ChatGPT could play a key role in several areas of finance. Guillaume/Getty Images
Experts have predicted ChatGPT’s impact on a variety of industries, and it appears Wall Street will be no exception..OpenAI’s ChatGPT has been the subject of public fascination recently. Microsoft poured $10 billion into the startup during its most recent round at the end of January, which reportedly valued the startup at $29 billion.
It’s still early days — ChatGPT was released to the public in late November — but experts already expect ChatGPT and its underlying tech to be utilized as a productivity-enhancing tool in finance. “It’s going to automate select tasks that knowledge workers are engaged in today so that they can focus on higher-value tasks,” Dylan Roberts, partner and principal at KPMG, told Insider.
ChatGPT has the capacity eventually to replace humans in certain roles, according to some, but the realization rests in the customers’ hands. “Technology will be able to do it. The question is, do customers accept it or not?” Peter-Jan Van de Venn, vice president of global digital banking at consulting firm Mobiquity, told Insider.
However, ChatGPT does have at least one issue specific to its application to finance. The product is “black-boxed,” according to Charles Hearn, the chief technology officer at fintech Alloy, meaning the AI can present answers without being able to trace how it got to those answers. That process can make it difficult to meet some regulatory requirements in financial services.
Others are skeptical of ChatGPT’s ability to revolutionize industries and doubt the likelihood that it is the end-all be-all for white-collar workers. One Princeton professor even called the chatbot a “bullshit generator,” The Markup reported. But Dev Patnaik, CEO of strategy and innovation firm Jump Associates, said dismissing tools like ChatGPT so quickly is a mistake.
“You are using all of your brain power to stack up reasons of why the future is not going to happen rather than think and reason about what you’re going to do about it when it does,” Patnaik told Insider. But while you mull on whether or not to pay attention to ChatGPT on Wall Street, some are already putting the tech to work. At Sweden private-equity giant EQT, ChatGPT is enhancing the firm’s 7-year-old AI platform it built itself, according to Alexandra Lutz, who heads up EQT’s AI-powered Motherbrain.
But while you mull on whether or not to pay attention to ChatGPT on Wall Street, some are already putting the tech to work. At Sweden private-equity giant EQT, ChatGPT is enhancing the firm’s 7-year-old AI platform it built itself, according to Alexandra Lutz, who heads up EQT’s AI-powered Motherbrain.Continue reading..
Drink eight glasses of water a day. Coffee will make you dehydrated. Drinking extra water can help you lose weight. You’ve probably heard these claims about water and hydration before. But are they true?
To set the record straight, Life Kit talks to Tamara Hew-Butler, associate professor of exercise and sports science at Wayne State University; Mindy Millard-Stafford, director of the Exercise Physiology Laboratory at Georgia Tech; and Yuki Oka, a professor of biology at Caltech who specializes in thirst.
They explain the science of hydration and bust 5 common myths about water.
Myth #1: You need to drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
Photo Illustration by Becky Harlan/NPR
Is the advice of drinking eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day to stay hydrated true? Researchers in 2002 tried to pin down studies that might support the claim by looking through multiple scientific databases — but were unable to find rigorous evidence behind it.
What we do know, says Hew-Butler, is that water is essential for our bodies. It makes up a majority of our cells and blood, flushes out waste through our urine and helps cool our bodies through sweat. Too little water, and our cells shrivel up from dehydration. Too much water, and our cells swell up from hyponatremia.
So how much water should we be drinking on a daily basis? It depends, says Hew-Butler, on your body size, your activity level, the temperature and how much you’re sweating.
Because of these factors, there’s no hard and fast rule for how much water you should consume. “The best advice is to listen to your body,” she says. “If you get thirsty, drink water. If you’re not thirsty, you don’t need to drink water.”
“This will protect you against the dangers of both drinking too much and drinking too little,” she adds. “And this recommendation applies to [people of] all shapes and sizes in all temperature conditions.”
Hew-Butler says hydration is also about the balance of water to salt. Sodium is necessary for our nerves and muscles to function. And it’s what our body uses to regulate the amount of fluid it needs to stay hydrated.
Thirst plays a central role in fine-tuning that balance, she explains. “There are sensors located in your brain and they are constantly tasting your blood to see if [there’s] just the right [amount of] salt. If it’s too salty, then [those sensors are] like, ‘Oh my God, I need more water.’ When that happens, it makes you thirsty.”
Then, if you drink too much water and the sensors in your brain detect that your blood is too watery, they signal a hormone that tells your kidneys to pee out the extra water, she says.
In short: you don’t need an app to tell you how much water to drink or guzzle a gallon of water a day – just trust your body to let you know when to drink water, says Hew-Butler.
