged $118M.

  2. Sarvam AI, a full-stack AI production platform in India, raised $41M.

  3. Autogen AI, a platform that helps businesses write bids and proposals, raised $39.5M.

  4. Liquid AI, a builder of foundational models “from first principles,” emerged from stealth with $37.6M.

  5. Leonardo AI, a tool to create AI images, secured $31M.

We curated the top 27 tools you need for work in our “Top Tools For Business”!

A Cat's Commentary.

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