An AI artwork won first place, and artists are pissed
“I won first place,” a user going by Sincarnate said in a Discord post above photos of the AI-generated canvases hanging at the Colorado State Fair. Sincarnate’s name is Jason Allen, who is president of Colorado-based tabletop gaming company Incarnate Games. According to the state fair’s website, he won in the digital art category with a work called “Théâtre D'opéra Spatial.” The image depicts a strange scene that looks like a masterfully done painting. But Allen did not paint “Théâtre D'opéra Spatial,” AI software called Midjourney did.
Twitter finally unveils an edit button
Begone, typos and grammar mistakes! Begone, fat-fingered auto corrected slip-ups and textual despair! The edit button is coming to Twitter. On Thursday, after countless pleas from many of its more than 237 million users, some people will start being able to click a button on the social media service to edit a tweet after they have posted it. It has been only about 15 years, nine months and 22 days since they started asking for that ability. Twitter’s commitment to first drafts made it a destination for online brawls and hot takes. But people have often regretted their choice of words, or noticed a misspelling just after posting a tweet.
Abraham Lincoln almost joined the infamous Donner expedition that ended in cannibalism
By now, most people have heard of the Donner Party, a pioneer group that attempted to migrate to California in 1846-1847. For a variety of reasons — including taking the wrong trail — they moved too slowly through the mountains and got caught going through a treacherous pass in December. They were trapped without food, and of the 87 members of the original wagon train, only 48 survived by resorting to survival cannibalism. And Abraham Lincoln, who knew one of the party's organizers, almost joined them on the journey. The great podcast "You're Wrong About" just did an episode on it.
Kids yell “poop” at Alexa and these folks profit
Katie Notopolous writes: "There are many topics that my 5-year-old and I don’t see eye to eye on: how many popsicles per day is reasonable or the virtues of sleeping past 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday. But there is one area where we are in philosophical lockstep: “Poop” is a funny word. So when my son commanded our Amazon Echo Dot, “Alexa…play poopy diaper,” and Alexa replied, “OK, playing ‘Poopy Diaper’ from Spotify,” I was intrigued. As it turns out, there are quite a few songs that will fill Alexa requests for the whole gamut of things a kindergartener might dream up: poop, diapers, dog poop, stinky butt, farts.
The pandemic erased two decades of progress in math and reading
National test results released on Thursday showed in stark terms the pandemic’s devastating effects on American schoolchildren, with the performance of 9-year-olds in math and reading dropping to the levels from two decades ago. This year, for the first time since the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests began tracking student achievement in the 1970s, 9-year-olds lost ground in math, and scores in reading fell by the largest margin in more than 30 years. The declines spanned almost all races and income levels and were markedly worse for the lowest-performing students.
Australian Signals Directorate releases coin with secret code to mark 75th anniversary
The limited-edition commemorative coin will be released on Thursday to mark the 75th anniversary of the nation's foreign intelligence cybersecurity agency, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD). While the coin is not intended for circulation, 50,000 specialty coins will be available for purchase from the Royal Australian Mint, each featuring four levels of coded messages to crack. ASD director-general Rachel Noble said the coin celebrated the work of the agency's members and the evolution of code-breaking – and could be a recruiting scheme as well. The agency's director said those who crack the codes could be "pretty well placed" to get a job at the ASD.