Another persistent myth about hydration states that caffeine is a diuretic that makes you pee, and therefore caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea don’t hydrate your body. The idea is based on the findings of a study from 1928 that looked at three people. Not only is that sample incredibly small by today’s standards, but the finding has not held up to more recent experiments. So consider this myth busted.
“Those studies have shown that drinking caffeinated and some low alcohol-content beverages [such as beer] are not much different than drinking water,” says Millard-Stafford of Georgia Tech.
Essentially, with the exception of higher alcohol-content beverages like hard liquor, all liquids count towards hydration. As does food. The experts we spoke to say about 20% of your fluid intake comes from the food you eat, from fruits and vegetables to pasta.
Myth #3: We need sports drinks to replace salt and other electrolytes.
Photo Illustration by Becky Harlan/NPR
You might hear that you need sports drinks to replace salt and other minerals known as electrolytes (like potassium and chloride, which are also essential for our bodies) when you’re active.
If you’re exercising for more than an hour or so, it’s likely you will need to replace the salt you’re sweating out along with water, say the experts. But you don’t have to do that by drinking sports drinks like Gatorade. While they can be one effective way to replace the body’s salt, you can get that salt from other foods and drinks. And like thirst, you can trust your body to tell you how much you need.
Researchers have found that along with a thirst for water, humans have evolved a thirst for salt and other minerals too. “The brain monitors [how much you lose], then triggers a precise appetite” for something salty, says Oka, the professor of biology at Caltech. That might be sports drinks — or a salty snack like peanuts.
Hew-Butler and a team of colleagues conducted a study to find out just how well the body’s thirst mechanism for salt works. They analyzed five years of research on ultra-marathon runners in northern California. Organizers at the races set out tables with salty snacks such as peanuts, pickles, salted watermelon and even salt packets in addition to water, soda and sports drinks and encouraged the runners to consume only what they craved. The researchers found that the runners were able to keep their salt-balance levels in check just by following their thirst and appetite.
Bottom line? Your body will tell you when it’s got a hankering for salt — so let your cravings be your guide.
Myth #4: Drinking water can help you lose weight.
Photo Illustration by Becky Harlan/NPR
Some small studies have found that drinking water before meals can help certain groups of people lose weight. The idea is that water makes your stomach feel full, and therefore, you eat less.
However, there are many conflicting studies on this topic. For example, one paper found that drinking up to 500 mL of water 30 minutes before a meal led to weight loss in a group of young men, but another paper found that the tactic did not work for younger people in the study — only the older ones.
And when scientists looked at papers on this subject in a systematic review, they concluded that there’s just not enough evidence for the general public. In a 2013 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers surveyed four electronic databases and found that only three studies suggested that increased water consumption could lead to weight loss if it’s part of a diet program. But the results were inconsistent for people who were not dieting. Ultimately, the researchers concluded, “The evidence for this association is still low, mostly because of the lack of good-quality studies.”
Studies have shown that drinking water can help with weight loss if it’s replacing sugary beverages like soda, sweet juices and sports drinks. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers asked a group of more than 300 overweight and obese individuals to replace such beverages with water for 6 months and found it helped reduce the subjects’ weight by an average of 2 to 2.5%.
Myth #5: Dark-colored pee means you’re dehydrated.
Photo Illustration by Becky Harlan/NPR
Scientists commonly measure dehydration by looking at the concentration of sodium and other solids in urine, which is what makes pee darker in color. But that isn’t the most precise way to tell whether someone needs more water, says Hew-Butler.
In 2017, she conducted a study published in the journal BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine to see if measuring the salt concentration of urine was an accurate reflection of the salt concentration in blood. She asked 318 athletes to “pee in a cup, then we drew their blood,” she says. More than half of the athletes showed up as dehydrated when she measured their urine — but when she looked at their blood, none of them showed up as dehydrated.
Just because your urine is dark gold, says Hew-Butler, it doesn’t mean your body is dehydrated. It just means your kidneys aren’t releasing as much water in order to keep your blood’s water-sodium level balanced. It would be more accurate to look at the concentration of sodium in our blood, she says, because our brain’s sensors use that to decide how much water our bodies need.
That said, if you’re not great at paying attention to your thirst, some hydration experts recommend drinking enough water to keep your urine a light, straw-yellow color — a simple way to assess hydration.Hydration, like so many things, comes down to balance.”It’s a happy medium, right?” says Millard-Stafford. “Not too much. Not too little. Just right – the Goldilocks sort of approach.”
Last week, an NFT founder tweeted that the metaverse company Decentraland only had 30 daily active users, despite its $1.2 billion market valuation. After a cryptocurrency news outlet reported the numbers, this week Decentraland hastily corrected on its blog that its metaverse actually has 8,000 daily active users. For reference, $1.2 billion is roughly one-eighth of a Bethesda.
