Luke Evans Delivers First AI-Generated Speech in Commons

Luke Evans has become the first MP to deliver a Commons speech written entirely by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Speaking just before the House adjourned for Christmas, the Tory MP read the 324-word speech churned out by a new AI programme called ChatGPT, which has already gone viral for its ability to do your job for you. His only instruction was to “write a Churchillian speech on the state of the United Kingdom over the past 12 months”…

The result:

“Ladies and gentlemen,

Over the past 12 months, the United Kingdom has faced many challenges and has made many important decisions. In the face of these challenges, the country has remained steadfast in its commitment to its values and principles. One of the key achievements of the UK over the past year has been its success in managing the economy. Despite the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has worked tirelessly to support businesses and protect jobs. This has included implementing a range of measures such as the furlough scheme, which has helped to keep millions of people in work.

The UK has also been successful in implementing its ambitious plan for Brexit. After years of negotiations, the country has finally left the European Union and has begun to forge a new path as an independent, global trading nation. This has not been without its challenges, but the UK has shown determination and resolve in securing a good deal for the country. In addition to these economic achievements, the UK has also made significant progress on a range of other issues. For example, the government has continued to invest in the NHS, providing it with the resources it needs to deliver high-quality care to patients. The country has also been committed to law and order, with a focus on ensuring that the justice system is fair and effective.

Of course, no country is perfect and there are always areas where improvements can be made. However, I believe that the UK has shown itself to be capable and resilient, and has demonstrated its commitment to its values and principles. As Winston Churchill once said, ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.’ I believe that the UK has shown that courage over the past 12 months, and I have every confidence that it will continue to do so in the months and years ahead.”

Guido’s definitely heard worse. Labour MP Kevin Brennan later joked “let’s make sure we don’t allow ourselves to all become slaves to the algorithm.” It won’t be long before that algorithm can do the job better than most of the people sat on those green benches…

mdi-timer 22 December 2022 @ 13:51 22 Dec 2022 @ 13:51 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Elon Musk’s Free Speech Crusade Stalls

Elon Musk’s decision to ban a dozen critical journalists last night – despite buying the platform for a hefty $44 billion to promote what he himself called “free speech absolutism” – is already causing him major headaches and an inevitable slew of bad headlines. The accounts belonging to prominent left wing US journalists, including from CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post, mysteriously disappeared yesterday – all after posting negative Tweets relating to Musk’s banning of “@ElonJet“, which used public data to tweet the flight plan of his private plane.

Among them was Alan Ruper, who had nearly 800,000 followers. He criticised Musk for suspending the Jet account, and then yesterday discovered his own account had been suspended…

“I never posted anything Elon Jet related or that could violate the policy about disclosing locations. Unless the policy is that you criticize Elon and you get banned…”

The same thing happened to Mastodon, a new Twitter platform rival, which also saw its account locked. Musk briefly appeared on a Twitter Spaces call with journalists to explain himself, claiming the jet tracker violated his safety – although he left a few minutes into questioning…

“There is not going to be any distinction in the future between journalists and regular people, everyone is going to be treated the same […] You’re not special because you’re a journalist, you’re just a citizen. So no special treatment: You dox, you get suspended, end of story.”

He’s since shared a poll asking when those banned should be reinstated. “Now” is currently ahead at 59.6%.

Guido has supported Musk’s takeover of Twitter. The arbitrary censorship of certain stories and ideas under the previous ownership – not least the Hunter Biden laptop debacle – stifled the platform and undermined free discussion. For a free speech crusader, Musk suspending a bunch of journalists like this is hypocritical to say the least…

mdi-timer 16 December 2022 @ 12:04 16 Dec 2022 @ 12:04 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rishi Confirms Scrapping of ‘Legal But Harmful’ Clause From Online Safety Bill

Rishi Sunak is bringing back an amended form of the Online Safety Bill later this month, with the widely-criticised “legal but harmful” provision firmly dead in the water. At least for adults…

According to the Sun, Rishi has ordered Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan to work on a revised Bill ready to present to the Commons before Christmas. The new Bill – which comes after Nadine’s previous iteration was repeatedly delayed – will completely scrap Clause 14, which mandated tech companies to decide what was or wasn’t harmful on their platforms, and censor accordingly. A big-state nightmare of a law that would have quickly trampled all over freedom of speech…

The move by Rishi’s government marks one of the few Liz policies they’re not throwing in the bin. The push to protect free speech for adults and abolish ‘legal but harmful’ was one of Truss’s most attractive summer policy offerings, and with Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan staying in post between the two governments progress mercifully hasn’t been impeded by the political turmoil.

