Ubiquitous cameras plus AI will change how we understand the world

Source: Understanding AI
by Timothy B Lee

“GPT-4V is able to reason about images with the same kind of flexibility ChatGPT shows when reasoning about text. And because OpenAI is selling it as a new capability of ChatGPT, I think a lot of people are going to think about it as mainly a new feature for the chatbot. But that’s a mistake: the most important uses for image recognition technologies like GPT-4V isn’t chatting with individual users. It’s the ability to glean value from huge databases of images. … Cameras are already common in factories and warehouses. Better image recognition software will let companies manage these facilities more efficiently — from tracking inventory levels to making sure workers wear safety equipment (and don’t slack off too much). … I’m not going to make any specific predictions about how any of this might play out, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be important.” (10/03/23)


US House removes McCarthy as Speaker

Source: The Hill

“Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is no longer Speaker of the House. A small group of House Republicans, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) joined with Democrats to oust him in a 216-210 vote. Tuesday marks the first time the House has ever voted to remove a sitting Speaker …. The chamber will be run by an acting Speaker — Speaker pro tempore — chosen from a list designated by McCarthy and shared with the House clerk, a process implemented for continuity of government reasons after 9/11. Members in both parties expect that the Speaker pro tempore has the chief responsibility of presiding over a new Speaker election. Until then, House aides expect the House to be able to do little else — creating a repeat of McCarthy’s historic 15-ballot election in January.” (10/03/23)


Don’t Believe Your Lying Eyes

Source: Brownstone Institute
by Bobbie Anne Flower Cox

“[H]ere we are, entering the final quarter of 2023, and we have the United States government, and many state governments (including New York’s former Governor Andrew Cuomo, current left-wing Governor Kathy Hochul, and the super-majority Dem legislature) proclaiming for all to hear that they did not force anyone to do anything detrimental these past 3.5 years. … They are actually saying with straight faces that they didn’t force you to wear a mask, or lock down and shutter your businesses, or choose between taking an experimental drug or losing your job … Nope! They did none of that. … Unfortunately for Big Brother, ooops, I mean unfortunately for our 100 percent reliable, never-lies-to-us government, we have actual documents (including lawsuits), news stories, social media posts, and videos of the government at all levels mandating and forcing us to do all of those things, and more.” (10/03/23)


India: Regime tells Canadian regime to remove 41 diplomats

Source: Associated Press

“India has told Canada to remove 41 of its 62 diplomats in the country, an official familiar with the matter said Tuesday, ramping up a confrontation between the two countries over Canadian accusations that India may have been involved in the killing of a Sikh separatist leader in suburban Vancouver. The official, who confirmed an earlier report from the Financial Times, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. India’s Ministry of External Affairs declined to comment, but ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had previously called for a reduction in Canadian diplomats in India, saying they outnumbered India’s staffing in Canada.” (10/03/23)


In Chasing Amazon, the FTC Ignores Consumers

Source: Hoover Institution
by Richard A Epstein

“[FTC chairwoman Lina] Khan seeks to pin Amazon as a monopolist by defining small markets in which Amazon necessarily has large shares. As a Wall Street Journal editorial observes, her definition of the Online Superstore Market keeps in the mix Target, Walmart, and eBay, which are not going anywhere soon. It is a routine practice for savvy consumers to compare prices across these markets, so that Amazon does not even have close to a monopoly in this market. The definition also excludes all brick-and-mortar stores, which are often frequented by Amazon’s customers. … Nor does the complaint give any explanation of the overall stock price of Amazon [the decline of which] is easily explainable by the steep competition that it faces everywhere in marketplace (coupled with the end of the COVID boom in online sales).” (10/03/23)


Ukraine war: Western allies say they are running out of ammunition

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Western military powers are running out of ammunition to give Ukraine to defend itself against Russia’s full-scale invasion, the UK and Nato have warned. Adm Rob Bauer, Nato’s most senior military official, told the Warsaw Security Forum that ‘the bottom of the barrel is now visible.’ He said governments and defence manufacturers now had to ‘ramp up production in a much higher tempo.’ Ukraine fires thousands of shells every day and most now come from Nato. The admiral, who chairs Nato’s Military Committee, said decades of underinvestment meant Nato countries had begun supplying Ukraine with weapons with their ammunition warehouse already half-full or even emptier. ‘We need large volumes. The just-in-time, just-enough economy we built together in 30 years in our liberal economies is fine for a lot of things — but not the armed forces when there is a war ongoing.'” (10/03/23)


RFK JR. Could Play Spoiler, but Not for Biden

Source: The Dispatch
by Chris Stirewalt

“Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is expected to announce next week that he is leaving the Democratic Party and taking his presidential bid elsewhere. Where, exactly, remains unclear. But there are hints. As the folks at No Labels can attest, gaining ballot access for a new party is very hard. And at this late date, Kennedy would need help, which the struggling Libertarian Party could provide. Kennedy met with the party’s chairwoman over the summer, and his views on vaccines, foreign policy, and allegations of criminal conspiracies inside the federal government line up well with the party’s current direction. And some of Kennedy’s funders occupy that fuzzy space between MAGA and the new-look Libertarian Party. … Kennedy’s support already comes more from right-leaning Americans than from Democrats, and that would only intensify if he took on the Libertarian label.” (10/03/23)


NY: Judge issues gag order after disgraced former president posts about court clerk

Source: United Press International

“The judge in Donald Trump’s multimillion dollar business fraud trial in New York City issued a partial gag order Tuesday after the former president blasted the judge’s law clerk in a post on social media. New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron issued the order on the second day of the civil trial after Trump posted a photo Tuesday morning of court clerk Allison Greenfield with Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on his Truth Social site. Trump captioned the photo ‘Schumer’s girlfriend,’ arguing that his case should be dismissed because she is ‘running this case against me.’ The post was removed several hours later. ‘Consider this a gag order on all parties with respect to posting or publicly speaking about any member on my staff,’ Engoron announced Tuesday afternoon.” (10/03/23)


The Biden Administration Is Addicted to Partnerships

Source: Foreign Policy
by Stephen M Walt

“Even before relations with Russia deteriorated, the United States had been steadfastly committed to open-ended NATO enlargement and the gradual expansion of security partnerships in other key regions. By 2015, in fact, the United States was committed to defending nearly 70 countries around the world, together comprising more than 2 billion people and about 75 percent of global economic output. That impulse has only deepened in the wake of the war in Ukraine, with Washington actively supporting the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO and insisting that Ukraine (and possibly others) will be welcomed into the alliance at some point in the future. The Biden administration has also worked to deepen the so-called Quad (U.S., India, Australia, and Japan) in the Indo-Pacific and has helped broker a new level of security cooperation between Australia and Great Britain through the AUKUS technology-sharing deal. But wait, there’s more!” (10/03/23)