The data for the first claims of 30 daily users came from DappRadar, an app store that tracks NFT transactions. Decentraland refuted the numbers in a blog post, stating that they actually had 8,000 whole daily active users. Wow. Incredible. I think Kotaku has gotten twice as many retweets on a single tweet than Decentraland has active users?
If you read further in the blog (or I will so that you don’t have to), you’ll see that there’s some funky math going on here. “You might at first divide 56,697, the number of September’s MAU by 30 and come back with the number 1,866,” wrote Decentraland, acknowledging that is far from the 8,000 that they claim. “A large number of Decentraland’s users are repeat visitors, they are the Decentraland community and spend time on the platform on a regular basis.”
So they’re not actually counting unique visitors. Decentraland has 1,866 unique visitors a day. This is so sad that I don’t even know that I have the heart to snark about it. Haha, just kidding. That’s a bad number and they should feel bad. But feeling bad requires some self awareness, which the blog post seems to lack. “When discussing the number of DAU or MAU in Decentraland, it’s worth keeping in mind that Decentraland is not a company and that it doesn’t view users as a product by which to measure success,” wrote Decentraland.
“Decentraland is a DAO and the only open source, Web3 metaverse platform that is owned and governed by its community.” (Kotaku reached out to Decentraland to ask what kind of metrics it uses to measure the platform’s success, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.)
Um… okay? I guess that would be plausible if Decentraland didn’t have a market cap of over a billion dollars. It feels like a good opportunity to remind folks once again that the crypto world is filled with scams, and not even Meta can really get the metaverse to take off even with its massive war chests filled with money.
Nevertheless, the not-company seems optimistic. Maybe overly so. “Decentraland’s goal is to be a fun and entertaining platform with a thriving community that educates and onboards people to the philosophies and tech of Web3 while empowering Creators in the hope that, when the masses realize why decentralization is important, a viable option will be available and the next iteration of the internet won’t be monopolized by a handful of corporations.”
I don’t think Decentraland will be an alternative to anything while only two thousand unique visitors are engaging with the platform per day. But hey, maybe I’ll be proven wrong by these forward-thinking revolutionaries.
Imagine being able to jump from one concert to another in a matter of seconds, or go from your native land to any country in the world without having to catch an exhausting flight, or attend all your meetings from your home but in your office. These are only a few use-cases to name that the metaverse promises.
What Is The Metaverse?
The metaverse is a shared online space, combining physical, augmented, and virtual reality, and it is set to reshape the world by becoming an integral part of our day-to-day lives in the next 10 to 15 years. The metaverse sits at the crossroads of Web3.0, blockchain, and virtual and augmented reality. Once people around the world get familiarized with these concepts, the metaverse industry will grow at an exponential rate.
As of now, the world is functioning on Web2.0, where the only thing an individual can own wholly is a domain name. As we move into the realm of Web3.0, individuals can own a multitude of things in the form of digital assets. Anything an individual can create, buy, or sell on Web3.0 can be solely owned by that individual with digital rights of ownership. Blockchain technology and NFTs make this possible.
Blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and NFTs serve as the foundation of the metaverse, a decentralized virtual world where there is no one group of people will have majority ownership of the internet.
Metaverse Market Analysis
Use cases for the building blocks of the metaverse — NFTs, cryptocurrencies, VR and AR — were once only limited to the gaming and entertainment industries. As these technologies mature, the metaverse will transform more than just the gaming and entertainment industries.
According to a report by Brandessence Market Research, the global metaverse market was valued at $209.77 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to $716.5 billion by 2027 at a compound annual growth rate of 22.7%. A report published by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. pointed out that current efforts in building the metaverse are structured in a way to promote the peaceful coexistence of stakeholders, irrespective of their size.
This will serve as the key to the metaverse being decentralized and would speed up the development of Web3.0. The metaverse is aimed at bringing a wide range of industrial sectors including entertainment, finance, travel, and gaming industries into an immersive digital ecosystem where cryptocurrencies and NFTs are invaluable assets.
Key Trends and Major Players In The Industry
There is a fair amount of abstraction as to how businesses across the world will be operating on the metaverse, however, some corporate sectors have already started working on innovative solutions to become a part of the virtual revolution. Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) developed and published Horizon Worlds, a virtual world where users can explore, play, and create new worlds. Alphabet Inc.
(NASDAQ:GOOG) is actively funding the development of Web3.0 and the metaverse. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced Azure Digital Twins which will allow users to create a digital representation of real-world entities and run simulations on them, allowing businesses to gauge feasibility in cost-effective ways.
