Wednesday, March 20, 2024

"Garlic chicken without garlic? Critics think Amazon recipe book was cooked up by AI"

Still a few bugs in the system.*

From The Register, March 20:

Twitter tipster points to suspicious signs from author producing thousands of recipes 

Late last year, Sam Altman, the optimistic CEO of chatbot manufacturer OpenAI, predicted artificial general intelligence would be with us in five years, give or take.

But as fans of William Gibson will know, the future is already here, it is just unevenly distributed, and Amazon has already given us a glimpse of what is in store.

Eagle-eyed journalist Matthew Kupfer has pointed to a few worrying and suspicious signs in a cookbook he received from his parents.

In a thread on Twitter (more recently renamed X), the book, The Complete Crockpot Cookbook for Beginners, 2024 edition, looks reasonable at first glance, but further consideration reveals a number of tell-tale signs of AI generated content. (In other parts of the world, a crockpot is known as a slow-cooker.)

For a start, the author's picture looks suspect, like the kind of image from a generative adversarial network's stock library of people who do not exist, her mismatched earring being a possible giveaway, as is the missing part of the shoulder....


Speaking of Sam Altman and OpenAI one of our visits to the origin story of the "Bugs in the system" line was in August 2023's "Still A Few Bugs In The System: "ChatGPT's odds of getting code questions correct are worse than a coin flip"": 

....Famously, the very first instance of a computer "bug" was recorded at 3:45 pm (15:45) on the 9th of September 1947. This "bug" was an actual real-life moth, well, an ex-moth, that was extracted to the number 70 relay, Panel F, of the Harvard Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator.

This "bug" (which is a two-inch wingspan of 5 cm) was preserved behind a piece of adhesive tape on the machines' logbook with the now immortalized phrase "[The] first actual case of a bug being found". 

So the first "computer bug" was, in fact, a literal bug. 

The cause of the bug's appearance appears to have been down to members of the programming teams' late-night shift, which included the pioneering computer scientist, and former U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper. A team member left the windows of the room open at night. This was more than enough to let in the moth, which was attracted by the lights in the room and the heat of the calculator to nestle in the 'gubbins' of the Mark II Harvard, where it met its unfortunate end....

Our headline is an homage to an homage to an homage. If interested see 2017's "Still a Few Bugs In the System: 'DeepMind Shows AI Has Trouble Seeing Homer Simpson's Actions'"  

 Which was itself stolen from a computer reference in Doonesbury, 1970:
B.D.: Well, here I sit at college awaiting my new roommate. I know he'll be cool, since he's computer selected! You just fill in a form, send it in, and presto! Ideal roommate! Mike: Hi there! My name's Mike Doonesbury. I hail from Tulsa, Oklahoma and women adore me! Glad to meet you, roomie! B.D.: Of course, there are still a few bugs in the system.