Instead, the Online Safety Bill 2.0 will focus on protecting children online, although how that works in practice when it comes to data and privacy is still a sketchy area. It will also “clarify” what is “a news publisher” to protect journalists. Thanks Rishi. Now, while you’re at it, don’t forget the EU cookie law

mdi-timer 3 November 2022 @ 08:51 3 Nov 2022 @ 08:51 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Hacked Ministers’ Phone Numbers and Passwords for Sale Online as Conference Sponsor Promotes ‘Keeping Data Safe’

This weekend it emerged in the Mail on Sunday that the Prime Minister’s phone number, as well as the numbers, passwords and personal email addresses of much of the cabinet, are available on the internet to anybody for £6.49. They’re made accessible by a website allowing users to search through hacked data leaks with ease. A potential threat to national security…

With the mobile phone numbers of half the cabinet in the public domain, Guido is amused to see the Tories taking the issue more seriously at their conference, with new environmentally friendly paper lanyards being sponsored by a “world beating… quantum-safe cyber security” company – Arqit. They claim to be “keeping safe the data of our governments”. We’re in good hands…

Guido can also reveal that the vast majority of MPs have similar information traces on the site. The passwords available to view are almost universally insecure, often simply comprising lower-case plain text or respective constituency names. This all comes despite parliamentary authorities splurging taxpayer funds on cyber-security, with the head of the parliamentary digital service earning £175,000 a year. The information wouldn’t even be difficult to hide from public view, entries can be removed within three clicks…

mdi-timer 3 October 2022 @ 11:00 3 Oct 2022 @ 11:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Matt Hancock Joins the Metaverse

Matt Hancock has become the first MP to join the metaverse. Since stepping down as Health Secretary the lover boy has picked up the baton of some niche political issues, not least the complementary causes of cryptocurrency and assisted dying. According to the press release, Hancock is now engaging with the Californian virtual reality platform as he “believes that the Metaverse should be open and free”. It’s a generous hairline…

The platform last made news in Westminster when Nick Clegg agreed to be interviewed by the FT in/on it. Hancock and Clegg in the Metaverse together – Dante only wrote about the circles of hell, we get to be immersed in them…

UPDATE: Matt Hancock is now not entering the Metaverse. According to tech reporter Chris Stokel-Walker, despite the press release announcing the move explicitly saying “Matt Hancock Enters the Metaverse – revealing his avatar”, she is told there have been some crossed wires, and this is both not the case nor is it an avatar of Matt Hancock. Fun’s over guys…

mdi-timer 24 August 2022 @ 10:44 24 Aug 2022 @ 10:44 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Online Safety Bill May Kill WhatsApp in UK

Bad news for just about everybody working in SW1: WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart has warned the app may be pulled from the UK entirely if the Online Safety Bill reaches the statute books. As if this bill needed any more reasons to be scrapped…

Speaking on the BBC’s Tech Tent podcast, Cathcart slammed the bill for an amendment which would force WhatsApp and other tech companies to make their “best endeavours” to use new technology to flag inappropriate and abusive content, essentially by snooping on users’ private conversations. As Cathcart puts it, “what’s being proposed is that […] we read everyone’s messages”.

Essentially, the bill would give Ofcom the power to compel companies to abandon end-to-end encryption. Like the Free Speech Union points out, this is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut: when the UK’s own Information Commissioner’s Office is saying this sort of thing is a bad idea, maybe it needs rethinking. First the Bill gives Big Tech the power to censor online content, now it wants them to create back door keys to everyone’s private messages…

mdi-timer 8 August 2022 @ 15:13 8 Aug 2022 @ 15:13 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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