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Showing posts from February, 2023

What should be the fair cost of Carbon?

With an energy crisis looming across Europe, some people were joking that those who follow the American Santa Claus traditions should rather be naughty than nice this year, because coal would be more valuable this winter than toys. Also this winter, the price per ton of carbon emissions exceeded €100 in the EU emission trading system for the first time - presumably triggered by a shift in electricity generation from gas to coal, which is more carbon intensive per MWh of electricity generated. Oil and gas prices have surged last year far beyond the levels which would have been for example the CO2 tax on fossil fuels rejected by Swiss voters in 2021. This might have provided an unintended stress test of what the social and economic impact would be if we were serious about decarbonisation and has spurred a level of attention and investment into "alternative energy" (now called renewable or green energy) not seen since the oil crises in the 1970ies. In order to keep the momentum

From MrBeast to MrBot?

Generative AI seems to have entered the mainstream hype cycle with the recent release of ChatGPT becoming the fastest growing website to reach more than 100 million users, generating a lot of speculation  about AI disrupting and redefining how we navigate and access knowledge and information. Having worked with but not on machine learning the last few years, I am myself amused, amazed and somewhat terrified by the impressive progress in what publicly available text and image generators are able to do now. At its current state, ChatGPT is essentially an entertainment platform in the form of an infuriatingly polite, well-read, hallucinating bullshitter. One should not ask it any question for which we don't already know the answer, but like a mechanical automation in a victorian era parlour, we can marvel at how well it performs some amazing tricks some times or laugh at how it spectacularly fails some other times. Unless there is an unexpected ceiling, another decades long " AI