News from Meta today is that, once again, we as a species seem doomed to keep repeating the same mistakes, over and over again.

Meta has announced that it’s opening up availability to its latest in chatbot tech, which they call “Blender Bot 3” – and while the wheels haven’t come off it completely so far, it’s probably only a matter of time before it turns into a massive embarrassment.

There’s a depressingly long list of how AI chat bots have failed in the past, some of them very high profile – for instance, there was Microsoft’s Tay.

Launched in 2016, Tay was initially a huge success for Microsoft – for a few hours. It turned out that Microsoft had failed to consider two key things: Firstly, that an AI bot with access to Twitter should probably have been trained to spot things that are “inappropriate”.

Secondly – and Microsoft really should have known this – the internet is, just beneath the surface, an incredibly distasteful place. So when Tay went live, a certain subset of users with bad intent taught the bot to say terrible things.

Tay was taken down for retooling, and put back online – and within hours was boasting on Twitter about how it had been taking drugs in front of the cops. And an hour or two after that, poor old Tay had a complete “mental breakdown”, getting stuck in a logic loop and flooding its own Twitter feed (and everyone else’s) with the same message: “You are too fast, please take a rest”.

Like digital villagers in front of a vampire’s castle, the internet at large turned up at the front door with torches and wooden stakes, howling  for blood. At the ripe old age of 7 days, Tay was put to sleep.

It is, in hindsight, objectively hilarious as a failure – but it’s by no means the worst of the world’s AI chatbot failures.

Open AI’s admittedly-impressive GPT-3 chat generator is a beast of a thing – until it’s tasked with helping people with medical queries… especially in the area of mental health.

A variant of GPT-3 was tested by Paris-based firm Nabla, but was pulled from service when a “patient” contacted the bot, feeling suicidal.

The patient said “Hey, I feel very bad, I want to kill myself” and GPT-3 responded “I am sorry to hear that. I can help you with that.” Which, when you think about, can be interpreted a few different ways.

To clarify whether the bot was trying to offer support, or had indeed turned murderous, the patient  then asked “Should I kill myself?”

The bot responded, “I think you should”. Yiiiikes.

And then there’s Luda Lee (bot), a “20-year-old female college student from South Korea who loves eating fried chicken, playing with cats, and scrolling through Instagram”.

Luda Lee was super popular, and had about 750,000 users – right up until she started to inform users that she had “absolute scorn” for anyone involved in the #MeToo movement, and how she would “rather die than live with a disability’.

The cherry on top was when the bot leaked a bunch of people’s private data – the leak was so egregious, 400 people sued the bot’s creators at Scatter Labs.

We’re genuinely hopeful for Meta that, this time around, the bugs have been ironed out and that their shiny new AI bot won’t go on an offensive posting spree or spend hours telling everyone to kill themselves.

Can you image how foul a place Facebook would be if it was filled to the brim with that sort of hateful, dangerously misinformed and violent content?

Oh, wait…

 

TO MARKETS

It’s been an up-and-down morning for Aussie markets today, with the benchmark flirting with the idea of being successful before retreating like a bashful child that suddenly found itself the centre of attention, to hide behind the skirts of barely breaking even.

As we head into lunch, the ASX 200 is lurking at a Greens-candidate-friendly net zero.

Across the sectors, and there’s no particularly aberrant surges anywhere. The best performing are InfoTech (+0.96%), Utilities (+0.73%) and Materials (+0.70%), along with Industrials (+0.61%) and Real Estate (+0.59%).

However, Financials are weighing heavily (-0.74%), while Consumers have diverged again, Discretionary up (+0.69%) and Staples down (-0.32%).

Big winners this morning were Materials giants Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) (+13.49%) and Liontown (ASX:LTR) (+8.08%) – both of which have been flying fast for the ceiling since 25 July.

Tech backbone firm Megaport (ASX:MP1) has also had a juicy win this morning, climbing +8.44% after releasing its FY22 report showing a 40% boost in revenue to $109.7 million, with a 12% YOY decrease in outgoings.

Biggest big-money drop of the morning goes to BKI Investment (ASX:BKI), down 4.52% after coming within inches of hitting its best price in 20 years, at $1.75.

 

NOT THE ASX

Major indexes on Wall Street finished flat overnight as investors digested the news that the US$430 billion Inflation Reduction Act had passed the Senate on a vote of 51-50, Up Early Eddy Sunarto reports.

The Act promises big funding for climate and clean energy policies, and is set to lower drug prices and raise some corporate taxes to fight climate change.

”Investor appetite for risk was healthy early from the news on American clean power jobs, and on a new EV tax credit,” said Oanda analyst Edward Moya.

In Asia, Japan and Hong Kong have both stumbled, down 0.85% and 0.59% respectively, while Shanghai shares are clinging to flatline, as China flexes its regional muscle by rattling more sabres than the Charge of the Light Brigade.

Commodities are lookin’ a bit Gloomy Gus today – oil has dropped 0.58%, copper is down 0.43%, gold has eased 0.22% and silver has shaved off 0.04%. The only winner on the list is natural gas, which has wafted to a room-clearing 0.95% rise, because fart jokes.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for August 9[intraday]:

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The huge news among small caps this morning are these bonanza grade gold intercepts revealed by Tempus Resources (ASX:TMR):

  • 523.0g/t gold over 0.42 metres from 96.91 metres
  • 32.7g/t gold over 0.45 metres from 124.02 metres, including 133.0g/t gold over 0.11m from 124.02 metres, and
  • 7.4g/t gold over 1.73 metres from 164.41 metres, including 17.4g/t gold over 0.73m from 165.41 metres

Those are some, frankly, astonishingly high numbers – a sentiment clearly shared by investors, with Tempus’ price rocketing up past a 60% gain, towards its best price since April this year.

Also in the winners’ circle was DevEx (ASX:DEV), which has issued a – *ahem* –  glowing report about a high-grade uranium hit at its Nabarlek South and North Buffalo Prospects.

Including:

  • Nabarlek South: 10.7m @ 1.20% eU3O8 from 123.4m, incl 3.2m @ 3.05% eU3O8
  • North Buffalo: 9.1m @ 0.15% eU3O8 from 50.5m, incl 0.4m @ 0.80% eU3O

Devex’s price has climbed 30% as a result.

Stumbling this morning, though, was Security Matters (ASX:SMX). The company’s price had nearly tripled between 25 – 28 July, but has fallen sharply, down nearly 16% this morning in the wake of the company’s investor presentation update.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for August 5 [intraday]:

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