Becoming Scientists


Becoming A Chatbot

Laura Preston | Guardian | 13th December 2022

Account of a year working as the "human backup" for a conversational AI named Brenda, which answers basic questions about real estate listings. The company deliberately hired poets and writers with MFAs or PhDs. The work was mostly a "game of reflexes", editing and improving the AI's responses against the clock. Brenda was never allowed to say "I don't know" or "I'm not a bot" (5,509 words)


Scientists Can't Give Up On Alien Life

Ethan Siegel | Big Think | 13th December 2022

Efforts to discover life elsewhere in the universe have so far yielded no results, but continuing the hunt is still a valuable endeavour. Facing the "end of our scientific certainty" and designing methods of inquiry that attempt to go beyond the limits of our capabilities into the philosophical realm is worthwhile in and of itself. "The odds are unknown, but the payoff could be unfathomable" (2,938 words)


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