Five Minute Blockchain Newsletter No. 49

Updates from the intersection of trust, content and blockchain. What are notable developments this week?

Five Minute Blockchain – Nr. 49

17.02.2023

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes, 39 seconds



TRUST


Open AI aims to avoid biased ChatGPT output

“How should AI systems behave, and who should decide?” That is a relevant question. But it gets even more relevant if this is the headline on a blog post on the website of a currently leading AI company. OpenAI is determined to avoid the big (and costly) controversies that have riddled other large content platforms, such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, for years. Yet, with the incredible dynamics unleashed as AI chat software is added to the search, avoiding big problems is the big challenge.

Open AI

Mira Murati, CTO @OpenAI on Twitter


Researchers warn about the potential of AI use for “automated propaganda”

There is a horror scenario the newest AI content platforms could help to produce “automated to spread very convincing and effective disinformation”. Only last week, there were news reports in Canada that state-funded actors fueled the”Freedom Convoy” in 2022 to weaken the Trudeau government.

Now researchers from leading AI companies warn that without preparation, such events might become more regular:

“A cohort of researchers from OpenAI, Stanford, and Georgetown Universities are warning that large language models like the kind used by ChatGPT could be used as part of disinformation campaigns to help more easily spread propaganda.”

Vice

National Observer Canada


Google launches “privacy sandbox” on Android as an alternative to user tracking for ads

The question here is not so much whether it works but what happens if this approach by Google fails. The company would be in even bigger trouble than through the recent competition from Microsoft/Open AI.

From The Verge:

“Around this time last year, Google revealed it was working on a multiyear initiative to improve privacy and remodel ad tracking on Android phones, bringing the mobile platform in line with Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature for iOS. Following the release of an early developer preview last April, Google says the first beta for Privacy Sandbox on Android will start rolling out tomorrow (ed. = February 15 2023) to a limited number of Android 13 devices, allowing users and developers to test the new technology in the real world.” (The Verge)

From Ars Technica:

“Privacy Sandbox, on Chrome and Android, tracks users by interest groups rather than individually, which Google claims is a privacy improvement. Android will soon build an advertising profile of you, and the user interface will let you block “interests” you don’t want to see ads for.” (Ars Technica)


When your data sells better than milk and eggs

“When you use supermarket discount cards, you are sharing much more than what is in your cart.”

The MarkUp has a longer article about what happens with your data (based on practices of US supermarkets). But data generated via discount cards, which combine a person and grocery purchases, are generally sold for a profit, not just in the US.

The Markup


Even the stars of Fox Corporation did not believe in election fraud

Messages and testimony from top TV presenters and management of Fox News revealed as part of a defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voter Systems shows: Although Fox News reported about the topic, many did not believe the claims that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald J. Trump.

The New York Times ($)


CONTENT


CEO Susan Wojcicki steps down as CEO of YouTube

Is it relevant when a senior tech executive steps down from leading a large platform? Yes, in this case, it is notable. First, this is a reminder that for the past 25 years, intelligent people working for Google have built the dominant platforms in several areas. Google is the leader in search, and YouTube is the biggest video platform.

“During her tenure, YouTube became increasingly important to the business for Google, which bought the site in 2006, and Alphabet, the holding company that houses both of them: In 2022, YouTube generated $29.2 billion in ad sales — more than 10 percent of Alphabet’s total revenue.”

YouTube: A personal update from Susan

Vox.com


Launch of Bard is considered “un-googly.”

“Google employees aren’t holding back about the substandard launch of ChatGPT competitor Bard. According to CNBC, which viewed the posts, staffers have been posting memes on Google’s internal forum Memegen about how the launch of the generative AI tool was handled, directly calling out CEO Sundar Pichai for the misstep. Memes which got a lot of upvotes included a picture of Pichai and said “Dear Sundar, the Bard launch and the layoffs were rushed, botched, and myopic.”

Mashable

CNBC


Mastodon usage going down after the spike

The takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk in October 2022 led to an exodus of users; many selected Mastodon as an alternative. But Mastodon can not compete with Twitter, at least for now – there are not as many users, so the network effect of more prominent Twitter is hard to beat.

“Mastodon’s active monthly user count dropped to 1.4 million by late January. It now has nearly half a million fewer total registered users than at the start of the year. Many newcomers have complained that Mastodon is hard to use. Some have returned to the devilish bird they knew: Twitter.”

Wired ($)


BLOCKCHAIN


Abu Dhabi: $2 Billion Investment program for web3 and blockchain startups

“The capital’s tech ecosystem, called Hub71, has officially launched its brand new Hub71+ Digital Assets, which will be based at Hub71 in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). With a massive capital of $2 billion, Hub71+ Digital Assets aims to fund different startups in the Web3 field and offer them access to “an extensive range” of programs and initiatives, as well as corporate, government, and investment partners both in the country and globally”.

Cryptonews


Bitcoin NFTs: Ordinals and inscriptions

New software releases enable new models for content and Bitcoin. There is considerable buzz about this new development.

Inscriptions

Inscriptions are digital artifacts native to the Bitcoin blockchain. They are created by inscribing sats with content using ord, and can be viewed with the ordinals explorer. They do not require a separate token, a side chain, or changing Bitcoin.

ord 0.4.0

ord is an open-source binary written in Rust and developed on GitHub. It implements an ordinal wallet, which can create and transfer inscriptions, and a block explorer. There are public mainnet, signet, and testnetinstances.ord is experimental software and comes with no warranty or guarantees.

Casey Rodarmor’s Blog

Cryptoglobe

Tweets


Taurus gets $65 million to support digital asset management for banks

Credit Swiss and others have invested $65 million in series B venture funding in Taurus. The company is based in Switzerland; the focus is digital asset management, specifically for banks. Three years ago, Taurus already received $11 million. It is an example of a company using distributed ledger/blockchain technology elements to provide better solutions for specific areas.

“We see great potential in the digital asset space, that means tokenization of regulated securities,” a spokesperson said. “Furthermore we believe that by using the DLT [distributed ledger technology] new features can be brought to financial products which in the past were not possible or very expensive. When we speak to some of our clients, we see continued interest in the technology and its possibilities.”

The Block


Analysis: 24% of tokens launched in 2022 lost up to 90% of their value, indicating “pump-and-dump” activities

“Pump and dump schemes in traditional finance are quite simple: Holders of a tradable asset, such as stock in a company, will heavily hype and promote the asset to other investors, often using misleading statements, causing the price to rise rapidly as new investors buy. The holders will then sell their overvalued shares at a profit, causing the price to plummet, leaving the newer investors stuck with a low-value asset. Unfortunately, pump and dump schemes have also become common in the crypto world.”

Chainanalyis


SHORT LINKS

  • Terraform Labs and founder Do Kwon sued in the US for selling unregistered securities and perpetrating a scheme that lost $40B+ in market value. Remarkable that this is merely a side note. (Bloomberg)
  • Reuters Exclusive: Crypto gain Binance move $400 million from US partner to firm managed by CEO Zhao (Reuters)
  • Chinese Tencent cuts 300 people’s strong metaverse unit and dropped VR hardware development (Reuters)
  • Germany raises red flags over Palantir’s Big Data Dragnet (Wired)

Thank you for reading. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact us via info@trublo.eu.

17. February 2023

Written by Mirko Lorenz

Mirko Lorenz, Innovation Manager Research and Cooperation team at Deutsche Welle. More: DW Innovation

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