Giant tech companies such as Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) are pouring in billion-dollar investments to catapult the metaverse industry into a trillion-dollar industry. However, there have been some notable efforts and contributions to the building of the metaverse in the past, before it became a buzzword.
Linden Lab is widely known for creating Second Life, an online multiplayer game. Second Life was launched in 2003 and offered users the ability to create an avatar for themselves and lead a “second life” in an online virtual world. The platform allowed users to interact with places, objects, and other avatars. Users of the platform are called “residents”.
Residents can explore the world, meet other “residents”, socialize, participate in both individual and group activities, build, create, shop, and trade virtual property and services with one another. Second Life has its own digital currency, the Linden Dollar, which users can buy with real money. The game rose to popularity over the decade and gained over one million users in 2013. As of 2021, the platform has more than 900,000 active users.
Another prominent and ambitious company in the virtual space is video-game maker Pixowl, which designed and developed the popular non-linear mobile game, The Sandbox. The players of the game explore resources such as water, soil, and sand, among others, and work on building their own virtual worlds. Players make progress through the game by performing tasks such as using water and dirt to make mud or making a battery from scratch.
The Sandbox was acquired by Chinese video game company Animoca Brands, in August 2018, which worked on adding blockchain functionality to the game. The blockchain version of The Sandbox enabled users to monetize their intellectual property in the game. In the third quarter of 2019, Animoca raised over $2.5 million to fund the development of the blockchain version of The Sandbox. The platform has its own digital currency, SAND, which is used to transact over the network.
Other prominent companies that are leading the innovation in building the metaverse are Roblox Corporation (NYSE:RBLX), Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), and Unity Software Inc. (NYSE:U).
To find the 13 most ambitious metaverse companies in the world, we looked at various metaverse market reports that highlighted the major players in the industry. We look at the vision statements of each company to determine what it aspires to bring to the metaverse. We examined each company’s product portfolios, earnings reports, analyst comments, and hedge fund sentiment. We also looked at each company’s metaverse projects and gave weight to the competitive advantage that the company has over others….To be continued
In 2014, if you were to Google “King of the United States,” you would have seen a picture of Barack Obama, yelling passionately into a microphone while at a podium. That’s not true, of course. But Google proclaimed it with authority after surfacing a Breitbart article entitled, “All Hail King Barack Obama, Emperor Of The United States of America!”
The episode highlights how clumsy Google can be with snippets, search results that the company elevates to the top of the page as a definitive answer to a query. The problem has persisted throughout the years, with Google stating plainly that certain presidents were in the KKK, or that women are evil.
Google on Thursday unveiled a handful of new features aimed at combating these kinds of falsehoods on its search engine, one of the most widely used information tools on the planet. Far from its origins as a simple website that listed 10 links as search results, Google is now a sprawling and cluttered site that highlights news stories, tweets, maps, hotel bookings, and more. As the site has grown — and as misinformation peddlers have become more sophisticated — the search engine has become more vulnerable to spreading lies and wrong information.
“In recent years, the growth of misinformation has become even more of a pressing challenge for us as a society,” Pandu Nayak, a vice president of search at Google, told reporters on Wednesday. “We can only deliver on our mission if we can deliver high quality results.”
Google said it would use its artificial intelligence systems to improve search snippets. The company will use machine learning software, called MUM, or Multitask Unified Model, to check information across multiple reliable sources that agree on the same facts. The process will allow the system to come to a general consensus, Google said, even if the sources don’t phrase the information in the same way.
The company is also expanding its “About this result” feature, originally released last year, to include more context about search results. In addition to seeing a short description of the website or company and when the result was indexed, people will now also see more granular information about the result. For example, it will tell you if a company is owned by another entity.
On the flip side, if Google can’t find much information about a result, it will disclose that as well. The company is also launching “About this result” in more languages, including Spanish, German and Indonesian.
Google is also updating its “content advisories,” which it displays usually during breaking news situations, like a mass shooting or natural disaster, when the situation is developing rapidly and not much information is available. Now, in addition to telling people when information is scarce, it will also warn people when information is available but may be unreliable, based on Google’s ranking system for search results.
The new features underscore the ongoing and escalating battle that tech giants are fighting against purveyors of misinformation. The problem will only become more heightened as the United States turns to midterm elections later this year. Google, along with Facebook and Twitter, has been under fire for years for having its platforms exploited when it comes to conspiracy theories, Covid-19 information and extremism.
None of the updates, however, apply to YouTube, which Google also owns, and has long been a major culprit in the spread of misinformation. “Their problem is a little bit different than ours in search,” Pandu said, noting that YouTube hosts content and uses a personalized feed. “We don’t work on YouTube directly, and YouTube doesn’t work on us directly.”
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