Google Ads Generative AI, TruthGPT, and India to Become the Most Populous Country on Earth. Newsletter #20
Elon Musk’s TruthGPT
Google Plans to Use Generative AI in Advertising
SpaceX Rocket Explodes
India Will Become the Most Populous Country on Earth
Elon Musk’s TruthGPT 🤖
Elon Musk says he’s working on a “maximum truth seeking AI” known as TruthGPT.
During an interview with Fox News he said that he believes the best path to AI safety is creating an AI that wants to understand the universe because humans are an interesting part of the universe.
He compared how advanced AI might view us as similar to how we view chimpanzees - we could hunt them down and kill them, but we strive to protect them and their habitat (in most cases) because we find them interesting.
Musk, who helped found OpenAI, believes profit is now becoming a priority for the company, rather than its original goal of democratizing AI. He insinuated that OpenAI's profit motives might compromise the ethical standards of its AI models, whilst presenting "TruthGPT" as a more transparent alternative.
The extent of TruthGPT’s development remains unclear, and it’s unlikely that the model even exists at this stage. Nevertheless, Musk appears to be genuinely interested in building it.
‘An AI that cares about understanding the universe is unlikely to annihilate humans because we are an interesting part of the universe.’ - Elon Musk
Tesla Earnings 🚗
Tesla’s Q1 earnings came out last week and were less than stellar. The electric vehicle company reported:
Earnings per Share: $0.85 actual vs $0.85 expected.
Revenue: $23.3 billion actual vs $23.2 billion expected.
Unfortunately, net income for the quarter fell 24% to $2.51 billion. This was blamed on the aggressive price cuts that Tesla’s made this year and the “underutilization of new factories”.
Musk is willing to sacrifice short-term profit to achieve market dominance in the EV space, saying Tesla has “a unique strategic advantage” as it will one day be able to make money from cars on the road - if it can achieve full autonomy.
He hopes that having a bigger number of cars out on the road collecting data to train the self-driving software, will eventually lead to the development of fully autonomous vehicles and huge profit margins for Tesla.
Tesla had cut the prices of its vehicles in an effort to gain market share and it seems to be working short term. Whether they can keep this up remains to be seen.
“This is a good time to increase our lead further, and we’ll continue to invest in growth as fast as possible” - Elon Musk
Shares fell nearly 10% on Thursday after the results were released but are still up 53% since the start of the year. Investors will want to see higher profits soon though.
As the Financial Times said - “Musk’s apparent willingness to see margins fall further, along with signs that the price cuts had only slightly lifted sales this year, have taken the edge off a strong rally.”
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Google Plans to Use Generative AI in Ads 📑
Google announced last week that it’s planning to start using generative AI in its advertising business in the coming months. It seems every tech company now wants to incorporate the technology into their products in one form or another.
Big and small tech companies alike are racing to capitalize on generative AI which has exploded in popularity since the turn of the year.
Google has recently integrated generative AI into its widely used productivity applications, such as Google Workspace, Google Docs and Gmail. And in a presentation titled “AI-powered ads 2023” the company said Generative AI is unlocking a world of creativity.
At the moment, it uses AI in its advertising business to create simple prompts that encourage users to buy products. But the integration of its latest generative AI, which also powers its (notoriously poor) Bard chatbot, means it will be able to produce more sophisticated products.
Advertisers will be able to supply content such as imagery, video, and text for a specific campaign. The AI will then remix this content to generate ads optimized to reach a specific audience.
There are worries that optimizing the AI to convert customers could easily lead to it spreading misinformation and stating falsehoods confidently, as models like this are already known to do.
But Google has said it will put firm guardrails in place to prevent such errors, known as “hallucinations”, when it rolls out the new generative AI features in the coming months.
SpaceX Rocket Explodes
The first launch of the most powerful rocket ever built, Starship, ended in fireworks but achieved its primary goal of getting off the launchpad and will provide useful data for future journeys.
Elon Musk had said before the flight that just getting the vehicle off the ground would count as a success.
Although the upper section of Starship (the spacecraft itself), had flown in short hops before, this marked the first time it had been launched with its lower stage.
The colossal booster, known simply as “Super Heavy”, was fired in February while still attached to its launch mount. However, its 33 engines were only operating at 50% capacity during that launch.
The mission was designed to send the vessel on a single almost full orbit around the Earth, culminating in a Pacific splashdown roughly a few hundred kilometers north of Hawaii with no expectation that the rocket would be recovered.
Long term however, the ultimate objective is to recover both components, refill them with fuel, and repeat the launch process multiple times in quick succession.
Elon Musk has said the company will launch another rocket in a few months.
India Will Become the Most Populous Country on Earth 🌏
India will become the most populous country on Earth by the middle of the year according to data released by the UN.
India will reach 1.428 billion people by the middle of 2023, surpassing China’s 1.425 billion, although the exact date obviously can’t be known with a high degree of accuracy.
China’s birth rate has been declining for a long time. This was initially because of the one-child policy, but even though it was lifted in 2015 the number of births in China has continued to fall. This is now primarily down to economic and social reasons.
Although India and China will soon account for more than one-third of the roughly 8 billion people on earth, the population growth in both Asian giants has been slowing - at a much faster pace in China than in India.
India’s annual population growth has averaged 1.2% since 2011, compared with 1.7% in the 10 years previously. Whilst China’s population fell in 2022 for the first time in 60 years
Population collapse is becoming an ever larger issue for all countries around the world, especially in East Asia and Eastern Europe. How and if this will be solved is unclear but it will pose a major threat to the global economy and civilization as a whole by the middle of this century.
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