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Interesting Stuffs – 23

Exciting things I learned and read during the week (23 Dec – 30 Dec):

  1. Can GPT-3 write an academic paper on itself, with minimal human input?

“We believe that the benefits of letting GPT-3 write about itself outweigh the risks. However, we recommend that any such writing be closely monitored by researchers in order to mitigate any potential negative consequences.”

2. This Year’s Most Thought-Provoking Brain Discoveries

  • “Your brain has a thumps-up thumps-down switch”
  • “Facial expressions do not convey what you’ve been taught about someone’s emotional demeanor”
  • “Your kid may be a dandelion and an orchid – and even a tulip”
  • “If you see something, it may help you to say something”

3. The Most Compelling Science Graphics of 2022

4. What Is a Dog Anyway?

“I hypothesize that allying with wolves allowed modern Homo sapiens to outcompete and out-survive earlier species like Neandertals who had lived successfully in Europe long before modern humans got there. I see no startlingly large change in weapons in the earliest modern human sites that would account for their survival. Dogs would have helped modern humans not only in hunting but also in guarding the carcass from scavengers after the kill.”

“So, why is the origin of dogs contentious? We don’t know how to define what a dog is. First, there is no single trait that we can observe in modern or ancient canids that marks them as dogs.

5. How to… use AI to teach some of the hardest skills

“We created an assignment where students ask the AI to explain a particular concept step by step, something AI is very good at. Students should then improve this output by adding information, considering the order of the steps, and re-thinking the depth of their knowledge about the topic

6. What Hunter-Gatherers Can Teach Us About the Frustrations of Modern Work

“If we hope to replace this mishmash of conventions with something more fulfilling and sustainable, it makes sense to start by asking fundamental questions about what “work” meant throughout most of human history. Once we realize the degree to which our minds adapted for immediate-return efforts, with varied pace and plenty of skill, our frustrations with long days filled with frantic e-mailing and schedule-devouring meetings suddenly make sense”

7. Charting Income Distributions in 16 Different Countries

“On a global scale, adults making an annual income greater than $124,720 make it into the 99th percentile, meaning they make more than 99% of the worldwide population. However, things change when you zoom in on specific countries. People in America’s top 1% make at least $336,953 in annual pre-tax income. That’s more than $100,000 above the 1% of next closest countries, Germany ($212,107) and Canada ($193,036).”

“It is also noticeable how much income varies within each country. One example is Colombia, which has one of the largest wealth gaps of any country on the list. The 99th percentile in Colombia is making an annual income that’s 192x higher than its 10th percentile. In contrast, an income in the 99th percentile in the United States is 83x higher than the 10th percentile.

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