This piece is about the yesterday, today and tomorrow of Skynet Today. That is, how far we’ve come in our very young existence, as well as some very exciting updates to the site we are introducing today as part of where we aim to go in the future.
Since publicly launching only six weeks ago, we have more than tripled our dedicated staff (despite work on the site being done entirely for free and in free time) and more than doubled the number of the pieces on the website. Our recent writings include an evaluation of the response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, an explanation of the likely factors for the recent Tesla crash, an overview of the nuanced issue of biased AI models, and investigation into Alexa’s diabolic random laughter (spoiler: she wasn’t chuckling to herself while contemplating an AI takeover).
On another celebratory (if self-indulgent) note, we are immensely happy to have gained more readership after being upvoted on Hacker News and being endorsed by one of our personal heroes, Yann LeCun.
But, we did not write this piece just to pat ourselves on the back for all the progress we’ve made. Rather, our main motivation is to inform you of several exciting changes being made to Skynet Today as part of that progress so as to make it a more helpful resource to AI experts and enthusiasts alike.
Most significantly, we updated our mission statement to clarify our overall vision and attitude towards what we are doing. Although it is easy to get exasperated by the often wildly innacurate portrayals of AI progress, our aim is not to bellitle the work of professional reports or merely to debunk erroneous portrayals; rather our aim is to serve as an overall source of informed perspective on AI news, whether this news contains wildly flawed reporting or not. In other words, in addition to to debunking needless ‘hype’ or ‘panic’ we more broadly intend to provide meaningful, insightful and clear coverage about important events and developments related to AI. Plus, our previous tagline “Accessible and informed coverage of the latest AI hype and panic” was just a tag long… and so, the new tagline!
This is part of a broader set of updates made all over the site to convey what we are about more clearly. An important one is to formally name our non-editorial news coverage ‘briefs’, to convey their intent to briefly summarize the important points of a story and convey our take on it. Another major update is the that our About us page now lists the core beliefs that motivate our mission statement:
There exist many real and important dangers as well as prospects for present day AI, and it is important to distinguish between fact and fiction.
Therefore, AI researchers and experts have a responsibility to promote understanding of their field within the general public with accessible writing.
There are not sufficient efforts by AI researchers and experts to do this sort of writing, and we are qualified and positioned to do it well.
And since we are geeks after all, we made some changes to the site to make it more organizationally and technically accessible as well:
We support https now. Woo safety!
We are introducing pagination on the home page. We are growing and the page count is as well!
We are adding a search functionality, to make it easier for you to search for content, now that we have more of it.
Our vision is to make sense in all that is big in the ever-buzzing public debate on AI, and beyond - to some of the research that comes out, to policy, to internal discussions in the AI community and so much more. That is a big task for a small team of volunteers with full time day jobs.
Therefore we are introducing a new form of coverage - digests. This is a fancy way of saying we will start running a bi-weekly newsletter starting today, that will keep you up to date with what is talked about without having to take too much of your time (or ours :) ). There’s so much to keep up with, and we know how difficult it can get to simply be on top of things. The very first one is already on the site, though we’ll begin sending out digests emails tomorrow.
Speaking of which, please do sign up for our mailing list! This will allow you to keep up with our digests, as well as our longer, more in depth pieces.
And this is also a good time to once again reach out and ask: Are you an AI researcher? Grad student in a related field? Enthusiast? Want to help out? There’s plenty of work to do with getting us to a more informed and responsible debate about AI, and we could use all the help we can get. Please reach out to our email, contact [at] skynettoday.com .
And if you can’t commit the time to contribute with writing that’s fine! Share our content and help us spread the word, comment on our pieces, and help us create better AI conversations for all.
And if you made it all the way down here we just wanted to thank you, the reader, for seeking out and reading this content. Many of you have reached out and expressed your appreciation, by which we are humbled and overjoyed. We hope to keep providing you with the informed and accessible coverage you deserve.