Artificial intelligence might eventually write this article

I hope my headline is an overstatement, purely for job purposes, but in this week’s Vergecast artificial intelligence episode, we explore the world of large language models and how they might be used to produce AI-generated text in the future. Maybe it’ll give writers ideas for the next major franchise series, or write full blog posts, or, at the very least, fill up websites with copy that’s too arduous for humans to do.

Among the people we speak to is Nick Walton, the cofounder and CEO of Latitude, which makes the game AI Dungeon, which creates a plot in the game around what you put into it. (That’s how Walton ended up in a band of traveling goblins — you’ll just have to listen to understand how that makes sense!) We also chat with Samanyou Garg, founder of Writesonic, a company that offers various writing tools powered by AI. The company can even have AI write a blog post — I’m shaking! But really.

Anyway, toward the end of the episode, I chat with James Vincent, The Verge’s AI and machine learning senior reporter, who calms me down and helps me understand what the future of text-generation AI might be. He’s great. Check out the episode above, and make sure you subscribe to the Vergecast feed for one more episode of this AI miniseries, as well as the regular show. See you there!

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Tech News

Facebook test makes sure you’ve read an article before sharing it

We like to make fun of Facebook for copying features off of other platforms, but this time around it’s probably a good idea: Facebook is testing a feature that will remind users they should read an article before sharing it — just like Twitter. In fact, the company shared the news on Twitter, perhaps as a subtle acknowledgement of this fact.

If you try to share an article on Facebook you haven’t opened yourself, you’ll be reminded that you should, you know, read it. You can still go ahead and share it — you might’ve already read the article elsewhere, for instance — but this could be a welcome deterrent to keep people from sharing unreliable articles mindlessly.

And before you say that such a feature won’t stop anyone from sharing dumb articles, I wouldn’t be quite so skeptical. When Twitter tested this feature before launching it more widely, it found people opened articles 40% more often after seeing the prompt, and that many people ended up not sharing an article once they actually read them.

That’s not to say Facebook will see quite the same results — especially now that some Trump-related disinformation has died down down — but it could be a welcome addition. As a reporter that has responded to far too many comments and emails from people who didn’t bother to read an article beyond the headline, I’m all for it.

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